Should You Put Your Address on Your Resume?
In the past, it was necessary to include your full mailing address on your resume because employers would often respond to your application via physical mail. However, since most communication surrounding the job application process now happens online or over the phone, it’s now considered optional to include your address.
This article will cover the pros and cons of including your address on your resume as well as options for what to do instead if you choose not to list your mailing address.
Pros of Including Your Address on Your Resume
There are several reasons you may want to include your mailing address on your resume:
Some Employers May Still Expect It
Since including your mailing address on your resume was the standard for a long time, some employers may still expect to see that information. But, many employers are realizing that sharing sensitive information like your home address is no longer necessary since communication modalities have evolved.
In some cases, an employer might not end up hiring you for the position that you applied for, but they may want to keep your application on file for potential future job opportunities. If so, they may create an applicant profile with your name, address, and other pertinent details, and omitting your mailing address could cause them to skip over creating an applicant profile for you. This is particularly relevant when you are applying to companies that have multiple offices or locations, as your location dictates which positions are suitable for you.
Demonstrate Proximity to the Workplace
On that same note, including your address can give you a slight advantage over other candidates if you live closer to the workplace than they do. Living nearby means that the employer won’t have to worry about you relocating or getting burned out by a long commute. Plus, employees who live nearby are generally less likely to show up late for work, which is always a plus for employers.
Streamline Background Checks
For some positions, an employer may run a background check on job candidates, and the process usually requires an up-to-date physical address. But, employers will generally only run the background check later in the hiring process (after you have been interviewed, usually) so they can always ask for your address at that time if you don’t feel comfortable including it on your resume.
Pass ATS Scans
Many companies now use applicant tracking systems (ATSs) to automatically weed out unqualified candidates before a human hiring manager ever looks at submitted job applications. The hiring manager inputs keywords that describe desired traits, experience, skills, and so forth and the ATS then scans each resume that is submitted to determine how well it matches up to the keywords.
Although the exact specs of ATSs aren’t known (to prevent applicants from gaming the system), some have suggested that ATSs will automatically reject a resume that does not have an address on it. However, this has not been proven, and, in all likelihood, simply including your city and state of residence may be enough to pass an ATS scan of this nature.
Cons of Including Your Address on Your Resume
There are also several compelling arguments against including your full address on your resume:
Takes Up Space
Space on your resume is limited and therefore precious, and including a lengthy mailing address can take up a significant chunk of space.
Limit your resume to one page if you have less than ten years of experience in your industry and two pages if you have more experience than that. Hiring managers will likely only spend a few seconds scanning your resume, so it’s important to keep it focused and succinct.
It can be in your best interest to use the space that would be taken up by your address to instead include more details about your work experience, education, or skills.
Could Raise Concerns About Relocation or Long Commute
On the flip side, if you don’t live particularly close to the workplace, including your address can be seen as a negative if the employer is concerned about relocation, long commutes, and so forth.
If you are currently living in Texas but are planning to move to Montana and thus applying for jobs in Missoula, you can always make a note of your relocation plans on your resume and/or your cover letter to avoid confusion or automatic rejection based on your location.
Or, you can opt not to include your address - but your non-local phone number area code might give you away anyways.
Potential for Bias or Discrimination
While there are laws aimed at preventing discrimination in the workplace and specifically aimed at making the hiring process more fair, there unfortunately are still some instances of bias and discrimination. And sadly, even including a mailing address on a resume can cause this - the address may indicate that you live in an area that is stereotyped to be home to a certain demographic and hiring managers may reject an application solely on that unfair basis.
Of course, you likely wouldn’t want to work for an employer who stereotypes job candidates based on their addresses anyways, but it’s still something to keep in mind when deciding whether to include your address on your resume.
It can be concerning to include your home address on a resume and then not have control over who sees it.
If you are worried about your safety or security, it is perfectly acceptable to omit your home address specifics.
There are a few different options for handling your location details besides including your entire mailing address:
- Omit your location entirely - you can provide it later in the hiring process when you’ve established trust with the employer
- Include the area or region - such as ‘Greater Seattle Area’
- Include your city and state only - such as ‘Seattle, WA’
- Include your city, state, and ZIP/postal code - such as ‘Seattle, WA, 98115’
- Include your relocation plans - such as ‘Relocating to the Seattle, WA area in January 2022’
Where to Include Your Location Information
Typically, your location information should be listed in your resume header, along with your full name, email address, phone number, and LinkedIn URL. You could also opt for a two-column resume format, where your name spans the top and your contact/location details are placed in one of the columns.
Including your full mailing address on your resume is no longer required. Although there are several pros and cons for including it, the decision is ultimately up to you and your comfort levels with sharing the information. You can opt to omit your location entirely, include some information about where you live, or provide your entire mailing address if you prefer.
Need help creating a resume (with or without your address on it)? Consider using Jobseeker’s professional resume creation tool - you can enter your information, try out different formats and styles, and then download your polished resume instantly when you are happy with how it looks!