The Resume Header is listed at the beginning of the document where you present your name, title, location, contact information, LinkedIn URL and sometimes even a byline. (A Header is not the same as a Heading, which is used as part of the content introducing a new section, position, or chapter.). Adding a Header would seem to be a simple exercise; however, it is very important that it appears properly, professionally and eye-catching. Typically, using a Bold Font, larger than 12 point, but not so large as to occupy too much space, is ideal for the Name identification. Using fonts like Times New Roman or Calibri are easiest to read for most recruiters.
The first line of the Header always includes First Name (Middle name or initial if applicable) Last Name, and title or professional designation, such as.
JOHN W. DOE, Phd.
Many candidates today are also adding either the Title of their current position, or the Title of the position they are seeking, in order that the ATS System will recognize them. If you are currently a Sales Manager in the Retail industry, you might include:
JOHN W. DOE, Sales Manager - Retail
However, if the job you are seeking has a different, and potentially more elevated title, you might also include:
JOHN W. DOE - Regional Director - Retail Sales
JOHN W. DOE
Regional Director - Retail Sales
If you add the title of the job you are seeking, make sure that it exactly matches the title on the job description. Increasingly, candidates are inserting the desired title next to (or below their name) to advance the likelihood that they will be identified as a viable candidate by the ATS Algorithm. And if, for example, you have an advanced degree and an important job title - or are seeking a specific job title, list your name, degree and then the existing, or desired, position.
MARY DOE, MBA - Portfolio Manager
The name you use on your resume should exactly match your name as it appears on all other profiles online. For example, if the name on your resume is James, then your online presence should not show Jim or Jimmy; your name identity should always be the same. This would apply to Linkedin, a personal website or any other social media links available to the recruiter.
The next line of your resume can revert back to a smaller font, and include your City, State and Contact Information, such as email address and phone number. There is never a need to include your street or mailing address, nor should you add a photo. The main reason to include the City and State is to let the hiring manager know whether you are in the general area or might require relocation.
JOHN W. DOE - Regional Director, Retail Sales
City, State • 123 123-4567 • firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are from another country, then the Country should be listed first, followed by the City. Whether from a different city, state or country, and willing to move, then including language such as “willing to relocate” or “open to relocation” may also be added in the Header. Alternatively, if you are seeking a “Remote” position, where you are able to work from home, adding information like, “Seeking remote opportunity”, will be helpful to the recruiter.
Your email address should be professional and easy to read. An email such as email@example.com is an example. If that has been used, add some numbers or initials. Many candidates create an email address specifically dedicated to their job search. Avoid using amusing or inappropriate language for your email address. The tone of the resume is established with your Header and should appear clear and professional.
It is essential to add a phone number, so that the recruiter can reach you to set up a preliminary screening - and get a sense of your personality. It is best to provide just one phone number that you use most frequently, and be sure to record a professional voice mail message, in the event you miss their call. (Including your work number is generally not the best idea, especially if you want to maintain confidentiality during your job search and preclude co-workers from knowing.) If you are from outside the country, always include the country code, as well.
Many candidates choose to add a brief Career Summary or Job Objective within their Header so that the hiring manager will get a snap shot of who you are and your relevance to a specific job. The Resume/Career Summary would briefly highlight, in a few words, your work experience and how it benefits the company. The Job Objective focuses more on your professional goals; it would not necessarily include information about your prior career history. Adding a Job objective in the Header is ideal for the candidate with no experience or who is seeking a career change.
A Career Summary might look like:
MARY DOE, MBA, CFA
Equity Portfolio manager; Demonstrated performance; Industry expertise in financial services. Supervised team of 8; 15 years-experience.
City, State • 123 456 7899 • firstname.lastname@example.org • LinkedIn URL • Marydoe.com
In the above example, Mary Doe is indicating that she is seeking the position as a Portfolio Manager, and may likely have a similar title. She has summarized a few important skills that demonstrate her viability for the position. By adding this information in the Header, she will quickly draw attention to her background and viability as a prospective candidate.
An example of the Job/Career Objective for the candidate with little or no prior experience, however, would include:
Recent graduate - xyz university; B.S.-Accounting. Independent self-starter: Excellent leadership skills: Conscientious; Seeking a career in accounting where my attention to accuracy and detail will add value.
City, State. • 123 456 7899 • email@example.com • Linkedin URL
In the second example, the individual is either changing careers or entering the job force for the first time. So he is presenting his credentials and professional goals in a few lines, at the top, for the recruiter to see. In both cases, the byline should be brief and provide a snapshot of relevant skills and objectives. It is important to understand that adding a byline, Career Objective or Career Summary are not necessary. Many candidates add that information below the Header, in the body of the resume, Whichever way the information added will best present positively to the reader, is the choice to make.
Always proofread your Header for incorrect information or typos. You want to be sure the employer can reach you, once they have reviewed your information and want to know more. Remember, the hiring manager will only take a few seconds to look at any resume, so the Header is extremely important. This is your first opportunity to make an impression - so make it bold, simple and easy to read.