The Resume Header Best Practices: What and What Not to Do

This guide provides detailed advice on creating an effective and professional resume header, including what to include and exclude.
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Astley Cervania
Updated
July 21, 2023

Of all parts of a resume, your contact details should pop out the most to the reader.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to create a resume header section that stands out and what details you should and shouldn’t include. 

What Is a Resume Header?

The resume header is basically the contact section of a resume. This includes personal details such as:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • City
  • Country
  • Phone number
  • Relevant website links

Your contact details are the first thing the reader sees when they look at your resume. A well-designed header section is vital for creating a professional job application.

Here’s an example of how this looks below. 

Resume Header

5 Things to Include in Your Resume Header Section

The essential details of a resume header include:

  • First and last name
  • Your location
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Website links (optional)

1. First and Last Name

Your first and last name is all that’s necessary. However, make this stand out by adjusting the format of your resume:

  • Larger font size: your name should be the first thing that catches your reader’s eye. So, use a larger font size (20-24 pt). 
  • Bold text: this also helps with making your name clear to the reader. 

2. Your Location

Include the city and country you’re based in. But when you’re creating a resume for a remote job, mentioning your country is enough. 

3. Email Address

Use a professional email address, not a personal email. Avoid having numbers on your email such as: 

The format should only be your first and last name like so: jacobjacquet@gmail.com

4. Phone Number

Enter your phone number in the appropriate format based on the country you’re in. For example, if you’re based in the US, use the following format for your phone number: (999) 999-9999. 

The only other thing to note here is to ensure your phone number is up-to-date.

5. Website Links 

Lastly, include any relevant website links that help reinforce your application. These can include links to your:

  • Blog
  • GitHub
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Website

However, this is optional. Only include links to help with showcasing your portfolio and expertise. 

8 Things to Not Add to Your Resume Header 

Now, we’ll go through what to avoid adding to your resume header and why. Job seekers still make some of these resume mistakes

Resume Summary

We recommend putting the summary section below the resume header. It’s not an essential part of your resume compared to your contact details, which is why your contact details should stand out the most. 

Another reason is that providing an overview of your professional background requires enough space to convey your value as a candidate. The limited space in the header section isn’t usually sufficient.

Profile Picture

Profile pictures aren’t relevant to the purpose of a resume: showcasing relevant skills, previous work experience, and qualifications. Including a photo distracts prospective employers from the actual content of your resume. 

The only exception here is when you’re applying for a modeling or acting role. For most job applications though, it’s not relevant and isn’t a decisive factor when making a hiring decision. 

Unnecessary Personal Details 

Here are some examples of personal information to leave off your resume:

  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Nationality

None of these help with highlighting your professional skills and experience (which is the whole point of a resume). Therefore, it’s not necessary. 

Irrelevant Website Links 

All website links should be relevant to the job. Any links included must be related to how you’re qualified for carrying out the job responsibilities. So for example, including links to your personal Facebook account where potential employers can see pictures of you outside the club at 5am with friends isn’t a bright idea. 

On that note, ensure you have an appropriate online presence. Make your social media accounts look professional because some companies will do a social media background check. 

2-Page Resume Headers

No header section is required for the second page of your resume because:

  • It takes up extra space which could be used for another resume section or bullet point
  • It could be confusing for in-person applications as both pages may look like the first or second page 

Italics

Italics are usually acceptable on a resume but we don’t recommend it. The only font settings to adjust in the contact details section is your full name by making this the main heading in bold text so that it stands out. 

Street Address 

All that’s needed on your resume is the city and country you’re based in. The street address isn’t necessary. 

Color

Color isn’t important on a resume. Sure, you might’ve seen some creative resume examples that use colors but ultimately, they’re not a decisive factor.

How to Create a Resume Header With Rezi 

We’ll show you step-by-step how to create a resume header using Rezi’s resume builder. The process is a lot simpler than you might think. 

1. Sign Up for a Free Account 

You can’t follow this process without having a Rezi account – sign up here for free. You won’t be asked for any card details. Simply enter your email address and create a password to get started. 

Sign in or create a free account

2. Select “Create New Resume”

Click on “create new resume” on the left side of the dashboard as shown below. 

create a new resume from rezi dashboard

3. Complete the Form Provided

Enter the following information:

  • Resume name
  • Job field
  • Experience level

Then press “save.”

Optional: toggle the “target your resume” button to tailor your resume to the company you’re applying for. This is where you’ll be given 3 more fields to complete where you simply enter the following information: job title, company name, and the job description. 

fill out the fields

4. Fill in the Fields of the Contact Section

Now you’ll be taken to our resume builder, and all resumes begin with a header section that includes your contact details. 

Fill in the boxes provided as shown below and then press “save basic info.” 

fill in the contact information

Once you’ve filled out your details, here’s how this looks on your resume as shown in the “finish up” tab. 

Rezi finishup tab

5. Finish Your Resume

Well, a resume isn’t complete with just a header section. You’ll need the other resume sections such as:

  • Work experience 
  • Education
  • Skills

And it’s the same process as shown for the resume header. Fill in the fields provided and use the outline as guidance on what to write. Once completed, the section automatically shows up on your resume in a professional format.

In other words, you don’t have to worry about the formatting of your resume because that’s all done for you. On top of that, you get to use our AI resume writer to generate bullet points based on the best resume writing practices. 

Here’s a short clip below of how our AI writer works. 

How to Create a Resume Header In a Word Document 

We’ll show you step-by-step how to create a resume header section in a professional format using Google Docs. The process should be somewhat similar to Microsoft Word too.

1. Start with an outline

First outline what you’re going to include in your resume header section such as:

  • Full name
  • Location
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • LinkedIn URL

Then, enter these details as shown below.

Add details to create the header

2. Center align your name

Highlight your name and center align it as shown below. 

Center Align the name

3. Use H1 for your name

Highlight your name and format it as “Heading 1”. 

  • Highlight your name
  • Press where it says “Normal Text”
  • Select the “Heading 1” option
make h1 header

4. Insert a table

Underneath your name, insert a table based on how much info you’re putting in the header section. 

  • Press “insert”
  • Click on “table”
  • Only a single row is required – but choose the number of columns you need based on the information you’re going to include
insert table

5. Enter your header section details

Enter your header section details from the outline into the provided boxes. 

An optional step here is to copy and paste your resume icons in the provided fields before the written text. 

move information to the table

6. Adjust the table columns so that the text fits in a single line.

adjust column width

7. Center align the table.

Highlight the table then press “table options”.

Select the table and click on table options

Select the “table” menu and click on the center alignment option.

select the center alignment option

8. Remove the Table Borders

  • Highlight the table
  • Open 'Table Properties'
  • Select 'Color' menu
  • Click the “border color” icon
  • Select the color 'White'
set table color to white

9. Center align the text. 

Center align the text entered in the table as shown below.

center align the text

10. Add a Horizontal Line 

Click “insert” and select “horizontal line.” 

Add a horizontal line

And you’re all done! Here’s the final result below. 

Your resume header is ready.

4 Elements That Help Your Resume Header Stand Out

Feel free to play around with some of these elements to determine what looks best on your application. But when you’re using Rezi, you won’t have to experiment since the resume formatting process is already done for you. 

Minimal Icons or Bullet Points

Minimal icons are effective because they offer:

  • A simplified resume: they simplify your resume format and make it look less cluttered by helping space things out. 
  • A modern resume: using minimal icons makes your resume look modern, which is a bonus for giving your application a more professional feel. 
  • Clarity: icons are often easy to recognize which can help with clarifying certain details, e.g. the location icon. 

However, bullet points work too. 

Bold Text 

Bold text immediately draws your attention. And, directing this attention to your name followed by your contact details helps with making your application more memorable. 

Additionally, bold text is pretty standard in professional resume formatting. 

Larger Font Size

Use a larger font size for your name (20 pt). As for the other details, the font size should be the same as the main body of your resume so that it’s consistent.

Horizontal Lines

Add a horizontal line at the bottom of the header section to make your contact details clear to reader by separating it from the main body of your resume. This line can either be in bold or in low opacity.

3 Professional Resume Header Examples 

We’ll list 3 resume examples of different job levels. In terms of the resume header section, they’re pretty much the same. Feel free to also check out our library of 300+ resume templates.

Software Development Intern Resume

Standard and compact resume template header

Marketing Consultant Resume

Rezi bold template header

Senior HR Executive Resume

Rezi modern template header

Keep It Simple

Complex design elements and bright colors aren't necessary to make your contact details stand out. 

Less is more, and taking a minimalist design approach makes your application look professional yet still pleasing to the eye. Follow the steps in this guide and you’ll have the perfect resume header! 

Rezi is an ai resume builder to help you to create a resume that os sure to check the boxes when it comes to applicant tracking systems : Rezi Review by Ashley