We’re often asked if you should put your address on your resume because job seekers want to maximize the effectiveness of their resumes, clear applicant tracking systems, and move forward in the hiring process. The decision to add or remove your complete address is probably easier than you think but worthy of discussion and consideration.
There are a few hundred resume templates you can find online today; some are more updated than others. You might find an “address” space in some templates, as it was necessary to reply to job applications via physical mail. Nowadays, from reviewing a job description on the job posting to submitting your resume, most of the hiring process takes place online via job boards.
Among the critical items to include on the top of resumes, such as an objective statement or core competencies, there’s also space in the resume header to reference your current location. So, should you put your address on your resume? Or is omitting it altogether a good idea? Keep reading if you’re browsing the job market and wondering whether you should put your address on your resume or other personal details!
Should you put your address on your resume?
Yes, you should add some form of location identifier, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be your complete address.
There are different opinions about adding a street address to your resume. Some people find it necessary to have your prospective employer aware of your exact location, while others disagree.
The consensus seems to point towards adding some form of location identifiers, such as adding either a full address or a more abridged version. We’ll break down the main points each camp makes and the pros and cons of each option.
Pros of Adding Your Full Address
Adding a full address to your resume might have some benefits, such as:
Expected by Some Employers
Having a full address on your resume is expected in some cases, like when you’re applying for a government job, since they still use snail mail for their communication.
It’s also important when your employer is an older company that’s a bit traditional in its requirements. The hiring manager, recruiter, or HR manager might be an older person who could be surprised if you leave this information out.
Makes Your Resume ATS (Applicant Tracking System) Friendly
Most, if not all, large companies have a digital applicant tracking system. This software scans incoming resumes for some essential qualifications, like years of experience or fields of expertise, to move them on to the following stage.
Adding your address and zip code can help the ATS spot your resume and move it to the next phase. However, if you don’t live particularly close to the company’s location, this can also mean you’re disqualified based on your current address.
Location preference is especially relevant since most employers set a 15–25 mile radius when searching for new hires. Further, studies show that long commutes negatively affect employees’ health, well-being, and productivity.
Makes The Hiring Process Shorter
A complete address in your resume can shorten the hiring process since the employer will use the information you’ve provided to fill out the forms necessary to put you on the payroll.
But then again, if hired for a position, your new employer will contact you to provide all the missing information to have your paperwork ready for background checks. So be prepared to fill out some forms for prospective employers, even if your resume has most of your data.
Matches Time Zone Compatibility for Remote Positions
If the job you’re applying for is done remotely, sometimes the employer will prefer someone in the same time zone as the other employees.
A complete address is unnecessary in this case, but your location will make a massive difference in the selection process.
Puts You in Consideration for Other Positions
Some companies create profiling systems for their applicants. If you’re rejected from a job you’ve applied to, they can keep your information and contact you with your phone number or email address when a new opening is available.
Adding your full address helps make this profile complete and ready to go if you’re chosen for a different job. It might be the best way to give yourself an edge over other job applicants if the company wants to fill the new position quickly.
Cons of Adding Your Full Address
There are some drawbacks to adding your full address to your resume, even on an entry-level resume, some of which are more serious than others.
Here are some of them in detail:
Personal Security Issues
If you’re adding your resume to a job search forum or a third-party website, putting your full physical address and your name and age can pose a security risk. The least severe outcome would be receiving a bunch of spam mail, but it can be a lot more dangerous.
Some job openings posted online can be scams to collect people’s personal information. Having your home address out there, where everyone can easily access it, can put you at risk of a home invasion or identity theft.
So it’s prudent to filter out this information if you intend to add your resume on a board or a third-party website where many people can see it.
However, if you trust that the company you’re applying directly to is reputable, it’s relatively safe to include a street address on your resume.
Puts You at the Risk of Location Bias and Discrimination
Although it’s illegal and downright dumb in the United States to discriminate against employees based on race, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, or religious affiliation, sometimes biases against other groups can go unchecked. Whether or not they admit it, employers can have preconceived notions about certain socioeconomic groups. If your home happens in a particular area or neighborhood where the standard of living is not that high, you might face discrimination based on your home address. Some recruiters might not be aware of their bias. However, it affects many potential employees, even through indirect discrimination.
And with the current remote working conditions, certain employers can offer you a lower salary if you live in a rural area. So you may want to reconsider adding your full address in this case to avoid the biases some employers have. That said, you can also disregard this so you don’t get hired by a company with a bias.
Sets You up for Unintentional Disqualification
The flip side of optimizing your resume to the ATS software is that you can add “too much” information. For example, you can disqualify yourself from a job by adding a complete address that’s too far from the company you’re applying to based on their standards.
Even if you don’t mind the commute, they’ll still deem your location outside the outlined circle for accepted applications.
The software can be pretty limited, and the 15–25 mile radius they program into it can exclude zip codes in areas with access to highways and fast commuting routes. Your address might cost you a job opportunity because the software picks the resume, not the person.
Gives the Resume an Outdated Look
Last but not least, the habit of adding a full street address can make you look like you’re unaware of the current trends in the job market.
Some employers, especially those who work in high-tech fields, can consider this a bad sign, like you’ve been living under a rock or something.
Takes Up Space on Your Resume
It might seem trivial, but if you’ve had multiple jobs adding to your experience, space on a resume can be pretty tight. You might want to fit everything on one page, and the two (or more) lines taken by a full address can occupy valuable real estate.
You can check out the examples below for other options that can fit the space available in your resume. After all, you don’t have to compromise sleek formatting to cram everything into one page.
How should you put your location on your resume?
If you decide against using your full mailing address on your resume, there are a few ways to add your location to help your employer make their decision without wasting your time.
The first one is adding your City and State, which provides information like your time zone and how long your commute might be.
Example: Chicago, IL
The downside of using this method is that some ATS software looks for specific zip codes to shortlist, so thus the next option is to add City, State, and zip code.
Example: Chicago, IL, 60606
You can also add your metropolitan area in place of the city and state.
Example: The San Francisco Bay Area
The metro area example is beneficial if your actual city is relatively obscure and not easily recognizable but is close to a larger, more well-known city.
What to put on your resume if you’re moving for a job?
If you plan on relocating for the job, to a different state, for example, or if you have general plans to move to a new city and would like to land a job there, there are a few ways to tackle this on your resume.
The first one is to add your current address, but in your cover letter, add the sentence “Open to relocating to City, State.” Adding this note will let the potential employer know you’re an available applicant.
Example: Open to relocating to Brooklyn, New York
If you’ve already made plans to move, including finding a new place and having a timeframe, you should add it in this wording “Relocating to City, State, zip code in Month, Year.”
Example: Relocating to Los Angeles, California, 90210 in October 2022
When applying for an entry-level job, you should know that most employers prefer a local candidate. That’s mainly to avoid adding a relocation package to the job offer.
This unspoken rule seems less critical the higher your position is on the corporate ladder, and that’s because fewer applicants have the experience needed for the job.
If you’re still early in your career, it’s sometimes wise to consider paying for the move yourself. So the employer doesn’t immediately disqualify you, you can communicate this on your resume by saying you’re “self-relocating” to the city and state in question.
Example: Self-relocating to Baltimore, MD
You can still negotiate for relocation help even if you say you’re doing it yourself, it never hurts to ask, and your employer might be accommodating.
What to do if you live far from the company without relocation plans?
With the rise of COVID-19, Americans are working remotely more than ever before. Remote work has led to more flexibility on employers’ part when choosing qualified candidates to add to their workforce. This trend seems to focus more on companies of a larger caliber than smaller ones.
If a company is open to filling a position remotely, you should fill your resume as you would when applying for a local job. If they’re in a different time zone, add information to your cover letter explaining your flexibility to your time zone.
However, you shouldn’t omit your location from a resume in hopes the employer won’t notice. Most employers can deduce where you live based on previous positions and education information.
Omitting your location can filter your resume via applicant tracking system software. Besides, your employer will know your location sooner or later in the hiring process if you do pass initial filtration.
On the rare occasion the employer fails to mention the possibility of remote working, you can ask about it in your cover letter. You should be upfront about your unwillingness to relocate, and the employer can either accept it or move on to another candidate.
The most important thing is to never lie about your location on your resume. Aside from the fact that large companies need to verify your documents before you start working, you can’t possibly lie on official documents like tax forms without consequences.
Should you put your address on your resume? Summary
So, should job seekers put their addresses on a resume during the job application process?
It’s justified to have reservations about including your full address on a resume, especially when avoiding biases. Plus, it’s an outdated practice that takes up valuable space. People use email and phones to communicate way more than traditional mail.
Yet, you might want to check all the right boxes to attract attention with your resume and get on the ATS’s good side. In some cases, it’s best to include an abridged version of your location in the form of City, State, and zip code. It gives away just the right amount of info!
If you’re looking for more information on building a resume, understanding how far back a resume should go or answering difficult interview questions such as “Why should we hire you?” and “Why do you want to work here?” please continue to browse our site.