Breaking news: writing an epic CV headline boosts your chance of success

Looking for your next dream job? Polishing your CV is half the battle. When you're writing this document, you need to make it stand out from the crowd. The moment you hit "send" on your email, you're competing with a whole bunch of other applicants. So, how can you give yourself the competitive edge and land that all-important interview? 

Writing an effective CV headline is a savvy way to hook the reader's attention. If you don't know how to do that, you've come to the right place. In the following guide, we'll take a look at 27 CV headline examples for experienced professionals to students, and offer up expert advice on how you can write yours.

What is a CV headline?

Your CV headline is a short line that describes what you bring to the table. The phrase sits directly below your CV header, i.e. your contact information.

Recruiters spend a matter of seconds looking at your CV, so grabbing their attention fast is vital. Much like a news headline stops the reader in their tracks, your CV headline should turn heads. At a glance, the recruiter can see what makes you unique as a candidate. 

Words matter. You don't want to cram in a load of filler here. Instead, choose your language wisely and make sure that your CV headline gives an accurate description of your professional skills and relevant experience. The idea is that a recruiter can skim the top of your application and instantly see whether you fit the bill. 

27 CV headline examples by industry 

The simplest way to get to grips with CV headlines is to take a look at some examples. That's where we have you covered. Here are 27 CV headline examples listed by industry: 

The simplest way to get to grips with CV headlines is to take a look at some examples. That's where we have you covered. Here are 27 CV headline examples listed by industry: 

CV headline examples for administration roles

1. “Deadline-driven Administrator with an in-depth knowledge of quality control”

Why we like it: Candidate has picked one niche and highlighted it well. The use of “deadline-driven” lets the hiring manager know that this is the candidate's top priority.

2. “Administration professional with 7 years' experience in controlling expenses”

Why we like it: The candidate clearly states how many years of experience they have while also pinpointing their area of expertise for the reader. Should the hiring manager be looking for an admin worker who can slash the budget, this candidate fits the bill. 

CV headline examples for customer service roles

3. “Solutions-focused customer service professional with retail experience”

Why we like it: This CV headline is easy to read and lets the hiring manager know that the candidate is focused on solving problems. It also indicates the exact sector where this applicant gained their experience. 

4. “Customer Service Advisor with 99% satisfaction rate”

Why we like it: Adding in a top-notch statistic gives the reader proof that the candidate is worth their weight in gold. If you have a high level of customer satisfaction - or any other claim you want to shout about - you can include it in your CV headline.

5. “Results-driven Customer Service Representative with extensive knowledge of IT products” 

Why we like it: Rather than simply stating that the candidate works in customer service, they have zeroed in on their specialism. In this case, that's selling IT products. 

CV headline examples for data science roles

6. “Analytical Data Scientist with over ten years of experience”

Why we like it: This CV headline combines a smart use of a powerful adjective with the number of years experience the candidate has. 

7. “Experienced Data Scientist with a background in a FTSE 100 company”

Why we like it: The headline includes one key fact - that the candidate worked for a FTSE 100 company. That's certain to capture the hiring manager's attention. 

8. “Fully-certified Data Analyst and Scientist with 12 years' experience”

Why we like it: Certification matters, especially when it comes to the world of data. This CV headline places this fact front and centre for the hiring manager to see. 

CV headline examples for human resources roles

9. “Experienced Talent Acquisition Manager with an eye for prime candidates”

Why we like it: Hiring and firing is big business. In this CV headline example, the candidate keeps things simple by talking about their ability to find the best candidates. 

10. “Wellbeing Support Worker with 7 years' experience in mental health” 

Why we like it: The candidate pinpoints the niche that they work in (mental health) while adding some proof by stating how many years experience they have. 

11. “Strategic HR Manager with experience overseeing 30-strong department”

Why we like it: There's a big difference between managing a team of two and a team of 30. In this CV headline example, the candidate showcases their ability to oversee a large department. The reader instantly knows that the applicant has high-level experience.

CV headline examples for journalism roles

12. “Journalist published in the Guardian, Evening Standard, and BBC online”

Why we like it: There's no shame in name-checking the businesses you've worked for. If you've collaborated with some major outlets, shouting about them in your headline is a sure-fire way to stand out from the crowd. These household names draw the reader's eye.

13. “Award-winning writer specialising in investigative features” 

Why we like it: Journalism is a vast field. For that reason, it's always worth explaining which niche your work falls into. In the case of this CV headline example, it's “investigative features.” Showcase one specialism that will stand out in the hiring manager's mind. 

14. “Journalist with a passion for telling stories from underrepresented communities” 

Why we like it: If you have a passion, now is the time to talk about it. Including your primary driving force lets the hiring manager know that you have integrity and values. 

CV headline examples for management roles

15. “Highly organised Office Manager with experience overseeing 30+ workplaces”

Why we like it: Organisation is a key skill when it comes to office management, so it makes sense that the candidate would include this adjective. Equally, the candidate has been specific about how many workplaces they have overseen in their professional life. 

16. “Retail Manager able to build high-performing teams”

Why we like it: This CV headline is short, punchy, and straight to the point. It lets the hiring manager know what the candidates' main aim is in just a handful of words.

17. “Department Manager with ability to boost productivity by 34%”

Why we like it: Productivity is vital to the success of any business. So, should you have the ability to increase it, that is always going to be a huge selling point. Not only has the candidate noted that, but they've also added some evidence with the exact statistic. 

CV headline examples for marketing roles

18. “Results-driven Marketer with knowledge of Google and Facebook adverts”

Why we like it: Marketing is a fast-moving industry and it's essential to keep ahead of the latest trends in social media. In this CV headline example, the candidate highlights their abilities in both Google and Facebook adverts. This approach tells the hiring manager what they can expect should they take on the candidate. 

19. “Creative Copywriter with a flair for wit and a reputation for engaging copy”

Why we like it: If you do one thing… make sure that you do it well. This CV headline shares the candidate's ability to write “engaging copy.” However, the addition of a “flair for wit” tells the reader that they can expect pithy and fun copy from the applicant. 

20. “Multimedia Graphic Designer specialising in full branding services”

Why we like it: Don't use too many words when just a few will do the same job. By including the word “multimedia” at the front of this CV headline, the candidate immediately tells the reader that they work with a range of materials. This short headline conveys a wealth of information that's important when the hiring manager is looking for the right candidate.

21. “Skilled PR Manager specialising in high-profile crisis management” 

Why we like it: PR management can cover a variety of disciplines. For that reason, it's logical to state exactly what your strengths are. This CV headline points to “crisis management,” which will always be in high demand. The addition of “high-profile” suggests that the candidate has worked with big industry names - that they likely can't mention! 

CV headline examples for sales roles

22. “Goal-orientated Sales Executive who consistently exceeds targets”

Why we like it: This CV headline gets right to the point. Saying that you “consistently exceed targets” tells the hiring manager that you're willing to go above and beyond the call of duty… only without using tired, old cliches. 

23. “Award-winning sales professional with expertise in insurance”

Why we like it: Industry-related awards will always be of interest to hiring managers. These accomplishments work as evidence of your professional prowess. Simply putting “award-winning” at the front of your CV headline does the job. Top tip: you can (and should) name-check the exact awards you have later on in your CV.

24. “Telesales expert with 10 years' experience and 27% conversion rate”

Why we like it: When it comes to sales, numbers are king. For that reason, it's always a savvy move to include how many years of experience you have and your sales rates. 

CV headline examples for students and graduates 

25. “Dedicated Business student with a willingness to learn and gain experience”

Why we like it: Students may benefit from looking toward the future as, frankly, their past experiences will be limited. The above CV headline tells the hiring manager that this applicant is eager to start gaining real professional experience. 

26. “Motivated IT student with experience in offering hardware and software support”

Why we like it: Of course, some students will have undertaken work experience and placements. This CV headline describes the type of services that the student has already worked within. 

27. “Recent graduate with a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in Marketing plus copywriting experience”

Why we like it: Graduates may want to focus on their degree results and any relevant experience they already have under their belt. This combination works as a strong CV example, letting the hiring manager know that the candidate is the whole package. 

How to write a CV headline

Now that you've seen some punchy CV headline examples, let's dive into some tips that will help you to write the one-liner. Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!), be sure to take a look at our advice. Here are top tips to keep in mind: 

1. Use the right keywords 

The keywords you use in your CV headline are most likely going to be your core skills, transferable skills, and the position title. The keywords will very much depend on your profession. For example, if you're going for a marketing job, you might include "copywriting" or "B2B / B2C" in your CV headline. 

On the other hand, if you are going for an admin role, you may use the phrases "processing expenses" or "quality control." You can quickly and easily find the right keywords for your industry by Googling "CV keywords" and your job title.

Using these keywords works two-fold. First of all, these are the phrases that hiring managers are likely to be looking for. That means that your CV will catch their eye. The second way this works is that it may help your CV to rank well if it's scanned into applicant tracking software - recruiters can use these to search CVs for specific words like hard skills and job titles.

2. Avoid flowery language 

Sure, you might think you're "an absolute whizz at Excel" or "have a knack for spreadsheets," but find a quicker way to get to the point. You don't want to waste words unnecessarily. Often enough, flowery language detracts from your skills, rather than accentuating them. 

Similarly, you should steer clear of any hyperbole. Saying that you're the "best Marketer in the North of England" is quite the claim, especially if you don't have any evidence to back it up. Stick to the facts. Everything that you say in your CV headline needs to be verifiable later on. Ensure that you convey your distinctive skills as quickly and concisely as you can. 

3. Tailor your headline each time 

When you're searching for a new job, it may be tempting to use the same CV for every role. However, to boost your chances of success you should tweak this document according to each job posting. Tailoring your CV headline to the role at hand is one of the swiftest ways you can improve your application. And the good news is that it doesn't have to take too long.

Here's a quick way to get started: take a look at the job posting and highlight some specific words and phrases. You can integrate these into your CV headline in a matter of moments. When the recruiter sees that your headline closely matches the target job advert, your application is sure to go to the top of the interview pile. Give it a go! 

4. Support your claims 

Evidence is everything. Whenever you make a claim in your CV headline, you should back it up. For example, instead of saying you have a "high satisfaction rate," you should quantify that with a percentage. You can say that you have a "99% satisfaction rate" instead. 

Backing up your claims means that a recruiter is more likely to trust what you're saying in your headline. The sorry truth of the matter is that almost anybody out there can make big claims. The hiring manager doesn't know you from Adam. With that in mind, make sure that you add evidence or proof to your CV headline wherever possible. 

5. Position your headline well

Your CV headline should be one of the first things that recruiters see when they look at your application. That means that you need to position it well. Make sure that it sits at the top of the page in bold or large font. You should ensure that there's plenty of white space around this statement, so that it's easy to read. 

Additionally, you may want to use other design features to draw attention to this single line. Many people write their CV title in italics or use colour to draw attention to this text. When done correctly, your CV text style will support your claim to be the perfect match - not detract from your message. Keep things simple, elegant, and attractive. 

Take the plunge

In a sea of similar candidates, you need to fight to stand out. Including a CV headline on your application is a quick way to grab the reader's attention. It allows you to show off your skills to recruiters. Now that you've read our guide and taken a look at our examples, you should have a good understanding about how to get this line right. Why not give it a go for yourself? Start by drafting a few headlines and see which fits you best as a professional. 

Applying for a new job? The first step is making sure that your application is up to scratch. Submit your CV for a free CV review to give yourself a fighting chance. 

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