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Top of Mind, Top of Resume

By Bonnie Johnson,


Your resume is the real first impression with a potential employer. The top of your resume can make or break your chance to get an interview.


There’s much debate about how to begin a resume. One component that’s not debatable is your contact information—the obvious place to start. Who can mess this up, right? Well, there are a few caveats that may inhibit your ability to become a top candidate. 


Start with a simple, straight-forward full name, email, phone number. Address is becoming optional! Let’s look at the ‘address’ section a little more in-depth as there are really four options.


Since most employer communication is electronic, you have the option to omit a specific mailing address altogether (helpful if you are in transition or looking to relocate, or for safety/privacy reasons). You may also simplify your address to just show your city/state. Some employers will look for local candidates, so keep this in mind when you’re deciding how specific your address is on a resume. It can be beneficial if you’re in the area, or questionable if you’re not local; it all depends on your location and the preferences of the employer. The other option for students is including both a college and permanent address.


Your email address should be professional (not a corny description like teenagedreamZZ@ or stupidgoose20@). If your email address is through your college, make sure you’ll continue to have access to the account post-graduation.


You may also include links to your social media profiles (especially LinkedIn), your personal website, blog, or online portfolio.


When you’re applying online do NOT put your contact information in headers or tables. Data in this format may be accidentally omitted when transferring information electronically. Either the computer system doesn’t read the table/header data, or you copy/paste your resume without that all-important contact details—oops! Imagine all the hard work you’ve put into your resume; the employer gets your education, skills and work experience and then wonders who is the exceptionally qualified candidate? Where’s their contact information?