A basic tenet of marketing and sales is “make it easy for the customer to buy.” Think about how readily we order something from Amazon instead of going down the block to buy it—it is so easy and quick. Yet, when we are marketing our experience and skills to prospective employers, we don’t always make it easy for them to reach us. Or, we provide information that leaves a question about our work style.
We convey basic information about how to contact us near the top of a resume. This information could include:
- Physical location,
- Phone numbers,
- Our email address,
- LinkedIn profile address, and
- Personal website address.
This information is so basic it seems unnecessary to cover it in any resume presentation. Yet, I often see errors, omissions, and even unnecessary information on resumes.
Both jobseekers and professional resume writers spend a lot of time making certain we have the right keywords for the resume to be found, but all is for naught if your resume is lost, or the employer cannot contact you because their system does not find your contact information.
Your Physical Location
About 25 years ago it was unheard-of to produce a resume without including the jobseeker’s street address. How was the employer to contact you, or know that you lived in their commuting area? All this has changed.
A resume client pointed out to me one day that, by including her street address, a curious hiring manager could find a photo of her home online, among other things.
When job search and talent search went digital prospective employers and recruiters no longer needed street addresses. Recruiters I have spoken with recommend including only the city, state, and zip code to provide sufficient information for their applicant tracking systems.
It’s a good idea to include this information even when applying for remote jobs. Some employers want remote employees to report in-person periodically, while others may limit recruiting to certain geographic areas for a variety of tax and economic reasons.
It was common at one time to list home and office telephone numbers on resumes but this is not needed anymore. The most common practice today is to include a cell phone number. You can use a Google or other online phone number if you do not have a cell phone or prefer not to disclose the number. Make certain that the voicemail works, and has a professional outgoing message.
It can be counterproductive to include home and office numbers in addition to a cell phone or online phone number. Employers will not call multiple numbers. Even worse, someone else may answer your office or home number and inadvertently leave a poor impression with the caller.
It is essential for you to have a job search email address. Acquire a Gmail address if you don’t already have one, and use some variation of your name. You can forward your job search email address to another address if you don’t check this address regularly.
Occasionally, I receive resumes with business email addresses on them. This is not recommended for several reasons. First, you can lose access to this address. More importantly, perhaps, using an office email address suggests that you use company assets for private purposes. And, of course, your current employer can probably read your office email.
It’s a good idea to include a LinkedIn profile address on your resume. So, create a LinkedIn profile now if you do not already have one. While the primary purpose of your LinkedIn profile is to support your networking efforts and allow you to expand on the information in your resume, it will also provide another way for employers to reach you quickly.
Select a vanity LinkedIn profile address. Vanity addresses are shorter and more appropriate for resumes.
Of course, if you are employed at a company or in an industry that restricts your use of social media, you must abide by these restrictions.
Personal Website Addresses
If you have a personal website that is relevant for your industry or profession, you may add this address to your contact information. And there is little point to hiding it since employers will probably find it in a Google search, anyway.
The guiding concept is relevance. For example, we typically do not include hobbies on resumes, so hobby-related websites should not be included, either.
It’s tempting to place contact information in a first-page MS-Word header. This does not work for resumes because applicant tracking systems normally do not read headers. Your contact information will be lost, along with the rest of your resume. You will be among the 75 percent of applicants that fail to pass ATS screening even when you follow best practices in substantive sections of your resume.
Last, but not least, your name is one of the most important pieces of information on your resume. Put your name on top, in the largest font on your document. ATS systems could disregard your resume when your name is not in the document body. And, if you have networked your way into the company, a hiring team member may search for you by name in their system. They won’t hire you, and may not even be allowed to formally interview you, if you cannot be found in their ATS. So, do not hide your name in a footer, header, or in the margin.
Review and proofread the contact information section of your resume as carefully as every other section. You won’t get interviews if hiring teams cannot reach you quickly. And you may not know why you are not receiving calls.