can you leave your home address off your resume?

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.

{ 274 comments… read them below }

  1. Jubilance*

    The only time I’ve taken my address off my resume was when I posted it on Indeed. When I apply for positions I leave it on, and every job application system I’ve seen asks you for your address anyway.

  2. Bryan*

    I’m in a field where we have tools to look up addresses, a modern day phone book in this cell phone only world. It’s not 100% accurate all of the time (renters), but it does it all through public information. But I agree that you shouldn’t judge off of an address whether someone is qualified for a job. You can ask about it in an interview if that’s your deterrent for a candidate.

    Allison, since many employers will not consider out of town candidates, does a PO Box raise eyebrows?

      1. De Minimis*

        If someone lives in a rural area that might be their only address.
        There are rural routes, but many people prefer the security of a PO box.

      2. Kate*

        I put my PO because it is the only place I get mail and I have gotten rejection letters by mail. I guess I could put both but I’m afraid that clutters the top and I am tight on space already. Thoughts? Should I put both?

      3. Leah*

        I used to live in a rural, mountainous area 45 mins-1 hour commute from a major city. It was PO Box or nothing.

      4. Kate*

        I live in a rural, mountain town and we don’t have home mail delivery here – it’s simply not an option. So everyone has a PO Box.

      5. LJL*

        Some people in cities with unsecured home mailboxes use PO boxes. I’ve also seen it with people who travel a lot .

      6. Janet Vonderhaar*

        I use a PO box for anything remotely sensitive or urgent because I am Janet Vonderhaar at 123 Fake St. and there is a Jeanette Vandercar at 123 False St. in the same ZIP code, and we get each other’s mail about once a month.

      7. T*

        I got a PO box shortly before finishing undergrad when I knew my home address would be changing (and before I knew what it would be). I kept it for a couple years as I wanted a consistent address for job searches and other purposes.

      8. Joe Schmoe*

        I have a PO Box for TWO reasons.

        1) because they have the ability to receive packages that won’t fit in my rural mailbox AND for many years we didn’t have a rural mailbox – only got one when 911 addresses were mandated.

        2) for security – I had two teenagers who got home before me and I wanted to make sure I got every piece of mail from the high school :)

  3. Anonymous*

    “assess whether they will be needing a relocation package.”

    This is pretty presumptuous.

    We just interviewed someone who lives a thousand miles from where I work. Her resume was strong. She has family here and says she can move easily. Good enough for us.

    You shouldn’t rule people out or downgrade their application early on based on assumptions. Find out what the real deal is.

    1. S.K.*

      +1 to this. An example of a question you can ask to assess the potential need for a relocation package is “Would you need a relocation package?”

      Not rocket science.

      1. Ethyl*

        Same here! I would be interested in relocating to the place where my _entire family_ lives — I don’t need much lead time since I rent and can stay with my parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, or siblings until I find a place.

    2. Zillah*

      Agreed. For all the OP knows, the person is applying for jobs in the area because their partner/spouse got a job there! It’s a pretty common reason to move.

      There are so many reasons that someone might want to move and would not require a relocation package!

    3. OP*

      Hi – it’s the OP. I think you’ve misunderstood. I don’t look at the address, see a relocation package is needed, and rule them out. It’s just good information to have, in knowing how to guide a discussion on when someone can start, have HR confirm (which they don’t always do without a reminder) that the candidate understands the high cost of living in this area, etc.

      1. Ethyl*

        But….it sounds like it’s not necessarily good information to have. It is *information,* sure, but you definitely seem to be making a lot of assumptions and judgements based off someone’s address.

      2. Zillah*

        I don’t know – maybe it’s just because I don’t hire, but using this to “guide a discussion on when someone can start” still seems off and kind of pointless to me. Someone who needs to move might be able to start next week; someone local might need a few weeks to tie up loose ends at their old job (or, as came up in another post recently, finish school). Why don’t you just say, “When would you be able to start?”

    4. AnonAthon*

      I’ve actually seen this in reverse. I just got a resume that listed an out-of-state address, so I asked the candidate if she was planning to re-locate. Turns out she already has, but left her old address on the resume. Odd …

  4. Anonsie*

    That’s something my friends and I were wondering the other day, actually. How *do* people get in the phone book, anyway? We figured it had to be public records somehow, but how does that even work?

      1. Tara B.*

        You don’t even have to spend that much — just change the name on your directory listing to something else. The phone bill should be in your real name, but there’s no rule that the name listed in the phone book should be your own.

        I’ve had my roommate’s dog listed in the phone book with my number, even though the phone bill was in my actual name. As a bonus, it helps identify the telemarketers and junk mail really quickly — when the dog gets a phone call or mail, I can ignore/shred without hesitation.

        1. Mints*

          How do you do that? Will they let me change it to something ridiculous?
          (Duchess of Purple Elephants? Muffin Basket, III?)
          I really want to do this now

        2. Liz*

          Yep. My cat got a phone call last night. Sometimes he gets invites for the local community colleges. I’m waiting for a pre-approved credit card so I can take a picture of the cat with his card and post it online :)

        3. Anonymous*

          Some companies won’t let you do that. It has to be first name last name or first initial last name usually.

          1. Payroll Lady*

            Mine would not even let me change my name after I got married the second time with out a certified copy of my marriage license. Needless to say, 12+ years later, it is still in my first name, ex-husband’s last name!

          2. Liz*

            It helps if you’re not trying to change it to Fluffy the Poodle or anything like that. My cat has a human-sounding name, so that becomes the first name and I use my last name for his last name.

    1. MR*

      You get in the phone book by having a land line. If you are like me, who has never had a land line, and been cell phone exclusive since moving out of my parents house seven years ago, you don’t appear in a phone book anywhere ;)

  5. LittleT*

    This is an interesting question. I was thinking the candidate might want to leave it off the resume due to some presumptions the interviewer might make, based on the address.

    As an example: In my previous job, I had to help managers screen resumes for a variety of positions. Without fail, there were usually 2 managers that would comment on a candidate’s address and make a whole bunch of inappropriate class-based presumptions, depending on the address.

    “Person A lives in *that* neighbourhood? Hmm, not sure we want someone from such a rough part of the city.” “Oooh, Person B lives where? Must have money and might be a better fit.”

    Thse so called “good” or “bad” addresses had nothing to do with a person’s ability to do the job, or the appropriateness of their qualifications. They were simply judgments on either a supposed low or high income neighborhood.

    1. Yup*


      What were these two managers like to work with/for otherwise? Like, were they utterly incompetent generally or just in this one hideous blind spot?

      1. LittleT*

        @Yup: despite this horrible practice of theirs, 1 was actually great to work for, the other one, not so much.

        I was regularly trying to convince them to overlook the addresses and focus on the important part, you know, their actual SKILLS and resume quality, the things that would help us figure out if they could do the job.

        I fished out crumpled up resumes a few times from the wastebins and insist certain people be given a second look. By doing this, I was able to assist in 3 people getting hired, each of whom turned out to be very good employees.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      But that kind of behavior is (a) unusual and (b) abhorrent. It doesn’t make sense to make resume decisions to keep those people interested in your resume, when they’re not likely people you want to work for anyway. Your resume should be designed to appeal to the best managers, not the worst.

      1. LittleT*

        @Alison: I agree. I found this behaviour both inappropriate & horrible and said so on numerous occasions.

        I would not encourage people to leave out their address for this reason, but simply brought this up as a possible reason the OP might do this.

        1. Zillah*

          Yeah. I doubt most people explicitly say that, but I can totally see more inner/subconscious judgments about address having an effect on decisions.

      2. Anonymous*

        It is abhorrent, but not that unusual, in my experience. I’ve heard too many managers make assumptions regarding applicants based on their addresses that I thought it would be smarter to risk using a P.O. box in a “better” city than use my current home address.

      3. Dianna*

        It’s unfortunately not that unusual. In Chicago, it’s become a new way to discriminate without actually being illegal. Many POC who live in areas that have high concentrations of POC/are poorer neighborhoods often find it very hard to find corporate jobs outside of their areas precisely because people look at their address and make a lot of assumptions about who they are and the type of life they lead. It’s one of the things driving unemployment up amongst POC in larger metro areas.

    3. AAA*

      Wow. That is something I never considered. That is a seriously jerky move, not to mention incredibly elitist… As someone who lived in a “sketchy” low-income neighborhood for years (by choice) I would be really upset if someone screened me out based on this. Then again, not sure I’d want to work for someone who would do this anyway.

      Wonder if there are racial issues here at all? E.g. my old neighborhood was about 80% Latino, 19% Black and 1% white (me). I wonder if looking at someone’s address could be a sneaky way to screen candidates by race (which is obviously illegal and unethical)…

    4. Mike C.*

      If those neighborhoods are racially segregated (and many, many areas are), what they’re doing is illegal.

      1. LittleT*

        @Mike: exactly. That was the point I tried to get across without having to spell it out for them.

        You probably won’t be surprised to hear that both of these managers were old-school white guys in their late 50s at the time. Neither one saw the point of being politically correct & would say whatever was on their minds, no matter how inoffensive it might be.

        @AAA: very true and soooo elitist. These were well-off white guys making these comments & hiring decisions. I also believe there was a race-based component to this too, not just supposed class levels. Certain names apparently sounded “too ethnic” for their tastes, even though you could not definitively tell from the names what nationality the candidates were.

        1. De Minimis*

          In the city where I live now I think that would definitely be an issue…unfortunately the dividing line between the “good” and “bad” part of town is also the line that determines street directional, so if someone sees “North” on the street address they know that person lives in the poor area.

        2. AAA*

          That’s amazing. And might have been a double whammy for me! My first name is most closely associated with the African American community (though I am white–think along the lines of “Ayisha” — people are often surprised by my race when they meet me in person). I wonder if, especially while living in my racially diverse neighborhood, I was screened out for being perceived as black. If so I guess I still won – I don’t want to work for a racist in any case.

          1. LittleT*

            The whole practice of them doing this was both upsetting and mind-boggling.

            As I tried to point out to them, never, ever ASSUME anything, because you just don’t know and could be making very poor assessments on your limited information.

            In case anyone is wondering, I am not old and this did not happen 30 years ago. This was in 2006.

          2. Anonymous*

            That’s awful! I have a unique name too and before people meet me, they always assume I am of a different race/lifestyle. But in reality, I’m a conservative, Midwestern Caucasian young woman.

          3. some1*

            About 15 years ago I dated a (white) guy with a name that’s more common in the black community and people would constantly ask if he was black when I said his name. I felt like asking why it should matter.

      2. BB*

        That’s really insane because so many cities, at least in Philadelphia, are starting to gentrify and neighborhoods that were untouchable 5 years ago are now the new hip place to live.

        1. Anonymous*

          Yes, and now people we don’t really want to discriminate against might live in the “bad” places….

        2. Leah*

          And because of that, I could see people also being brushed off as “ugh, entitled millennial hipster” when paired with a certain background. I can imagine a lot of these biases would be subconscious. Considering the huge number of applications that just about any job is getting these days, I’d rather not risk it.

          Also, I only have a cell phone and am a renter so I’m pretty tough to find. I’ve never been able to find myself through research methods I use to find people at work.

      3. Katie the Fed*

        yep, that’s what came to mind. Here in DC, by knowing someone’s address I can give you a pretty good idea of whether they’re white or not (or perhaps a gentrifying hipster).

        1. JC*

          That’s just what I thought of when I read that comment.

          I work in Virginia and am one of the few people in my organization who lives in DC. It never occurred to me before reading this, but I bet living in the city vs. suburbs could unconsciously bias someone towards thinking you are younger or older. Same thing with having an apartment number in your address vs. not. I am in my early 30s and my age is obvious from my resume, but the fact that I live in an apartment in the city reinforces my younger age.

          I doubt many people consciously consider these factors when looking at a resume, but they certainly prime a reader to think about you a certain way.

    5. BB*

      That’s hilarious because I live in a very wealthy part of the city- I happened to get an amazing deal on my rent- and after bills and food, I have pretty much nothing left.

      1. Anonymous*

        In my old city, I lived in the wealthiest part of the city (like you, the rent was cheap) and I constantly got “looks” and questions because of it.

        In my current city, I now live in a more blue-collar part of the city because of cheap rent/safety. I’ve gotten comments as well.

        Bottom line: You can’t win. ;)

        1. Katie*

          Yup, I live in Chicago and have plenty of friends slumming it in crappy (expensive) studios in Lincoln Park, while I’m living in a nice home with a yard and garage (and pocketing loads of savings!) in the “hood”.

    6. themmases*

      My boss did this when we were hiring one of my former coworkers (other department stuff, not at all my boss’ fault, caused her to leave after about 6 months).

      She has a very strong resume– actually she’s overqualified for what we needed her to do, but we knew we wanted to promote whoever we hired– but was only volunteering at the time, not working. My boss made a comment to me about her address that “that’s a [fancy neighborhood] address, so someone must be paying her bills.” I pointed out that she was wearing a wedding ring in her interview. I don’t really think of being married and happening to be out of work as “having someone pay your bills.”

      Later my boss was so annoyed that she wanted to think about the job offer that he told us he was going to rescind it if he didn’t hear back in a couple of days, like it was some negotiating tactic for her to want think it over (and like negotiating would be soooo wrong, apparently). Now I sort of wonder if that had to do with what he assumed her background was, as well.

    7. Anonymous*

      This is exactly why I leave my home address off my resume. When I lost my job three years ago, I had to move back into my much cheaper house, which we were preparing to rent at the time and is in a lower-class neighborhood. I live in a very class-conscious part of the country and did not want my address to influence my application.

    8. SamTowana*

      I actually live in an area that gets a “whoa” response a lot, because it has a reputation for being an extremely rich area. In the same area, there are Fortune 500 CEOs, professional athletes, etc. I REGULARLY get the reaction that I must be rich if I live there. The fact is, I do ok, but the area has a much wider range of home prices than people think. I don’t think that going in to an interview with the interviewers having the expectation that I’m a millionaire really does me any favors, and it’s a common enough reaction from friends and co-workers who hear where I live that I don’t think I’m imagining it.

      I don’t know if that alone would be enough for me to leave my specific address off my resume, but when I add on the fact that I work in a high profile business with well known public figures (some of whom have stalkers), I prefer to err on the side of vagueness.

    9. Stephanie*

      Yeah, I lived in SE DC briefly (and East of the Anacostia SE DC, not Capitol Hill) and got a couple of comments. Nothing outright racist, but just “Oh. Uh, how do you like living there?”

      1. Stephanie*

        Oh, to put it in context, SE DC was historically the blackest (and poorest) part of DC. It’s gentrifying…very slowly, but it still has a lot of negative associations (some accurate, some not).

    10. MR*

      This is just another example of why hiring is such a crap shoot.

      You could do everything that Alison and other competent people suggest. However, you never know when you will run into managers that make such a big deal over nothing, and your candidacy is derailed at that point.

    11. AdAgencyChick*

      I will admit that, as a hiring manager, I have had questions about the neighborhood a candidate lives in — if it’s really far from the office, that is. I’ve had not-great experiences with coworkers and direct reports who pull the “my commute is longer than yours, can’t you cover for me?” at 5 PM.

      It hasn’t stopped me from bringing in a candidate whom I otherwise want to interview, because I don’t typically have piles of resumes to wade through for every job opening I have. But I definitely make a mental note to ask about it in the interview if the candidate’s commute looks like it will be more than an hour.

  6. Mark*

    The person could plan on staying somewhere during the week and going home on weekends OP. If you’re eliminating candidates based off of where they live without asking, I question your management skills.

    1. OP*

      Hi – I guess I can see how you think I’m doing that based on the wording of the question. In actuality, though, if I bring someone in for an interview (based solely on their qualifications) and their resume happens to indicate they live several states away, or a potential 2 hour commute, etc., I am glad to know that it’s something I should ask questions about.

  7. AAA*

    Hmm. I never put my address on my actual resume, mostly because it takes up several lines I’d rather use to show my qualifications (or leave some white space so my resume doesn’t look too crowded). No employer I can think of is going to send me snail mail, and I generally think that an email and phone # suffice, BUT – I do always put my address on my cover letter in formal letter style, so I *hope* it doesn’t look to any potential employers like I’m hiding something.

    A related question:
    Is it ethical to use a family member’s physical address if you are looking to relocate near that family member? I’m looking to relocate to a specific area to be closer to family, but I am worried I’ll be screened out based on my 1000-mile-away address… I know employers *should* just look at my qualifications, but I have heard a lot anecdotally about how (in this market) many people aren’t even called for a phone interview if they seem too far away to take the position…

    1. 22dncr*

      I have done this twice. It was the only reason I GOT interviews because I’d tried putting my real address/location with a blurb about how I was looking to move and got no answers.

      1. thenoiseinspace*

        Same here. I’ve even had interviews revoked even after I said I was willing to move across the country on 48 hours notice with no relocation package. If you’re trying to relocate and you put your address on your resume, you’re just asking to get removed from the candidate pool. It’s just not gonna happen in this market.

        I should also point out that my address isn’t on my resume and I’ve had Alison professionally review it, and she said it was fine.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Ha, if I’d caught that, I would have said what I said in the post — that you’re not going to get rejected for it, but it does make some hiring managers wonder what’s up.

          1. Dan*

            Which is kind of funny. If I don’t run a real risk of outright rejection, and if a hiring manager really wonders, then presumably they will pick up the phone and ask.

            BTW, address on a resumes are an outdated convention, no? ATS is going to ask for it. Managers are going to email or call, they’re certainly not going to snail mail anything until the offer stage.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Yeah, I’d bet that it will stop being a convention altogether in the next couple of years.

              Which does make me think that I should stop bothering to advise people to leave it there. Hmmm.

            2. Collarbone High*

              I’ll regard myself as a trend-setter, then! I stopped using an address on mine two years ago, for that very reason — no interviewer is mailing me anything. I’ve gotten a new job plus a handful of interviews since then, so I don’t think it’s hurt me.

          2. thenoiseinspace*

            Yeah, I think in my case it’s because my current employer is a state university with the name of the state in its name, so it’s pretty clear that I’m job hunting from across the country. That might be why it didn’t stand out.

    2. BB*

      I saw a recruiter post on a question a while back and said that is okay. If you are planning to live there while you work or at least are staying there while you get things figured out, it’s fine.

    3. Zillah*

      I’ve even heard of this being a problem if you have a phone number with a non-local area code, which I think is absurd – these days, people keep the same cell phones for years and through many moves!

      1. AmyNYC*

        This is becoming a non-issue.
        Aside from typos… my cell is are code 617 and I live in 671. I dream about lost Thai food that never found me.

        1. Zillah*

          It’s starting to, but I still know people who only started to get interviews once they got a google voice phone number with a local area code… and that’s in the last few years!

    4. themmases*

      My partner did this when he was job hunting, and I see nothing wrong with it. He wanted to move to my city so we could live together, so my address would have become his address if he were hired. I was also his job hunting home base– he came in a couple of times during the week to apply for jobs and let potential employers know that he had time off on those dates if they’d been thinking about interviewing.

      Honestly, even if he had just been moving to the neighborhood and not to my actual address, I would have felt justified in doing this. Screening people out based on their address is a horrible practice, so unless the applicant is being outright dishonest by listing an address they don’t even have access to or misrepresenting whether they will want help with a major move, I think this whole issue reflects worse on employers than applicants.

    5. Stephanie*

      I’ve done it a couple of times. Just be prepared to have to take the financial hit if you have to travel to the area last minute.

      Also really question if you’re also ready to move somewhere last minute. My friend offered to let me use her NYC address for jobs there. I did a couple of times and then realized the impracticality of moving to NYC (from Phoenix) with like three days’ notice.

    6. April*

      I guess I am a trendsetter too. I leave off my address and put an email address instead. There is simply no reason an employer needs an address until at least the offer stage. They are not likely going to be expending postage and paper sending me interview invitations in hard copy even if the address were on there (and I certainly wouldn’t want them to even if they were so inclined! Email is so much faster and more efficient.)

  8. ya*

    Ever since I saw a hiring manager look up someone’s address on street view and assume that he lived with his parents, I have not loved putting my address on my resume. I have job searched both with and without full address listed, last time around right after I had moved to a new city, I used my full address so they would see I am now local. But to me it is irrelevant, so I would happily not include it in the future.

    1. Anon*

      Wow that’s pretty terrible….

      In particular, I’m picturing some poor person, putting off life plans to act as a live in care taker for a parent going through cancer or a disability. And then getting discriminated against for sacrificing so much.

      1. Zillah*

        Sure, that could be the case… but that’s less common, and I’m honestly not sure why it’s any worse to discriminate against them than it is to discriminate against everyone else who’s had to move back home because of a terrible job market and is still searching for a job that pays enough for them to move out and get their own place. Neither one is generally something within the person’s control.

    2. BB*

      That’s crazy!!! And living with your parents would possibly be a good thing for an employer. You know they don’t have crazy roommates who might be partying every night and their cost of living is probably less so they might not ask for as much compensation.

      That’s so wrong though!!!

      1. thenoiseinspace*

        Wrong or not, that’s the kind of thing that happens all the time. It’s a buyer’s market right now and lots of employers (though obviously not all) are power-mad jerks, or have so many applicants that they look for any little reason to narrow the candidate pool.

    3. Evan*

      I’ve got two friends who both live with their parents. One is doing it to save money for grad school (and perhaps also because various things made her need to relocate back to this area in a hurry, and it was probably easier than finding an apartment); the other’s doing it just because his parents live in a perfect location for him.

      I’d never think less of someone because they lived with their parents. If I were interviewing them, I might ask a few more questions to make sure they were emotionally mature, comfortable making decisions, etc… but either of the friends I mentioned above would be a great hire for anyone in their fields.

      1. A Teacher*

        Frankly, where someone lives and who they live with isn’t my employers or any of our employers’ business. I was a “boomer rang” child because of finances and school as well but no one ever asked me about my living arrangement. Heck, where I teach now, my principal can’t remember who’s married, who’s divorced, who lives in town, etc… its kind of nice that way.

      2. Zillah*


        Honestly, in this economy, it seems like if you’re young and still new to the work force, you’re probably either living with your parents or living with at least a couple roommates, especially in expensive areas. I think it says more about the economy than anything else.

    4. April*

      How on earth would street view reveal anything that would imply living with his parents? Was the family all standing on the porch waving when the Google camera went by?

      1. Lisa*

        I’m guessing it’s a nice suburban house and the applicant’s a recent grad applying to a relatively junior role. But as I said above, apart from any other complicated explanation, he could simply be living with a few roommates or renting out the basement.

      2. Stephanie*

        That made me snort.

        Probably the location and/or the house itself. Your average twenty-something probably isn’t living in a nice suburb. Or course, he could be renting a room in a house.

  9. Anon*

    I removed my address and phone number from a resume I had posted on my online portfolio. Mostly because there are a lot of bots crawling the web and getting junk mail isn’t fun. Also, speaking of internet shaming, having your address online when you do something really stupid isn’t fun.

    1. Anon for craptastic experience*

      A member of my family has repeatedly stolen my identity because they know all of my information. My credit and background is so messed up from it (and my own mistakes/overload from school years) that I don’t dare give out my address without being prompted, and then have to explain that I have an idiot in my family. This person isn’t a stalker or have any weird grudge, they’re just horribly ill and misguided. But it has messed things up for me more than once, so…nothankyou

  10. BB*

    Yes to all of this. I’ve contemplated leaving it off for reasons like this letter writer states.

    I live in Philadelphia and am trying to move to NYC. I am already planning to make the commute everyday for a couple weeks until I get my housing situation figured out. I’m sure I’ve been rejected a ton for not being local and I just want to say I have a plan! I swear!

    In the same way you don’t want to waste your time, neither do job seekers. I wouldn’t interview and waste my time for a job that I didn’t seriously think I could take.

    If you’re worried about people’s addresses, address it during the phone screen so if something does come up, you can deal with it then.

    1. Emma*

      I had a coworker who commuted from Trenton, NJ to Queens, NY every day. It’s not impossible to do…but jeez, I didn’t envy him that!

      1. BB*

        Yes my one friend did it for over a year and she was exhausted everyday. Thus why I only plan on doing it for a month tops. At that point I’ll probably take any housing situation I can find!

  11. pizzagrl*

    I live in Manhattan and leave my apartment number off my resume because of safety concerns. I am admittedly paranoid, but I don’t think it’s a terrible idea.

      1. HM in Atlanta*

        I once had a terminated employee sitting my driveway when I got home. I couldn’t get into my house, and he wanted to show me what a bad decision I made in terminating him. This was in pre-cell phone days. Luckily, my neighbor saw this happening and called the police.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          That’s not going to be a concern with applying for jobs though — it’s not like an interviewer is going to come to your house and demand to know why you turned down their offer.

          1. HM in Atlanta*

            If you have safety concerns, it’s about being purposeful with when you share information. She doesn’t really need to share her apt # to have a discussion about the job (and it makes her feel better).

              1. De Minimis*

                I could maybe see it if it was one of those cases we’ve talked about on here where candidates’ resumes are given to numerous people. It seems pretty unlikely though unless there was some weird person that also happened to be part of the interview process.

                1. Laura*

                  Or if it was an online application – remember that site that exposed all their applications on the internet that was discussed a while back? I have to trust their IT security, as well as them.

                2. fposte*

                  But that’s just making an address as public as it is already–I still don’t see why it’s a problem if an address were publicly posted, unless there’s a context that’s going to make it problematic.

              2. Ethyl*

                Having been close to people who are the victims of stalking, I think it’s totally fine and even understandable. Stalkers can be really, really persistent as well as quite adept manipulators, so having lots of people knowing roughly where you live could leave lots of openings for someone who wishes you harm. It’s not common, no, but it does happen occasionally.

                1. some1*

                  I’m not a law enforcement officer, but I’d bet $ that most people who get stalked do so by a partner or former partner. Not to say it wouldn’t be terrifying to be stalked by a stranger, but it’s much more rare.

                2. Ethyl*

                  Well that’s not really the point I was making. Depending on how small your town or industry is, your stalker could use their prior relationship with you to get at this stuff. Like, say, they are talking to someone at a bar in your industry and they say “oh Jane and I used to date, she was so great, do you know where she’s at now” or something, and Bob goes “oh I just saw her resume come across my desk, I think she’s over in the south side/at Company XYZ/in Neighboring City now.” I don’t think strangers will stalk people based on their resume.

              3. RLS*

                Just because the employers are nice people without intentions doesn’t mean there aren’t invisible thieves in the middle. I don’t really use my CC online, never “store” the information if I do, and only use secure shops for it, but somehow my card number has been lifted before. People can phish emails and documents and you’d never know. It’s not paranoia, it’s reality.

                …though I know how paranoid I sound. It’s all happened to me before.

                1. Cat*

                  Credit card numbers, sure. But in this case, they’d have to be phishing random emails in the hopes of getting a resume with an address so they can . . . what? Hope that the address belongs to someone with material possessions they want to steal? Hope that the address belongs to an attractive female? There are MUCH easier ways of learning any of those things.

                2. Ethyl*

                  Well they could use the information they get to make good attempts at your security questions. My mom’s maiden name, what city I was born in, my dad’s middle name — these are all really easy to get once you know a few basic facts about someone.

              4. louise*

                My thought is the interviewer probably isn’t irresponsible, but once we put our information out there, we don’t have control of it anymore. So if a person with inappropriate boundaries got ahold of it, a stalker situation isn’t impossible. Unlikely, yes, but if it gives the individual peace of mind that outweighs the chance an interviewer rules them out over the missing info, then it seems fine to me.

      2. pizzagrl*

        They are admittedly slightly (more than slightly?) insane and possibly influenced by my obsession with Criminal Minds/Law & Order/the topics covered on these shows. My safety concerns are just as you suggest criminal or otherwise frightening purposes. I don’t want someone climbing in my window etc. Resumes aren’t always carefully discarded, interviewers and others with access to resumes aren’t always sane, and well…I’d just like to avoid the possibility. I AM FULLY AWARE OF HOW CRAZY THIS SOUNDS.

        I list my address but leave off my apartment number. Do you think that this matters? It’s different from leaving the full address of.

        1. Zillah*

          Yeahhhhh, this is why I stopped watching SVU and Criminal Minds, even though I enjoyed them – they made me super paranoid and suspicious of everyone. Ugh.

          Not putting you down – honestly, especially as a New Yorker, I get where you’re coming from, especially since most stuff these days is electronic. I’d likely be less paranoid if all we were talking about was paper resumes.

        2. Katie the Fed*

          I watch too much SVU – enough that during my last trip to NYC when I was in Central Park, I was sort of half-expecting to find a body.

          1. Zillah*

            When I watched SVU a lot, I would worry whenever a man between the ages of 18 and 45 started walking behind me. Caution is good, but I started to get a little absurd.

          2. NatalieR*

            When we were in Central Park last summer, I kept pointing out all the places that people had found bodies or done something crazy/criminal on one of the Law and Order franchise shows. I’m sure it was charming.

      3. Zillah*

        Also a New Yorker. For me, at least, I leave off my street address (but include my borough, state, and zip code). I know it’s incredibly unlikely that anything bad will happen if I include it, but I’ve dealt with a stalker in the past, so I’m a bit paranoid about people know my home address, especially most things are electronic these days. It’s unlikely that my resume will end up posted somewhere public or be otherwise accessible to someone who might try to hurt me, but not impossible – I think you had a post on something like that happening at some point fairly recently?

        For me, it’s just peace of mind. I rest a little easier.

        1. Tina*

          This is a complete fluke, and partly because they lived in the same general vicinity, but there was a manager at a previous job who showed up at the candidates house to tell her that she got the job! Good news or not, I still think it was kind of creepy.

      4. Jen RO*

        I also leave my apartment number off, but I couldn’t tell you why. I mean, my apartment *was* broken into once, but not by people who knew the number! I guess I just don’t like the idea of strangers knowing something so personal about me. (And as far as I know, my address is not available anywhere else public – I’m not in the phonebook.)

      5. ReanaZ*

        I know I’m late to the party, but since no one has brought this up yet–

        I’m a survivor of domestic, sexual, and family violence, both cases (as a child in my family and as an adult in a relationship) which lead to stalking and harassing, and am consequently extremely careful to whom I give personal information like my address. I find it extremely difficult to get people to treat my contact details confidentially, even when explicitly asked to. I have had employers–who I explicitly indicated my phone number and address were given for emergencies only and needed to be kept private for my safety–email out my private contact details to the entire company.

        I’ve never worked anywhere where resumes were treated with any vague confidentiality in a standard hiring process–they’re left in printers, on people’s desks, passed around for review, left laying in conference rooms, sent to various offices, tossed into recycling bins, etc. That can be very dangerous to people in my situation if that resume contains an address and it gets left where someone who knows the abuser sees it (a real risk for survivors in small towns).

        One in every four women will experience intimate partner violence in her lifetime. There are quite a lot of us who are put at risk by giving out our addresses too liberally.

  12. HM in Atlanta*

    I don’t think it’s always that standard across the board anymore. Most of the resumes I see (for Atlanta, GA or Denver, CO) don’t have anything other than email and telephone. I don’t think anything about it – I don’t even notice it. I’m in the IT field, and Atlanta has a bit of a sprawl problem, so it could be the combination of those things.

    Full disclosure – about 5 years ago I was job searching and dropped my address. I was moving at the time AND I needed the space on the page. No one was contacting me by letter, and by my work history they knew I was local to Atlanta.

  13. AnonNE*

    If you want to keep your address just a little under wraps, get a PO box. I love that my mail is secure AND people have to “dig” to find my home address. It is easy to find online, but I like the extra layer of false security. (Especially since about 20 years ago I had a strange “stalker-like” run in from me leaving my magazines in the break room – I was thanking my stars I had a UPS/Mailboxes box at the time!) I do agree that for resumes, there needs to be an address.
    On another note: and the real reason I want to add my two cents…I also look at where people live when they apply to our extremely small office. I have to know that the commute isn’t going to burn them out. I have not yet had anyone over 50 miles away stay with the company a year. That being said; the majority of the staff is within 25 miles and have been with us over 4 years each. I realize it is not up to me to decide what is too far or not, but past experience has shown this 25 mile radius is achievable for on time and reliable attendance. It also keeps it manageable in bad weather and with home issues.
    Of note: we are a very blue collar business and I do not find this to be the case with typical white collar positions.

    1. De Minimis*

      I commute a long distance and I hate to say it but you’re probably wise in looking at commuting distance.

    2. A Teacher*

      However, my dad didn’t want to live near Chicago when he got his job so he commuted over 50 miles away to his job and would frequently work overtime to his blue collar job. I’d say that your experience probably isn’t a hard and fast rule but I understand why anecdotal evidence does lead you to make certain decisions.

      1. AnonNE*

        My favorite boss of all time commuted 85 miles, 4 days per week, but she was a professional. These last 15 years hiring laborers and admin has shown me that people tend to look for work “closer to home”. It is not a hard and fast rule, but one that keeps popping up. We are suburban, with no public transportation.
        Last year we hired a person who lived 45-50 miles away. They just left, after staying 4 month; long enough to get a job closer to home.
        I don’t discount people for living far away, I just make sure it is one of the first things I talk about, if their resume interests me. Some people are so busy sending out resumes, they don’t realize where the office is located.

        1. De Minimis*

          I commute a little over 60 miles…I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s been tougher than I thought it would be. There are other people that have similar commutes to mine–we are in a rural area and only a few people are local, but most commute 20-30 miles.

          It can depend on the type of commute too….if it’s fairly straightforward where you’re more or less on the same road most of the way that isn’t too bad, mine is roundabout and I find that very draining.

          1. De Minimis*

            Oh, and in case you didn’t guess, that is a little over 60 miles one way…

            Timewise, though, the longest it takes me is just under 90 minutes on the way home [that’s when I run into what little traffic there is….]

            1. AnonNE*

              I understand…my old boss was 85 one way, mostly on a direct highway. Easy. She didn’t mind because it wasn’t through a city. She just listened to books on tape. (that makes me laugh, tapes!)

              I have a 17 mile/25 minute windy commute and really that is enough for me.

      2. Jamie*

        I really hate to see anyone screened out for a long commute – some of us don’t mind it. I’m 33 miles each way – about 1.5 hours in morning rush if it’s not too bad…I actually prefer a long commute.

        I’d fully expect to be asked about it, because it is an issue for some people – but lots of us do it all the time.

        1. De Minimis*

          And that really depends on region, here where I’m at 33 miles would not be considered unusual at all, because you have a lot of people who either live in a smaller town/rural area and come into the city for work, or they live in the city/bigger town and work in the smaller town/rural area where there are fewer housing options.

        2. OP*

          Do you get asked about the potential long commute? I never thought of it as a discussion I shouldn’t be having, although I’m seeing that others disagree.

          I don’t want to being someone on board, train them, adding them projects, etc., just to learn 6 months in that they are leaving because the commute was too much.

          1. Stephanie*

            It was brought up during an interview once for me. Phoenix is really sprawling, so the commute was about 50 mi one way. The recruiter seemed dubious I could do this. I just wanted to yell “Lady, I’m living at home with my folks while unemployed. I’ll be more than happy to have to move if I get a job. Just trust me.”

          2. AnonNE*

            I always ask about the potential long commute. My boss always asks about the reliability of their car (this was on the other post today). Some people don’t care, some “wake up” and realize they didn’t know how far the commute is. I get the miles from google and make sure they know.

            Twice in the last 8 years we have had the situation you describe above. Hired, trained, and left within the year.

            Again, I firmly believe our issue has to do with “labor” force versus professionals. No one here, besides the managers have degrees.

            1. Jamie*

              Some of it depends on income as well. When a job is close to the minimum wage line and it’s a 50 mile commute driving…you have to make sure they’ve done the math and they won’t decide 2 weeks in that it costs more to travel there than the job is worth.

          3. Jamie*

            I’ve been asked about it, and I’ve asked others about it – because some people really do have an issue with a long commute and you want to make sure it’s not going to be a problem once hired.

            There is nothing wrong with asking about it, I just wouldn’t like to see anyone screened out initially because of it without bothering to ask.

          4. Kerr*

            I have no problem being asked about a long commute; I can see why an employer would be concerned, especially if the job is low-paying. I just don’t want to be automatically excluded because the employer assumes I’ll have a problem with the commute, or be passed over in favor of someone who lives nearby.

            Like Stephanie, I’m living with family and I’d be moving anyway if I got a job that could pay for rent, so it’s not like knowing my current residence would be very useful.

        3. Hiring Manager*

          Same here. I’d be really careful about asking the commute questions. You’re getting into dangerous waters. It’s ok to ask if someone can get to work at X time or be available to work overtime when needed. It’s a whole other kettle of fish to ask “how long is your commute” in a probing manner. It can start to look like discrimination. Where someone lives is not relevant to their ability to do a job.

          On the other hand, I live in LA and my commute is 9 miles but takes 60 minutes. On a good day. Ridiculous right? I hate it and look forward to the day when I’m working within a mile of my home.

    3. Anon*

      I’m in Atlanta and I KNOW I’ve been ruled out based on commute. My address was circled on my resume and I was questioned about it during the interview. I live in Johns Creek and most jobs I interview for are in midtown Atlanta. I live there because it’s approximately midpoint between my husband’s job and midtown. But this answer apparently does not satisfy everyone, even though I’m very upfront about understanding the commute and using it as my wind down/alone time.

  14. Sunflower*

    When I lived with my parents in the city suburbs and used their address, I’d often get questions of where I lived and if it was close. Some people seriously had no idea if I lived close or not and I started to wonder if I was not getting interviews because of this. I contemplated changing my address to the city for that reason alone.

    I also applied for a job 10 minutes from my parents house and interviewed with 3 people. Not a single one had any idea where I lived. Imagine if I missed out on an interview for that. I would be livid.

  15. MC*

    I can see why some people do this… I recently got called about an interview in City XYZ (where I am from, and I listed my parent’s/my permanent address) because I was thinking of relocating back home. Since my “home base” is there and I am single, moving back wouldn’t exactly be a difficult thing.

    However, when they called to confirm that I was already in City XYZ, I had to tell them I was actually still currently working in City ABC but that I WOULD be able to make it in for an interview anyway. (And my resume did state that I was still presently working out of a company located in City ABC! Sigh…)

    Annnnd I never heard back.

  16. Anonymous*

    I have a funny story about address, it happened recently. I was interviewing for a new job, the interviewer asked me if I lived around a college, I said yes. After a few more questions he asked me again if I lived near the college. I said yes again. He then proceeded to ask me if I lived in a dorm room or a frat house. I had to clarify that I didnt, that my childhood home was located there and I still lived there. He said ok laughed and said he thought I was still partying like a college student. I did go to college there and it made sense for him to think that but it was funny that he was stuck on that topic.

  17. R*

    I started including just city/state instead of my full address after I started receiving some shady emails about fake-sounding job opportunities that promised me three times my current salary and frequent all-expenses-paid trips to the Bahamas. (If they were real, I’m really regretting not following up!) For the record, I didn’t post my resume online, but I did apply to some positions through staffing agencies. I know it’s probably an overreaction, but I figured if spammers could get my email address, then they could likely get my home address as well, and I’d rather be safe than sorry!

    I don’t know how many potential employers have been turned off by this, but it gave me peace of mind. I received plenty of requests for phone screens and interviews, and actually ended up landing a job that seems like a great fit. (I start in two weeks!!)

  18. Marquis*

    Once I started using a friend’s address when I was trying to move out of state, I started getting replies.

    However, that’s around the time I started using AAM’s advice on cover letters and resumes, so that could’ve been a factor.

  19. thenoiseinspace*

    It just seems old-fashioned and unnecessary, honestly. There’s absolutely no reason for an employer to need it, and it’s private information that could be used against me (like the google mapping mentioned above). If a potential employer requested that information early in the process, it would be a major red flag for me and I’d seriously consider withdrawing. Besides, nobody really communicates through mail anymore. I only open mine about once a week. If it’s important, it’s an email – everything in the actual mailbox is usually junk.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yeah, I have zero use for the information and can’t defend the expectation. My point is just that for many hiring managers, it IS still an expectation and some will wonder about why it’s been left off. Again, no one is getting rejected over not including it (at least not by anyone reasonable), but I maintain there’s no point in flouting resume convention unless there’s a specific reason to.

      1. AAA*

        But, as mentioned above – there are at least two people here who have witnessed hiring managers use this information inappropriately (e.g. google mapping and deciding on a person’s economic class — and possibly race–based on this info). I’d say that is a good enough reason to keep your address off your resume.

    2. ThursdaysGeek*

      Well, it’s not all that private — with just a name, I can often find the address (and birthdate) of friends and co-workers. And that’s without paying any money.

  20. Fiona*

    “However, back to you: Stop looking at people’s addresses to decide whether they could realistically commute to work or not. “

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Alison. If you hadn’t said it, I was going to say it for you!

    1. OP*

      Hi, it’s the OP. That’s a fair comment. In my defense, I have never ruled anyone put because they don’t live very close. It’s just something that needs to be addressed – what the working hours are, will you be happy/able to accommodate twice weekly 8 am meetings, etc.

      1. Zillah*

        But you should be asking everyone that, regardless of their commute time. Knowing how close by someone lives tells you nothing about their situation.

        The person who lives an hour away may be fine with twice/weekly 8am meetings, while the person who lives 15 minutes away may not be able to make that work because he has to drop his kid off at school at 7:45 every day.

        IMO, you’re better off just giving people the facts and letting them tell you whether it’s a problem, rather than making a lot of assumptions based on their commute or location. These are things are you should be asking everyone.

      2. MovingRightAlong*

        But aren’t those things you should be covering with the candidate regardless of potential commute distance? If someone lives 15 minutes away, but can’t stand to open her eyes before 8 am, there’s still going to be a conflict. I understand that you’ve been burned before by employees who discover their commute is too long, but it still seems like an attempt to factor in irrelevant information. The question isn’t, “Where do you live?” it’s “Can you perform the job as I’ve outlined, including the schedule?”

        1. OP*

          Ok, you have a good point. It seems a little silly to me to ask the person who lives a mile from the office if they are sure they won’t mind their drive, but maybe it would be a problem because they can’t reset before they get home and start dealing with their personal life.
          I have never been asked a question worded like you suggest (can you perform the job as described, including the start time) and when interviewing, tend to have more of a conversation that would generally cover that. I could see that more in an entry level or factory setting?
          Anyway, you bring up interesting points. I, of course, wouldn’t progress to an offer until I understand whether someone can/will be able to do the job and can fit into our expected hours, but I haven’t addressed it quite that way.

  21. A Liberrian*

    I follow Liz Ryan on Linkedin and ironically, she posted a very similar question today (the writer is conducting a long distance job search). Her response was, “Take the actual street address off your resume (that goes for everyone, not just out-of-town job-seekers) and replace it with just the city and state, in your case New York, New York.

    You’ve got your email, phone and LinkedIn profile url (customized) on your resume, so we don’t need your street address. Presto! You’re a New Yorker. Good luck on the job search!”

    For some reason, her response seems kind of shady to me. What if the job seeker gets called to interview in the office and is given short notice? Could that not create potential problems as well as mistrust?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yeah, I think with that advice you need to warn people that they could be called for an interview on short notice and need to be prepared to explain. It’s not about lying (and “Presto! You’re a New Yorker” kind of rubs me the wrong way for that reason).

    2. Sunflower*

      I also think in a place like New York where you know people are looking to relocate to- and maybe more likely to ask for assistance because of high costs of living- it’s going to stick out more than if you’re talking about a small town.

      And in NYC where there are SO many people, it’s just that much easier for your resume to get tossed because it seems a little sketchy.

      1. A Liberrian*

        I should mention that this particular column was geared towards people who are recent graduates or new to the job market. IMO, the not-s0-great advice if you hope to have successful, long-term career.

        That being said, “Presto! I’m in the Caribbean.” ;) It’s much warmer there than where I’m currently living.

  22. Poohbear McGriddles*

    I can see the need for having your home address on there in the past when correspondence was done by typewriter and snail mail. These days, most people call my cell phone or send me an email. Even offer letters and benefits materials can be sent as email attachments.
    So there is not really a “need” to include this information like there once was. The only exception I can see is if the job posting specified local candidates only, and you want to show that you meet that requirement. However, unless the job is something like a tour guide where having a feel for the area is important, all the employer really needs to say is that relocation assistance is not provided.

  23. Sunflower*

    I interviewed for a job where the manager was more concerned with how I would get to work rather than any of my skills. I only lived 15 miles from the office(in a city) and told him I just got a new car so driving a reliable vehicle wouldn’t be a problem, or take the train and I would be moving into the city so I could walk at that point and he was still concerned. Probably the most bizarre convincing I ever had to do during an interview…

  24. Dan*


    You’ve asked about safety concerns, but I suspect identity theft issues are more likely.

    As you’ve said elsewhere, there’s no real need for it, it’s just convention. While we can all debate the likelihood of certain things happening, the truth is, all the address does is create exposure with no benefit. From an “expected value” standpoint, that means leave it off. There’s no gain by leaving it on. Even if there’s a small chance of something bad happening, with no potential upside to balance it out, the risk assessment says that leaving it on is an overall negative expected value.

    You’d also be surprised at how NOT secure things can be at smaller companies. That resume wasn’t just accessible by the hiring manager and HR. If that person was called in for an interview and the resume attached to the outlook invite, that person’s resume could be viewed by the whole company with the default settings that were in place at the time. If you got hired, your resume made it on to a network drive for the whole company to access.

    I realize all of these concerns are small or rarely going to happen, but with an outdated convention, hiring managers will get used to it after awhile.

    1. Anonymous*

      Excellent point about identity theft, Dan.

      A good friend of mine was a victim of identity theft and it was a nightmare trying to get it all cleaned up. After helping her through that, I’m very careful about giving out personal info of any kind.

    2. CTO*

      But your address is pretty easy to find if someone wants it. It’s not private like a Social Security number. If someone is determined to steal my identity or harm me in some way, it’s not tough to figure out where I live. I would think that an applicant’s birthdate, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, etc. are much more useful to an identity thief, and they’re not on a resume.

      1. Laura*

        That depends on your name, and how common it is, in part. There are two of me in my town, five in a nearby town (and one of those has the same middle initial), 6 in the city I work in, and 12 in the big city at the core of our metro area (two with the same middle initial as me, and one more a ghost of me from at least 12 years ago – Spokeo doesn’t know I moved, apparently). Some of those are probably duplicates of each other, since I have a duplicate, but even so – sorting out the mess might not be easy.

        Admittedly, I’ll guard my social much harder. (And the others, but the social is the hardest for someone to search out/find, of the three you listed, I suspect.)

    3. The LeGal*

      I think about my LinkedIn profile. My name is on there, and my entire employment history. Someone could easily Google my home address. That freaks me out from an idenity theft standpoint. Does it freak anyone else out?

    4. RLS*

      I also do worry about identity theft, because I’ve had it happen more than once. It’s so easy for them to lift that information from .pdfs and recipients of the documents wouldn’t even know. My phone number is a risk I just kind of have to take, but my address? No.

  25. CTO*

    I did recently work somewhere (small nonprofit) that sent rejection notices via snail mail postcard, and I’ve also gotten mailed rejections notices in the not-too-distant past. Inefficient? Yes. But I think some people prefer to send them because it’s easier to respond and argue back when you get a rejection email or phone call.

    Granted, these places are obviously still pursuing top candidates by phone or mail. You won’t miss out on a job offer by omitting your mailing address. But if you’re going to complain that companies don’t send rejection notices, just know that you might miss out on a few (at least in some fields, probably not all) if they can’t send you mail.

    1. CTO*

      Oh dear, that should read, “Granted, these places are obviously still pursuing top candidates by phone or EMAIL.”

    2. Bryan*

      I got rejected from a place I applied for grad school by email then again my snail mail. I was like, “Ok, I get it.”

      1. AAA*

        This has to be an academic thing. When I was applying for academic positions I routinely received *both* an email and a snail mail rejection. I mean…once was enough!
        It reminds me of that boy I dated in high school that kept trying to break up months after we had broken up… Him: “I don’t know if we should see each other any more” Me: “Yes, I broke up with you back in December…and we haven’t spoken in three months…?”

        But really I don’t get why universities (many of them public with stretched budgets) would do this! And then the ones that don’t don’t bother to send you a rejection at all…but that is far more “normal” unfortunately for the working world.

        1. Poe*

          I used to work in a uni registrar’s office and I can tell you exactly why we email and then mail everything: people and computers are dumb. They put typos in their email addresses, or give us a fake email because they think we will spam them. Their spam filter catches us because we send out massive batches of emails from a database (1,500+ at a time) and some email clients don’t like that. People will claim they didn’t get the email or the letter. We double-sent EVERYTHING, not just rejections. It was hugely annoying, but with how seriously college applications, course choices, etc. matter to people, it’s best to make sure they know, even if we run the risk of telling most people the same thing twice.

    3. thenoiseinspace*

      Wait, wait – POSTCARD?

      I’m picturing a picture on the back of the whole office, holding their coffee cups and smiling, with a big word-art-esque caption that says “Don’t wish you were here!…but we’ll keep your resume on file.”

      1. CTO*

        Hahaha no–it just had the applicant’s address on one side and a short standard rejection note on the other. No visuals!

      2. Anonymous*

        I actually got one of those several years ago. The only difference was that they didn’t say “Don’t you wish you were here” and it had a photo of a really cute dog on it.

          1. Sadsack*

            er – I meant to write “animal photos” – I had Bad News with Baby Animals in mind when I wrote it.

            1. Anonymous*

              True – animals just make everything better. :)

              I wish I could remember exactly what the postcard said because it was really hilarious.

              It turned out to be a very bizarre place to work (from what I heard from acquaitances that actually worked there for a time).

              1. GoodGirl*

                There should be a post about the worst/funniest ways we’ve ever been rejected for a job. I bet there’s some great stories out there.

    4. Anonsie*

      That’s nuts. I don’t think I’ve ever received something in the mail after applying for a job.

      I don’t even think I’ve even received mail from anywhere after being hired, for that matter.

  26. Bryan*

    Also with so many companies having online application systems you might be required to put one in there even if you leave it off of your resume.

  27. AmyNYC*

    Looking for my first professional job out of college, I was living with my parents in suburban MA and wanting desperately to be back in New York (I had gone to school there). I used a friend’s address and come down for interviews. At the interview I was asked about the store I was working at: “Oh, do you work at Teapot and Co downtown?”
    “no, not that one…”
    “So the Teapot and Co uptown then?”
    “Yeah, really uptown….”

    Use the local address (I did town and zip) to get in the door, then don’t be like me – be honest about your plan to move.

  28. Jax*

    It’s the age of Zillow. Type in any residential address on Google and one of the first few sites listed will be the real estate info.

    Do I really want a potential employer finding out I bought my house in 2007 and paid $120,000 for it? Oh, and here are the old MLS pictures from that listing. Hmm. She overpaid.

    I seriously hope most hiring managers are way too sensible and busy to do that. But after watching my coworker snoop our other coworkers homes online after we gave her our addresses for Baby Shower Invites…

    I think I’m going to stick to City, State.

  29. Calla*

    Are most people’s addresses really readily available still? I’m wondering how true that is for big cities where people don’t stay in the same apartment for 10 years and/or don’t have landlines. For example, I looked up myself and a friend on the internet white pages — they had the city wrong for me, and the city correct for a friend, and in both cases you had to pay to see any more information, i.e. the actual address. I also looked up my girlfriend, who lives in a small town in the same state, and there was zero record.

    1. De Minimis*

      I was really annoyed to find that my county puts the full names of property owners on the assessor/tax collector website. I liked where I lived before, where that wasn’t legal to do.

      1. Judy*

        Yes, where I live, City, State will allow you to go to that location’s property tax assessor website and search by name.

  30. RLS*

    My default resume doesn’t have one, specifically because I DO apply to long-distance jobs. That being said, I make it very clear in my cover letter that I am long-distance, especially if there is an application that will also ask for my address. I only have one page of space on my resume, my address is constantly changing and it takes up too much space. I include my phone number, LinkedIn and my industry blog instead. How many times do I have to tell them where I live? Once. Not on all three documents.

  31. Natalie*

    I actually posted a question about this on the AAM LinkedIn page and it received similar responses. I have recently switched to city and state after having my full street address on my resume simply because I don’t want potential employers making assumptions (in any way) about me based on where I live. I am hoping that it doesn’t adversely affect me, but I am paying close attention to how well this resume is received.

  32. Sandrine*

    I know of an employer in the area that basically says if you live more than an hour away by public transportation, you’re OUT (unless you have a car, that is).

    (Mouse themed park, if you will. Ahem.)

    While it sucks in a way because it rules a lot of people out, the logic actually makes sense : if you have to be there at 7 AM depending on your shift but you don’t have reliable transportation or a car, how can they trust to hire you and avoid you getting to work late and things like that ? Sometimes the shifts can also go past the last train, and unless it’s a “special event” you just have to deal with it yourself and find solutions.

    So while the “one hour” policy could seem wrong, when you make the calculations, it’s actually quite intelligent in a way.

    1. Anonsie*

      It’s just silly to make that presumption, though. Plenty of people commute for over an hour by public transport without issue, and plenty of people carpool. People also move.

      Now that I think about it, I actually applied to several openings at a new Disney resort once that was over two hours away by bus (not very far geographically, but far by bus standards). My lease was about to be up, as was my temp gig, and I was applying all over figuring that was good timing because I could move anywhere I got hired.

    2. Susan*

      I didn’t really know this was a thing until recently (I read something similar on another blog). I’ve been including just phone & email for 2 years, and the main reason was to help my resume fit on one page. The second reason was because I assumed since we’re so digital these days, your address was unnecessary.

      Please don’t discriminate in this way, managers. A lot of my friends who are 2 or so years out of college, live with their parents or have some sort of roommate situation with four other people where they have to commute but they’re doing it to save money on rent. It’s not because they’re less committed. It’s because living in a major city is expensive!

      Also, it’s hard to move closer when you don’t already have a job (renters like to get the sense that you can pay them.) At my old job, a young woman was commuting 2 hours for 1 year until she was promoted from temp to full-time and bought a house locally. She’s a great employee and was chosen for the full-time position over 2 other internal candidates. They would have missed out on her if they cared about her zip code.

  33. Sharm*

    I was only a twinge uncomfortable about having my personal contact info on my resume before, but now you guys have really scared me! Especially in regards to identity theft. Yikes. :-\

    Where I live now, I think having an address is a must. I don’t know if just a city and state would fly. People always say they want to move here, but many don’t follow through, so local employers have learned to not even bother with candidates that don’t live here. I was trying to find work from my old city and used my old address for a while. I got a couple of calls, but I could tell no one took me seriously.

    Given that I went to school elsewhere and several of my jobs were in a different state, I think I’ll always need my full address while living here. But you guys have made a very strong case for city, state only. I’ll definitely be thinking about it.

  34. Brett*

    What about situations where living in a certain area is required for the position, according to the listing, and you don’t live in the area?

    About half the positions I have seen in my area in my field have had this requirement, especially high level positions. Employees are required to maintain a residence in the required area and applicants must move into the area before hire. (In Chicago, applicants are frequently required to move before _applying_.) And the requirement is strictly enforced; I have seen more than one person fired because it was discovered that they owned two houses.

    This is much more common in the public sector jobs, but also shows up with regulatory in private sector jobs that have government contracts.

    1. Zillah*

      I’m not really sure what you’re asking. If the job listing says that you are required to live in the area, and they strictly enforce that, and you don’t live in the area, then… well, that is what it is, and you’ve very unlikely to get the job, right?

      1. Brett*

        In a situation where you have to move before applying, yes, the job is out.

        But in situations where you have to move before starting work? As an example, there was a position advertised near me that paid extremely well (60% pay raise and better benefits for less responsibilities), but required moving to a city about 15 miles away with lower housing costs.

        The move would not have been a big deal at all. But it seems like having an out of the mandatory area address would hurt and maybe be used as a disqualification from the start.

        1. De Minimis*

          I’ve seen quite a few government positions where they specific “Local commuting area” only.

          I actually see it more for lower level positions where they most likely have a large applicant pool and there’s no point in interviewing someone from far away.

          1. Dan*

            Fed jobs will just say something like “no relocation assistance.” I live in DC and applied to a fed job in Boston (go figure) who was very much open to me moving up there.

  35. Tiffany In Houston*

    I have not used my address on a resume in years. I deal with recruiters a lot for the jobs I apply to and they would take it off anyway. And like others have commented, I removed it because I was a single woman (at the time) and was worried about my personal safety.

    I don’t seem to have been harmed by leaving it off and I plan to continue doing so.

  36. Anonymous*

    I never put my address on a resume any more. The reason? Where I live in my major metropolitan area is considered ‘way far away’ from most of the industrial centers. I’ve worked with recruiters in the past (helping them fill positions) and I’ve seen them reject candidates who would look like they’d have a long commute. Their words: “They’ll say the commute is fine, but then they’ll get tired of it and leave.”

    Um, no, not if it’s a great career move to have that job.

    I don’t want anyone making that call for me, thank you.

  37. MR*

    I have yet to encounter an ATS that permits you to submit an application without entering your address. So, in a way, this is largely an irrelevant discussion…

    Until you then consider that I have also yet to encounter an ATS that doesn’t ask for your resume (after you have manually filed in all of the information it contains and/or fixed all of the info that the ATS screwed up by attempting to read you resume).

    You just can’t win.

    1. Cara Carroll*

      Test files are great for applying to ATS. I have my resume in text format as well, ready to go. Because MS Office is an application and there is code behind it, so when you try and copy/paste directly from the resume into an ATS the formatting can get messed up. But when it is already in text format this will not happen. That being said I learned the after a few attempts to import information from the resume really doesn’t do me any good so that is why I keep the text file and do quick copy/paste rather than go back and fix all the places the ATS inserted info that is in the wrong place.

      I only put my city, state, zip on the resume mainly as a space saver, if no one is going to search my street then why would I bother with it.

  38. MovingRightAlong*

    I’ve never listed my full address on my resume, just City, State. My initial reasoning was simply that the street address just wasn’t that meaningful – this was during and just after college when I essentially had two addresses: the place I lived, which changed yearly, and my permanent address at my parent’s home a few towns over. It didn’t make sense to me to use my permanent address because it would give an incorrect impression of where I lived, but my actual location was pretty fluid. I was working mostly short-term gigs at the time, so the dilemma came up pretty often (i.e. I know I’m moving out when my lease is up in three months, but I haven’t found a new place yet and don’t want any misunderstandings about where to send my paycheck down the road).

    I also don’t blame folks who don’t list their full address for fear of discrimination. In a best case scenario, yes, you’re screening out employers who are consciously or unconsciously racist or elitist. Or sexist, if the employer is worried about a woman having to travel through a “dangerous” neighborhood (which happened to me with the only potential employer who has ever asked where I live. Not my ideal employer, but I could’ve put up with the misplaced fatherly-ness until I found something better. Food is food). But if you’re not really in a position to turn down work, why hand out information that can play against you? It won’t help avoid all forms of discrimination, but it can help with others.

  39. Wren*

    I think the real issue would be that it could end up being that you don’t hire people from one part of the area and the majority of people who live there are black …

  40. Kerr*

    I don’t include my address because it takes up extra space. I also don’t include it because I’m often applying online, and I just don’t feel like handing ALL of my information out on a silver platter – especially if I’m replying to a blind ad, and not directly through a company’s website.

    Also, I don’t want employers to make assumptions about how far I’m willing to commute. A distance that looks longer on paper can be shorter in practice than a “closer” location. Or I might be planning to move. Employers seem to be getting pickier and pickier about where employees live, and I don’t feel like giving them another reason to rule me out.

    Flipping the question, if it’s so easy to look up an applicant’s home address, why should it look like the applicant has something to hide by leaving it off?

  41. Anonymous*

    Regarding assessing candidates based on potential commutes. I don’t think you should refuse to interview people based on a potential commute, but I do think its totally relevant to talk about in an interview. I lived in LA for 5 years and many people were more than willing to endure a 2+ hour commute to and from work every day. That being said, where I worked our employer allowed for a lot of flexibility. Most people who lived 50+ miles away had to work 6am-3pm schedules otherwise their commute would be double the time and just wouldn’t be practical. For some employers this type of flexibility just won’t work depending on the job. Now that I’m in a smaller market a longer commute would never concern me. But, I do think its relevant in some markets for some jobs. (And yes, I do realize many places outside of LA have bad traffic too. I’ve lived on the east and west coast.)

  42. Joey*

    Wow. I’m curious. For everyone that wants to remove address do you also ask that the phone directories remove it from their listings?

    Here’s what goes through my head when I see no address: this is someone who may be hypersensitive about privacy. Or maybe they don’t actually have an in town residence? Or maybe they are hiding from someone? Or maybe they don’t trust companies with what most people think is benign applicant information? Why don’t they trust my company? Is it just my company they don’t trust or do they have trust issues in general?

    Granted, I’ll still call, but my ears will be up a little more about those questions.

  43. Greg*

    Alison, I have to disagree with you here. You say candidates should leave your address on because hiring managers might look askance at resumes without one, but isn’t the more important question why they need that information in the first place? Realistically, no employer these days has any need to contact any candidate at their home address, at least not before they get hired. It is a vestige of when they used to respond to applicants via snail mail. Moreover, as the OP herself demonstrates, hiring managers DO use that information for inappropriate purposes, so it’s conceivable that including your address could hurt you more than not including it.

    I initially took my address off my resume at a time when I was considering relocating, and was applying to jobs in another market. But eventually, I just decided that it was unnecessary information and therefore wasted space. If a company wants to know which city I currently reside in, they can look at my most recent job (or follow the link to my LinkedIn profile).

    1. Joey*

      Well you could also argue that at the applicant stage last name isn’t needed either for similar reasons, but I’m guessing you wouldn’t go for that would you?

      Company location and where you live aren’t always the same cities, states or even countries.

      1. Greg*

        I can think of numerous benefits to knowing a candidate’s last name. I might want to look them up on LinkedIn, or Google them. Whereas the only reason I would need someone’s address is if I were planning on mailing them a letter.

        Last names are also part of common custom. How often do you introduce yourself to someone by stating your full name? How often do you introduce yourself by revealing your address?

  44. OP*

    Hi everyone, thanks for your feedback. I can’t recall having seen a resume without a resume, and I do think (prior to this discussion at least) that it would have looked odd to me, which is why I asked the question. I still don’t think there is anything wrong with talking to the candidate about their current location in relation the job location, but you have all raised some interesting points.

  45. Vicki*

    “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.”

    The phone book (:-) doesn’t contain our address. I think it has our PO Box. Our drivers licenses show the PO Box. My checks (when I used checks) used the PO Box.

    Our street address may be available online, but I work pretty diligently to make it not that easy to find.

  46. Anonymous*

    Many will take this as odd, but so be it.

    I never, ever give out my street address unless mandatory. Not to survey takers, not to contest entries, not to the doctor, dentist, vet, anyone. They all ask for it on their forms, but they don’t need it. They just don’t. No one needs it but people who have a clear and current reason to be physically present at my home.

    Due to mail theft in my area, I’ve had a PO box for years. I use that. I put nothing on my resume but email/phone, though if I were looking for a job while unemployed I’d put city/state. I don’t have a land line so am not in phone books. I remove or suppress my information from online sites as much as possible.

    Why? I receive zero benefit by supplying information not truly needed, and doing so creates opportunity for misuse. Identity theft is rampant, as are crazy people. I value my privacy.

    A couple of jobs ago my boyfriend and I worked at the same company. I was an employee and he was contracting. It was an awful, stressful place; he had it with working 80 hour weeks and being phoned multiple times every night for non critical reasons, and after various broken promises to give him relief, he quit. Because of their poor management, he was the only person who knew the core software that ran the entire business. When he would not answer calls asking him to come back, they started asking me to talk to him, or how they could reach him. When I politely declined to get involved, they asked for our home address to go talk to him since he wouldn’t take calls. I was asked multiple times, pulled out of meetings and pressured to help them reach him. I assure you, if my street address had been in my personnel file instead of my PO box, I’d have had a front porch full of every executive in my company.

    No thanks.

    1. AnonNE*

      Wow – horror story that unfortunately I have heard the gist of before. Which, is why we have a PO Box too!

  47. JenTheNiceHRGirl*

    When candidates submit resumes through our website they get uploaded directly into my applicant tracking system. If the candidate doesn’t include an address on their resume, the ATS will grab anything that it thinks is an address and pop it into the address line and everything gets all jumbled. Other than that, I don’t need a candidate’s address until we are ready to make them a job offer and need it for background checks, payroll, new hire packet, etc… If you are sending your resume directly to an employer, I would say that you should include your address….. but if you don’t want to, I don’t think it will cause any major issues.

  48. RecruiterM*

    As a recruiter working with startups, I need to know where the candidate lives – not all companies can sponsor relocation. A city is enough – I know local geography. If a candidate leaves far away, a note explaining his/her relocation choices is really appreciated, otherwise we may be wasting cycles.
    Commute is an issue, too. Even if a candidates says he does not mind, I have enough experience to know that in the majority of cases commute DOES become an issue, sooner or later.
    Also, the distance to be traveled sometimes serves as a point in salary consideration – I had cases when a candidate was willing to settle for smaller salary because the office was so close to him.
    So I vote for having a city on a resume – no need for exact address – and if it is far, a note regarding relocation situation.

    1. Greg*

      It’s certainly understandable that you might encounter cases where you need the information. The question is, would you eliminate candidates who didn’t include it on their resume, especially given that any questions can be addressed a) in the cover letter or b) in the first 30 seconds of a phone screen?

  49. Ruffingit*

    Evaluate candidates on their merits, and ask directly if you have questions about their commute length or whether they’d need relocation.

    THANK YOU! I live in a city where people do this sometimes because the commute from one area to another of the same city would mean a good hour or two on the road. Thing is, I’d be willing to move to a different part of the city if I got the job and/or I’d be willing to commute for awhile because it’s so much a regular part of life for me to drive all over the place anyway that it wouldn’t be that big a deal. So definitely look at merit and ask about commute if you have a concern, don’t assume.

  50. JW*

    I wonder if this differs in different countries. I’m in the UK (previously Australia), would never even think of putting my address on my resume! They have my email and phone number so they can contact me, and presumably I wouldn’t apply if I didn’t want that particular job in that particular location. Maybe that’s because the UK is much smaller than the USA?

  51. Jessica*

    I feel like I’m having this issue now with finding a job…I just graduated and have been sending out resumes for the past 2-3 months with barely any responses. I live on Staten Island NY so there are NO real corporate jobs to find here. My only choice is commuting to Manhattan NYC or close in NJ. But I feel like putting Staten Island on my resume is having people discriminate me because I’m sure an employer would prefer a candidate to live directly in NYC. Plus there’s a whole stereotype with Staten Island because of TV shows and the people so I feel like I suffer there. I’m not like the people here :/ I think I’m going to leave Staten Island off my resume besides my college (since it’s called the college of Staten Island). I have no choice to commute to the city for work but I hope I’m not being discriminated based on that.

  52. EEO Thinker*

    Perhaps the individual is concerned about being ruled out for consideration based on their zipcode. Or that you make assumptions about them based on how their place appears when you pull it up on Google Earth.

  53. giginyc*

    Idk if anyone’s going to reply to this as it’s been a few days. I leave my physical address off my resume b/c it’s not a point of contact for employers. Also, I would hate for my ex-boss to know where I live. He was a creep, and I wouldn’t put it past him if he made an appearance on my stoop. Thank goodness I was through an agency and they are the ones who have my address on file.

  54. Vicki Love*

    I stopped adding my address on my resume when I realized fraudulent activities were taking place when faxing resumes to ‘potential employers’. Candidates were being burglarized and hustled because the fax number was a number set up by criminals. I only put City, State, Zip, Phone Email and Name.

  55. TheAssistant*

    For what it’s worth, I have a restraining order against someone and my address is very much NOT public information. It’s not easily located on the web. I don’t have a home line, so it’s not in the phone book. I update my mailing address selectively and use mail forwarding. I just prefer to leave my address off my resume – when an employer needs to know for hiring paperwork, I provide it, it’s kept secure, etc. My address IS a huge privacy concern to me – it’s truly the last thing my ex doesn’t know about me.

  56. Sonja*

    I’m moving out of state, but still find it extremely difficult to even get my foot in the door. I read some articles, that one should keep their current address of their resume, if you’re relocating. Thoughts?

  57. Karen*

    Wow. Now I am confused! I just read an article the other day that said that you should never post your address on your resume or CV and I was in the process of removing mine. Not that I am looking for a job. I am nearing early retirement, so my resume is pretty old school. I mainly wanted to update it to keep it looking modern and fresh. The article that I read said it should not be posted because it can be a source of identity theft even if it not posted online. There could be a dishonest person who works in the office that receives your resume. Anyway I decided to Google some articles about it and came across this post. Now I don’t know if I should remove it or not! I think that I will keep it on and only remove it if I am planning to post it online. I’m afraid that I would be discriminated against by a potential employer who thinks that I am hiding something. I live in Philadelphia, PA which is a large and diverse city. I live in a middle class neighborhood, but a potential employer may think that if I only put my city and state (which I was going to do) that I am trying to hide a my actual address. I would never have thought of that before I read the posts here.

  58. Noone By That Name Here*

    Including the physical address seems pretty 1985 these days. I was told to remove my address so many times, and now I’m hearing it’s odd if I do not include it? Gimme a break. People barely reply via email; what in the world do they need to send me — a rejection letter?

  59. David*

    “(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.)”

    Is this statement really relevant at this point? I haven’t had my home address listed in the phone book for decades and with the advent of mobile phones, there’s no reason for anyone else to be listed either. I’ve been using CMRA addresses like The UPS Store and PakMail since the 90s as my “home” address on everything from drivers licenses to resumes and have never had any privacy concerns. By utilizing the street address mailbox services of companies like these, a prospective employee can confidently list their “home” address on their resume (or anywhere else, for that matter) and be assured that their privacy will still be well protected.


      I’m applying for new jobs now. I will put the city, State, and zip code but I refuse to put my physical address. People can look you up on the internet and they can take one look at my LinkedIn profile and you will see I am young woman. I will not put myself in the position of identity theft, stalking, and many other security reasons. I will give them my physical address when I get a interview or have the job. Otherwise, being a young female I’m going to prevent myself from being a victim of anything!!!!!!!!!!


    I’m applying for new jobs now. I will put the city, State, and zip code but I refuse to put my physical address. People can look you up on the internet and they can take one look at my LinkedIn profile and you will see I am young woman. I will not put myself in the position of identity theft, stalking, and many other security reasons. I will give them my physical address when I get a interview or have the job. Otherwise, being a young female I’m going to prevent myself from being a victim of anything!!!!!!!!!!

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