One of the first things that a hiring manager sees on your resume is your address—it’s usually near the very top!
However, in an age when physical mail is becoming passé, how important is it to write your address on your resume?
1. Should I Put My Address On My Resume?
While it’s traditional to write your address on your resume, it’s not required. Whether or not you include it depends on your:
- Priorities (Are you worried about privacy or security reasons?)
- Circumstances (Are you applying from out of town? Do you have the space for it?)
If you’re not sure what to do, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of putting your addressing on your resume so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
2. Address On Resume Pros
Pro 1: It Looks Less Suspicious If You Include It
Since it’s common practice to write your address on your resume, hiring managers expect to see it.
Therefore, if you don’t include your address, it immediately triggers red flags in hiring managers’ heads, and makes them question why you left it off. This could cause hiring managers to disregard your resume, ending the bid for your target job before it really began.
Pro 2: Preferred by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
An important aspect of applying for jobs today is knowing how ATS software works, because nearly 40 percent of employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen candidates for their job openings.
ATS software filters resumes by locating certain key terms, and for certain pieces of software, your address is one of those key terms. By leaving out your address on your resume, you may accidentally put yourself out of the running.
Pro 3: Your Employer Might Need It for Their Records
When you apply for a job, a company often starts compiling a record with your files in it. An important piece of information for these files would be your contact information, which includes your mailing address. If you choose to not include your address on your resume, you could unwittingly cause your employer to reject your application because it’s incomplete.
Pro 4: Your Employer Might Need It for Background Checks
In recent years, employment background checks have become common practice, with 96% of employers using them to screen applicants. If your employer is running a criminal background check, a current address helps with determining which jurisdictions to pull records from. By withholding your address, securing a complete background check becomes more difficult for your employer, which affects whether your resume continues through the application process.
3. Address On Resume Cons
Con 1: It Feels Outdated
In the age of the internet, few people would use a mailing address as their primary communication method. Because of this, you might feel that cramming in an address is a waste of space on your already crowded resume. Some job seekers would argue that as long as you include your phone number and your email, that will be enough contact information for your employer to get ahold of you.
Con 2: Security Risks
If you’re applying for your job through a third party, like a job search board, you may feel apprehensive about writing your address because you’re not sure how many people will have access to your resume. If this causes you to feel unsafe, or if you would like to go through more privacy protections before disclosing your address, exercise your right to abstain from giving out your address.
Con 3: Distance Bias
If your employer is looking for local talent, including a non-local address might cause hiring managers to trash your resume immediately.
Long commutes have a detrimental effect on employees’ health and productivity, and some employers may go so far as to use your address to determine your commute. If you live too far from work, employers may be hesitant to bring you on.
Con 4: Location Bias
Certain zip codes may be considered undesirable areas, making some job seekers hesitant to reveal their address in fear of being judged. While employment discrimination based on race, religion, or sex is prohibited under U.S. law, discrimination based on socioeconomic status is legal and not as widely talked about.
Unfortunately, it’s possible that once a hiring manager learns that you’re from a particular area, their social biases will stop them from calling you in for an interview.
Con 5: It Takes Up Space
No matter how experienced you are, it’s generally not recommended to have your resume run longer than one page. Because of this, if including your address forces your resume to extend to two pages, it’s better to nix it in favor of cleanliness and presentation. And since most people don’t correspond by mail, your address is a logical choice for being the first piece of information to go.
4. How to Write Your Address On A Resume
Now that you have some reasons to consider regarding whether to list your address on your resume, you may be curious about what options you have for writing it.
Here are a few ways you can include it:
Option 1: Full Address
If you want to go the conventional route, you can use your full address. List it near the top of the page, and use abbreviations to make it fit on one line if possible.
466 Blue Spruce Lane, Baltimore, MD 21202
Option 2: No Address
On the other extreme, you could also leave no address. If you choose this option, make sure you give employers at least one other form of reliable contact information, like your phone number or email address, so they can still notify you about interviews.
Option 3: Just the City and State
If you’re worried about people tracking you down by your exact address, you can also simply leave just the city and state you live in. That way, employers know roughly how long your commute is, and whether or not you’re a local candidate. If you want to be careful, you can leave your zip code, since some ATS software uses zip codes for screening applicants.
- Baltimore, MD
- Baltimore, MD 21202
Option 4: Region or Area
You can also include the region you live in to let the hiring manager know more or less your general location. Include your zip code if you want to make sure the ATS doesn’t skip over you.
- Baltimore Metropolitan Area
- Baltimore Metropolitan Area 21202
Option 5: Relocating to (City, State)
If you’re not local but still want to be considered a viable candidate, simply include a line that states “Relocating to City, State in Month, Year” near the top of your resume. Add the likely zip code to increase your chances of appeasing the ATS.
- Relocating to Baltimore, MD in September 2019
- Relocating to Baltimore, MD 21202 in September 2019
5. When should you include your country on your address?
If you’re relocating or willing to relocate internationally, write your country into the address section of your resume. While some might think it’s a risk, it’s better to be upfront about where you’re currently based and your intentions when it comes to moving for your job.
69 Wrexham Rd, Fairholm, ML9 2ZX United Kingdom
Relocating to Baltimore, MD 21202 in September 2019
6. Conclusion: Better Safe Than Sorry
At the end of the day, your main goal should be to get your resume past the ATS and in front of human eyes, even if it’s only for 6 valuable seconds. So if writing some form of your address on your resume will increase your chances, it’s better to be safe than sorry and add it.