What employers see in your resume contact information (that you don’t)

We spend so much of our time and energy getting the layout of our resumes right and making sure we’ve described our work experience in the best possible light, that we often overlook the importance of the information at the top of the page.

Employers can gain a great deal of insight about you just by reading the contact information that you have provided on your resume. Those details can reveal, among other things, your age, your location, how tech savvy you are, and how much you pay attention to details. Here’s how.

What your resume contact info says about you

Your phone number
Of course, you want employers to call you when they read your resume, so you want to make it as easy as possible for them to get in touch with you. To that end, many people will list several phone numbers, including their work number, a home number, and their cell phone.

Don’t do this. Just list one phone number on your resume. First off, using your work phone to look for other jobs is a major turn off for employers. If you’ll use your current employer’s resources to jump ship, what does that say about your work ethic?

Listing a home number and a cell number just causes confusion. Should the employer leave a message at the first number, or hang up and call the second? If you have a home line and someone else answers the phone, will you get the message?

The best strategy is to have only one phone number. If it is your cell phone and you can’t take the call during the day, just be sure to have a professional sounding voicemail greeting and check it often. I know, nobody checks their voicemail anymore – but when you’re applying for jobs, you have to.

Email address
First off, make sure that you have your email address right. I’ve proofread resumes for people more than once who had made a mistake in their own email address. Spell check tools won’t catch these, and you could be losing opportunities simply because the employer’s email never reaches you.

If you currently work for ABC Corp, and you@abc-corp.com is your most used email address, you still shouldn’t list it on your resume. Similar to using your work phone to look for jobs, your work email sends the wrong message. Employers don’t want to hire someone who will spend their time at work looking for other jobs.

Your email can also reveal your age before you’ve even met with the employer. People with common names often have to add other elements to their email addresses in order to get a unique moniker. Often, they use their birth year. So, if you are you1967@email.ca, employers will likely surmise that you are 50 years old. Not that there is anything wrong with that; you just want to be aware of what messages you are communicating.

Email address that are shared or family accounts also shouldn’t be on a resume, so don’t use BillandSue@email.ca or ThePattersons@email.ca. These make you look dated and not at all tech savvy.

Also, many people used to come up with cool sounding email addresses related to their hobbies and interests. I think that trend may have come to an end, but of you are still GothGirl@email.ca or GolfChamp@email.ca, don’t use it for job applications. Email addresses are free. Create one that is just your name – or as close to it as available, and use it for your professional correspondence.

Home address?
Of course, your home address reveals where you live. That is what an address is for. But should you list it on your resume?

Only when it is helpful to landing the job. If you live near the workplace and would have an easy commute, then by all means, put your street address on your resume. If not, don’t.

The further you live from the place of employment, the more your address can hurt. I once worked at a downtown office where my director wouldn’t consider candidates from the suburbs. He was worried that they would always be leaving early to catch commuter trains or beat the traffic.

Most employers will prefer a local candidate over one from another city or province. They just assume that there will be delays or costs involved in relocating. There’s less hassle involved with hiring people who are already close by.

Some recruiters have told me that they find it a red flag if candidates don’t list their home address on their application. But employers are never going to respond to your application by mail. They aren’t going to send you a letter. So, the only reason they are interested in where you live is as a screening tool. Provide it when it helps your chances, leave it off when it doesn’t.

Social media links
Like with your home address, if your social media presence can help your chances of impressing employers, then add them to your resume. If you read blogs and websites related to your sector – or even better contribute to them – and you share these interests regularly on Twitter, then put your handle along with your contact info. Got an Instagram feed full of relevant images? Add it. Are you connected to companies and workers in your field and have a collection of endorsements on LinkedIn? List your profile.

The advantage of this is that it shows you are using the latest communications tools to market yourself. It will also remind you to take a look at those profiles to make sure that they are professional and presentable – since most employers will be Googling you and looking you up on social media anyway. (So if your online presence won’t help you land a job, but might actually harm your chances, then not only should you keep them off your resume, but you should also make sure you’ve made your posts private.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *