As a recruiter, I often hear candidates complain about not receiving responses to their job applications. The first question I always ask is, “Have you checked your resume to make sure your contact information is correct?” Most will say, “Yes” or “I’m pretty sure it’s correct,” and that’s when I walk them through their resume.
Let’s Start with the Basics: Your Name, Contact Information and Spelling Errors
As a rule, you should use the name that you’re typically known by on your business cards, LinkedIn profile and other social media accounts. This is how you want people to know you professionally. For example, if your formal name is Josephus Williamson Smith, but you’re typically known as Bill Smith, then use Bill Smith on your resume and across social media accounts. Or, you can use Josephus “Bill” Smith, showing that you prefer to go by the name Bill. If you have a long name that may be challenging to pronounce; using a nickname or shortened version of your name can be helpful. If co-workers and friends typically refer to you by a nickname, as long as that nickname sounds professional then use it on your resume and across all social media, so that you’ll be recognized as the same individual. Nicknames like Wheezy, Billy Bob, Bubba or Time Bomb typically don’t make the cut. Yes – I’ve actually seen these on resumes.
Please, please, please do not use your home phone number as your main contact number, unless you really don’t have a mobile phone (can you tell this is one of my biggest peeves?). No recruiter or HR manager wants to hear your spouse, or kid, or dog (yes – I’ve listened to barking voicemail greetings) when they’re trying to reach you. The first question that comes to my mind when I realize I’ve called someone’s home phone number is, “Will they even get this message?” Most of the time the candidate doesn’t receive it because another family member (or the dog) forgot to give them the message, or they may not check their voicemail on a regular basis. So, please only include a mobile number on your resume. Many recruiters now use text messaging to reach candidates when they haven’t responded to a phone call or email, so this is another good reason to have a mobile number listed on your resume if you want to be reachable.
When it comes to your voicemail greeting, this is often the first chance a recruiter gets to hear what you sound like so make sure your greeting is clearly spoken and professional (ie: no songs, lyrics or rhymes). You may sound cool, or even hilarious, but it’s not professional. If a recruiter is going to submit your resume to a client, you don’t want their HR manager or hiring manager contacting you and listening to your rendition of “Achy Breaky Heart” or the “Fake Hello” or the “George Costanza answering machine message” (Seinfeld) or the “You know what to do and when to do it!” greeting. Can you tell I’ve listened to more than a few of these? An HR or hiring manager won’t be impressed. It’s just not professional. Period.
Your Email Address
Yes, your email address should look and sound professional too. An email address such as [email protected] is not going to make a recruiter or HR manager feel warm and fuzzy about contacting you. Also, don’t use long or weird-looking email addresses such as [email protected], or a shared family email address [email protected]. It’s easy to create a new email address if needed. Ideally, use an email address that contains your name, or something neutral.
Your Home Address
While you may want to include the city and state of your residence, it’s no longer required to add your full home address. This is to protect applicants from identity theft. Many candidates are choosing to leave off any information related to their address because they’re interested in relocating or interested in remote work opportunities. But, if you plan on remaining or working in a particular location, you may want to add only the city and state underneath your name and contact information.
No ‘ifs, ands or buts’ (yes – those are spelled correctly) your resume must be grammatically correct and contain no spelling errors. If it isn’t, the recruiter, and especially the employer, may see you as a candidate who doesn’t pay attention to detail or even as someone who doesn’t care. Take the time to do a spell check or have someone check your resume for you before making it public.
If you feel that you’re not being contacted enough by recruiters and employers, then start by verifying that your contact information is correct, you have a mobile phone listed as your main contact number and your email address is correct and sounds professional. Next, check your voicemail greeting on your mobile phone and record a new professional-sounding greeting if necessary. Lastly, check for any spelling errors on your resume.
Now again, these are just the basics but a good place to start. There are additional steps to ensure your resume is professional and that it will help you land your ideal job. You can find additional resources and blogs on this subject from our recruiting team at TriMech, along with helpful articles on LinkedIn and other employment resources.
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