Poll: Putting Your Address On Your Resume

by Sharlyn Lauby on May 8, 2012

I received a comment the other day that intrigued me.

In today’s world, why would someone include their address on the resume?  The top of the resume should be name, e-mail and phone number. If a company has an interest in the applicant, they’re going to either call or e-mail.

At first read, this makes sense. Do you really need to include your address on your resume? Then I thought about it a bit more. Is it possible that not listing an address could be a red flag?

So, I thought it would be interesting to do a quick poll. Here’s the question:

Thanks for participating in the poll. If you have some input or recommendations, please leave them in the comments below. I’ll be sure to republish the results in a week or so.

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{ 17 comments }

Kelly O May 8, 2012 at 7:02 am

I will say that in a large city like Houston (where I live) I know I have been removed from consideration from some opportunities because I live “too far away” for the employer’s taste.

Although I certainly don’t want a two-hour commute, I would like to be the one to decide what is an appropriate commute for myself.

Richard Pachter May 8, 2012 at 8:06 am

Well, if you’re applying for a job in, say, Miami, and live in, oh, West Boca, it raises a question re: willingness to commute. But I always include my address (along with my email and Twitter), since my work experience does indeed indicate my willingness to travel a bit for the right opportunity..
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Sofolahan Soewu May 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

A mailing address on your resume is more a personal choice, but isn’t a disqualifier when reviewing resumes. Some recruiters/companies overlook the address and don’t give it any second thought. However, for many others, it could give some indication of whether or not a candidate could be suitable for certain job types. In some instances, companies could be looking for candidates that reside within a specific location, so as to reduce the overall costs and inconvenience to the potential employee in order to ensure a certain level of productivity is achieved.

Personally, I think it is better for a candidate to have all information perceived necessary on a resume to reduce the probability of being asked questions that could have been answered by an initial review of the resume.

Corey Feldman May 8, 2012 at 10:23 am

Include your address. For the simple reason computers are dump and many resumes go through an automatic import process. Your resume might get lost if it is missing what the system “feels” is key information
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Ron Katz May 8, 2012 at 11:04 am

Sharlyn,
I used to insist on an address but nowadays it doesn’t bother me if it’s missing. It’s not like I’m going to write the candidate a letter! I don’t want to be influenced by where the person lives unless there’s a relo involved in hiring them.
@Kelly O, I agree, let the candidate decide. If they applied they must be willing to commute.
@Corey, you make an excellent point about getting screened out on account of missing information. Computers are dumb. Best argument I’ve heard for keeping the address on the resume.
Thanks Sharlyn!
Only the best,
Ron

Paul Guddat May 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

An address is important because most candidates only have a cell phone and that does not determine where a candidate is now living. Interview expenses and relocation costs are a factor in the selection process. When a company is trying to set up flight arrangements an address and phone number are required by the airlines. If this information is not known then someone has to contact the candidate and that could be an issue if someone is unavailable during normal work hours.
If a company has several qualified resumes the company may contact the candidates that have all their contact information on the first round.
When you fill out an application you have to give your address.

Ginger May 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Great question! The last time I was job searching, I was living two hours away from the city in which I wanted to work. My husband and I had decided to move. We were moving regardless of any relocation package that may or may not be offered. It was really discouraging to apply to companies that stated a candidate MUST be local. That just didn’t make sense in my situation. If I get the job, I will be local! I wasn’t even requesting any relocation. Eventually, I decided to…duhn, duhn, duhn: LIE ON MY RESUME and use my parents’ address. They were local.

I agree – let the candidate decide if they want to commute, if they want to relocate at their own expense, etc. I don’t see the address field falling off of online applications anytime soon. And if working for a talent management vendor has taught me anything – you don’t leave application fields blank if you don’t have to! Most of those fields are “scored” and address is an unfortunate way to lose ranking.

Here’s another topic of conversation: is it ever okay to lie on a resume? They were talking about this on the Today Show this morning.

Sharlyn Lauby May 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Thanks everyone for sharing your expertise! Corey brings up a great point about applicant tracking systems. I can’t wait to see the final results.

Karin May 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I really do not get the “red flag” issue. Until you actually connect with someone you have absolutely zero way of knowing whether or not they will “relocate themselves because that is what they planned on anyway” or “are quite capable of deciding how much of a commute they can handle”.

ATS could simply allow a person to include information that indicates their understanding of where the job is located and acknowledge that getting to work when required will not be a problem.

Why arbitrarily eliminate potentially great candidates based on an assumption that could be entirely inaccurate?

Veronica Rogers May 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Personally, I think it is important to include your address in your resume because I think it might give the company some help in finding you or locating you in case your contact details are unavailable. So what’s the result of the poll? Anyway, thanks a lot for posting this. I also think that many people will have different thoughts about this matter.

Katherine Razzi May 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I think everyone has some good points here, but I would think the address would be of particular value to HR when recruiting to decide whether the company wants or requires someone to live close to the company for a variety of reasons. Insisting that a candidate live within so many miles of the company upon applying may be an alternative to including an address on the resume, but it may deter good candidates from applying altogether if they think the company sounds bias. Additionally, times being what they are, many of us in the working class may be stuck in our homes, unable to move, or have children in school and not likely to move them just for a job. Of course, the latter is subject to change should the position’s salary be a offer one cannot refuse.

I think HR would benefit from having addresses on resumes for the following reasons.

1. Living closer to work, you should have no excuse for being late most of the time, even in inclement weather.

2. Living closer to work, employers don’t really have to offer any assistance to compensate for extra $ for travel expenses; gas, mileage, train/bus fare. It may even be a deal breaker in salary negotiations if the candidate has figured in his or her travel expenses.

3. Depending on the position and nature of the work, maybe an employee needs to be on call and available to come in on off-hours and weekends.

4. Living closer to work may decrease the odds of being in accidents on the way to or from. I’ve seen this happen twice where I’m working now and it took quite a toll on the rest of the staff when these employees were suddenly out for weeks at a time. Granted that one can get into an accident steps away from home or work, but what are the odds? I’d wager that the law of averages will back me up on that one, whereby the longer you are traveling (time-wise) the more likely you could have an incident due to several factors.

5. Finally, I think it’s just common sense to put your address on your resume. The hiring employer is going to find out sooner or later if you are hired. If I were HR, I’d want to know that the candidate in question is “anchored” somewhere and not a roving gypsy – unless that was their previous job!

MarieC July 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm

KellyO,
I have seen this practice done and I agree it should be your decision regarding your commute. With that being said, doing a quick check to determine the distance provides a conversation opener when calling to discuss the possibilty of an interview.

Drew October 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm

From all of the comments, there seems to be some confusion. If you fill out an application, then of course, you must include your address. Leave no spaces blank. But to abitarily include your address on your resume when applying for your job is not necessary. Many times today, we are seeing both. That in order to apply for a job, that you must fill out an application. But, that would be the only time that I would give it. If applying for a job where you only have to initially send in a resume, I would leave the address off.
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Teri January 9, 2013 at 9:28 pm

In this day and age I feel completely unsafe including my home address for strangers I have never met. Also, who knows who will be looking at your resume. A city and zip code, email and cell number is plenty of info to give out to the public. I’m a female and it sounds insane, absolutely nuts to post my home address!! I’ve never included my address and have always been called because of the real meat of the matter… my record of employment.

Teri January 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm

http://thecareerexperts.com/3-reasons-never-to-include-your-street-address-on-your-resume/

This is a dangerous world and no one should be obligated to give out their home address until they take a job. Period.

Sharlyn Lauby January 10, 2013 at 8:39 am

Thanks for the comment Teri. I think a lot of people are starting to share your thoughts.

Sarah April 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Buy a P.O.Box in a nice area of town especially if you’re living someplace “seedy”. People really do look at your address.

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