Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Is Your Resume Contact Information Correct?

Having the correct contact information on a job seeker's resume is important to moving forward in the candidate selection process. It is important that this section is free from typos, errors or omissions, be current and be attractive enough to engage the recruiter in a 20-30 second resume power scan. Poor performance in this area is one reason that recruiters discard resumes from great college candidates.

The following checklist can help job seekers proofread resume contact information for content, relevance and accuracy.

1. Using multiple phone numbers? Recruiters won't necessarily call and leave messages at every one. Pick one or two at the absolute maximum.

2. Is your phone number correct and current? It won't leave a positive impression if the employer gets a message that your phone is disconnected or if you can no longer be reached at the number indicated on your resume. Leaving a resume in cyber space with incorrect contact information does you no good.

3. Have you set up a professional voice mail? Is there music that is too loud? Is the voice mail in another language? Are there distracting sounds like dogs barking?

4. At the phone number you have listed, will someone answer who does not speak English? Will a child answer? Will they be able to take a message for you?

5. Does your email address look professional? Are you using multiple email addresses? Have you changed email accounts recently and need to update this on your resume? Are you regularly checking the email account listed?

6. Is your address above your name? Make sure your name is the first thing on your resume and is in a slightly larger font than everything else.

7. Are you using a font that is too small to be readable? Many resume templates currently on the market use a default font that is sometimes too small.

8. Make sure the top resume margin is not less than a half inch. Contact information might get cut off if your resume has to be faxed.

9. Does your address use too many lines? Limit name and address to two lines. eg First line with name and email on both ends; 2nd line with complete address and phone numbers separated by symbols.

10. As you evaluate which email to use, you might want to temporarily lower security level or check your spam or junk folder to make sure you are not missing responses from employers.

11. Do you have an adopted name as well as your given name? Use both. Suggested layout would be to include your adopted name in parenthesis eg. Rosemary (Ginger) Thyme

12. Make sure your name and contact information appears on all pages of your resume.

13. Aim for consistent letter-head look of contact information for resume, cover letter, thank-you letter and reference sheet.

14. Include a fax number if available. This might make it easy for the employer to send you a job application or an offer letter.

15. You may include a website URL for an online portfolio in your resume contact information.

16. Use both a permanent and temporary addresses if you are in college or transitioning to a new region.

17. Contact information does not always have to be centered. Experiment with alignment to left and right as well to improve styling.

18. Make sure the font in the contact information coordinates with the font used throughout the rest of your resume.

19. Use text boxes to save space when aligning text side by side in the contact information section.

20. Use small, appropriate graphic elements such as lines of varying weights for emphasis to separate your contact information from the body of the resume.

If you have already done all the hard work to prepare your resume and get it in front of the potential employer, do not sabotage your own job search with errors or omissions in the contact information. Make sure that employers can contact you. It's the only way to the next step.

Revised - Original written in October 2007

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