Most every resume template includes a spot for your home address, but do you really need to include it? If you’re a privacy hawk, you might chafe at doing so, and not only because prospective employers are highly unlikely to choose to contact you via snail mail: Including your address on something as public as a CV might introduce a degree of socioeconomic bias into the recruiting/hiring process, potentially harming your chances at landing a new gig.
Because of these concerns, the current prevailing wisdom on the matter is to omit your mailing address whenever you can, as career site after career site offers expert knowledge insisting your address is superfluous. However, it turns out there are reasons including your address is important, and they pop up more often than you might think.
Why to omit your address
First, however, let’s consider the typical justifications for not including your address. As mentioned, there’s always a risk including your address could invite some level of discrimination from a recruiter, whether it’s borne of socioeconomic bias or a simple worry that your commute to the office would be too long. (It’s worth nothing that Lifehacker has addressed this question specifically in the past.)
Another issue — one that many job-seekers probably aren’t aware of — stems from the Applicant Tracking Systems companies use to scan and store resume information. As Caitlin Proctor writes for ZipJob, some companies program their ATS to filter out addresses, as collecting them could technically result in the violation of personal identification laws.
If you’re asked to submit a resume through one of these automated systems, Proctor recommends only including, “your city, state, and zip code on your resume when you submit it online.”
There are reasons why you should include it, however
Those concerns aside, there is a variety of reasons including your address can serve you well during the interview process. As Dan Schawbel, managing partner of the HR consultancy Workplace Intelligence, tells Lifehacker, including mailing addresses is still helpful for companies, especially in this new era of remote work.
“Where someone lives is important for determining compensation, taxes, and eligibility,” he explains — and thus including or not including your address could influence whether you make it through the pre-interview screening process or not.
Moreover, you’re going to have to fork over your address anyway if the company decides to conduct a background check — a practice that is “nearly universal” across the corporate spectrum today, according to a 2019 study from HR.com and the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.
It’s also true that your prospective employer will eventually have your address on file so they can send you your tax documents and a variety of other necessities pertaining to your employment. Schawbel says of your mailing address: “Your employer needs it for their record-keeping and the file they keep on you if they end up hiring you.”
As the pandemic recedes and offices begin to slowly come back to life, employers across the economy will likely be more willing to meet their workers’ demands for a hybrid schedule. Again, Schawbel emphasises how this necessitates full transparency about worker addresses.
For instance, I want to ensure the people who work for me are in the same time zone so we are in sync. Many employers are going to offer hybrid work arrangements post-Covid and that will factor into who they hire because those candidates would have to come to the office at least a few days each week.
If your sense of wariness overrides these practicalities, you may be shooting yourself in the foot if you apply for a new job without disclosing your address.