I'm revisiting my résumé and updating portions that needs updating. I'm stuck at the phone number format. I did a quick Google search and found that the most common format is like this: (+xx) xxx-xxx-xxxx. I live in Egypt so the international country code is +20.

This implies that the part inside the parens is optional, if you're inside the same country. Here's the problem: if you're dialing from outside Egypt, you dial +20 111-xxx-xxxx. But, if you're dialing from inside Egypt you dial 0111-xxx-xxxx. So the implication that the part in parens is incorrect.

How do I format such a number so that it is understandable to both international and local callers?

  • 3
    The standard here is "+20 (0)111-xxx-xxxx" but I'm voting to close this as off-topic as there's nothing really workplace related here. – Philip Kendall May 22 '17 at 13:22
  • 3
    Perhaps make two versions of the resume? One for job outside of Egypt and one for jobs in Egypt. – David K May 22 '17 at 13:23
  • 5
    If your resume clearly says you're in Egypt and a prospective employer is also in Egypt, it's reasonable to assume he would know what prefixes ("+20", "0111") to use. – Dan Pichelman May 22 '17 at 13:26
  • @PhilipKendall thanks for your reply. Also I didn't know where to post it, and when I searched for similar question I didn't find any, and then I searched for resume related questions and found they're posted here. That's why I posted it here too. – Mahmoud Abdel-Mon'em May 22 '17 at 13:30
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    If you want to write just one: if you write +20 1111, anyone from international will be able to reach you, and anyone inside Egypt should know that they can remove the +20 and add a zero (and I think that if you dial the international code from inside the country, it works nonetheless). – Kerkyra May 22 '17 at 13:32

I would simply state the full international number as it will work regardless of whether or not a caller international or local. It's a difference of only two characters.

  • +20 111-xxx-xxxx is always going to work
  • 0111-xxx-xxxx is only going to work if the caller is from Egypt
  • (+20) 111-xxx-xxxx requires callers to understand when to keep the prefix and additional knowledge of local callers (probable) about what to substitute the prefix with. If local callers opt for the international format you've essentially wasted 2 characters for nothing.
  • +20 (0) 111-xxx-xxxx requires callers to understand when to leave out the part in parentheses (probable for local callers, potentially confusing for international callers).
  • +20/0 111-xxx-xxxx technically correct but I've never seen this format used.

Again. The international format is unambiguous, complete, universally usable and shorter than any other format aside from the local-only format.

  • I just got another thought, but I don't know if it's acceptable. Is is possible to write it like this: (+2) 0111-xxx-xxxx ? It's right from a caller's point, but +2 isn't actually the country code. – Mahmoud Abdel-Mon'em May 23 '17 at 9:45
  • @MahmoudAbdel-Mon'em I've personally never seen it. But that's likely because it doesn't apply to most prefixes. Switzerland for examples has +41 as international code and 0 as local code so this pattern wouldn't work. – Kempeth May 23 '17 at 9:52

There's a difference between reference and usage -- between knowing what the phone number is, and actually making a call using that number.

This really depends on the audience for your resume. If you know that the recipient is familiar with the usage, then format the number according to the most common and standard format.

Another option, as mentioned by @DavidK in the comments, is to have two versions of your resume.

Maintenance of multiple versions of anything is always difficult, so you might also include both phone number formats on your resume, something like this:

Name: Mahmoud Abdel-Mon'em

Email: mymail@example.com

Phone (within Egypt): 0111-xxx-xxxx

Phone (outside Egypt): +20 111-xxx-xxxx

As long as you have multiple ways for people to contact you, however (including email and social media if applicable), the specific format of the phone number probably doesn't matter quite as much.


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