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How to Write an Effective Resume Title

Tricare users can book appointments and check lab results through Tricare’s online system. (Flickr user Christopher Steven/Creative Commons)
Tricare users can book appointments and check lab results through Tricare’s online system. (Flickr user Christopher Steven/Creative Commons)

When you create or edit your resume, you are asked to name your resume. The name you pick will be featured across the top of your resume in bold and colored text as the resume headline, so select a name that is memorable and professional.

Experts suggest learning about appropriate job titles before writing the resume title field. "First conduct a search for representative jobs that interest you," says Ginger Korljan, principal of Take Charge Coaching in Phoenix. "Whatever title you choose, the remainder of your resume should demonstrate why you are qualified for that position," she says.

You are allotted up to 35 characters for the "resume name" field in the Resume Builder, so select your words carefully. Don't be afraid to use abbreviations to save space, and keep in mind that the goal of your title is to compel employers to keep reading your resume. "An effective title includes your career objective and your strongest qualification -- that could be years of experience, an industry credential or a job-related skill," says Pamela Hann, CPC, a workforce services specialist for the Kansas Department of Commerce.

"I would advise most clients to include at minimum their desired job target and the number of years of experience," says Joe Perez, CPRW and owner of Seattle-based resume-writing firm Writing Wolf.

Perez says that this is not the place to try to be clever or witty. "Employers want serious professionals who don't need to rely on gimmicks," he says. So avoid stunts like "Hire Me!" or "I'm Your Best Candidate!" and desperate pleas like "Out of Work and Need a Job." Also, steer clear of using your name for your resume title. "Jane Smith Resume" doesn't tell a hiring manager anything about your qualifications or job target.

If you've still having trouble writing a resume, consider having one professionally written for you.

Before and After Examples by Career Field

To get ideas about how you can craft your own resume title, check out these samples for a variety of industries:

Admin:

* Before: Secretarial Position Wanted
* After: Admin Assistant -- MS Office Expert

Sales:

* Before: John Doe for Hire
* After: Top-Ranked Pharma Sales Rep, 5 Yrs.

Technology:

* Before: Computer Programmer
* After: Sr. Programmer ¿- Java / J2EE

Engineering:

* Before: Engineer
* After: Manufacturing Engineer -- Six Sigma

Nursing:

* Before: Nurse
* After: RN -- 10+ Years of ER Experience

Accounting:

* Before: Accountant
* After: CPA -- Accountant/Financial Analyst

Finance:

* Before: Finance Executive
* After: Bank Ops VP with F500 Experience

Arts/Design:

* Before: Graphics Designer
* After: Graphics Designer -- Adobe Suite/3D

Human Resources:

* Before: HR Professional
* After: HR Manager / SPHR / 10 Yrs. Exp.

Retail:

* Before: Manager
* After: Big-Box Retail Manager--11 Yrs Exp.

Marketing:

* Before: Marketing & Communications
* After: Marcom Manager--Nonprofit Specialty

Public Relations:

* Before: Public Relations
* After: PR Specialist -- PRSA Certified

Education:

* Before: Teacher
* After: Elementary School Teacher/NYS Cert

Skilled Trades:

* Before: Brick Worker
* After: Brick & Stone Mason -- 6 Yrs. Exp.

Automotive:

* Before: Mechanic
* After: Diesel Mechanic -- WTTA L. II Cert.

Logistics:

* Before: Logistics Worker
* After: Logistics Manager--12 Yrs. JIT Exp.

Transportation:

* Before: Transport Industry
* After: Transportation Mgr -- DMAIC Trained

Resume Titles for Special Circumstances

Career Change:

* Before: Technical Troubleshooter
* After: MCP Targeting Help-Desk Position

Military to Civilian:

* Before: Ex-Military Worker
* After: Army MP Seeking Police Officer Role

New Graduate:

* Before: College Graduate
* After: BSME Grad -- Available All Shifts

Workforce Reentry:

* Before: Stay-at-Home Mom Seeking Job
* After: Recruiter -- 10 Years of Experience

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