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

Address on Resume

by Donna Svei on February 2, 2014

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 (Stutzer & Frey). They’re also a lot more likely to get divorced (Sandow).

The Problem

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 tolerable long-term, your resume often finds its way into the “maybe” or “no” pile.

The Fix

Instead of giving your address, 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 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 LifeHackerFastCompany, and SmartBriefOnYourCareer.

 

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


Comment or Question from
Steve Gallison
1 yr 2 mos

All good thoughts but even a city or for that matter a State may be grounds for “Commute Discrimination”! I always suggest that if this was the dream job would you be willing to re-locate and if so put that information at the end of a Career Summary.

Hi Steve,

Thank you for this. I don’t get that from an employer’s location. It just tells me they manage to get themselves there from somewhere. Who knows? Maybe my client’s location is closer to home for a candidate!

It’s always interesting to see how other people interpret information. That’s one of my favorite aspects of blogging. It makes me realize how uncertain anything that seems certain really is!

Kind regards,

Donna

Comment or Question from
David Ayer
1 yr 2 mos

As I’ve never seen a résumé without a full home address front and centre, it’s most intriguing to give this a re-think. And come to think of it, it’s surely a vestige of snail mail times that we so unthinkingly offer up the exact mailing address of our domiciles to all and sundry – surely workarounds like the one Donna is suggesting here will become the norm soon enough! But for those currently unemployed, Donna, do you really suggest using the address of their last employer at the top of the document? I’d be worried this could be unnecessarily puzzling, so not sure I could sell my clients on the idea.

Hi David,

Thank you for your clarifying question. I added a link to a sample resume above.

Kind regards,

Donna

Comment or Question from
Kathy Bernard
1 yr 2 mos

I usually just put the city / state on clients’ resumes, like this:
Oakland, CA | 510-000-0000 | name@companyname.com | LinkedIn address

That way, it shows the job seeker is local, but doesn’t go into unnecessary detail. Kathy

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for this. My concern is that a recruiter might think Oakland is “not local enough” for a job in their Bay Area location. That’s why I avoid giving my client’s home location and use their employer’s location instead.

Donna

Comment or Question from
Judi hays
1 yr 2 mos

Valid points. How would you approach applying for jobs in a different city?

Hi Judi,

The same question came up on LinkedIn this morning. Here’s what I wrote:

I recently worked with a resume client who wanted to move across the U.S. He was willing to pay his own relocation costs. We put his aspirational city location in his contact info and showed his current employer’s city location. We also put a line at the bottom of his resume that said, “Willing to relocate to [desired location] at own expense.” It worked.

Donna

Comment or Question from
Tom Bolt
1 yr 2 mos

Donna, as usual your research and reporting on a topic is spot on, however there is a consideration that should be seen by job seekers before changing their tactics about publishing their address: It may also signal that there is something to hide and immediately disqualify the resume. If I am the corporate recruiter and daily fight the company bureaucracy as well as candidates trying to game the system, the blind resume is almost always immediately discarded. If I am an outside recruiter trying to find the best fit, the address is less relevant than the qualifications to do the job and we will discuss the requirements for relocation or commuting honestly before moving forward. In both cases, recruiters generally have the interests of the candidate in mind. Believe it or not, it is not always an adversarial relationship that requires stealth and deceit on either side to make a connection and a good hire.

Hi Tom,

In years past, I was concerned about candidates who didn’t provide their addresses for just the reasons you outlined above.

Now, as concerns about identify theft have become realistic, and most communication is electronic (thus no need to snail mail applicants for any reason), I think people can provide general metropolitan area information and be OK. It’s definitely a “best resume practice” in transition. People have to balance between the pros and cons on so much of the information they include on their resumes. In the end, they have to weigh what seems best for them and make an informed decision. I appreciate you raising this perspective for people to consider.

I’m curious to hear what other people think about this topic!

Thank you,

Donna

 

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