For a long time before email, hiring managers expected job applicants to include their mail address on their resume right alongside the phone number. But now that few — if any — hiring managers first contact applicants by snail mail, this previously mundane resume detail has become controversial. Should you still include your address, or is it no longer necessary? What about remote positions? And if you’re applying to a job that’s far away, could including your address actually cost you the opportunity? Job seekers are divided.
Here’s our take: In virtually all cases, it is advised to at least give your current city, state, and zip code. Providing these details shouldn’t hurt your chances as long as you frame it correctly, and can give your resume a valuable personal touch in a time of remote work and digital job applications.
Your street address is increasingly optional on your resume these days. You can and probably will need to leave it out if:
- You have any privacy concerns with disclosing where you live.
- You’re posting your resume to a public or semipublic platform, such as your LinkedIn profile.
- You need space in your header for more useful contact details, such as a link to your online portfolio.
If you’re applying to an in person job and live nearby, few would argue it can boost your resume to give your physical location. Doing so makes it that much easier for a hiring manager to envision having you in for an interview, and can give you an edge over applicants whose location is far away or omitted.
Providing your address also offers an advantage if you don’t live nearby but could still commute to the job in question. Consider naming a broader region or more general location, particularly if you live in a large metro area. An example would be if you live in Staten Island and wouldn’t mind ferrying across to Manhattan for a great job; you want possible employers to know you would be comfortable with commuting. Listing “New York City” or “New York Metro Area” instead of your specific borough is still perfectly accurate, but keeps your resume inclusive to the job at hand.
Working Far Away
Whether to include your address gets more debatable if you’re applying to an in person job in a different city or part of the country. We recommend still giving your physical location, but also adding some context.
For instance, mention if you already have concrete plans to move to the place your target job is located. Right next to your address in your contact header, include a phrase like “Relocating to Boston, MA in August 2022.” If you don’t have moving plans underway, simply use the phrase “Willing to relocate” instead. Some might argue this phrase is unnecessary, since if you’re applying to the job in the first place, that should indicate you’re willing to move. But consider that many job seekers submit numerous applications with only a cursory look at each job posting. The “Willing to relocate” line keeps hiring managers from wondering if you applied to the job by mistake and would not actually pursue it.
More broadly, some argue you shouldn’t include your location for in person jobs that are far away, since (even with context) it can get you excluded from the competition. But put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes for a minute. Say you’re looking at a resume for someone who seems like a shoo-in for the role. Would you rather have no idea where they’re based, or see that they live somewhere else but would relocate? In this light, location details belong because they uphold a key job search principle that resumes should be forthright. Resumes should give the hiring manager a clear and straightforward view of what you’re offering them. If, based on your location, you aren’t able to attend an interview right away, but you can offer to relocate because the job seems like a great opportunity, the hiring manager should know — and will appreciate knowing.
As for the increasingly common “fully remote jobs”, the case can be made that your location details are irrelevant and should be left out. Again, see this from the hiring manager’s perspective. Isn’t it generally nicer to know where a possible colleague is based, even if you never see them in person? If you’re one of the many people from the U.S. who’ve done remote work in recent years, think of the colleagues you’ve corresponded with most often, perhaps by phone or Zoom call. You have probably always known and been curious about where your peers were based.
Knowing a person’s location helps a remote manager schedule around any time differences and understand you’re offline due to factors like inclement weather. It’s also fuel for small talk. Don’t underestimate that last point — making a personal connection is as crucial to landing a new job as any hard skill. And in a time when the job search is evermore distant and digital, the more personal elements of the resume like your location and optional hobbies section have new relevance. By providing your address on your resume, you’ll gently remind hiring managers you’re a physical person in the world, someone they might meet, speak to, and collaborate with soon.