Why Your Resume Should Include a Phone Number and How To Format It Correctly

Phone numbers are still a necessary part of a resume, even if you prefer email communication. Format them correctly and use a virtual number to protect privacy

6 months ago   •   3 min read

By Rohan Mahtani
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Email, Facebook, LinkedIn - there are so many methods of applying for jobs these days that it can be hard to know if a contact phone number is still relevant to a modern recruiter.

In this article, we’ll explore why a phone number is still required for most applications and how to best format a phone number on your resume.

Should you include a phone number on your resume?

In short: Yes. You should always include a phone number on your resume.

But why? Simply put, recruiters will be expecting to see a phone number on your resume. If you exclude it you might be overlooked.

Some recruiters prefer to contact applicants via phone and you want to ensure a recruiter can contact you in whatever way they wish. It’s common practice to include an email address, phone number, general location, and professional online platforms - such as an optimized LinkedIn profile - in your contact information section.

Excluding any of these elements could lead to a recruiter hiring another applicant who is easier to get a hold of. Excluding a phone number can also cause your resume to be rejected by applicant tracking systems (ATS) that scan resumes for relevant information and reject those that don’t meet their criteria.

Where to put a phone number on your resume

Your phone number should be clearly visible at the top of your resume, either as part of your resume header or under contact information.

How to format a phone number on your resume

This might seem like common sense, but phone numbers can be formatted differently depending on regional or country standards. To ensure your information is readable and easy to use, follow these simple rules.

Only include one number

There is no need to include a work, home, and mobile number on your resume as this can cause confusion when an employer is trying to contact you. Only include one number, either a mobile or work number.

Include the area and country code

The area code should always be included, especially if you are applying for remote work, as you never know where a recruiter will be located. Also include a dialing extension for work numbers if relevant.

List the area code in parentheses, as shown below, and use “ext” to precede a dialing extension.

Area code: (123) 456 7890

Dialing extension: (123) 456 7890. ext 121

If you are applying for remote or overseas work include your country dialing code. International recruiters will generally contact applicants via email, but you want to ensure they can use your provided phone number if needed. For example:

Country code: (+1) 123 456 7890

Be consistent

Use dashes or spaces to make your number easy to read, as shown in the examples below, and be consistent with your formatting choices throughout your resume.

Dashes: 123-456-7890
Spaces: 123 456 7890
Both: (123) 456-7890

Before sending out your resume, upload it to the tool below. It is a good way to verify that your resume aligns with the expectations of hiring managers and recruiters. The tool will identify any problems with the formatting of your contact details, along with other crucial sections of your resume.

What if you are concerned about privacy?

You might be hesitant to include your personal number on your resume, especially if you are applying for multiple jobs and posting your information online. If you are uneasy using your private number, consider providing a work number or using a virtual number, such as Zoom or Google Voice. This ensures you are still reachable without compromising privacy.

What if your phone number is not the best way to reach you?

Even if a phone call is not the best way to reach you and it’s not your preferred method of contact, you should still include a phone number on your resume.

If you prefer to be contacted by email, you can state this under your contact information and list your email address above your phone number, as shown in the example below. You can also include times that you are available by phone and state that outside of these times you are available for contact via email.

how to include your phone number on your resume and indicate that you prefer to be contacted by email
how to include your phone number on your resume and indicate that you prefer to be contacted by email

Pro tip: Create a professional voicemail

Especially when your phone number is not the best way to reach you, ensure your voicemail is professional to provide the right impression to potential employers. Clearly state your name, to confirm the employer has reached the right person, and include a time frame when you will likely respond to their message. You can also state in your voicemail message that a caller can contact you another way, via email for example, if that is your preferred method of communication.

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