The Real Reason You Shouldn’t Put Your Address on Your Resume

Address on Resume

by Donna Svei on February 2, 2014

Address on resume — yes or no? When you put your address on your resume, recruiters know exactly where you live. This matters because a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40% more money to be as happy with life as someone who walks to the office.

Address on Resume = Recruiter Math

You might not have thought about it, but in-house recruiters know that people with long commutes have more stress and often eventually quit “because of the commute.” If you quit, they don’t look good, AND they have to replace you. That’s more work, with no more money, for them.

When you put your address on your resume, believe me, they do the math. If your commute would be longer than what’s known to be tolerable long-term, your resume often finds its way into the “maybe” or “no” pile.

The Fix

Instead of giving your address on your resume, give your current or most recent employer’s city location, like this:

The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, GA (if you work at the mother ship)

or

The Coca-Cola Company, Oakland, CA (if you work at a branch office)

Sharing your employer’s city places you in a broad metropolitan area.  It gives recruiters enough information to know that you’re local (if you are), without sharing that you’re not local enough (if you aren’t).

Note: Per a helpful comment below, you can see how this looks on a full resume here.

More

Beyond the push to get a job, think about the stats in this post’s opening paragraph when you decide where to live and where to apply for work. Working close to home can make you and your family happier and prevent you from looking like a job hopper on your resume.

Hat tip to The Guardian for the terrific article that led me to these stats: The Secrets of the World’s Happiest Cities.

More evidence here as of April 2015: How Commute Issues Can Dramatically Impact Employee Retention.

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at donnasvei@gmail.com or call me at (208) 721-0131. 

Image:  © carlos_bcn – Fotolia.com 

Featured on LifeHackerFast Company, and Smart Brief.

 

Leave a Reply

15 Comments on "The Real Reason You Shouldn’t Put Your Address on Your Resume"


Ed
1 yr 3 mos

What if your current employer and home are in the same town? I’m in that situation, and applying for jobs in Boston, about an hour away.

Ed, I would probably show my employer’s location and leave mine off. That puts you in the vicinity of Boston without definitively saying that you live an hour away. Donna

1 yr 4 mos

They will find out your address someway. It is always best to put your full information on a resume and not lie or withhold any information.

They certainly can if they want to Caleb. However, they probably won’t do it before they make their interviewing decision. Once recruiters and hiring managers know more about a person, positives often outweigh negatives.

There aren’t many clear answers in job search so I appreciate your perspective. Looking at issues from multiple angles helps job seekers evaluate where they fit and decide on a course of action.

Thank you,

Donna

1 yr 5 mos

Good post. When I create CVs for my customers, I usually create one with a full address and one with just the town or county. The latter is for uploading online. Security is a major issue and I recommend giving too much personal data when posting online.

Thank you David. Donna

Shel M. Carandang
1 yr 5 mos

Hi Donna,

Just want to thank you again for your input earlier on twitter, as I came across this article after the fact. Sorry about that. Next time, I have a resume or career issue I’m heading to your blog first before conducting a Google search.

I have to agree with you about the fact that a job candidate’s home address takes up essential space on a resume, that can be better used on value added material. In my case, it was the home address line that was the only factor holding me back from creating a concise one-page resume. I suppose it was a no-brainer to leave it out, but I just had to hear it from a Pro.

Donna, you provide such a valuable service for us job/career seekers. Can’t thank you enough. It seems down the road when I am financially ready to relocate to Dallas from San Diego I’ll be contacting you directly to make use of your services to butcher or polish up my resume and LinkedIn profile. Simply impressed with your background, accomplishments, and kindness of helping those in need.

Regards,
Shel

Wow, Shel, thank you! What a lovely way to start the week.

Kind regards,

Donna

1 yr 5 mos

Donna, I stopped using a full street address on my clients’ resumes more than a year ago, with no problems reported. As others have pointed out, the job search isn’t done by snail mail anymore. Providing your street address doesn’t add any value to the process. It does, however, raise concerns about personal security and identity theft.

And one other concern I didn’t see mentioned elsewhere: the practice of recruiters running your street address through a real estate database like Zillow to determine home value–and use that as a factor in negotiations. Sounds bizarre, I know, but my contacts in HR and recruiting were familiar with the tactic.

Robert

They actually show previous purchase prices on Zillow and other Internet locations…which would let a company estimate your mortgage…smart background research for them to do…with a TOTAL creeper feel to it. Thank you for the heads up on this Robert. Donna

David McKay
1 yr 5 mos

Would you REALLY put “US Resident Alien.” on a resume? Seriously?

Hi David,

Good question. I have placed many people from other countries in the U.S. and the EU. In those cases, employment eligibility is often a concern.

The questions go like this:

1. Can we legally employ this person here?
2. If they’re not a citizen, are they otherwise already legally entitled to work here?
3. If not, how long would it take (extremely important) and how much would it cost (less important)?

Because of this, when there is any potential question about someone’s work eligibility, and they are fully eligible, I spell it out on the resume. Not doing this could easily cost them the opportunity to interview.

In the case you ask about, U.S. Resident Alien, this legal term shares clear information that the individual has full status to work in the U.S. long-term without any visa, time, or cost issues.

Thank you for asking about this!

Donna

Minh
1 yr 5 mos

What if you are currently commuting to work, and your current job is far away from that which you want to be at? For instance, I currently live with a friend an hour away from an apartment I still have a lease on to commute an hour to go to work, but I want to apply to a job that is within commuting distance of my apartment that I still have the lease on. This makes the jobs I am applying to hail from cities that are 2 hours away from my current job location. What should I do?

Good question Minh. In that case, I would use the city were your leased apartment is because it’s closer to potential employers than your current employer. Thank you, Donna

Jesse Mei
1 yr 5 mos

I have been working remotely for a company based in another state for four years. The nearest major city is about a 35-45 minute commute. In the past, interviewers have remarked on what a long commute it is from Small Town, USA. What would be the best way to handle the ‘no address’ on a new resume?

That’s a tough one Jesse. Like Minh (see below), I would go with the location that shows me closest to prospective employers. Thank you, Donna

Malcolm
1 yr 5 mos

I don’t care about a physical address when I’m reviewing resumes. I’m not a recruiter, but I’m involved in recruiting. I do care about email, phone, and time zone though. And i care if you have a decent internet connection. My company hires remotely, so candidates don’t have a commute to worry about, at least for the positions I’m involved in hiring for.

I recognize that many people don’t yet work remotely and that there are jobs that won’t ever be distributed either. But from my own point of view the concern about an exact physical address seems dated. If the person is hired though, we do need that for records, to ship stuff to, etc.

When review resumes I want to see contact info: email, phone, name, city. I want to see what you’ve done that’s notable, and your skills, and that you’re legal to work in my country. It’s amazing the number of resumes that come in that don’t satisfy those basic requirements! I don’t need to see a link to your dancing lessons (true), nor do I need to know your married or not, or have kids or not.

Thank you Malcolm. Donna

1 yr 5 mos

Hi Donna,

I have not used a physical address on my personal resume for years, and I have advised clients that it is no longer a requirement to have it there (some choose to include it, and that’s fine) for the reasons you’ve cited above, as well as the concerns with identity theft, etc. Employers rarely use snail mail to communicate with candidates these days, so the address doesn’t really add value–it provides another chance to lose out on an opportunity for reasons other than qualifications and ability to do the job. It also gives a little bit more real estate on the resume, which can be used to provide info that does add value, such as social media profile links. Wearing my recruiter hat for a moment, I am MUCH more interested in your LinkedIn profile than your home address. If as recruiters the objective is to identify the best possible candidates for the job, then we ought to be looking for more ways to include good candidates than somewhat arbitrary (in some cases) reasons for rejecting them.

Awesome Warren. Thank you for the wonderful “guest post!” Donna

 

Previous post:

Next post: