In the last article I mentioned the 5 must-have sections your resume requires:
- Contact information
- Resume summary
- Professional experience
This column will deal with the first section, your contact information.
Regardless of how you design your resume, your resume begins with your contact information, which creates your resume’s first impression. The question: What information should you include?
Answer: Information that will make it easy for the reader to reach you, along with easily being able to view some of your digital footprints.
A great resume will contain the following contact information:
- Full Name
Use the format [first name] [last name]. Don’t abbreviate or add “aka” (also known as), which I’ve seen done several times. Just ‘Nick Kossovan.’
- Professional title
Right under your name, include your professional title. This will help your resume pass the ATS.
IMPORTANT: Your professional title should mirror the position you’re applying for. Let’s say you’re applying for a “Project Manager” position, but your last/current professional title is “Junior Project Manager.” Whoever reads your resume will most likely discard it, assuming you’re underqualified for the position.
As a rule, avoid words like “junior,” “senior,” and “level 2”. Simply state your professional title without creating what I call experience bias.
- Home address
Career coaches tend to advise not including your home address. I’m of the school of thought job applicants should be upfront regarding their current physical location. Besides, even in 2021, many hiring managers expect to see it, I am one of them. Not including your address may trigger a red flag, making the reader question why you left it off and wondering if you’d have a lengthy commute.
The last thing you want is for your resume to trigger red flags!
There’s also the employer’s ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to consider. Often an employer will program terms found in an address’s anatomy (cities, province, postal codes). You want your resume to be as ATS friendly as possible.
Understandably you may be uncomfortable providing your home address. If this is the case, at least provide your city, province, and postal code.
- Professional Email Address
Your email address needs to be professional, not something you created back in the day (CheesyPete33@gmail.com). Ideally, your email address should be formatted along the lines of [first name] [period] [last name] @email.com (email@example.com). If your first name, period, last name isn’t available with your current email provider, try other email providers (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL, to name a few). Also try removing the period (firstname.lastname@example.org) or try your first initial, period, last name (email@example.com), or your last name, period, first name (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Phone Number
Use the format [area code] [7-digit telephone number] — (403) 555-1234.
Besides basic contact information, you should include links to any relevant Internet presence you have. As you know, your digital footprint will be scrutinized before deciding whether you’re interview worthy. Making it easy for the reader to find you online can only earn you a few points.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is current, however, not merely a repeat of your resume. Job titles, dates of employment need to match those on your resume.
- URLs to your personal website/portfolio/blog/video channels
If you have a website or personal blog that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for and positions you as an expert in your field, include it! The same goes for an online portfolio you may have. Then there are video channels, such as YouTube. Suppose you’re applying for a job as a chemist or science teacher. In that case, videos of you explaining organic chemistry will give you a competitive advantage, and therefore belong on your resume.
Only put relevant social media profiles/URLs on your resume. If you’re applying for a Java Developer position, your Stack Overflow profile will be more appropriate than your Twitter account. However, if you’re applying for a social media management position, including your Twitter account, which has over 25,000 followers, would be beneficial.
Never include social media accounts that are more personal than professional, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, however, presume employers will seek these accounts out.
Next I’ll discuss writing a resume summary that will make the reader want to read your resume.