You only have six to seven seconds to impress the recruiters with your resume. If you don’t pass this test, you likely won’t receive an invitation to interview. This is why you should have a properly-formatted resume with a well-written resume header.
Why Write a Header for Your Resume?
A resume header (also called “resume headline”) is an effective way to grab the attention of hiring managers. Even if it’s only a small part of your resume, it doesn’t mean that you should only put less effort or overlook it. After all, it’s the first thing that hiring managers see when they look at your resume.
We all know that you need to tailor your resume for every job that you’re applying for. The same goes for resume headlines. You need to write it in a way that will highlight your qualifications and show that you’re the best candidate for the position.
How To Format a Resume Header
The header is found at the top of your resume. It has your name, job title, contact information, and professional profile. The layout varies depending on how you want to position yourself, but always remember to keep it professional—not sloppy.
- Set one-inch margins on all sides and go for a 1.15 line spacing. You can use double line spacing after subheadings.
- Choose a font that looks clean and easy to read with a 10-12 font size. You can use Sans Serif, Arial, Bookman Old Style, Calibri, Cambria, Helvetica, Verdana, Tahoma, Garamond, Georgia, or Times New Roman.
- Place your header in the topmost part of your resume. It can either be centered or left-aligned.
Type your name in bigger fonts because it is the most important information in your header. Use the same name across all your online profiles to appear professional. For example, if you use “Matthew” in your resume, don’t use your shortened name “Matt” in your LinkedIn and portfolio websites.
Among the most common mistakes that applicants make with their resume headlines is skipping the work title which should be typed in a smaller font under your name. You can use this part to your advantage, especially if your current work title is related or the same as your target position. It will communicate to hiring managers that you’re a good fit for the job.
Most applicants include their complete address in the header. This is another common mistake. Hiring managers don’t need to know exactly where you live. They only need to know your city, state, and zip code.
Type your phone number below your address. If you’re currently employed, don’t use your work phone number. List the personal contact number that you use the most.
Your email address is the most fundamental part of your online identity and it’s also the most common form of communication used by hiring managers nowadays. Make sure to use a professional username, not the one that you created several years ago when you were still in high school. Sign up for an account with a username that includes your first and last name. Example, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Besides proving that you’re tech savvy, having a LinkedIn profile gives hiring managers an opportunity to know more about you and what people think of you as a professional. But before you add the profile link to your resume header, customize the URL to include your first and last name. Example, https://linkedin.com/in/matthewsmith or https://linkedin.com/in/smithmatthew.
A professional profile is a summary of your qualifications as an applicant. It can be a series of sentences or short paragraphs, but it can also be a set of bullet points (preferably with three items in the list) that outlines your qualifications.
An effective profile provides an overview of your achievements, experience, goals, and skills. The best way to do this is to use numerical data such as performance metrics. It gives hiring managers a clear idea of the specific results that you can deliver.
Think of it as an elevator speech. You should articulate who you are and what makes you great in what you do in a clear and concise manner.
Professional Profile Guidelines
- You don’t need to label your professional profile. But if you want to, you can use the following as its title: “Career Profile”, “Professional Summary”, “Summary of Qualifications”, “Career Highlights”, or “Professional Profile.”
- Place it on top of your resume, below your name, address, and contact information.
- Include keywords from the job post.
- Use powerful action verbs and phrases to describe your skills and credentials:
- Adept at…
- Experience in…
- Fully knowledgeable in…
- Responsible for…
Professional Profile Examples for Your Resume Header
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with 10+ years of experience in public accounting.
- Detail-driven accounts payable specialist with 7+ years of experience establishing best accounting practices to scale tech companies.
- Self-sufficient and highly-trained marketing manager with 12+ years of multi-channel marketing experience.
- Accomplished office manager with extensive experience in developing procedures and providing procedures and providing support to the CEO and other C-level executives for 5+ years.
- Solutions-driven project manager with 5+ years of experience in managing software development projects.
- Dedicated and client-oriented customer service specialist with 7+ years of experience in providing tech and after sales support.
- Reliable and detail-oriented support specialist. Skilled at solving any potential customer issues that arise. Received an average 92% customer satisfaction rating to date.
- Results-oriented data analyst with a focus on helping businesses grow. 6+ years of experience in data mining and data survey creation.
- Registered nurse with 8 years of experience working in a fast-paced environment and providing high quality patient care.
- Highly creative graphic designer with 5+ years of experience in website design and multimedia.
- Productive and efficient retail associate with experience providing customers with a meaningful and memorable experience.
- Professional and detail-oriented receptionist with 7 years of experience assisting employees at the front office of a Fortune 500 IT company.
- Engaged and motivated teaching professional with strong educational experience of complex subjects for high school students.
- Data-driven and creative SEM professional with 4+ years of experience on Google Analytics, Adwords and Display Ads.
- Creative copywriter with 6+ years of experience in improving landing page conversions by up to 25-30%.
- Results-oriented business analyst with 10 years of experience fulfilling processes for customer service representatives.
- Implemented analysis for business optimization projects boosting the revenue by 46% and direct labor costs by $3.4 million.
- Positive and friendly sales associate with 4+ years of experience in the IT industry. Increased overall sales by 45% in a single year and named as “Salesperson of the Year” for three consecutive years.
- Trustworthy and dedicated cashier with 7+ years of experience. Scored a 99.3% rating on customer happiness surveys.
- Motivated web developer with a strong background in developing high-quality applications for different clients. With 7+ years of industry experience including debugging and programming. Received 87%+ UX scores on every web application created.
- Physical therapist with 5+ years specialized expertise in overall orthopedic rehabilitation. Adept in examining patients’ needs in developing therapy plans.
- Licensed general dental hygienist with 6+ years experience assessing patients’ oral health and supporting fellow dental staff. Increased client satisfaction by 60% and grew revenue by 50% in 2 years.
- A highly talented and self-motivated virtual assistant with 2+ years experience in record-keeping and performing various personal assistance tasks. Providing extreme confidentiality and exceptional office support to ensure tasks are completed on time.
- People-oriented HR manager with 5+ years in building and maintaining relationships, and managing employees across all levels of an organization.
- Accomplished and results-oriented financial analyst with 6+ proven success in financial reporting and project management. Managed 3 different projects with a budget over $2000,000. MBA in Finance.
- Highly accurate data entry clerk with 16,000 KPH 10-key typing speed and 5 years experience in data entry, customer care, and office management. Excellent knowledge of database management tools and data entry technologies.
- Motivated software engineer with 11+ years of industry experience. Spearheaded developing strategies for large engineering teams to achieve concrete goals on a strict deadline.
- Hardworking and certified medical assistant with 8+ years of experience in healthcare services, who thrives in providing exceptional patient care in a changing and fast-paced environment.
- Established senior UX designer with 8+ years experience delivering enjoyable web and mobile products for the industry.
- Conversion-oriented and creative social media marketing manager with 5+ years experience in developing and executing proactive campaigns. Helped increase the client’s Facebook conversion rate by 33% and increased customer retention by 15%.
An average corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. This means, you have a lot of competition and a generic resume header will not help you stand out.
There are many templates available online and although you can use one of them, the disadvantage is that most hiring managers can easily spot a copy-and-paste header from a mile away.
By understanding how to format a resume header, you’ll be able to write an effective one for yourself, allowing hiring managers to find essential information easily in your application and demonstrating to them that you put a lot of effort into your application.
Learn how to create an effective resume. Sign up for career development courses at Skill Success!