So you're ready to start applying for your next job. But you're not sure about the correct format to use for the address on your resume. Or you may even wonder if you should include one in the first place.
To make you feel better, these are common questions that applicants ask during their job hunt. Besides, even HR experts have contrasting opinions about physical addresses on resumes.
Today's guide will provide a thorough explanation of how to put your address on a resume. We'll also go over the pros and cons of revealing your location and how that may affect your job search success.
Let's get started.
What is the right way to add an address to your resume?
First things first, you must know where the address should come on the page before you think about how to write it. This is important because each section in your resume has to showcase specific details about you.
In the case of your address of residence, it should always be featured in the resume header. This makes it easier for recruiters to find your location with the rest of your contact details.
There have been major developments in how resumes are written over the past few decades. You can clearly see that difference if you take a closer look at how addresses on resumes are formatted today.
With the current trends, job applicants are no longer required to include their full physical addresses. That's simply due to how easier it is for employers to reach out to applicants online throughout the hiring process.
So if you're applying for a job in the U.S. or Canada, you only have to include the city and state you live in. This format is best because it keeps your contact details safe while giving the employer the information they need.
Your address should look something like this:
- New York City, NY
- Anjou, Montreal
- Chicago, IL
In other parts of the world, you may be required to add a more precise location. For example, it's common for job seekers in Europe to put their complete addresses including the street and Zip code. The reason for that are their strict GDPR laws that keep safe personal information like resumes.
What are the advantages of including an address on your resume?
Prove that you live nearby
Long commutes to work every day will have a negative toll on any employee, no matter how motivated they are at the start. It can also be a cause of a lot of absenteeism and a lack of overall productivity.
Because of that, recruiters hiring for on-site positions are concerned about the location of their applicants. In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons why addresses are still required to this day.
A hiring company can ask for specific locations in the job description. By showing that you live nearby the area, you'll put yourself ahead of most applicants that don't feature an address.
Leave a pleasant impression with an in-person interview
Being a local applicant grants you a major advantage when it comes to making a strong lasting impression. While virtual meetings were on the rise during the pandemic, more and more companies are going back to physical interviews to hire candidates.
When you meet the recruiter in person for an interview, you'll be able to establish trust quickly and move to the more important stuff. You'll also have the chance to showcase your best personality traits and interpersonal skills.
Make yourself easily reachable
By providing the correct address on your resume, you'll make it easy for recruiters to reach out to you. This is especially true in many parts of the world where sending documents via physical mail is still a common practice.
Get past applicant tracking systems (ATS)
A correct address on your resume won't only make you look good to recruiters, but also to applicant tracking systems (ATS).
An ATS is a tool that companies use to filter through long lists of candidates quickly and identify the best ones from the pack. It relies on keywords to scan resume pages and find applicants that meet all the requirements.
So by including the required location in the header, you can easily get past the automated screening phase. That can help you land a lot more interviews and increase your job success rate significantly.
What are the disadvantages of including an address on your resume?
You'll become an easy target for discrimination
By the end of the day, recruiters are only human and can make bad decisions. They're likely to fall for certain biases without even knowing them when selecting candidates for a job.
One example of how that may happen is discrimination based on location. Perhaps the hiring manager has had a few negative experiences with applicants from your area. Or maybe they just have incorrect prejudgments about your neighborhood or city.
Even if unintended, discrimination is still a current problem in the hiring industry. That's why job searchers often have to think twice before putting an address on their resumes.
You'll limit your job search to certain geographical locations
You can think about this as a glass that's both half empty and half full. Putting an address on your resume does have its own benefits when you live close by. But it can also be a cause for rejection whenever applying for jobs that require a long daily commute.
Unless hiring for a remote position, companies usually pay close attention to the location of the candidates. This allows them to minimize relocation costs and guarantee that their employees won't miss any work days.
You'll find it difficult to keep your personal life private
The biggest concern for job applicants who put an address on their resumes is privacy.
The thought of having your contact details plus your location available online can be stressful. When you upload your resume to a job board, you never know who's on the other end to read it. So you need to be careful about sabotaging your own privacy.
Keeping your personal and professional lives separate should always be a priority. But when you add an address to your resume, you're basically putting it online for anyone to see. There are many instances when keeping your home address private may be necessary.
When is it mandatory to put a physical address on your resume?
To be honest, highlighting your location on a resume does have its pitfalls. But despite those disadvantages, showing your address can sometimes be the only way to get shortlisted and hired for the job.
Here are four situations where your contact details must include a correct address:
If the hiring company is concerned about relocation costs
Companies have their own struggles when it comes to hiring quality candidates. And one of their primary concerns is how much they're going to invest in a new employee that's far from their location.
The truth is, you'll probably struggle to make it past the screening phase if you use your real address in this case. However, many companies are open to hiring experienced applicants who are open to relocating. Even better, some organizations may offer you a relocation package when they see how valuable you can be to their business.
To show that you're willing to relocate, you need to add a note next to your address in the header. You may also mention that in the cover letter to explain how and when you'll be relocating.
How do you know if the company is concerned about relocation?
Start by reading the job offer, and you'll find that mentioned somewhere, usually under requirements.
Another way to get informed about the employer's hiring policies is to look that up online if the business is popular. Or you can ask current employees and try to learn more from past experiences to see whether relocating can be a solution.
If the job offer asks for specific locations
If your job requires your physical presence, hiring companies will expect you to live in nearby areas. That's how they can ensure you'll miss minimal days at work and that you'll always have the energy to excel at the position.
The hiring manager may write something like “must live in X, Y, or Z.”
For positions like this, the job offer will emphasize how important it is to reside in specific locations. But even if it doesn't, it's mandatory for you to include a physical address if you want to gain an advantage over the rest of the applicants.
If you're applying for a government job
For government jobs, the home address is a crucial part of your contact details — along with your email and phone number. In fact, some federal positions may even require you to include a permanent address including your street name.
The good news is, you don't have to worry much about your privacy since the government isn't a private party. So you can create a separate resume and use it only for federal job offers.
If your job involves working with the public
Despite the rise of remote jobs and work-from-home positions, the majority of occupations today still require physical presence. That includes jobs in public service such as firefighters, law enforcement officers, social workers, public school teachers, etc.
When hiring for these positions, companies will want to know your location to guarantee culture fit and your knowledge of the area. For example, post offices prefer hiring local drivers who know the ins and outs of each street in the city.
Are there alternatives to providing your home address on a resume?
The truth is that if you play your cards right, you can land any job you’re qualified for. And that's despite the address you use or whether you put one in the first place. There are a few solutions for job seekers to keep their information safe and make recruiters happy.
Here are three easy ways to get away with not putting a home address on your resume:
List a generic physical address
It's important to keep in mind that recruiters no longer use physical addresses to reach out to applicants. The primary reason a company may want to know your location is to assess proximity.
So a simple alternative here would be to provide a nonspecific address to serve as a point of reference. In other words, you'll inform the hiring organization that you live in the vicinity — but without giving them your exact location.
You can use the address format we shared with you in the examples above, which is "City, State."
Use a temporary P.O. box
The truth of the matter is, some organizations may still use the physical address to contact applicants. This is especially true in traditional industries or countries that are still behind technologically.
The solution? Put a temporary P.O. box as your resume address so you can receive important documents in the mail. You can easily get one at your local office for a low cost and use it as your home address throughout your job hunt.
Include a LinkedIn profile URL
Featuring a LinkedIn URL in the header is a must — even if you're not worried about your address. It's an excellent way to showcase skills and recent accomplishments while keeping your resume short.
But despite those obvious benefits, this practice can grant you another advantage when it comes to contact details. LinkedIn is an ideal solution if you're moving a lot while hunting for jobs in different locations. While you can update PDF or physical resumes in real-time, your online profile can keep all recruiters updated with your current location.
What to put on your resume if you are relocating?
The address in your resume is expected to show your current location of residence. And that's despite the format you use or where you'll put the address. So unless you give recruiters a clear hint, they're all going to assume that you're not open to relocating.
To show that you’re moving to a new city or state, you can simply add “Relocating to” before your address. For example, if you’re moving to New Jersey for the new job, you can write “Relocating to Newark, NJ.”
What others did to get hired
Case study: Ramsey's product manager resume
When applying for his dream job at American Express, Ramsey used a semi-general location in his resume header. This allowed him to inform recruiters that he lives nearby the area and can always make it to work on time.
The best part is that Ramsey didn't have to reveal any sensitive information about where he lives. This format ensures the perfect balance between generic and informative.
Case study: Mia’s research assistant resume
In her application for postdoctoral research, Mia included the address of her research department at the University of York. Because there was no requirement for her home address, she didn't have to give away her own privacy. The final result? Mia got accepted for the position and is taking advantage of further opportunities.
Case study: Adam's IT resume
Because the job offer required applicants to live in Derbyshire, Adam had to add a location to his IT sales resume. But since he used a generic address format, he was still able to meet the requirements without having to deal with privacy concerns.
Featuring the home address on resumes has always been a gray area among job search experts. There are many cases where showing your current location is a must for getting hired. But on the flip side, your address is a sensitive piece of data that should be kept private.
As a rule of thumb, you should only add one address to your resume. The best format for that is to include your city and state like the examples shown above.
If you're relocating, be sure to give hints about that in the header, the cover letter, and even the interview. This will help you demonstrate to recruiters that you're a perfect match for their ideal candidate requirements.