How to Format Your Resume Header

Maybe you’ve spent hours reading about the preferred words to use on a resume and how to best outline your experience and haven’t thought much about the individual components of the document. That’s a big mistake, especially when it comes to your resume header. Here are some things to keep in mind when composing the uppermost section of your resume.

Type Your Name in a Prominent Font

Your name should be typed in a bigger font relative to the other text in the header for your resume. That way, it’s as obvious as possible to the person who’s reviewing the resumes but isn’t intrusive.

Include your full first and last name in the way most people would search for it on Google. The middle name is optional. If you’re recently married or have a pen name, it’s also useful to include your maiden name or byline, respectively.

Resume Header Maiden Name

Speaking of names, job-seeking experts say if you’re aiming to fix things on your resume, it’s even important to improve the file name so it includes your first and last name for easy reference.

Include Your Physical Address Strategically

Your permanent address also needs to be part of your resume header, but if you’re looking for work outside of where you live, inserting your address on the resume header could be a detriment. It might give hiring managers the impression you’re not willing to move if the job warrants it.

If relocating is something you’d agree to do, you can simply write “open to relocation” in place of the city, state and zip code. Alternatively, include a few cities you’d move to for the job. That approach could work well if you want to show how you’ve done your research about the company and found out where its offices are.

Resume Header Open to Relocation

Perhaps your relocation is a definite thing and you’re getting a head start by applying for open positions early. In that case, the resume header should mention where you’re moving to and when. To get an idea of how to do that, check out the sample resume header below that offers a good example of how to notify hiring managers of an upcoming move.

Resume Header Relocating


Carefully Type Your Phone Number

The phone number is another essential part of the header for your resume, but make sure you don’t make a typo when adding it. Include your area code, too.

If you rarely or never check your voicemail, now is a good time to make sure your voicemail isn’t full and to verify a person could easily identify you as the number and actually leave a message. You don’t want a hiring manager to think you’re not quite the person described on the resume after hearing what your voicemail message sounds like. Even the most polished and complete resume headers can’t always outweigh bad first impressions.

Provided that the phone number you put into your header connects to a working voicemail box, do a final step and verify the recorded message shows you in a professional light. If it has chattering or laughing in the background and you’ve recorded it in a wacky voice or included a greeting someone might find offensive, scrap it and record a new one.

Resume Header

Paste in Your Email

In today’s tech-heavy society, there’s a good chance you’ll get contacted by email if a recruiter or HR representative wants to know more about you based on what was offered via your resume. Again, professionalism is key. Ideally, the email address in your resume header should have some variation of your first and last name. Use cut and paste to place the email in your header. That way, you ensure you don’t make a typo.

If the only email you have is from high school and it spells “cool” as “kewl,” that definitely won’t suit a header for a resume. There are so many free email services that you have no excuse for not signing up for a new account if necessary.

Don’t Forget to Add Relevant Links

The last portion of your resume header should feature applicable links. It’s especially important to include those if you have a portfolio website or other examples of your work that are readily accessible online. If you’re an active LinkedIn user, your URL can go in the header section. Pro tip: Personalize your profile URLs with your name or descriptive details. Looks professional, just like your email address.

Resume Header with Links

There aren’t hard and fast rules about what kinds of links to include here, unfortunately. The simplest thing to do is ask yourself if a link you want to put in this part of the header for the resume somehow indicates to a hiring manager why you’re the best person for a position. If so, that’s a strong indication to incorporate it in this part of your resume.

Now, open up your word document and start working on your new resume header. Follow these tips to make sure it is professional and accurate, and share your thoughts on the comments.

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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