A reader writes:
I was wondering if you agree with the advice to keep your home address off if your resume? I do look at addresses on resumes, to see if it’s realistic for someone to get to the job or assess whether they will be needing a relocation package.
In general, I think job candidates should include their address on their resume unless they have a specific reason not to, simply because it’s the default to include it and it will raise some employers’ eyebrows if they don’t.
It’s still so standard to see addresses on resumes that the lack of one is noticeable, and usually makes it appear like the candidate is trying to hide something — like being a long-distance candidate who isn’t being up-front about it — and employers don’t particularly like job candidates are being coy. Leaving it off won’t stop most employers from calling a candidate if everything else looks good, but there’s no point in flouting a major resume convention if there’s not a real need to.
That said, including your city and state is nearly as good as a complete address, and that’s an option for people who prefer it.
(I should admit, though, that I don’t understand the privacy concerns on this one. I mean, most people’s addresses are in the phone book and available online to anyone who cares to look. I’d welcome hearing the argument on the other side though.)
However, back to you: Stop looking at people’s addresses to decide whether they could realistically commute to work or not. Different people have different commute tolerances, and for you all know, they’re in the process of moving closer to your office (or would if they got the job). Evaluate candidates on their merits, and ask directly if you have questions about their commute length or whether they’d need relocation. Otherwise you’re likely to end up making decisions about candidates based on faulty guesses — and while that’s unavoidable in some aspects of hiring, it’s easily avoidable here.