I answer a common question and correct mistaken advice people are given.

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There seems to be a popular style with resume headers that people use – – they just put their name and phone numbers on the resume header. Sometimes, most of the time, they put an email address, but not always. Sometimes they don’t even put their last name on the resume. They just an initial or nothing there. So, I am expected to know that Jeff is me. But let me deal with the most important thing there.

The first thing is always put city, State and ZIP Code on your resume. In days of old, people put their address on the resume. They did that because firms would mail things to them. Obviously, no one is mailing anything anymore; they are emailing. But you want to put city, State and ZIP Code on it for a reason that benefits.

Your resume can wind up in some database whether it's with an agency or a corporation. A new job opens up. Here's how the search is run. They look for someone with particular skills and experiences using keywords. Then, from there, they try to look by geography. Where is this person located? If you don't have your ZIP Code on the resume, there is no way to find you. After all, if I live in New Jersey and they are doing the search by New York because the job is there, they can’t find you. If they try an area code search, well, let's say I was doing a 212 search and all the related area codes around New York (which is quite a lot but I will play with the idea).

So I put in the 15 or so area codes around New York. Let’s say, you moved and you took your cell phone with you. You will come up in that search. So, you've moved to Chicago and you are getting a call about New York. Doesn't work.

ZIP Code is the easiest way for people to find you. And if you don't put ZIP Code on your resume, no one will locate you in the future. If you don't provide it, it's a blank field; you are not coming up.

“Why don’t they just search for everyone? You know, I don’t want people …”

Act the end the day, we don't. We search initially by geography, people closest because most people are not mobile and are not willing to move nor are recruiters willing to make 500 phone calls and talk to people who in different parts of the country with no interest in moving. So city, State and ZIP Code on your resume.

Also, put your full name on it. Don’t try to hide by last name initial or just your first name. It’s annoying. There are a lot of people with your first name in my system. I have 280,000 plus resumes in their and if I'm doing a search for you by first name, I'm finding way too many people. Make it easy for me, okay?

So, the most important thing is city, State and zip code. Second, is put your full name on the resume. If you're concerned about discrimination, you are going to get discriminated against any way! But minimally city, state, ZIP Code and your full name.

LinkedIn profiles is optional. If you work in a professional category, try including it as long as the resume the LinkedIn profile are congruent. You have to take a look at that first.

But, assuming that they are put the LinkedIn profile there. More and more firms will look at it to look at the recommendations and in order to look for congruence. Make it easy for them.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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