Contact information is one of the most basic elements of a resume. It’s a given that hiring managers need a way to contact you if they’re going to offer you a job.
Don’t let the simplicity of your resume header fool you. There’s still a lot to consider.
The decision of whether or not to include a phone number on a resume can cause uncertainty.
For career professionals, phone communication might be the industry standard. For young newcomers, it can seem archaic.
Including your phone number on your resume - even in today’s technology era - is important.
This article will answer the following questions about including a phone number on your resume:
- What are the benefits?
- What factors should you consider?
- What are some common mistakes to avoid?
- What are some best practices for phone communication?
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to include a phone number on your resume, browse our collection of resume examples for inspiration.
What are the benefits of including a phone number on your resume?
The first answer to this question is an obvious one. Phone numbers provide a quick and direct line of communication between you and a potential employer.
If they’re looking to fill a position fast, you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity because an email sat unread in your inbox all day. Answering a phone call saves a lot of time.
Another benefit of including your phone number on a resume is the convenience it creates for scheduling interviews.
Hiring managers are busy. They could be trying to pack multiple candidate interviews into a small window of time.
If you rely on the back-and-forth communication of an email while other candidates book their interviews over the phone, you might miss your chance on a prime time slot.
Lastly, adding a phone number to your resume shows professionalism and readiness to be contacted.
You do want potential employers to contact you, right? Of course you do!
Imagine the message it sends if your resume doesn’t give hiring managers an easy way to reach you.
You might seem uninterested in the job or unprepared for a professional environment if employers have to jump through hoops just to get in touch with you.
Factors to consider when including a phone number on your resume
A common concern about including your phone number on your resume is privacy and security.
This is understandable. No one wants their personal contact information floating out in cyberspace on an unprotected PDF.
Safeguard your information by being mindful of where and how you share your resume. Be sure the online job boards you’re using are legitimate. Don’t submit your resume to any job listing that looks suspicious or unsafe.
Keep these practices in mind when choosing other contact details for your resume like your address.
Another factor to consider is choosing what phone number to include.
If you have a separate line for work calls and personal calls, that makes it an easy decision. However, this is impractical for most people.
Whatever you do, don’t use your current work phone number!
It might be tempting, but there are too many variables for things to go sideways.
Imagine the fallout of a potential employer leaving you a voicemail and your current boss finding out you’re applying elsewhere. Or you might leave your current job before hearing back from a hiring manager and then their call goes to a disconnected number.
The best practice is to use your personal cell phone number so you can be contacted directly.
The last factor to consider is format and presentation. As always, keep it simple and professional.
Include your phone number in a clear, concise resume header using one of the following formats or something similar:
- (555) 555-5555
Here are a few examples of how these phone number formats look in a resume header.
If you’re applying to jobs internationally, be sure to include your country code as well. More on that below.
Use our resume builder to help you format your resume and organize your information easily.
Common mistakes to avoid when including a phone number on your resume
It should go without saying that your contact information needs to be correct and up-to-date.
You don’t want to spend all your time and energy perfecting the details of your resume just to make a mistake in your phone number. Check, double-check, and triple-check your contact information prior to sending out your resume.
If you’re using your personal cell phone number to apply for jobs, make sure you have a professional outgoing voicemail message. You want hiring managers to know that you’re taking the process seriously.
Another common mistake to avoid is overlooking international format requirements.
Let’s take a look at an example.
For a local position, this header is great.
However, the phone number format in the example above can cause problems in an international job search.
Don’t assume hiring managers will know your country code by looking at your location. Make it simple and include it in the format.
Let’s look at the same example with the country code added.
That tiny change is almost unnoticeable, but it makes a huge difference.
Be sure to use the correct phone number format and country code or potential employers abroad may not be able to get through when they call you.
Best practices for phone communication during the job search process
Including your phone number on your resume is only the first step of the process. Then, ideally, potential employers are going to use it.
This stage in the process can be intimidating. Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help.
The best way to combat nerves around phone communication is by being fully prepared.
Be professional when you answer the phone
The first thing you want to be mindful of while you’re looking for a job is to answer the phone professionally. Always.
You might be accustomed to answering your personal phone with a casual greeting to family and friends. When a hiring manager calls, you probably won’t recognize the number.
Don’t be caught off guard. Answer the phone with a professional greeting every time it rings. It’s a good habit to develop and will make a good first impression on potential employers.
Be prepared for phone interviews
The next thing you want to focus on is preparing for phone interviews.
Picture the following scenario:
You include your phone number in a beautifully crafted resume header.
You get a call from an interested employer. Hooray!
You schedule a phone interview and then… you freeze.
Don’t lay all this groundwork without seeing it through to the end. If you’re giving a company your phone number, you should be prepared to speak with them over the phone.
Start by preparing yourself like you would any other interview. Practice your responses to common interview questions like these:
- Tell us about yourself
- Why do you want to work here?
- Why are you the right fit for this role?
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
There are a few things you get with an in-person interview that you don’t over the phone. They’re important to keep in mind.
The interviewer can’t see you, so they won’t be able to read your body language.
Be clear and attentive as you can’t rely on gestures like head nods and eye contact.
Be polite and professional. You can’t shake hands over the phone.
Some additional advice includes using a clear line and finding a quiet space to take calls. Having a spotty connection or loud noise in the background can be very distracting for both you and the interviewer.
Prepare the space ahead of time. Have your resume and the job description in front of you. Be ready to take notes and ask questions.
If you’re in the middle of a job search and need some guidance on the process, try exploring our career counseling services. You can practice a mock interview and receive feedback to help you feel confident and prepared.
Follow up with the interviewers
Finally, make sure to follow up with the hiring manager after the phone interview.
Before you end the call, make sure you understand the next steps in the process.
Some companies will tell you they’ll make a decision and let you know within X number of days. Others might have a different process like updating an internet portal.
Either way, be sure to write a thank you email to the interviewers after the call.
They could be interviewing a dozen candidates with qualifications and experience just like yours. A personal thank you can be the factor that puts you ahead.
This small gesture will reassure them of your interest in the position and showcase your professional etiquette.
Now you’re one step closer to landing that offer!
Key takeaways for including a phone number on your resume
Contact information might seem pretty black and white at first glance, but there are a lot of factors to consider.
Including a phone number on your resume is a key piece of information that will push your job search in the right direction.
As you prepare to add a phone number to your resume, keep the following in mind:
- Benefits include providing a quick line of communication for potential employers, conveniently scheduling phone interviews, and showing your professionalism
- Be sure to take privacy and safety measures when sharing your information, never use a work phone number on your resume, and make sure the format is clear and professional
- Avoid mistakes like using outdated contact information or overlooking international format requirements
- Always answer the phone professionally, be prepared for phone interviews, and remember to follow up with the interviewer.