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A Simple Piece of Information on Your Resume Might Be Holding You Back: What It Is May Surprise You
As we all know in today’s market, finding a job can be difficult. You may have a great work history and impressive academic credentials, which can help land you your next job … but there might be other people who are even more qualified.
What most people don’t think about is how something as simple as their street address on their resume can also influence a hiring decision.
Why You Should Omit Your Street Address
I’ve stopped encouraging clients to list their street addresses. To clarify, my U.S. clients still include their city, state, and zip code, and international clients list the appropriate equivalent information. But I no longer advocate for including a street address.
Here are my reasons why:
- Functionally, the email address serves the purpose the home address used to serve because email is now the primary mode of communication.
- The space on the resume that customarily contains the street address can be used more effectively by including a link to the client’s LinkedIn profile or other social media presence (assuming the client has great content!).
- Withholding the street address increases a client’s privacy by making it more difficult to track where the client lives. Should anyone lose sleep over this issue? Probably not, but because it takes literally a second or two to look up on a map/phone exactly where a person lives, some people feel more comfortable leaving off their home address. This is especially true if you post your resume on job boards.
- To follow up on the above point, and perhaps a more likely scenario, I’ve seen a person’s home value become a topic of discussion when it comes to hiring. Yes, you read that right. That case is what pushed me to lean toward omitting the street address. An employer can pull up a home on Zillow and then use that information to discuss a range of things about a job candidate, from work ethic to what the person might expect in compensation.
Here’s a sample dialogue that reflects what happened:
“Man, his dad’s business must be really successful. He said in the interview his dad had his own company, but that he didn’t want to work for him. His house is worth over a million dollars. Looks like he still lives with his parents.”
“Yeah, I wonder why he doesn’t just go work for his old man.”
“Well, he said he didn’t want to. Seemed genuine about it. I guess he wants to try to make it on his own. Hard to believe though that he won’t pick up and leave at some point; I bet we couldn’t pay him what his dad would.”
“I know, right? And the recruiter said he was okay with our salary range, but I bet he’s accustomed to living off of mommy and daddy . . . makes me wonder.”
“Me too. And he’s a Millennial. So, he’s rich and probably entitled. Not sure if he’d be a great fit here, even though he really impressed me in the interview. He really seemed to have his act together and have a strong work ethic. And I think he was a straight-A student in college.”
“Yeah, I think you’re right. I also saw some awards listed on his resume. He really impressed me, too.”
“Do you think we should make him an offer?”
No one wants to be the subject of that level of scrutiny when it likely has nothing to do with your ability to do a job. But those types of conversations happen because people are curious, and they use Google to see what information might turn up about a candidate. And employers desperately want to hire a person who is a good fit because it’s a costly and time-consuming process to locate and train talent.
As an applicant, one of your goals is to reduce the opportunities for a potential employer to be distracted with something you can’t control or change. You can control where you live to a certain extent, but you get the point.
For these reasons, I’ve recently decided to recommend to clients that they do not list their home/apartment number and street.