In the past, including your home address on your resume was a formality that readers expected to see. But today, it’s no longer necessary (in the U.S.–if you are in another country, follow your local customs). There are good reasons you might want to leave it off:
1. It could cause you to be discriminated against based on your commute. If you live an hour away from the company, and an equally qualified candidate lives 5 minutes away, who do you think has the edge? After all, companies love employees who will arrive early and stay late–and workers who live farther away may have a harder time doing that since they’re spending so much time commuting. This is less of an issue with executives vs. lower level employees, but still an issue.
Additionally, a candidate who lives further away is more of a flight risk; employers will worry you’re going to leave the company and take a job closer to home as soon as you find the right opportunity.
2. It provides personal information that you might not want hundreds or thousands of strangers to have; these days, it’s easy to look up your address online and find out the value of your home, what the residence looks like, who else lives there, etc. Chances are, they wouldn’t look it up right away, but if you did become a finalist, you never know. Do you want your prospective employer to make judgements about you based on whether you own your home or rent, and how much your home is worth? The perception could be “oh, that’s an expensive house–he’s going to want more money than we want to pay!” Or, “ugh, look at that shack!”
3. It increases the risk of identity theft. These days, you can never be too careful about protecting yourself against identity theft. Your address is probably readily available online, anyway, but why make it easier?
4. It takes up space that could otherwise be used for something more useful, like a link to your LinkedIn profile. A link to your LinkedIn profile makes it fast and easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to access your profile (no searching required!).
What should be included instead of your address?
- You may want to put a metro area such as “Los Angeles Area” instead of putting “Pasadena” or whatever specific part of the metro area you’re in. (Unless you’re seeking jobs that are right there in your town, in which case being local would be a selling point.)
- If the location of your current job is an accurate reflection of the metro area you’re in, you could omit any mention of the metro area in the contact information. (If you work in Irvine, California, that’s an indication that you’re somewhere in the Orange County area of Southern California.)
- Your email and phone number should always be on there (only ONE phone number–the best one to reach you at).
And, remember: the address still needs to be provided a lot of the time.
When you apply for a position on a company’s website, 99% of the time you’ll have to fill out a form that prompts you for your address, and it’s probably a required field.
But my hope is that your job search doesn’t consist entirely of applying for jobs online! After all, you can’t rely on job boards and advertised openings.