Lesson 4: Contact Information

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Contact information

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Regardless of which resume format you use, you will still need to include the correct information written in a way that sells your professional expertise to a hiring manager. What you choose to include on your resume can make or break your entire job search effort. So what should you include to improve your chances?

It all starts with your name and other contact information. In this lesson, you'll learn what contact information to include and how to place it on your resume. You will also have an opportunity to create your own resume starting with adding contact information.

What contact information should you include?

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You probably already know that your contact information—which includes your name, address, phone number, and email address—should always appear at the top of your resume, regardless of which resume format you are using.

But did you know that some employers actually use the contact information section to screen undesirable candidates? They may pass you over if you live in another part of the country in order to avoid paying relocation costs. Or they may form a negative opinion of you if your contact information is inappropriate in some way. A lot of hiring managers today will even use this information to search for you on popular social networking sites to see what is posted about you. So what should you include to make sure your resume doesn't get eliminated?

  • Your first and last name. Your middle initial is optional. Include it if that is how you are known in your field or if your name is fairly common and you want to distinguish yourself from other job candidates with the same name. You can use your given first name (e.g., Elizabeth) or your shortened first name (e.g., Liz or Beth). However, don't use a nickname, especially one that can lead someone to form an opinion about you (e.g., Ace or Dizz).
  • Your phone number. Your home and cell phone numbers are acceptable to use, and you may even want to include more than one number. However, make sure the numbers you include are ones you can actually take calls on as they come in. Your current work phone number is not a good choice if your employer does not allow personal calls or if you don't want your current company to know you are looking for another job. Make sure you have a reliable (as well as appropriate and polite) voicemail message in case you miss a call, and be sure to check your messages regularly during your job search.
  • Your mailing address or city and state. You can include your full mailing address (street address, city, state, and zip code), or you can just put your city and the state abbreviation. Consider using your complete state name if your state abbreviation is easily confused with another, like MO, MS, or MT.
  • Your email address. Use a conventional email address (firstname.lastname@email.com), not one with an inappropriate connotation (like partygirl24_7@email.com). During your job search, you will need to check your email regularly so you don't miss an opportunity. If you don't have an email account, there are many free online providers (including Yahoo! and Gmail) that you can access at your local library or Internet cafe.
  • A link to a professional online profile or personal webpage. These links are generally included with your contact information but may be listed in another section, like additional information. Review our Resume Tips and Strategies lesson for more information and advice on including web links.

Try this!

Open our Chronological Resume Template and save it to your computer as My Resume. Enter your own information into the document as you progress through each lesson in this unit.

This resume template is based on the chronological format. If you would prefer another format you can use another Microsoft Word resume template, or you can use an online search engine to find a template in the format you've chosen.

You will be working only in the contact information portion of this document for this activity. Please refer to the following picture:

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After replacing the template text with your own information, be sure to remove the brackets.

  1. Enter your first and last name in place of [Full Name]. Remember, your middle initial is optional. You can also use a shortened version of your first name if that is what you more commonly go by.
  2. Enter the digits of the phone number you have decided to use in place of [###.###.####]. This should be a phone you can easily access.
  3. Replace [mailing address or City, ST] with either your full mailing address including street address, city, state abbreviation, and zip code, or just your city and the state abbreviation.
  4. Enter your email address in place of [email@emailprovider.com]. Email is now the preferred way for a hiring manager to get in touch with you. However, make sure your email address is both appropriate and professional.
  5. In our example, replace [LinkedIn URL or website address] with your personal website address if you have one. Remember, this step is optional. You can also add this information to a different part of your resume. To save space, you do not have to include http://. Most of the time, this part of the URL is understood.
  6. Save the file to your computer. You will be adding more information as you progress through other lessons in this unit.

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