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Which Phone Number Should I Put on My Resume?

The first phone call you receive from a potential employer will likely be a phone screen or a brief phone interview. The point of contact you provide them will dictate how prepared you are to answer their calls and talk to them on the spot.

I could say that it doesn't matter which phone number you provide as long as you're available to answer, check messages, and return calls the same day. But it's not quite that simple. Here's how to decide which phone number is best for you to put on your resume:

Work Phone

Pros: None!

Cons: Besides being a poor representation of your work ethic (would you use company resources to conduct a job search at your new company, too?), colleagues could overhear your private job search conversations. If word gets around that you're looking, you could find yourself dismissed from your current job before you're prepared to move on to the next.

Home Phone

Pros:

  1. A solid, uninterrupted connection, free of static and dropped calls that are so prevalent with cell phones.
  2. You take the call on your time, in your own comfortable environment.

Cons:

  1. If anyone else has access to the phone, there's no telling what that person might say. When employers call, they expect to talk to you and only you. (This also applies to children or babies answering the phone, which gives away details of your personal life that should be saved until after you start the new job).
  2. You can only answer calls and review messages when you're home.
  3. Your cute/quirky/sarcastic answering machine message catches the employer off guard and makes an unprofessional impression before they get to talk with you for the first time. Tip: If you use your home phone, change your answering machine message to play just your name and number for the duration of your job search.

Cell Phone

Pros:

  1. You can answer, return, and screen calls from wherever you are.
  2. You control who answers your phone.
  3. Depending on where you are, you can make time to talk to an employer by stepping outside or into a quiet hallway. You could also hop in your (parked) car to conduct a midday phone interview.
  4. If you miss the call, you can call the employer back quickly versus missing the call on a home phone and waiting until the next day to return it.

Cons: Bad service spots, dropped calls, static, and the dreaded constant interruption. Example: You think the person has stopped talking, so you begin to respond and they start talking over you at the same time. Result: Repeated awkward moments of "I'm sorry? I missed that" or "What was that? You go first."

Overall, your decision should be based on what you're most comfortable with and how professional you want to appear. But whatever you do, do NOT use your work phone number!

 

RELATED LINKS

Talk Is Cheap, Except in the Phone Interview
Phone Interview Tips and Tricks
Resume Writing for the Clueless: Contact Info

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