Once upon a time, your resume needed to include a comprehensive set of information so employers could contact you by phone, email, or mail. However, the way an employer actually contacts you has changed so your resume should adapt.
As the job search is increasingly digital, you do not need to include your full address on your resume in 2021. In fact, it is usually a mistake to put your full address on your resume.
We’ll show you how to include your location on a resume the right way.
Why you shouldn’t include your full street address on a resume
There are a few reasons why you should not include your full address on a resume. Here are the main three.
1. Privacy concerns
Many companies use what’s called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to screen and filter resumes. This software screens your resume for keywords and information that is relevant to the position. Depending on what the employer has set up, the ATS may send your resume on to the next stage of the application process, recommend your resume as a good match, or reject your resume from further consideration.
Some companies filter out resumes with a complete mailing address because your address is personal identification information (PII). The laws behind PII are pretty complex, but to get to the point, companies don’t want to be in any situation where they breach privacy or reveal sensitive personal information.
For this reason, you should only include your city, state, and zip code on your resume when you submit it online.
Make sure you include your zip code. Some ATS automations (like Taleo, a popular option) will reject resumes without complete contact information. Other systems will allow a recruiter to set a radius for applicants, so it will only recommend candidates within a 10 mile radius of the office (for example). Including you zip code will keep you in the running without putting your information at risk.
If you’re in Canada, use your city, province, and postal code. Refer to our Canada resume guide for an example.
2. It opens you up for discrimination
Though it’s illegal, discrimination still occurs at every stage of the job search process. Similar to why you should never include your photo on a resume, your address can potentially be used to draw conclusions about you and your lifestyle. These conjectures are mitigated by using simply your city, state, and zip code.
Again, this is illegal. However, some neighborhoods do come with assumptions about the people who live there. Avoid the risk by omitting your exact street address.
3. There is no need
Another reason you want to leave your street address from your resume is simple: it’s just not needed. An address was usually required before email existed because mail was a primary method of communication.
Most communication today is done via email and phone so listing your full street address is not necessary.
The only time where companies would require your full street address is when you accept a job offer. Alternatively, some jobs will specify that they need your home address, such as federal jobs. However the vast majority of jobs will NOT require your exact location in the job application phase.
Other opinions on including your address
Some career experts recommend including your full address and zip code for many different reasons. One common reason is that some companies may favor hiring someone who has a shorter commute time, so if you’re close by you should say so.
In our opinion, you shouldn’t put your full street address on a resume for this reason. Including your city, state, and zip code which will pretty much give away your commute time anyway, without giving up too much other information in the process.
When to exclude your address altogether
There are some instances when you shouldn’t include any address at all. Some remote positions will not require an address from you during the application process, so there is often no need to include it. Look to the job description for requirements, such as preferred time zones or locations. Use that information to judge how specific you should be on your resume. For example:
- Eastern time zone
- Located in New York
You should also exclude your address when you’re not sure who will be looking at your resume; for example, when you post a resume online or submit it to any forum where people may pass it around. Even your city and zip code can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and you never know who will come across it online! Remove that information from your contact section, especially if you’re just looking for general feedback.
How to include your address on a resume
You should be including only your city, state, and zip code on a resume. It should go in the top section of your resume right below your name.
Here is an example of how to format your city, state, and zip code:
Should you include your address if you’re relocating?
You should still include your current city, state, and zip code even if you’re relocating. If you have a place secured and are absolutely certain about moving, you can include your new city, state, and zip code.
You can also include the city you’re relocating to along with the month and year.
If you’re willing to relocate, you’re just going to have to write “Willing to relocate.” This should also be included in the cover letter instead of the resume.
What else should go in a resume contact information?
Here are some more tips to keep in mind for the heading of your resume: the contact information section:
- Make sure your email is professional. No hiring manager wants to see an email like “Packers123@gmail.com.” Use a combination of your first and last name. (JaneSmith@gmail.com).
- Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date if you’re adding it. When you do add the URL, make sure you shorten it. The instructions for this are here in our post on Including a LinkedIn URL on your resume.
- You don’t need to include labels such as “Address” or “Phone.” It’s clear to the hiring manager which is which.
In addition to not needing labels for your contact methods, you should never, ever include icons, emojis, or other images on your resume. These little pictures are included on many resume templates but do not perform well in those ATS scans we mentioned above.
To make sure your resume parses correctly, you can try out our free resume review service and learn what an employer sees.
Remember that you can (and should) omit your full mailing address from a resume. It’s unnecessary and opens you up to privacy and discrimination concerns.
Only put your city, state, and zip code as part of your contact information. Don’t let this common mistake hold your resume back from landing that interview!
Good luck with your job search!
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