Crafting a compelling resume headline is an art, especially when you've worn multiple hats in your career. How do you ensure your headline isn't just a jumbled list of every role you've had, but a concise representation of your expertise?
Here’s a quick answer: For most job seekers, especially those with a clear career trajectory, it's advisable to stick to one title. And it’s always best to use the title exactly as it’s written in the job description. But, if you possess multiple specialties within your field, there are some benefits to using multiple job titles - just make sure they are closely related to avoid concerns of lack of focus.
Dive in as we dissect the strategy of selecting the right job titles for your resume headline and explore examples you can use for just about any job.
Including multiple titles on your resume: Pros and cons
Before you decide whether to include multiple titles in your resume headline, here are some things you should consider.
Benefits of multiple job titles
Here are some reasons it may be worth using multiple job titles in your resume headline:
- ATS optimization. ATS will usually scan your resume for the exact job title you’re applying for. In this case, including multiple job titles in your headlines increases your chances of getting past the screening stage.
- Showcasing multiple proficiencies. If you have more than one specialty within your field, it can be worth using multiple job titles in your resume to illustrate this upfront. In this case, multiple resume headlines can point to a diverse skill set and the ability to wear many different hats at once.
- Different titles, same job. If you work in a field where the same role is often called by many different names depending on the company — for example, Social Media Manager vs Digital Marketing Manager vs Client Engagement Manager — it can be worth finding a way to include all of those titles in your resume headline to avoid confusion.
Given these benefits, if you possess multiple specialties within your field, consider using multiple job titles. However, always ensure that they align closely to avoid confusion.
Downsides of multiple job titles
While there are a few possible benefits of including multiple job titles in your resume headline, there are far more potential pitfalls. If you’re looking for reasons to stick to a single title on your resume headline, be aware that multiple titles can:
- Be confusing for hiring managers. By including multiple titles, you may be making it harder for recruiters to ascertain your primary skill set. It can be a sign of an inconsistent career trajectory, so it’s often best to stick to the one that best fits your current path.
- Lack clarity. The biggest benefit of including a resume title is that it clearly signals your area of expertise. “Jack of all trades, master of none” is a truism in hiring, so it’s better to look like an expert in a single role than an all-rounder who can do a bit of everything.
- Risk mismatch with the job description. If you’ve gone to the trouble of tailoring your resume to a specific role (which you should), including multiple titles can undo all that hard work. It risks coming off as if you’re unsure of the job you’re applying for or are using the same generic resume for multiple job applications.
- Reduce ATS compatibility. If this seems like it contradicts the point above … well, it does and it doesn’t. The reality is, ATS are confusing and each one is programmed differently. While some ATS might score resumes with multiple headline job titles highly, others may penalize you for what seems like keyword stuffing.
- Be simply unnecessary. Resume headlines are optional to begin with, which means that you shouldn’t bother with multiple titles unless you really need to. In particular, entry-level job seekers don’t need multiple resume headline job titles — in fact, unless you have significant experience, it’s best to omit the headline altogether.
For most job seekers, especially those with a clear career path, it's advisable to stick to one title that best represents your current role and aspirations.
If you're uncertain about the correct formatting of your multiple job titles in your resume headline, upload your resume to the tool below. It will provide a comprehensive analysis of all sections of your resume.
How to include multiple resume headline job titles (without losing focus)
If you still think that including multiple resume headline job titles is the right decision, here’s how to do it without falling into the pitfalls above.
- Choose one main resume headline job title. This should be the same as the job you’re applying for and should go front and center on your resume.
- List additional titles underneath. By keeping the spotlight on a single main headline, it enhances the clarity and readability of your resume without sacrificing the potential benefits of multiple headlines.
- Include synonyms. If the job you’re applying for is advertised as Data Scientist but your current title is Data Analyst and the role mostly focuses on database administration, use “Data Scientist” as your main headline title and list “Data Analyst | Database Administrator” underneath.
- Use keywords from the job description. If you’re applying for an Account Manager position that asks for experience in sales client relationship management as a “nice to have,” you can list your resume headline job title as “Account Manager | Sales Representative | Client Relationship Manager.”
- Stick to similar job titles. A headline like “Data Scientist | Product Manager | Software Developer” lacks focus and is unlikely to match the skill set needed for a single position. On the other hand, something like “Chief Operating Officer | Chief Strategy Officer | Strategic Change & Revenue Growth” shows consistency in your career progression and proficiency in specific aspects of a single role.
- Look for a match. To prevent multiple resume headline job titles from doing your resume more harm than good, check it against our Targeted Resume tool for free advice.
Here’s an example of how to list multiple job titles in the headline of your resume:
Resume headline examples for multiple jobs
Ready to craft the perfect headline and start getting your resume out there? Here are some examples of resume headlines you can use for multiple jobs in a range of different industries.
Brand Strategist | Digital Engagement Expert
Talent Acquisition Specialist | Recruitment Expert | Human Resources Specialist
UX Designer | Front End Development Specialist | Web Developer
Investment Advisor | Portfolio Optimization Professional
Account Manager | Relationship Builder & Revenue Driver
Intellectual Property Specialist | Patent Law Expert | Family Law Associate
UI/UX Specialist | Logo Designer | Digital Artist
SEO Writer | Blog Writer