Should you put your address on your resume?

Should you put your address on your resume?

Is it really necessary to put your address on a resume?

A lot of job seekers have been asking about this question and the answer is not clear for most people. So let’s dive right in and discuss the pros and cons of including your mailing address on your resume. Then, we’ll discuss your choices to help you make the right decision.

In the past, your resume required to contain a complete set of personal information so employers could contact you directly via phone, email, or snail mail. Traditionally, one of the first things that a hiring manager sees on your resume is the address just below your name which is usually located at the top of the page.

But the question is—How important is it to write your address on your resume in an age when physical mail is becoming irrelevant? Truth is, the way an employer contacts you today differs greatly from the way it used to, so your resume should also adapt to the new norm. The job search is increasingly going digital, which means you will be less likely to include your full address on your resume. In fact, most applicants still commit this common mistake of writing their full address on their resumes. Let’s find out why.

Do I really need to put my address in my resume?

In case you’re writing your first resume for job hunting or revamping your previous one, here’s a checklist that can help you craft a great resume. Now, if it concerns you how to properly prepare your resume, keep in mind that it is optional to include your address, though it is not required. There are in fact a number of reasons whether or not you should include it. Nevertheless, it all boils down to:

  1. Privacy Concerns – How important are privacy and security to you? Are you worried about the possibility of Identity Theft?
  2. Current Situation –  Are you applying for a job from out of town? Are you relocating? Does your resume have enough space to include it?
  3. Discrimination Issues – Are you willing to risk losing an offer from a potential employer just because a hiring manager assumed something negative about you by checking your city, state, and ZIP code?

If you don’t know what to do, we’ve listed down the pros and cons of putting your full address on your resume. We hope this can help you make an informed decision that will benefit you in your job hunting process.

Address On Resume: Pros

1. Putting it there makes you less distrustful

Employers expect to see a candidate’s address on the resume because it’s normal practice. If you don’t include your address, people might wonder “what does this person have to hide that they wouldn’t include a postal address?” This may break your chance as they would wonder why you left it off. Hiring managers may be disinterested in your resume and they may end up your bid for the job you desired. Thus, potentially crippling you before you even get started.

2. A company may check your address in order to hire a candidate with a shorter commute.

There are many reasons why career experts highly recommend that you include your address and zip code.

Companies may prioritize hiring people with shorter commutes, so if you live nearby, you should mention it. However, you shouldn’t put your full street address on your resume for the following particular reason. It is pretty straightforward to give away your commute time by simply including your city, state, and zip code. Recruiters will probably look at your house in Google Street View. They can use this to make erroneous conclusions about you based on this information—and it’s just irrelevant to the interview process.

3. Most companies use ATS (Applicant Tracking System) which filters location keywords.

According to a report, 40% of employers today screen candidates using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which is a critical part of applying for jobs. Some ATS software will filter resumes by finding certain key terms, and your address may be one of them. Your resume will appear in search results when the recruiter is looking for a specific candidate in a particular geographical location. If you do not include your address on your resume, you might end up getting disqualified due to keywords omission.

4. It may be required by your employer for their records.

A company usually compiles a record of your files when you apply for a job. Your contact information, which includes your mailing address, is one of the crucial pieces of information for these files. By not including your address on your resume, you could unintentionally cause your application to be disregarded and rejected since it’s incomplete.

5. You might have to submit it as part of a background check.

According to a survey, 96% of employers have been using employment background checks in recent years to screen candidates. An employer running a background check can make better decisions by knowing where to pull your records based on your current address.

You make it more difficult for your employer to get a complete background check since you withhold your address. This could mean that your resume becomes less likely to progress through the application process.

Address On Resume: Cons

1. The home address takes up a lot of space.

Your full address can take up a lot of space. Since it is generally not recommended to keep your resume longer than one page, this becomes particularly challenging. Therefore, if including your address makes your resume 2 pages long, you will need to skip it in order to maintain a brief but concise presentation.

As most people do not correspond by mail, your address is a logical piece for being the first item of information that goes. Additionally, in today’s age and technology, most talent acquisition, recruiters, and hiring managers prefer to contact applicants through email or phone.

2. Putting your address on a resume presents a security risk.

You may feel uncomfortable sharing your address when using a job search board for a job application since you do not know who will see your resume or how many people has access to it.

If you feel unsafe, or if you would like more privacy protections, you have the right to refrain from giving your address out. With identity theft and security breaches on the rise, you don’t need an address to pass screening.

Additionally, putting your address on your resume can be both a boon and a bane. As we mentioned earlier, some ATS prefer to use keywords for geographical location in searching for specific applicants. However, there’s also a downside in using ATS that can filter and reject resumes with an address because they consider it a privacy violation (Personal Identification Information).

3. It seems obsolete or outdated to use a physical address.

People don’t use physical mailing addresses anymore because they’re using e-mail and web-based communications for almost everything. Most job seekers and recruitment or talent/hiring managers alike agree that providing your phone number and email address is enough information that an employer can use to reach you.

Moreover, you’ll also provide your address when they need it—once they make the offer. They will perform a background check or fill out other forms—and then your home address will be necessary.

4. There is a strong correlation between attrition and distance.

Putting a non-local address on your resume may cause hiring managers to reject and trash your resume immediately. You may find employers unwilling to hire you if you live too far from your job.

Employers often determine commute times based on your address. The reason is that, according to a study, employees’ health and productivity can be negatively affected by long commutes. So it’s possible that they will select someone else if they consider you unwilling to commute. Typically, if someone lives more than 30 miles away from the zip code they are applying for, they are much more likely to quit the job fast.  So, the employers have programmed their ATS to exclude applicants over a certain mile.

Moreover, if the job is in another city and you are willing to relocate, they may see your distant location and decide it would be easier to select local candidates. If you include your address, you run the risk of being screened out of a pool of candidates based on your address. This is because the company may prefer to hire local applicants to save on relocation expenses.

5. People are discriminated against based on their location.

Many job seekers feel vulnerable when sharing their zip code, fearing being judged by their potential employer. Despite the fact that employment discrimination based on race, religion, or sex is banned by U.S. law, socioeconomic status discrimination is legal and rarely discussed.

Often, a hiring manager’s social biases might prevent them from calling you in for an interview once they find out you’re from a particular area. Usually, people pass judgments based on zip code, especially if it is a poor or extremely wealthy area.

How to Write Your Address On Your Resume

Based on the explanations presented, you can now weigh your options as to whether or not to consider including your home address on your resume.  If you do like to include it, you may be thinking about how to write it properly. Here are a few guidelines and tips on how to go about it.

1. Follow the traditional way- use your complete address.

You may use your complete address if you wish to follow the norm. Put it near the top of the page, and abbreviate it if you can so your resume is only one page long.

For example, 325 Backwood, San Antonio, TX 78203

2. Be updated with the latest trends – don’t include your address.

Alternatively, you could leave no address. When choosing this option, let employers know at least one other reliable way to contact you, like your phone number or e-mail address, so that they can still get in touch with you about interviews.  If you chose this option because you feel unsafe due to security issues putting your address on your resume then these Identity Theft Resource Center’s tips might help.

3. Go for most recruitment recommendations- Include only the city and state.

Some career experts suggest simply writing down your home city and state. Having this information will give employers a good idea about the length of your commute based on whether you’re a local applicant. Additionally, your general location can be included as well. In some ATS software, zip codes are used for screening applicants. If you don’t want to take this risk, you can leave your zip code. You can follow the examples below:

  • San Antonio, TX
  • San Antonio, TX 78203
  • Baltimore Metropolitan Area
  • Baltimore Metropolitan Area 21202

4. Make sure to note that you’re relocating to another city or state.

It is okay to include a line in your resume’s header that states “Relocating to City, State in Month, Year” if you are not a local resident. You can include your zip code so the ATS won’t skip over your application. See other examples:

  • Relocating to San Antonio, TX in June 2023
  • Relocating to San Antonio, TX 78203 in June 2023

How do you add your country to your address?

If you will go anywhere for a job, make it clear in the cover letter and in your resume that you’re willing to relocate even internationally. Your summary might say, “Willing to relocate within the United States.”

Although some might think it is a risk, it is better, to be honest about your current location and your intention to relocate for your job when it comes to where you currently reside. Below are few examples:

  • 21 Kaheka Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
  • Relocating to San Antonio, TX 78203 in June 2023

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, your goal should be to successfully pass the ATS for around the 6-seconds mark so that your resume gets to the human hiring officer. If writing your address on your resume can increase your odds of getting hired, then you should include it.

Marissa Letendre, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Marissa Letendre is a senior HR leader and resume expert with over 12 years of experience. She has worked for both startups and Fortune 50 corporations and has helped thousands land jobs at top companies. Marissa has written on a wide range of topics, including employee engagement, career development, resumes, job searching, recruiting, and organizational effectiveness and has been featured on sites such as Slack and The Undercover Recruiter.

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