For potential employers, a resume is the beginning of a conversation with a person they've never met. Because you want that conversation to end on a happy note, make sure the header of your resume conveys a positive first impression of you. More than just a style preference, a properly formatted header serves a purpose if your resume is more than a page long. A nicely done header keeps your resume together if the pages get separated, looks professional and highlights your personal style.
Center your full legal name on the first line of the resume header. Format the font to be moderately large, such as 18 to 24 point, and boldfaced. Do not choose an overly decorative font, unless you are in a creative industry. Stick with a standard font, such as Arial, Times New Roman or Garamond.
Divide the page into two columns below your name. These columns will feature your contact information. This is not the only means of formatting a resume header, but is very common. Placing each piece of information on a separate line would take up too much space. Consider, as an alternative, placing your address, email and phone number on a single line separated by a bullet or a dash.
Enter your address on two lines in the left column. Avoid using abbreviations for street or state names. Use a smaller font size, such as 10 to 12 point.
Enter your email and phone contact information in the right hand column. If possible, use a personal or school email address, not the email at your current employer. Use your full phone number, including the area code. Indicate whether the phone number given is work, home or mobile, so the hiring manager knows what to expect when contacting you.
Copy the header identically on the second page for consistent style.
- If you split a resume section, such as "Education" or "Professional Experience," between pages, indicate this by repeating the section title and adding "(Continued)."
- A two-column format is just one way to style your resume, but may be preferable because it takes up less space than other formats. An alternative is to place your address, email and phone number on a single line, with the units separated by a bullet or a dash.
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