When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Add an Address to Your Resume

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In the six seconds it takes most hiring managers to scan your resume, many are glancing over your bolded name, a few bullet points and scanning your listed skills. If your work experience is a close match to the job's requirements, they'll move back up to your contact information to see how to best reach you. 
Here, they'll notice your email address, your phone number and the mailing address you've provided to best reach you — that is, if you provide one.  

Do you put your address on a resume? Is there proof that adding it will increase your chances of landing a job? Or, will it pose a greater risk to your candidacy? We'll let you decide, starting with the pros and cons of adding it and the different ways you can suggest your location. 

Pros of putting your address on a resume:

1. Addresses are preferred by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

According to CIO, nearly 40 percent of employers use an ATS to narrow their applicant pool. ATS identifies keywords that match the job description in resumes and your address could be picked up as a key term, so adding it would be a good move to make. 

2. Background checks are dependent on it.

A whopping 96% of employers use background checks to screen candidates, according to Global HR Research and these background checks are dependent on jurisdictions pulled from your current records. So, leaving it off entirely can hinder the screening process, which could make employers less likely to move forward with your application.

3. You build transparency early on.

Hiring managers expect to see your address on your resume because it's a common practice. Therefore, neglecting to include it entirely may seem suspicious and make employers curious as to why you left it off in the first place. 

4. It completes your resume. 

In addition to your email and phone number, your mailing address is a part of your contact information. Without it, traditional hiring managers may see your application as incomplete. And for roles that receive a high volume of applications, they may remove yours from the pack based on that factor.

Cons of putting your address on a resume:

1. It feels outdated.

The point of adding contact information on a resume is for hiring managers to know how to best reach you. But these days, we communicate primary through phone and email, mailed letters falling significantly behind the first two methods. Though including your address can provide other benefits to an employer, if you want to be clear that mailed letters are not your preferred form of communication, then you can leave off your mailing address (or modify it, which we'll teach you how to do later).

2. It could be unsafe.

Adding your address to your resume could pose a security risk, especially because you don't know who will have their eyes on it once it's been submitted. Printed resumes may also get lost over time, meaning your resume (and address!) could end up anywhere, even if you don't receive confirmation from employers of its receipt.

3. Distance or location bias.

Unfortunately, bias can happen as early as the initial screening process — and unlike race, sex and disability discrimination, it's not illegal to discriminate candidates based on socioeconomic status. Certain hiring managers may also consider commute as a deciding factor for moving forward, prioritizing closer candidates over candidates who would — presumably — have a more difficult time getting to work.

4. It takes up space.

Your resume will become more and more crowded, as you grow your career, forcing you to choose between dedicating a line to that important job responsibility over adding your lengthy mailing address. When you're already struggling to fit all of your work experiences on a page, your address may be worth deleting in favor of an accomplishment.

How do you write your address on a resume?

Full address.

If you want to include your full address, include your street name and number, city, state and zip code near your name at the top of your resume. Depending on your resume format, you could place your address alongside your other contact information or in a line of its own. You can also play with abbreviations to make the address longer or shorter to fit the line. Notice how "West" is abbreviated to "W." in the examples below:
277 W. 34th St., New York, NY 10018
1(917) 235-7837 | yo[email protected] | 421 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10018

Just the city and state.

If you want to include your location — just not all of it —opt to add your city and state in your contact section. This will give employers a rough idea of where you live, how long your commute might be and whether or not you're a local candidate. Zip codes can be particularly ATS friendly, so feel free to add it for additional value. 
New York, NY or New York, NY 10018

Region or area.

If you'd like to provide your general location, feel free to offer your region in place of your address. This is a good option if you're applying to an inner-city job and live in a suburban town. In the examples below, "New York Metropolitan Area" can encompass New York City and the tri-state area while "Greater New York" can reach as far as the state's capital, Albany.
New York Metropolitan Area 
Greater New York


Whether you're open to relocating or definitely will be, saying so lets hiring managers know where you'll be throughout the interview process and beyond. If you're locating in the next few months, mention the city, state and your anticipated moving month. As with the examples above, adding your soon-to-be zip code could be favored by an ATS, so drop it in if you can. If you don't have active plans to relocate but would for the job you're applying to, also indicate that with a simple "Open to Relocate" note at the top of your resume.
Relocating to Los Angeles, CA in March 2020  
Relocating to Los Angeles, CA 90090 in March 2020
New York, NY - Open to Relocate


If you don't want to take your chances with distance bias or security risks, opt to leave off your location entirely and let your work experience do the talking — just make sure you provide reliable contact information on your resume and accompanying documents. You can choose to mention your location when invited to an in-person interview, instead.

Should you put your phone number on your resume?

Whether it be your home, work or mobile number, it's best to provide at least one phone number in case employers want to verbally invite you to an interview. Otherwise, hiring managers would have to send you an email or physical letter, which some may find impersonal. 
At the end of the day, addresses (specifically ones with zip codes) are preferred by ATS which are heavily relied on by most companies. But they're not for everyone — and that's OK! 
If you'd like to skip past the system and get noticed for who you are — not just where you're from — apply to a job on Fairygodboss and get your application seen with or without adding an address.

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Stephanie Nieves is the SEO & Editorial Associate on the Fairygodboss team. Her words can also be found on MediumPayScale and The Muse.