Writing a resume is an art form, one that can determine whether or not you get the job of your dreams. So you’ll want yours to be perfectly crafted to fit your qualifications in a way that shows employers that you’re the best person for the job.
Some people come out of the woodwork with their resumes to get noticed, with colorful resumes, video and photo resumes, and even scented resumes.
But here’s the kicker:
You don’t need a resume full of bells and whistles to show off what a good match you are for a job, and a good resume header is one great and effective way to get a hiring manager’s attention — without having to make your resume smell like a citrus grove.
Here’s everything you need to know to make the perfect resume header and get the job:
First thing’s first — employers only spend about six seconds looking at resumes before they decide to keep them or throw them away, so you should definitely let them know whose it is.
Your name should be the first thing a hiring manager sees, so put it at the very top and make it a slightly larger font size than the body of your resume — you want your name to stand out, but not take up half of the page.
This should be your full, searchable name. No nicknames or abbreviations, unless they are the name that you’ve historically used on social media, as an author byline, or how you’re most recognized in your industry.
Commute and relocation are things that employers take into consideration when sifting through candidates, so provide your current address in your resume header so that employers have an idea of where you are in relation to their office.
If you’re seeking work outside of your home state, you have the option of leaving out your current address altogether. Instead, make sure to write “Open to relocation” or the names of cities or states that you’re willing to relocate to. That way, your address won’t be able to work against you in your job hunt.
In the modern age of email, it’s more likely that you’ll get a request to schedule an interview by email, but many companies utilize phone interviews to start off the interviewing process, and some companies do still prefer to first contact candidates by calling them.
Make sure to provide your most commonly used phone number in your resume header. Because our smartphones are essentially glued to our hands at all times, this means you should probably only list your cell phone and not your ancient, dust-ridden landline.
Make sure that your voicemail is open and ready to receive messages, and go ahead and take two minutes out of your day to setup a professional outgoing message. Even though they’re a hilarious middle school classic, it’s time to let your “Hello? …Hello? I can’t hear you, are you there? LOL JK IT’S MY VOICEMAIL!” greeting be laid to rest.
You’ll also want to make sure that your phone number is free of any typos — one wrong number could result in a missed opportunity.
Your email address should show that you’re professional and want to be taken seriously, so you probably want to leave your personal email address firstname.lastname@example.org out of your resume heading.
Email accounts are free, so if you haven’t already, create a new one on a more common platform like Gmail. Make sure it includes some pairing of your first and last name or your initials.
And in case you didn’t already know this aspect of job-hunting etiquette: never use your work email address to search for other jobs. That would be a Very Bad Look.
For most candidates, these four elements are all that’s needed for a resume header. On the other hand, some jobs require a link to an online portfolio or other examples of previous work, or an industry-related blog or website.
Simply throw the link to your work in with the rest of the information provided in your header, or clearly label it by writing something like “Portfolio: www.WebsiteName.com”
If you feel that a link to your social media profile could further your standing as a candidate, go ahead and include it. This doesn’t mean you should throw in a link to your hilarious Twitter profile, but instead provide your LinkedIn profile.
Make sure to personalize your LinkedIn URL, with something like https://www.linkedin.com/in/FirstNameLastName. And if you do decide to include your Twitter handle, make sure to keep it PG and professional.
Your resume heading is the first thing that employers are going to see, you want to make sure that it’s informative, professional, and visually appealing.
Make sure not to go overboard with fonts, bold or italics, and as always — make sure to proofread. It would be super unfortunate if the first thing an employer noticed about you is that you don’t even know how to spell your own name.
Now, it’s time to write the rest of your resume! Check out these articles to learn how to craft the perfect resume and get your dream job.