Should You Include Your Address on Your Resume?
Should you put your physical home address on your resume, or is it better not to include it? There are different perspectives on providing detailed contact information to prospective employers, and the answer is that “it depends.” What you list on your resume as your address depends on the type of employer, the position, where you live and if you plan on moving, your privacy concerns, and how you’re applying for jobs.
When You Should (and Should Not) Include an Address on a Resume
Some companies won’t consider applicants who don’t provide an address, or they may wonder what you are trying to hide since a traditional resume typically lists your home address. An employer may be seeking candidates who live in a specific geographic area; if so, they don’t want to have to dig to find out where you reside.
Applicants, however, may be concerned about privacy or whether they won’t be contacted for an interview if they don’t live near enough to the company that’s hiring. There are also concerns about scams and who you can safely share your personal information with when you’re job hunting.
How should you list your contact information on your resume? The best way to determine when you should include your physical address on your resume—and when you should leave it off—is to decide on a case-by-case basis as you apply for jobs.
Privacy is always a concern when you’re submitting personal information by email or online. However, there are many different ways your identity can be stolen, and your resume isn’t at the top of the list. In fact, your physical mailbox can be cause for concern, and there are many other ways identities are stolen. The most common complaints about identity theft include government/benefits fraud, credit card fraud, phone and utility fraud, and bank fraud—not resume fraud.
That’s not to say it isn’t a concern. Even if you feel comfortable including your physical address on your resume, never include identifying information such as your social security number, driver’s license number, age, date of birth, marital status, or any other personal information. None of this information is relevant to getting hired, and you definitely don’t want to set yourself up for fraud by sharing too much information about yourself.
Note, however, there are two exceptions to this:
- If you are submitting a CV to many countries in Europe or the Middle East, information like date of birth and marital status are often required in order for the application to be reviewed.
- Those applying for federal jobs are required to provide the last four digits of their social security number on their resume.
The best way to ensure your privacy is secure, as best you can, is to be diligent about who you share your resume with. It will take a little extra time, but if you’re careful to make sure the job you’re about to apply for isn’t a scam and the company is legitimate, you’ll have less to worry about. Also take precautions, in general, to protect yourself from identity theft.
Depending on where you live, employers may be concerned about your commute. If you’re applying for a job in a large city, the company may prefer applicants who can get to work quickly and easily without a lengthy commute.
It’s the same scenario with remote locations. If the job is in a small town in the middle of nowhere, the hiring manager may want candidates who don’t have a long drive to work. If you don’t list an address, the employer will have no idea if the commute is viable, or not.
When You’re Relocating
When you’re relocating for a job as an out-of-town candidate, it’s important to do your best to get your resume noticed. If you don’t list your physical address but your employment history shows that all the positions you’ve held are hundreds of miles away from the hiring company’s location, the employer will probably guess something’s up. If you don’t have an address you can use at the new location, it can be a better strategy to mention the fact that you’re relocating in your cover letter. Another option is to include “relocating” as part of your address.
For example, “Relocating to Tampa, Florida” instead of your home address in a different state.
Required vs. Optional Information
If you’re applying for a job with the federal government, your home address is required information. Many other government and civil service jobs also require a permanent address.
For jobs where local residency is a requirement, an address will be expected on your resume. Some employers may specify where they want applicants to live when they post a job opening. For example: “Must live in Metro New York area” or “Must Live in North Carolina.” If the job posting specifies a location, make it easy for the recruiter to learn where you live by including your address on your resume.
Some job postings specify that only candidates who provide a resume and cover letter will be considered. If your resume is lacking information (like your address) that the hiring manager expects to see, you may be knocked out of contention for the job before you even get a chance to interview.
Where and How You Are Applying for Jobs
Where and how you apply can also make a difference. If you’re emailing a resume to a random job posting on Craigslist that lists a personal rather than a professional email address, for example, you should be cautious about including an address. This particularly applies if the job advertisement does not mention the name of the hiring company or organization. There are some important red flags to watch for when you’re job hunting on Craigslist.
When you’re applying directly to a hiring manager, on a company website, or sending your resume to a connection at a company, include your email address. If you’re not sure, learn more about the company and the job and how to avoid scams before you decide whether to apply.
If you found the opening on a job board, check to see if the job is listed on the company’s website. If it is, apply directly on the company site. That way your resume won’t be funneled through a third-party job board, and will end up directly in the company’s applicant tracking system.
When the job or the company sounds shady, search the company name, along with terms like “fraud,” “scam,” and “rip-off,” to see if anyone has complained about the organization. Check out Glassdoor’s company reviews to learn about the pros and cons of a company from people who have worked there.
Options for When You Don’t Want to Use Your Address
What should you include on your resume if you don’t want to list your physical address? There are several alternatives you can use:
- No Address (may be acceptable for a remote job)
- City/State (New York, New York)
- City/State/Zip Code (Cleveland, OH 44101)
- Region (Greater Salt Lake City Area)
- Relocating to City Name (Relocating to Augusta, Georgia)
Helping Yourself Get Hired
When you’re making decisions about what to include on your resume—whether it’s your address, some of the jobs you’ve worked at in the past, or information that may be considered extraneous—it’s important to keep in mind that your goal in writing your resume is to get hired. You want to make it as easy as possible for an employer to decide to schedule an interview and, eventually, offer you the job.
Focus on highlighting your most relevant attributes for each job you apply for, taking the time to match your qualifications to the position, and tweaking your resume so it gets past the screening systems and noticed by recruiters.