Contact details are the first thing employers are going to see in your resume. This section is a mandatory part of each CV, as it gives employers information on how they can reach out to you if they are interested in your application.
Since this is the first thing they are going to see, it needs to be done right. Despite the fact that this section is frequently just quickly skimmed, it can still set the tone and determine the outcome of your application. To make it work, it needs to be professional, concise, straightforward, and – it’s obvious but we must mention it - correct.
Even though this part may seem the easiest to write, there are a few (surprisingly common) mistakes that job seekers make here. But not you – at least not after you read this text.
Here, you are going to learn:
What needs to be included in contact details?
What information can be skipped?
How to format contact details?
What needs to be included in contact details?
Your contact details must include your name and surname, location, phone number and email address. Everything else is optional – we will explain other options later on.
So, let’s do it together.
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1. Name and Surname
Open a Word or Pages document. Write down your name and surname.
They are the first thing employers will read on your CV and you want them to be seen and remembered. So, put them at the top of the page (or alternatively, at the very bottom of your resume), as it must be easy to find them.
Even though adding your name and surname seems straightforward and unnecessary to discuss, there are two points to keep in mind:
Be official. Avoid any alternative names or nicknames and stick to your official full first name and last name. Spell it the way it is spelled on your identification card or passport. This is the documentation that you will need to share with employers if you get to the last step in the recruitment process, so this information needs to match to avoid any legal challenges in hiring.
Be consistent. Make sure you use the same name and surname in all job search documents and correspondence with the company.
Inform employers about your location.
In the last decade, job searching became digital. Employers won’t communicate with you via post, so they don’t need your full home address anymore. Ditch the street and home number, leave only your city and neighborhood.
So, replace this:
123 Sesame Street, 2nd floor, apt 9, Burbank, CA 91521
If you are relocating or looking for international opportunities, include your current location but mention in your cover letter that you are looking to relocate, as this will be the question that employers will have as soon as they open your resume and see that you live far away from the company or job location.
3. Phone number
Tell employers how to reach you.
Even though the job search turned digital, employers and recruiters still call candidates to ask some qualification questions and arrange interviews, so provide them with your preferred phone number.
Format of a phone number varies by country. Just remember, if you are looking for a job in another country, include your country’s dialing code with your phone number, e.g. +1 (718) 000 – 0000.
Regardless of the country you are looking for a job in, make this contact information simple and straightforward.
Don't confuse readers with three different phone numbers, just because you don’t want to miss their call. One phone number – the one you are most frequently available on – is more than enough and it makes their job simpler.
However, even if your work mobile is the one that you always have with you, don’t use it for job-search related things. Always provide potential employers with your personal phone number.
Last, but not the least – make sure the phone number in your resume is correct.
You’d be surprised with how many candidates include an incorrect phone number into their CVs.
If employers decide to call you to arrange an interview with you, they might question their decision when they find out that you have given incorrect contact. This tells a lot about your attention to detail.
So - be careful. Let someone double-check the number in your resume before you submit your next application. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
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4. Email address
Email address is the most common method of communication between employers and candidates.
For the right first impression, it’s important to make it professional.
An appropriate email address will include only the candidate’s name and surname (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com). Of course, this depends on how common your name and surname are and which options were available when you were creating it.
However, if you created your email in primary school or high school, now might be a good time to consider changing it.
Maybe we are walking a thin line here, but we will feel free to point out that any nicknames, or other things that were cool enough to be included into your email address at that time, are probably not job-search appropriate or even cool anymore.
Research has proven that an informal and unprofessional email address significantly decreases a candidate's hirability. This mistake was as bad as typos.
Don’t make this easier for yourself by applying with your work email address. This gives the impression that you are conducting your job search on your current company’s time. Employers may wonder if you will do the same thing to them one day.
Here are some additional tips on the appropriate email address for a job search:
Your email address should not be suggestive, offensive, silly, or funny.
It should be a personal email address, not one shared with a spouse, family or any other group of people.
If possible, avoid using numbers, at least the ones that indicate the year of your birth.
If you cannot obtain your email at a "leading" email service such as Gmail, try your name at another email service so you can use your first name and last name.
If you are looking for a job abroad, it might be handy to include your Skype contact details as well. You can include a username or email address linked with Skype if it differs from the one that you have already included as the main contact address.
All recruiters and employers today rely on LinkedIn. Even if you don’t submit your application via LinkedIn, you can expect that they will check your profile. To make it easier for them, you can include a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile. Just make sure your profile is as polished as your resume, and the information about your employment history and education is consistent.
Social media links are optional, yet frequently included in resumes. We advise including them only if you find them important for the job you’re applying for, e.g. jobs in social media, journalism, PR.
You can expect that employers will check you up on social media, so make sure that everything you have publicly available isn’t something that can hurt your chances of getting the job (e.g. strong political views, discriminatory, offensive or rude content).
Links to your portfolio
If your portfolio is available online and relevant to the job, feel free to show off.
Include a link to a website or platform where your work is exposed. This is crucial for designers who can easily show their skills and talent by sharing a link to their profile on Behance or similar platforms.
Tips & tricks
Full URL addresses don’t look good in resumes. Instead, create hyperlinks or Bitly links.
LinkedIn has even prepared a hyperlink for you. Simply go to your page, click on “Profile” and then “View profile as” and choose “Manage public profile settings.” On that page, look for “Your public profile URL” to make a short URL that will take people to your page.
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What to skip?
We already mentioned some things that shouldn’t be included in your resume, so we are going to quickly recap here:
Skip nicknames or alterations of your name that don’t match your official documents. Being inconsistent with the naming can cause confusion and legal issues during the recruitment process.
Include your location, but exclude the full address to save valuable space. Don’t worry about it – mailing is rarely used as a method of communication.
Don’t include multiple phone numbers. Pick a personal phone number you are most frequently available on and share this one with potential employers. Don’t share your work phone number. Make sure the number is correct.
Read again the rules above and apply them to the email address.
Optionally, think about including Skype contact details and a link to your LinkedIn, or other relevant social media.
Don’t include social media links if your profiles are not polished up and ready to be shared in the professional context.
How to format your contact details?
Your contact details section should be brief and straightforward. They also need to save valuable space for the rest of the content. Thus, the best way to write them is in one to three rows, separated by symbols.
Font style should be professional. It’s a safe bet to go with classic fonts, such as Arial, Calibri, Cambria, or Times New Roman.
Emphasize your name. Be bold and highlight your name by using a bold font or capital letters.
Increase the size of the font to differentiate it from the rest of the text. Make it pop, but not too much. Don't exaggerate by using font size 72. Using 14-24pt, depending on the font, is perfect.
Check out below how to put this information together in the proper form.
London, United Kingdom ● 0123 000 0000
firstname.lastname@example.org ● linkedin.com/elle_chidlow
Sesame Street 89, Holborn, London WC1N 3AX, United Kingdom
phone: 0123 000 0000, 0123 000 0001 or 0123 000 0002
email: email@example.com or elle.chidlow@current_employer.com
Despite the fact that contact details seem like an easy-to-write part of resume that usually only takes up two to three rows in a CV, there are many rules that should be taken into account to make it right. This section needs to be professional, concise, straightforward, and correct. Since this is the first thing employers are going to see, the stakes are high.
Here are some basic rules to follow:
Include your name, surname, location (only neighborhood, city and country/state), phone number and an appropriate email address.
Optionally, include Skype details and a link to your LinkedIn profile or other social media, if you find them relevant to the job.
Make sure that all social media profiles are polished up and provide consistent information.
Make it concise. Put all the information in two to three rows to save space for the rest of the content.
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Let us know if there is anything else we can do to help you with your job search? If you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or book a FREE coaching call with a job search coach.