Why Your Resume Needs a Title

Resume TitleDid you write your resume around a clear job target – or merely leave clues for employers to find?

If you’ve ever suffered through reading a stack of resumes – hoping the perfect candidate will nearly jump off the page, then you’ll understand the conundrum faced by employers.

Many resumes are written with generalities, leaving the reader to guess at the applicant’s desired job goal.

If you’re finding that employers can’t seem to piece together the reasons you’re a perfect fit for the job, your resume might be missing an important element:  a title.

A resume title, which is typically a short phrase or job title used at the top of your resume, helps readers understand the role you’re pursuing… and leaves them anticipating the supporting details of your story.

As shown in this example of a CFO resume, the resume title can also replace the overused “Professional Qualifications” or “Summary” category at the top of the resume. (Do you really need these words to introduce the summary of your career? Probably not.)

The advantage of using a title? Your job target will be immediately obvious, and employers will tend to read further, rather than eliminating your resume at first glance.

Even if you’re somewhat open to different titles (as in this sample CEO and SVP resume), you can specify more than one goal. Of course, these job targets should be similar enough to use a common resume; otherwise, you may need another version.

In short, boldly titling your resume encourages employers to pay attention to your strong points – and helps them quickly understand how you fit into the company.

Laura Smith-Proulx, award-winning executive resume writer and founder of An Expert Resume, is a former recruiter who partners with CIO, CFO, CCO, COO, CTO, CEO, SVP, and Director candidates to win top jobs at Fortune-ranked corporations. A credentialed Professional Resume Writer, Career Management Coach, Interview Coach, Social Networking (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) Career Strategist, and Personal Branding Analyst, she is the author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips & Resources to Access the Hidden Job Market, with work featured in 8 career bestsellers. She serves as a media source to Wall Street Journal FINS, CIO.com, AOLJobs.com, LocalJobNetwork.com, and other outlets.

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Comments

  1. Emerald says:

    Hi Laura,

    EXCELLENT! I agree. A title is very useful when you have a specific target. A resume IS supposed to be a snapshot anyway, right? You allude to a wonderful point–eliminating redundancy like “Summary” or “Qualifications” titles with something more effective makes for a stronger resume.

    Emerald

  2. Dan Javinsky says:

    Great insight!

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