Each part of a resume has its own needs and strategies for success. In this post, we’ll address the header and questions I often get as a resume consultant.
As a general rule, keep your resume header professional and succinct.
1) Name ~ Full name or Nickname? I suggest you use your common name (the name that you use on a daily basis) on your resume. You don’t have to list your legal formal name and middle name or initial if you never refer to yourself that way. Using your common name will also make you feel more comfortable during job search related phone calls and interviews. However, if you have a gender-neutral name or a very common name, it might make sense to include your middle name to help indicate your gender or differentiate you from the pack to the hiring manager should s/he conduct a social media search on you.
2) Address ~ There are differing opinions about whether or not to include your address on the resume header. I generally like to include it to show you have nothing to hide. If you live in the city or general area where you are applying for jobs, I highly recommend you include it. If however, you are trying to relocate to a new city or an area more than an hour commute away, you may want to omit it so hiring managers don’t exclude you due to the perception of geographic undesirability.
3) Email ~ Include a simple personal email. I suggest first name.last firstname.lastname@example.org. Obviously, don’t provide a work email as the discovery of job search related messages could lead to your termination. Alternatively, don’t include unprofessional emails (e.g., Ilovetoshop@yahoo.com) or emails that share your birthdate which could lead to age discrimination.
4) Phone ~ Only list one phone number on your resume. I suggest you include your cell phone so you won’t miss important job search related phone calls. Of course never list your work number on your resume.
5) Social Media Links ~ You definitely want to include some social media links but not all…
LinkedIn – Include a live link to your LinkedIn Profile as long as it is complete and has up to date info. Your LinkedIn Profile is an excellent place to add depth to your application as it offers a great window into your work accomplishments, links to your work products (upload examples of your work if applicable), and recommendations & endorsements (get some from colleagues who can speak to the quality of your work).
Twitter – If you have a Twitter handle and use it to comment on issues related to work then include it. Don’t include it if you only use Twitter for personal use.
Facebook – Leave your Facebook page link off of your header, as the content is usually too personal in nature to include on a resume.
Personal websites – If you have a personal homepage such as About.me, an electronic portfolio, or other online bio that adds to your candidacy, by all means include it. However, if the content is overly personal, keep it off.
Butterfly Careers is a boutique career coaching consulting practice that helps individuals find meaningful work. It offers resume writing, cover letters, LinkedIn Profile building and editing, career coaching, job interview preparation, career transition guidance and job search assistance. Visit www.butterfly-careers.com to learn more.