Resume Heading & Contact Information
Starting off your resume correctly is key to getting the rest of it read. Make sure to follow these steps when putting together your heading and contact information.
Whether you are an entry-level candidate or writing a professional resume, this advice can apply to all.
Listing your real name clearly, in readable font, is obvious. Future employers need to know who they are contacting when they want to set up an interview. Using an alias is typically not advised as you will eventually need to reveal your true identity when hired, thus starting off on a rather awkward note with your new company. Stick to the truth. It is always best.
In the past, using a person’s middle initial was common when stating the applicant’s name. However, in recent years, middle initials have been dropped for several reasons.
First, no one cares. It doesn’t make you more professional with a middle initial. Second, it actually clutters up your name and heading. And, when your heading is your initial grabbing point for the reader, simple is always best! Obviously, if your name isn’t simple, don’t make something up. But also don’t add additional characters, such as middle initials or even prefixes or suffixes. The key is to get your resume read. Don’t let the heading be a stumbling block.
Including your address is entirely optional. Sometimes people decide not to include their address for privacy reasons while others want to show that they live in the same city and are not just spamming their resume all over the internet hoping for a bite. It is entirely up to you.
If you do include your address on your resume, make sure it is in smaller font than your name so that it is not the focal point and is clear. Don’t make anything about it complicated such as how you list it or the font you choose. Following general postal service guidelines is important so that you show your future employer that you know how an address is supposed to be listed.
You may be hesitant to include your phone number for fear of getting random calls but this is one component that is a MUST on a resume. Employers are much more likely to contact you via phone rather than any other method.
Again, list your phone number in smaller font than your name (usually the same size and style as your address) and keep it simple. Do not try to be creative or cute with this (there are a few, very few, exceptions such as graphic or web designers and artists). You are a professional and you want to present yourself in a formal manner.
Always include your area code, even if you live in the same city that you are applying in. Don’t assume the employer knows the area code because often resume review and interviewing are done at different locations such as corporate headquarters.
Include at least one phone number that has a voicemail attached so that if you are not available, the hiring manager can leave a message. Do not include more than two numbers as this is overkill. Choose the ones that are best, usually personal and not work numbers, such as home phone and cell.
When including your email, use a personal address that is simple. Do not use an email address associated with a previous or current employer. Hiring managers may be hesitant to contact you via email if they see your email is with an old or competing company. If your personal email address is complicated or inappropriate for a professional, sign up for a new account to manage your job search.
Also, list your email in proper format and in the same font and size as your address and phone number. You want to give the bulk of the attention to your name in the Heading, not the contact information.
Things To Remember
Make sure your Heading is the same on all documents relating to your job search such as your Resume, Cover Letter, Thank You Letter, Follow Up Letter, etc.
Also, make sure your heading and contact information is on all pages of your resume. This is a common mistake with most applicants. Resumes are usually received electronically and in any company, when printing something, mistakes or misplacements can happen. Don’t let your resume pages get separated without a reference to who it belongs to.
Now that you have completed your heading and contact section, it’s time to decide on the best layout. Check out out our resume format examples for more help deciding which one is best for you.
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