7 Title & Tagline Strategies in Executive Resumes

executive resume

Titles and taglines are terrific brand real estate in any resume. Not only do they quickly summarize important issues such as your career goal and brand, but they often include key words and almost always draw your reader’s eyes to critical details about your candidacy.

Recognize, though, that you have more options than whether to use a title or tagline or not. In fact, here are 7 ways to use titles and taglines alone or in combination to present an exceptional brand in your resume.



Single Titles

  • Single titles are simple and straightforward. They focus on a single role (“VP of Human Resources”) often lifted from the job posting for a particular role. The key to these titles is to copy the exact wording of the position you are pursuing. This will add key words to your resume but will also help your resume to rise in the rankings of the Applicant Tracking System used by the hiring executive or recruiter.

Compound Titles

  • A compound title is a single title on steroids – its aim is to cover more ground. Let’s say you’re interested in a senior HR role but would take a range of titles. In that case a compound title might serve you best. Perhaps, “Senior HR Executive: Director, AVP, VP, SVP, or EVP.

Networking Titles

  • Networking titles are best used when you share your resume with a contact, referral, recruiter, or hiring executive for, well, networking purposes. That is, there is no specific role that you are pursuing in this instance – you just want to use your resume to jumpstart more referrals or discussions.
  • Networking titles are often a bit broader than single titles. For example, if your single title is “VP of Human Resources,” your networking title might be “Senior HR Executive.”
  • To complicate matters, your networking title can be a compound title, too, if that serves the situation.

2-Part Titles

  • Sometimes titles need to cover a little more ground. Let’s say it’s vital to show that you have experience in specific industries. In that case you can list your title on one line and note your industry interests on the next. For example:


Healthcare | Pharmaceuticals | Biotech

Single Taglines

  • Taglines are powerful ways to introduce yourself to recruiters and hiring executives and call attention to your philosophy, brand, or achievement history. Generally just a line in length, they should be brief, impactful, and descriptive.
  • An example of a philosophy tagline would be: Empower Others. Empower Results.
  • While a Brand YOU™ tagline might include: Innovation Catalyst.
  • An achievement tagline, on the other hand, would look like this: Fueled $250B in Channel Sales in Fortune 50 Markets.

Double Taglines

  • Double taglines include more than 1 power statement. When I use more than 1 tagline in a resume, I generally try to focus them in different areas of a client’s brand so their best results don’t get buried. For example, I might pair an achievement tagline with a personality or leadership tagline that showcases some element of my client’s workplace attributes.
  • Or I might use one of the taglines to highlight the client’s credentials, honors, awards, or thought leadership.

Triple Taglines

  • If I’m creating a resume for a client with a terrific portfolio of achievements, I might use a third or even fourth tagline. In that case, I might use an achievement tagline or 2 and dedicate the other 2 to softer elements such as personality or leadership. When I do this, I position the strongest tagline right under the title and before the summary, with a secondary tagline underneath in a smaller font. I then place the third or fourth taglines after the summary in the same font size as the secondary. This spreads the taglines throughout the summary while keeping them easy to spot and read.

Next time you update or tailor your resume, massage your document’s title and add a tagline or 2 to propel your career communications to the next level. What have you got to lose?


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