There was a time when it would have never crossed a job seeker’s mind to not include a complete mailing address on their resume. Once upon a time, a resume without an address would have been considered incomplete and unsuitable to submit for a job.
Today we recognize that resume writing best practices have evolved and continue to do so. The very purpose of a resume has transformed from a laundry list of companies and positions held/job functions performed to highly targeted marketing documents designed to clearly communicate a candidate’s job focus and align their professional knowledge, skills, and achievements to match a desired position.
One of the most common resume writing inquiries continues to be whether or not to include an address on a job seeker’s resume. While the current trend considers it outdated, there are some exceptions to this rule.
We asked global resume writers and career coaches within CDI:
Do job seekers still need to include their full address on their resume?
We received fabulous advice from 17 career pros. With the nature of the question, even though each answer was insightful, there was extensive overlap because there is only so much you can say about such a small, specific topic.
While we deeply value each contributor, we’re only highlighting a select few below to avoid repetition.
- Contact information that should be included on a resume.
- Reasons behind not including a full address on a resume.
- Instances when including a full address on a resume are required/should be considered.
Here’s what they had to say:
“The convention of including a full address on your resume is not as straightforward in today’s job market as it used to be. In fact, considering the trends of remote work and digital privacy, here are some current ideas on this matter:
- Privacy Over Tradition: In the digital age, privacy concerns are paramount. Instead of sharing your full address, it might be wiser to just include your city and state (or country if applying internationally). This gives employers a general idea of your location without revealing too much personal information.
- Emphasize Flexibility: If you are open to relocation or the role is remote, it may be more beneficial to highlight this aspect rather than provide a full address. This gives potential employers insight into your flexibility without pigeonholing you to a specific location.
- Save Space for More Impactful Information: Rather than dedicating space to a full address, use that space to add more achievements, skills, or qualifications. In most cases, these will be more relevant to recruiters than your precise location.
- Address Isn’t Always Relevant: Unless the job you’re applying for specifically requires you to be in a certain location, the full address isn’t typically a deciding factor in your candidacy.
- LinkedIn is Your New Address: In the connected world, your LinkedIn profile is a universally accessible place for recruiters to reach out and learn more about you. Including your LinkedIn URL can be more beneficial than providing your physical address.
As with all aspects of a resume, the decision to include a full address should be strategic and based on the specific circumstances of the job you’re applying to. Considering the shift towards remote work and the increasing importance of digital privacy, the tradition of including a full address isn’t relevant today as it once was.”
– Yuvika Iyer, Careerlinko
“You don’t have to include a full address when applying for jobs in the private sector, but with a government/federal resume you do. If you don’t include your address on a government/federal resume, the resume will be rejected.”
– Anita Radosevich, Career Ladders, Inc.
“No. In fact, including your full address opens you up to online fraud and location bias. Your phone number, email address, city, state, and zip code are all that’s needed. If you are interested in relocating, include a statement like “Planning relocation to City, ST”, either under your contact information or in your professional profile.”
– Carol Adams, Ideal Resumes LLC
“Job seekers do not need to include their full address on their resume unless location is important to the employer. In that case, include the address on those resumes you will be handing out personally at an interview. Do not include it on the resumes you will be posting online.”
– Myriam-Rose Kohn, Reimagine Your Career Now
“Years ago, the answer would have been ‘YES’! Physical location (full address) was integral for employers to ensure that traveling to a brick-and-mortar location would be feasible and affordable for all concerned. However, because today’s workplace is so much more virtual (including options of having your own cell phone, iPad, and laptop at your workplace), the current answer to including your full address on a résumé is NO.
I recommend that job seekers include their city, state, and zip code, as this will help the employer (or ATS) track where you are. Other items that need to be included within your career portfolio (résumé, cover letter, reference page, LinkedIn profile, leave-behind interview or marketing piece, and online job boards) would be your email address, a contact phone number, and a customized LinkedIn profile – which will include your city, state and zip!
Your email address should be a personal email address not connected with current employment, as that could alert a current employer that you’re looking for another position! Keep your business information related to business and your personal information private. That may mean creating a separate email address specifically for job seeking purposes! On that note, be sure to create an email address that is personal but professional in nature – don’t use “firstname.lastname@example.org, because that’s just ridiculous! Do use your name and/or a set of numbers that makes you look professional. (This should go without saying, but avoid aol.com email addresses, as that will age you out! Create an email address using gmail.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com, icloud.com, or some other email address that uses a current platform).
Interesting fact, if you apply for a position at Google, you’ll need to create and use a Google (gmail.com) email address. High tech companies WILL kick you out of the running if this one item is not addressed!
Regarding your phone number, be sure to use your private cell number and not a work phone number to keep the job search private! Job boards like Indeed and ZipRecruiter will require city, state and zip to help employers match where you’re located.
What worked 10 years ago is simply not appropriate today. Be sure to keep up with what is necessary in today’s workplace as you continue to seek out positions that fit what YOU are targeting.”
– Laurie J. James, MCD, LaurieJJames.com, LLC
“In today’s digital age, a full address isn’t necessary on a resume. Sharing the city and state is typically sufficient and respects your privacy while still giving employers an idea of your location. Moreover, many roles are becoming location-independent, making exact addresses less relevant. Your focus should be on ensuring your skills, experiences, and accomplishments shine through.”
– Scott Gardner, CPRW, Vitae Express
“Let’s talk about including your full address on your resume. Good news: you no longer need to in most cases! Here’s why:
In today’s digital age, there are numerous faster ways for companies to reach you than through snail mail. Employers can send you an email, a text, or give you a phone call. They can even contact you through social media!
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you’re applying for a government position, like through USAJOBS, they still require a full address on your resume. They prefer to keep things traditional over there!
So, job seekers, unless you’re aiming for a government gig, feel free to just note your city and state in the contact area of your resume. Happy Job Hunting!”
– Jeannine Bennett, Vision to Purpose
“In cases of global applications originating from the US, it is common to have a résumé format that gives the top part of the résumé a “CV” feel. If you are US-based and applying for a position outside of the US, an address will be expected almost everywhere, even in places where it is not included by local applicants.
If you are non-US based and applying for jobs in the US, an address is something to include only if you have not provided it elsewhere in your application.
Visa applicants who use US-based résumé formats are seen as “ready to work” in the US. This extra effort sets them apart in so many ways.
Knowing your requirements is the first step. I have to input addresses onto most federal résumés and academic CVs for use within the US.”
– Brian Brandt, Resume Writer Brian
Once again, we want to thank all the career professionals who submitted thoughtful, value-added answers that were not included in this piece.
What this means to you regarding adding your full address to your resume:
These responses prove there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to resume writing. Yes, the general consensus about including addresses on resumes is not to do it.
In an age of increasing fraud and data breaches, it’s easy to see why including a job seeker’s full address on a resume is widely considered a dated practice. Of course, there are still extenuating circumstances when including an address can be in your client’s best interest, such as a client embarking on a Government/Federal job search. It’s always a good idea to approach each resume project individually to apply the most appropriate strategy.
Need help taking this important step?
CDI is a global professional association of the industry’s top resume writers, career coaches and other career professionals. Our robust directory will let you search for the perfect practitioner to make your successful transition. Each of the participating professionals featured in this post can be reached via their links or by searching the directory.
Special thanks to Kimberly Ben of Top Resume Writing & Career Services for curating these tips.