CV Breakdown: How to Write the Contact Details Section
The contact details section of the CV can often be overlooked by candidates when they start their job hunt. Most will just dismiss it as the easy bit to get out of the way, I mean it's just your name, email and phone number right? Maybe a reference to their LinkedIn profile if you're feeling adventurous?
However, with just a small amount of care and attention you can get your contact details section working for you in a way that's going to help you stand out from other candidates.
What should you include?
Starting with the obvious:
- Name - Make this slightly larger in font to stand out
- Phone Number - Use a mobile number and not your current work number. It looks very unprofessional taking job seeking calls from your current workplace phone)
- Professional email address - Keep it simple
- Home address - This is actually becoming largely optional these days. With most employers communicating online it's rare they'll need to contact you by post until you actually sign the contract. If you're applying to a very formal organisation it's worth putting down though as it's a convention many still follow.
Next, the little extras to add some colour to your application:
- Relevant social media links - We're primarily talking LinkedIn here, somewhere a recruiter can see your work history and how established you are in the industry.
- Link to personal website, blog or portfolio - Perfect examples of show, not tell. Being able to show quality examples of work to an employer is far more valuable than trying to explain in detail later on in your CV. Links are also very tempting to click and is an easy way to show your talents.
What not to include
We mentioned above you needed a professional email address fit for working life so get rid of that old email if it's inappropriate and set up a professional one. You don't want to instantly repel a recruiter with firstname.lastname@example.org or anything like that.
Links to personal social media
Also be aware that employers will seek you up on social media regardless of whether you link to them or not. If your personal profiles are public, it might be a good idea to either go private or scrub any embarrassing or compromising posts and pictures. Have a clear out and get rid of that profile picture of you with a traffic cone on your head.
Irrelevant personal details
Anything not relevant to the job like age, marital status etc. can be safely excluded, you're not trying to tell your life story here.
Why is is important to add links and what to add?
You're essentially looking for any sort of online presence that can quickly sell your skills and talents, even better if they're able to showcase some great feedback you've gotten for past work.
Almost all applications are done online now via recruitment portals or through emailing of CVs to employers. Useful links can really help you as they stand out right at the top of your CV promising more information just a tempting click away,
We've listed a few examples below, but it's important to remember not to overload the contact details section with too many links as things will start to look messy and put the recruiter off. Keep it to your top two or three links that showcase your best work.
Probably your most important link for several reasons. Not only does LinkedIn provide a quick and easy to read summary of your career, you can add credibility to your application through the professional endorsements section where other professionals can shout about your key skills. In addition, it's very likely you'll have shared connections in the industry with the employer who is viewing your profile, especially if they're local. If they see you have mutual connections in their network you'll add another layer of credibility.
Very useful for (but not limited to) careers in the creative industry. Where employers can simply click through to a well presented portfolio they'll be able to get a feel for the quality of your work in seconds, quickly distinguishing you from other clients.
Important for the complete freedom it can provide to present your work. There are a lot of do-it-yourself websites like Wix and Squarespace out there these days that offer easy to use templates to set up any kind of website you want. Your own website gives you creative freedom to present your professional life in a host of different formats and makes you that much more competitive than other candidates.
Stack Overflow page
A great resource for any coders and developers out there. It's essentially a help forum that allows people to post questions and get expert answers to their coding problem. If you've answered a lot of queries and are active in the community it's a great way to show off your expert knowledge to an employer.
Similar to stack overflow but different in the fact that GitHub allows people from all over the world to collaborate on coding projects. Having a profile here not only shows off your coding skills it also highlights your ability to work in teams across organisations and across cultures.
One for the creatives out there Dribble is hosting platform where users can display their portfolios and connect with designers worldwide to collect feedback. The more feedback, the more you'll impress a potential employer.
There are dozens of sites similar to those listed above popping up all the time that allow you to freely upload and display a portfolio in a variety of different industries. Search for those relevant to your industry and get profile building.