The ABC’s of Resume Writing | “C” is for CONTACT

C: Include the right CONTACT information on your resume.

In today’s post, I will be discussing the next letter in the series of the ABC’s of Resume Writing, “C”, which represents your contact information. Including the right contact information sounds easy enough, right? Not so fast. Most of us know to include our name, our mailing address, email, and phone number (cell and or home). But what if you have a nickname that you go by, or you have concerns about including your street address? What if you are thinking about including your work email and phone number? Also, what about your LinkedIn URL or your Twitter ID? In this age of social networking, adding these to your resume is encouraged, if not mandatory. Just be sure to include the following items in your contact information and you’ll be okay:

Name: Your name should be in bold and be the largest font size on your resume. Nothing should be larger than your name, because after all, it is your name that you want to reader to remember. If you go by a shorten version of your name, be sure to include this name.  For instance, if your name is Thomas Roberts, but you prefer to go by Tom, then write your name as Tom Roberts. If you go by a totally different name than your given name, include this name on your resume as long as it is professional. For example, if your given name is Charles Jones, but you go by Craig, list your name as Craig Jones.  You can also choose to write your name as Charles “Craig” Jones.  Either is appropriate.

Address: With the growing popularity of identity theft and privacy issues, I am beginning to consider leaving off my client’s street address. This information is not needed upfront and simply including the city, state, and zip can inform the hiring manager whether or not you are a local candidate.

Email Address: Of course it is a must that you include your email address, but did you know that the address should be professional and not one that is clever or cutesy? Including partier4life@gmail.com will probably not impress most hiring managers, although it may win you some new friends. For your resume, stick to a conservative address format like “last name”, “first initial” @ gmail.com, for instance, adamsn@gmail.com. And a word about email providers…are you still using that AOL email address? Then stop. Why you ask? Who gets a new AOL email address these days? No one. Everyone is using Gmail, Yahoo, or their Internet service provider like Time Warner Cable. Using AOL says that you are probably in your mid to late 30’s or older and thus this could be a method of screening you out as a potential client based on perceived age. Don’t agree? Believe me, it can and has happened.

Phone Numbers: Now that most people have cell phones, it is not necessary to include both your home phone and cell phone numbers on your resume. Just include the number that is easiest to reach you and make sure that you leave a message that is professional. Lose the music in the background and keep your message short and sweet. Be sure to include your area code if you are expecting long distance calls. I do not recommend that you include your work phone number, because you never know who might be listening in on your calls!

LinkedIn URL: Are you on LinkedIn? If not, you definitely should be. With more than 100 million users and counting, LinkedIn is a powerful social networking tool to grow your professional contacts and search for opportunities. When you do get on LinkedIn, make sure to personalize your URL that you are given when you registered. See www.linkedin.com for more information.

Twitter id: Only include your Twitter id if you are using Twitter professionally. Perhaps you are tweeting information related to your profession and you happen to have several hundred followers. This could be impressive to a hiring manager, because if you can command that large of a following, you must have something important to say.

Now that you know what contact information to include and how to include it, what about contact information that you should not include? How about a fax number? No way. Fax numbers are irrelevant to include on a resume these days. No one is going to be faxing you anything; you’ll likely be contacted by email. What about a second email address? Are you that important that you need a second email address? I don’t think so! And definitely do not include your employer’s email address? How unprofessional is that? Just stick to your professional email, preferably a Gmail account, where you can receive all of your job-search correspondence. And the jury is still out on these relatively new QR codes. In case you have not heard, QR codes are two-dimensional bar codes that users can scan with their smart phones. Scanning the QR codes usually takes you to a website or some other link where you can get more information. These codes are becoming popular with retailers and other businesses trying to attract customers. Job seekers can get QR codes and link to a personal website, their LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed or similar pages. I am just not sure that I see the need to do this just yet.  More to come on this new trend.

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