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Job Search Tips Using Headlines To Dramatically Boost The Power Of Your Resume

For ages resumes have generally begun with a typically bland Summary or Objective statement.
Often cribbed from the pages of dog-eared million-selling books of resume templates, they tend to have a hackneyed tone that screams "Ignore me and move on to the next candidate."

Think about it, how many times have you read a gem like this on a resume. "Summary: Team player with strong management skills seeks challenging opportunities with excellent growth potential (yawn)." If anybody actually reads such an introduction, it's unlikely he'll make it past the words "team player."

Thus at least three lines of the resume are wasted. And that's especially unfortunate because space is the rarest of all commodities on most resumes. Work on your resume because you’ll need it if you want to secure a high paying accounting manager job at places like Vested.

Starting Your Resume With a Powerful Headline

Rather than wasting crucial space at the top of your resume blathering on with the usual cliche summary statement, why not take a cue from advertisers and begin with a headline instead? There are plenty of good reasons why this time-honored marketing device has been in use for over a hundred years (and it's made the jump to the Internet just fine, thank you).

The benefit of a headline on a resume is that you can use it to position yourself however you want to. You aren't completely at the mercy of your perhaps meager or inappropriate experience listed further down the page. You're in control of the reader's perceptions, right from the very start.

How to Use Headlines to Improve Your Resume

There are lots of ways you can use headlines to boost the power of your resume and make it a more effective tool in your job search. How you use them depends on the circumstances and individual nuances of your career. Here are some ways you can start to harness the power of this technique.

Changing Careers

Perhaps the most valuable situation in which to use a headline on your resume is when you're changing careers. In such situations, most people's previous credentials and experience don't apply precisely. So it pays to use a headline to bridge the gap between your past experience and your future goals. For instance, if you're a purchasing manager and you're hoping to get into event planning, you could add a headline to your resume saying "Meticulous, Detail-Oriented Planning Professional." The key to this tactic is finding out what skills the two professions have in common -- attention to detail and planning in this case -- then highlight those common denominators in your headline.

Long Term Industry Experience

People who have spent much of their career in one industry and are planning to continue to do so can use a headline on their resume to call attention to their success and deep commitment in the field. For example, a long-time printing company manager could top his resume with a headline such as, "Highly Experienced, Top-Level Print Production Manager." This sets the reader up to expect someone with considerable time in the profession, a fact neatly supported by the Experience section of the resume.

Problem Experience

Those who have experience that jumps around a lot, large gaps in their employment, or other resume problems can use a headline to take attention off those issues and shine the spotlight on their strengths instead. Using a headline like, "Proven Administrative and Customer Service Professional" can do a great deal to take the focus off of the fact that over the last five years the person has been a telephone customer-service rep, a retail salesperson, an administrative assistant, and an office manager (not a particularly uncommon mix, by the way).

By using a headline instead of a summary statement, you can add power and individuality to your resume. If nothing else, it's a technique that's still relatively new, meaning just the very fact that you're using this effective resume-topping element will make yours stand out even more.


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