6 Types of Resume Taglines & How to Use Them

One thing that makes a resume stand out is a tagline – a brief phrase, sentence, or series of words set apart visually from other text above and/or below your resume’s summary.

How can taglines improve your resume?

  • Using one or more taglines calls attention to key aspects of your career brand, experience, achievements, or credentials.
  • Taglines showcase your career impacts or unique approach to business.
  • The use of one or more taglines sets your candidacy apart from that of others and helps to distinguish your career brand from that of others applying for the same types of roles.

By their nature, taglines are short, sometimes even cryptic, which means they serve well as mini summaries of your experience.

Although I’m focusing here on using taglines in a resume (1 to 2 after your resume’s headline but before your summary, 1 to 2 after your summary, or 2 to 4 in place of a summary), you can also use them in other career communications tools, including your LinkedIn profile (in your headline, summary, or work history sections), a value proposition letter (after your headline), an executive bio, marketing brief, or one-page networking resume (after your headline), or in a leadership brief or case study (after your headline). Within a resume, you can also use taglines to describe your position or a series of promotions or introduce a series of achievements.

Taglines are a great tool to use to weave more keywords into your resume in a conversational way. And, as it happens, Applicant Tracking Systems rate keywords higher when they’re contained within a sentence or a phrase rather than in a quick list, so it’s to your advantage to include one or more in your next resume iteration.

Types of Taglines

Although all kinds of content can be employed as a tagline, here are six general types of taglines you might want to incorporate into your resume or LinkedIn profile.

A quote by someone else

  • Align the quote with your industry, function, and personal philosophy.
  • Make sure you quote and attribute it accurately.
  • Place the sentence or phrase in quotation marks.
  • You don’t need permission to use a quote in the public domain.
  • Examples:
    • “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” Steve Jobs
    • “We have a relationship with our customer, and that relationship translates into sales.” Richard Hayne

A quote of yours

  • Exemplifies your approach/philosophy.
  • Phrase or full sentence that you have authored.
  • Should relate to a key skill or function you perform and wish to brand.
  • Examples:
    • “Proactive career planning isn’t just smart in today’s rapidly changing world; it’s an urgent imperative.” Cheryl Lynch Simpson
    • “Hire the right talent and teamwork takes care of itself.” Joanne Framington | VP of Sales | Tarkington Industries

A testimonial or recommendation

  • Attribute if possible with full name or initials, title, and employer name.
  • Place in quotation marks.
  • Examples:
    • “Samantha is a natural project manager and one of the best people managers I have ever seen.” Denver Becket | CIO | Tasmania Corporation
    • “Known for his trademark get-it-done approach to leadership, Ted excels at fostering collaboration, consensus, and creativity.” Mark McDonough | COO | WB Hoover Enterprises

A philosophy mini-statement or personal description

  • A sentence, phrase, or series of words or acronyms which personify your approach to your work.
  • Examples:
    • Exemplify a T.R.U.S.T. Leadership Style (Teamwork | Relationship-Building | Unity | Service | Transparency)
    • Envisioning Breakthrough Innovations

One or more achievements each described separately

  • A single stand-out achievement.
  • Focuses attention on a key metric or numerical attainment.
  • Examples:
    • Reversed 5-Year Sales Drought to Generate $120M in Product Extension Revenue
    • Turned Around a Mission-Critical $15M IT Initiative on the Original Budget & Timeline

A mini achievement summarizing career-long accomplishments

  • A one-sentence or one-phrase mini summary of multiple years’ or multiple years’ worth of achievements.
  • Examples:
    • Captured >$500M in Sales Career-Long
    • Drove 6 Enterprise-Wide HRIS Implementations to Under-Budget & Ahead-of-Schedule Completion

While senior executives will likely be best served by quantifiable career-long achievement taglines, managers of all stripes may want to consider using one of their own quotes or acronyms or a mini-philosophy statement. Individual contributors may want to utilize a testimonial, and anyone with a solid career accomplishment can highlight one in their own resume. Why not expand your resume’s keyword count while strengthening its ability to showcase your career brand?

 

If you’d like to see examples of taglines used in resumes, check out these samples.