The first thing employers see when they look at your resume is the header where you indicate your name and contact details. There’s nothing to it, right? Just plug in your name, your address (or City and State), phone number, and email address. While it seems straight-forward, there’s much more to it that you should consider in presenting the information.
How you present your name, location, and contact details can leave an impression. In some instances, the header information alone can sway a hiring manager to dismiss the resume and not look any further. Review these tips to help polish up the header of your resume if you want to have a fair chance.
1. Present your name in a manner that suits the employer’s work culture.
Some people go by the name presented on their birth certificate while others may have a variation of it. No matter your situation, when writing your resume consider the employer’s style and culture. For instance, if you’re applying for a job at a corporate law firm, it makes sense to present your name formally as Nathaniel Cornelius Smith or Nathaniel C. Smith. However, if you are applying to a start-up company where everyone wears jeans to work and giving the CEO a high-five is an everyday thing, going less formal on the resume may be more fitting – like Nathan Smith or Nathan C. Smith. Think about what best suits the employer and present your information in that manner.
2. Present a professional email address.
Job applicants should avoid presenting an email address that may include numbers that can be interpreted as their date of birth, like Nathan.Smith1950@…. It’s not necessary for the employer to know your age even if you’re not concerned about age discrimination. And if you have an AOL email address, consider signing up for a Gmail email address. Users with an AOL email address are typically known to be of an older generation. Also consider getting a new email address specifically to use for your resume if the one you currently use is less than professional like partyanimal@…. or teddybearhugs@….
3. Tailor information so you’re local.
Today’s resumes are distributed online so it’s not always favorable to send it out with your home address for the world to see. It’s okay to only include the City and State at the header. When you do include your location, consider where the job you are applying for will be located. Some employers dismiss resumes simply for the fact that the job candidate is not local to their office or they may not want to deal with job candidates who require relocation.
4. Keep it to 1-3 contact methods.
Even if you can be reached several different ways, it’s not necessary to present five different telephone numbers. Simply include one email address and one phone number (at most two). You want to include contact details you’ll be accessible at or where you can return messages or calls promptly.
5. Include your LinkedIn Profile and/or website if it’s relevant.
If your LinkedIn profile is complete and the information is tailored to match the same message you offer on your resume, consider adding your personalized LinkedIn URL to the header. Even if you don’t, it’s likely that the employer will look you up online. If you have a name that’s very common, it may help to include it to your resume so there’s no mix-up in the employer reviewing a LinkedIn profile that’s not yours. Same goes with adding a website. If it contains a portfolio of your work or highlights your achievements relevant to the job you’re applying to, it can be beneficial for the employer to see.
Every bit of information you present whether on the resume, online, or in your email communications can be used to help the employer build an impression of you, so consider all things as you present it as a job applicant!
About the author
Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
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