Wednesday, January 07, 2009

No Street Address on Resume

Managers and recruiters, would you hold it against an applicant if there was no street address on his resume? That's this month's Job Lounge poll (in the upper left corner of this page).

Some job seekers are concerned about putting a street address on their resumes because of identity theft and personal security. MapQuest and Google Maps have made the latter concern even deeper. And I sometimes wonder if managers conduct "geographic profiling." A quick look at the map could tell the employer what sort of neighborhood you live in, which might influence hiring decisions and salary negotiations.

If you received a resume from a qualified job seeker, would you hold it against him if he didn't include a street address in the heading of his resume? I asked this question on LinkedIn's section for Human Resources Professionals, and got several valuable responses.

If you are or have been a manager or recruiter, let us know what you think with a quick "yes" or "no" in the poll, or comment to this post.

Survey results:
The poll closed on January 20th with the following results:

Participants: 111
Yes: 50 (45%)
No: 61 (54%)

Thank you, Job Loungers!

My Conclusion:
If a job seeker is applying directly to a specific company, and her resume is being submitted via US Post or directly onto the company's website, she should include the street address on her resume. The company is unlikely to use her personal information for anything other than her job application so, in my opinion, it seems safe to give them that information up front.

If a job seeker is posting her resume on public job boards (e.g., Monster, Careerbuilder, Craigslist) and she has any hesitation about putting her street address in the public eye, she should delete the street address from the heading for her resume. However, she should be sure to include the city, state, and zip code. Zip code is sometimes one of the "keywords" used by search engines for identifying people for a job opening. Without the zip, a resume may be overlooked.

If a job seeker is going through a recruitment agency, she should ask about their privacy policy to figure out whether or not to put the street address in her resume heading.


Mark Cummuta said...

Excellent subject! I've linked to this post in my article (CIO Magazine) - Protecting Your Identity In Your Job Search. Will post it today or tomorrow! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

How would you recommend handling this situation if you are applying for a job in an area where you do not live? I would like to relocate to a new city and I am afraid that putting my current address in a city two hours away will cause my resume to be discarded. I would not expect the company to cover relocation expenses. Should I use a friend's or relative's address in the city where I would like to obtain employment?

Susan Ireland said...

You can use a friend's or relative's address, OR in your cover letter you could explain your intention to relocate. Living two hours away from your future home isn't so far that it would dampen your employment possibilities, and you can easily travel two hours for a job interview.

Anonymous said...

I'm finding that recruiters/companies are looking unfavorably on the distance of my commute. I'm a former Southern California resident where a one way 30 mile commute can translate into a 2+ hour adventure to the office. However, living in Northern California, and working in the Bay Area, my one way 80 mile commute is an hour and 20 minute cruise but its frowned upon and causing potential employers to second guess my candidacy for the position. Looking at eliminating my address from the resume altogether. In fact, one recruiter advised it. Any thoughts?

Susan Ireland said...

You could take your address off your resume completely and see what the effect is. If you get negative feedback (or absolutely no response)then you can put it back on. If you get more employer interest, you'll know you've done the right thing.

Please let use know how your experiment goes.

Anonymous said...

One thing you can do, is keep the address on your resume, but highlight it and change the font color to white. This way, your address is hidden on the resume yet searchable being that it is text; and text after all is searchable.

Just a thought. This seems to work fine for me on keywords to hide on my resume.