The job search process has changed greatly over the past decade; hiring managers and recruiters expect candidates to compact as much information as possible into a two-page résumé and are more critical of your skills and experience than ever before. And with job ads moving from store windows to online job boards and company websites, opportunities are now more accessible to everyone — making competition for jobs much tighter.
Creating a top-notch résumé is, therefore, essential. But as we focus on things like employment history and skills, we’re left perplexed about all the small details, which leads us to the question: should you include your address on your résumé or not?
Below we’ve covered when you should and shouldn’t add your address, given you some formatting instructions and few key examples, too!
Why you should include your address
A few decades ago, when employers used physical mail to respond to submitted applications, addresses claimed a permanent spot in people’s résumés. Now that postal mail has been largely replaced by email and instant messaging, including your address on your résumé is optional. However, mentioning your exact location may prove to have its benefits, such as letting recruiters know you have no hesitation in being transparent.
Here are a few reasons why you should include an address.
1. Your résumé is more likely to be found on databases
Most job boards let you sign up by location and notify you of any roles within a certain mile radius (up to 30, for example). If you fail to include an address or a location on your résumé, you’ll miss out on these opportunities unless you physically check the website each and every day.
2. You avoid wasting recruiters’ time
Some hiring managers raise huge concern when it comes to long commutes and simply won’t hire a candidate due to that single reason. You can avoid wasting recruiters’ time (as well as your own) by including your address in your personal information, so you don’t have to go through the entire interview process only to find out your location is detrimental to your chances of landing a job offer.
3. It shows you aren’t hiding anything
Failing to include your address in your résumé’s contact information section may raise a few eyebrows. It may send alarm bells ringing to hiring managers and they may become wary of taking you through the hiring process as they may think you are being a little shady. If you’re competing with an equally skilled candidate, but they have included all the correct personal information, chances are you’ll lose the battle to the finish line.
4. It clears up any confusion on previous positions
If you’ve relocated for jobs a number of times, hiring managers may be confused as to where you are currently located. By including your address on your résumé, you can clear up any concerns that they may have.
5. It allows employers to perform background checks
Certain employers will want to perform background checks on potential candidates, but the task will become more difficult if an address is not provided. In order to make their lives easier, include your address and you’ll be one step closer to potentially bagging yourself a new job.
Why you shouldn’t include your address
As companies will now use your email or phone number to contact you, there is no real need or expectation for your résumé to include your address. Including your address could cause hiring managers to reject your application based on your estimated commute time alone. Aside from that, there is also no way of knowing whose hands your résumé will end up in once you submit it, especially when uploading publicly to a job board.
Here are some reasons not to include your address on your résumé.
1. You may be discriminated against based on commute time
On the other end of the spectrum, you may be discriminated purely on your commute time just because of your address. This can hinder your chances of even getting through to the interview stage, which is quite unfair. By not including your full address, you can avoid this altogether and show the hiring manager in your interview that you are 100% happy with commuting and have been doing it for years.
2. You could become a victim of identity theft
By including your full address on your résumé, you could leave yourself open to identity theft. Your résumé is usually handled over email, uploaded onto job boards and is limited to any security data — therefore leaving your information open to hackers and criminals crawling the internet.
3. It could be viewed as “old-fashioned”
Similar to personal photos, in this era of technology, some hiring managers may view the inclusion of your full address as “old-fashioned”. A general location is more common on résumés these days (for example, your city and country).
4. You could be subject to economic profiling
If your full address is included on your résumé, companies can Google your exact location, analyze the wealth of your area, and base a salary according to your living expenses. If you’re located in a cheaper area, hiring managers may assume that your expenses will not be as high and, therefore, offer you a much lower salary than what you’re probably worth.
5. You don’t have enough space on your résumé
As recruiters receive heaps of applications for each job listing, making your résumé concise and eye-catching can increase your chances of securing an interview. Ensuring that you include all essential information, like work experience, accomplishments, and skills, is more important than sacrificing space to include your address.
When to exclude your address altogether
Although it’s entirely up to you to decide whether to include your address on your résumé, there are some instances where we advise you to omit this personal information. One of them is when applying for remote work. If the job listing is open to applicants from across the world, refrain from sharing your address. If, on the other hand, the ad is location-specific, you can include your town or county.
Another occasion where it’s best to exclude your address is when uploading your résumé to a public job board. Once in the online database, your résumé, along with all your contact information, will be viewable by virtually anyone who decides to go on a little search.
Finally, if there is even a tiny hint of doubt as to whether the job you’re applying for is real or fake, then we advise you to refrain from including your address altogether.
Where to Put Your Address
Your address should appear just beneath your contact information at the top of your résumé — depending on your résumé style, this will traditionally appear either in the top left-hand corner, center or top right-hand corner of your résumé.
Here is an example with a full address:
Here's an example of a header with just a city that shows the person's location:
How to format your address
The way you present your address on your résumé is just as important as your employment history, personal information, transferable skills and hobbies. In order to keep this information in line with the rest of the document, follow the instructions below:
Go to the header of your Word document and format your name, telephone number and email address to the center of the document.
Type your address beneath this information — bear in mind that you should use actual numbers instead of spelling them out (eg: 3 instead of three). Also, use the abbreviation “apt” instead of “apartment”, and include a comma after the street address. For example, 57 Crow Lane, Apt 21.
If you’re including your full address, follow with your city and postcode. For example, 57 Crow Lane, Apt 21, London, KT4 3TH.
Alternatively, you can simply insert your location, so you are not subject to any prejudice. For example, Surrey, London.
This goes without saying, but never include the word “address” in front of your physical address — hiring managers are intelligent people and know what it should look like in written format.
What to do if you’re relocating
When you’re relocating to another city or country (or even in the same city), it may be difficult deciding what address to include on your résumé or whether to include one at all.
But what if you don’t actually have a physical address yet? Should you put a friend’s address on it just to include something local? The answer is no. It’s important to be entirely honest — you don’t want to go through the hiring process and then turn around and say that the address you included on your résumé isn’t actually yours.
On the other hand, all your employment history will be miles away and this may leave recruiters confused as to your current location if you do not include anything at all. There are two solutions to this problem: you can either inform hiring managers in your cover letter that you are relocating, or you can follow the example below.
Although including your address on your résumé is generally not a requirement, you can do whatever feels more right for you. Below, we summarize the best practices for both scenarios.
- If you do put your address on your résumé, add it near the top so it’s clearly visible
- Don’t give out your address if questioning the authenticity of a job listing
- If you’re in the process of relocating, avoid including a friend or relative’s address as a substitute
- When applying for remote work, there is no need to mention your exact location
If you need more help with writing your résumé, then taking a look at the best résumé examples out there could provide you with lots of inspiration.
Originally published on 8 February 2018. Updated by Electra Michaelidou.