The Professional Touch – Personal Data

At first glance, your resume should answer two important questions for a hiring manager:

  1. Who You Are
  2. How You Can Be Contacted

Who You Are

This includes your name and any professional designations you have obtained, such as an MBA, Ph.D., RN, MD, or any of a number of professional distinctions. By including these designations with your name in the header you are providing the hiring manager with immediate and valuable data regarding your candidacy and career level.

The manner in which you present your name is also important. Including familial designations such Joe Jones, III may very well be seen as pretentious by a hiring manager. Using a “Jr.” after your name may be applauded by your family, but it could give a hiring manager the wrong first impression – that you are young and inexperienced. Caution is always advised in these instances.

A word about nicknames:

Nicknames can work for you or against you given the circumstances.

If you were named “Kendrick,” but go by “Ken,” use of your nickname would be appropriate as Ken is more modern and sounds more youthful than Kendrick.

However, if you were christened “Barbara,” but are known as “Babs” – even at work – it would be best to err on the conservative side during your job search, especially if the targeted industry is a traditional one such as banking, accounting, or education. Once hired, you can then decide whether using your nickname is appropriate.

How You Can Be Contacted

This data should be instantly obvious to a hiring manager.

Your phone number and email address are your most important contact data. For easy access by hiring managers, phone numbers and emails should be bolded and in a larger type than the physical address, as hiring managers rarely, if ever, contact a successful candidate by “snail” mail.

A word about phone numbers:

Although you may be tempted to list numerous phone numbers, including fax numbers, don’t.

Work Numbers: Never include a work number even if your boss knows you’re searching for another position as this sends the wrong message to a potential employer. He or she will wonder about your loyalty and whether you’ll be using company time at your new job to speak to prospective employers.

Cell Phones: Never include these because you may just be contacted while you’re in traffic with its intrusive background noise, or where the phone signal is weak which could irritate a busy hiring manager when neither of you can hear each other speak above the static.


· I have numerous professional designations – should I include all of them after my name at the beginning of the resume? What is too much?

The key here is to target your approach and to include only what’s germane to your current job search. If you have a Ph.D. in Biology and an MBA, you would only list your Ph.D. in the heading when applying for an academic position.

· I’m planning to relocate to Georgia from California and am currently seeking employment in the Atlanta area. Should I list my California address on my resume?

As previously stated, physical addresses aren’t as important to hiring managers as phone numbers and emails. In your case, your physical address should be removed from the resume and replaced with “Relocating to the Atlanta, Georgia area.” It would be well advised for you to provide a time frame for this move so that a hiring manager knows you’re serious.

· My name is foreign-sounding and it’s not immediately apparent to a U.S. hiring manager whether I’m a “Mr.” or a “Ms.” Should I just use an initial for my first name?

Use of an initial would do little to clarify the matter for a hiring manager. Many overseas clients use their given names. then add – in parentheses – the U.S. or European equivalent – i.e. Étienne (Stephen) Dore.

· Is there a negative connotation to using a P.O. Box rather than a street address in the heading of a resume?

Absolutely not, especially in these days of heightened security, and when responding to “blind” postings on Internet job sites.