It’s common knowledge that the resume is a crucial part of a job application and often one of the first things that gets looked at. Yet most people miss an opportunity to set their resumes apart by not titling their resumes and simply using their names as the heading. In competitive job markets, paying attention to the smallest detail can set a candidate apart from the pack. A thoughtful title can get a resume pulled from the stack by indicating a close fit between an applicant’s qualifications and the job requirements.
Reference your desired job title, for example “Senior Marketing Manager”. If you are responding to a specific job in an ad, use the same wording, otherwise it may look as if you did not read the ad carefully. If you are submitting a resume to a company with several positions you might qualify for, then use words such as “expert”, “guru” or “specialist” along with the general career field, for example “Public Relations Guru.”
Use an adjective to highlight your desirable personal qualities -- the more specific, the better. Be careful not to go overboard or you may sound boastful or self-aggrandizing. Stick to one adjective that will be backed up by specifics in the body of the resume. For example, if you were a team leader, you might use the adjectives “collaborative,” “responsible” or “decisive.”
Highlight your experience or strongest professional asset. Experience can be phrased in terms of years, education, special certification or other expertise. Again, be specific: “12 Years of Experience” or “Board Certified” is more impressive than “Veteran” or “Professional.”
Browse the company's web page or literature for clues as to how its presents itself and its corporate culture. The company may market itself as progressive and hip or conservative and polished. Pay particular attention to the biographies of current employees. Closely matching the company’s aesthetic in wording your title will show you’ve done your research and that you will fit in.
Tie it all together while keeping the title short and concise. It is unnecessary and redundant to write that you are seeking a job, and long phrases will defeat the purpose of being eye-catching. Use common business abbreviations: "Dedicated Paralegal -12 Yrs. Exp." is to the point and effective.
Refer to the additional resume writing resources listed in the Resources Section for tips on making your resume outstanding.
Make sure to use spell check. A glaring error in the title will leave a negative first impression.