On a resume, every word and character counts, starting at the very top. This is the ID section, which encompasses your name, designations, residential address, and contact information.
Let’s look at each of these elements in more detail.
As a certified resume writer, I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes. Believe it or not, I even see people who misspell their own name at the top of the page! How scary is that?
While your name is important to the decision maker reading your resume, be careful with your formatting choices. Emphasize this text with bold font and capital letters, but don’t go any larger than a 14 point font.
Following your name should always be the acronyms for your degrees, designations, diplomas, and certifications – in that order. A doctorate degree should be first, followed by graduate and undergraduate degrees. If you have a graduate and undergraduate degree in the same field, only show the graduate degree (e.g., MSc or MS).
A new immigrant to the country who has acquired a degree from another country should always have that degree accredited by an officially recognized organization or university in their new country.
I highly recommend World Education Services (WES), which is the largest non-profit credential evaluation service in North America. They are efficient, cost-effective and quick.
On the next line under your name and designations should be a full residential address. As an ex-police officer, I understand the desire for personal privacy, however there are decision makers who will be suspicious of a resume without a full residential address. Full transparency is the best choice to advance your career.
There are several key elements on the next line, which I call the Contact Information line. Before composing this text, think carefully about how you would prefer to be contacted. For example, if currently employed, will you feel comfortable accepting a call about a new job during your work hours? If so, include your mobile (cell) number, because it is considered unethical to have your business telephone number on a resume. This gives the impression you are conducting a job search on company time.
When a mobile number is not available, just use your home phone number. Make sure there is a professional and eloquent outgoing voicemail message in your own voice – no kids screaming or dogs barking in the background, please!
Follow your telephone numbers with your email address – a professional email that’s aligned with your personal brand. Next to your email should be your customized LinkedIn address. If you’re using Twitter for your job search, add your Twitter address as well.
Finally, next to your LinkedIn (and Twitter) address should be a Skype address. If you don’t have a Skype address, you need one now, and it needs to be on your resume. I am seeing many HR professionals and executive recruiters conduct their initial screenings for potential candidates over Skype (see our tips for telephone and Skype interviews). I have heard of situations where the interview is to take place less than a mile away and the interviewer has asked to conduct the interview via Skype.
Hiring professionals need to be able to contact you quickly and easily, or they will move on to the next candidate. Be sure your resume’s ID section is accurate, easy to read, and includes all of these essential components.
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