The aim of a CV headline is to hook a hiring manager in seconds.

It’s a one sentence introduction to your CV that gives recruiters a quick summary of your best skills and experiences. But it must be more than just a catchy one-liner, it has to be a well written snippet that ignites the employer’s interest in you.

Recruiters on an average day will get 100’s of job applications for every vacancy they advertise. To stand out in this crowded place, you must quickly explain why you’re the best candidate for the position. A proven way to do this is by writing an attractive sentence that sits in a prominent position right next to your contact details.

On this page we will explain how to write an eye-catching tagline that grabs the reader’s attention. We’ve written a comprehensive step by step guide that will explain everything you need to know about this subject and have expertly written examples you can use.

By: Iejaz Uddin – 1 June 2024


Page overview:

  • What is a CV headline
  • Difference between CV headline and personal summary
  • How to write a good CV headline
  • Examples of CV headlines


What is a CV headline

Also known as a one liner, header, or CV title, it’s a short, straight to the point sentence that is targeted at the job you are applying for.

Its purpose is to get the reader to want to know more about you. It does this by condensing what you can do into a few short words that showcase your most impressive achievements and relevant skills.


Are taglines important?

Yes, is the short answer. That’s because in a CV every word counts, and this punchy sentence can immediately tell the recruiter why they should hire you. It’s a powerful opening statement that matters when applying for jobs. If written the right way, it can encourage a reader to continue reading your CV.

Aside from all the above, it’s also another opportunity to include those keywords that will get you past an ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

The jobs market is a tough place to get noticed. You need to try every trick in the book to stand out. This is another bow in your quiver to do just that.


Advantages of having a CV headline

  • Makes you stand out from other candidates who do not use one.
  • Can catch the employer’s attention and make them remember you.
  • Summarises your CV.
  • Prominently lists your best achievements.
  • Has keywords that can get you past an ATS.


Does everyone use it?

It’s not used by most job seekers, primarily because many candidates have never heard of it or get it confused with a personal summary. Despite this, it is widely seen as increasing a candidate’s chances of being noticed and interviewed.


Where does it go on a CV?

Always located in a prominent position at the top of your CV, just below your contact details. That’s because the beginning of your CV is the first place a recruiter looks. Many job seekers place it on the same line as their name or just below it.


Difference between CV headline and personal summary

The first and biggest difference between these two is the length. A personal summary is much more detailed and tends to be a paragraph that expands on key points. This is opposed to a headline, which is a single standalone line of text. In a summary you have three to four sentences to explain why you’re the best person for the job, in a headline you only have one.

The second difference is the locations. The summary is placed below the contact details, whilst a headline is next to the contact details.


How to write a good CV headline

With so many people applying for the same job, it’s tough getting noticed. A good headline can show your worth by consolidating your strongest points into a short sentence.

Don’t waste your words when writing this. With limited space to get noticed, you’ve got to make everything count. Use between seven to 10 words to point out your unique selling point (USP). Think hard about what makes you perfect for the role, and what you have that other candidates may not.

The most commonly used formula for writing a headline is:

  • Powerful adjective + years of experience + achievement + awards.

Bear in mind that this blueprint is not set in stone and can be tweaked to suit your circumstances.


In a headline mention:

  • How many years of experience you have.
  • What you’ve achieved.
  • Relevant skills you possess.
  • Awards you’ve won.
  • How much money you’ve saved a employer.


Finally, remember to back up what you’ve written with more details in personal summary section.


Tips on writing a CV headline

Follow the guide below to craft something that immediately flags you up as a suitable candidate for the role.


Research the role

Look at the vacancy in detail, what experience, key skills and qualifications does it require? Make a list of the keywords used to describe these requirements in the job description. You now have a target to aim your headline at and important phrases to include in it.


Tailor it to the job

Write a headline specifically aimed at the job you are applying for. Don’t write the same headline for different positions.


Put it at the top

It should be the first thing a recruiter notices. Do this by placing it in a prominent position, right in the header of your CV. This way it’ll be seen immediately and not get lost in a wall of text.


Make it stand out

As it’s a brief introduction to your CV, it should be the first thing the hiring manager sees. Do this by capitalizing your headline, making the text larger in size or bolder or even underlining it. Although avoid doing anything that appears flashy or over the top.


Keep it short

Use between 7 to 10 words to write a concise statement that can be read in seconds.


Unique achievements

If you’ve done something really special, then this is the place to put it.


Use keywords

It’s vital you target your header at the role you are applying for. Do this by imbedding keywords that you’ve identified in the job description. This ensures you have ones which the hiring manager and ATS are looking for.


Mention years

Add the number of years of relevant work experience you have.


Quantify with percentages

Back up with your claims with numbers, percentages, and statistics.


Avoid cliches

Many job seekers get a mental block when writing about themselves. They can easily fall into the trap of copying and pasting other quotes from other CV’s.

Do not include over used phrases that hiring managers see every day. Steer clear of tired and lazy clichés and generic keywords like ‘highly skilled, ‘very dependable’, ‘gives 100%’ and ’10 years of being a team player’.

Instead use unique attributes and avoid ones that are likely to be used by other candidates.


Don’t be vague;

Be precise in what you write and clearly explain your points.


Example of a hazy headline:

  • An IT professional with computer software knowledge.


Examples of a focused headline:

  • An IT professional with 10 years’ experience in JavaScript, CSS, WordPress and Python.


Examples of CV headlines

Below is a list of powerful samples that emphasises what you can do for a company if you get the job. They use a combination of action words along with years of expertise and achievements to get you noticed.



  • Office manager with 8 years experience of leading 20 clerical staff.
  • Adaptable office administrator who supports 7 senior managers and over 50 employees.


Customer service

  • Consistently scored over 95% on client customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Customer service assistant who speaks 5 languages including German and Spanish.




  • Award winning chef with experience of working in a Michelin star restaurant.
  • Sales increasing restaurant manager who has increased online bookings by 200%.



  • SEO Manager who has increased web traffic for last 10 clients by 150%.
  • A proven Web Developer with over 6 years experience of designing modern e-commerce websites.



  • Goal orientated sales manager with over four years experience of successfully selling IT services to government departments.
  • Driven sales manager with a 5 year track record of consistently increasing sales by 100%.



  • Approachable English teacher with ten years experience of teaching vulnerable teenagers.
  • Passionate maths teacher with a 90% pass rate at Key Stages.