Below are the three reasons never to include your street address on your resume:
1. Personal Safety
If you post your resume online, you’re opening yourself to security risk. Most of us wouldn’t include our home address on Facebook posts, personal Web pages, or tweets but we never think twice about putting it on our online resumes for the entire world to see.
We want employers to contact us, right? Sure, but what about unsavory sorts like identity thieves? They could use your street address to gain access to your personal financial information. And let’s not even discuss all of the other sordid people out their cruising the information highway. The odds of falling victim to scams or other acts of foul play are slim but, as I explain below, why not eliminate risk completely while gaining a competitive advantage at the same time.
2. Rejection Letters
Eliminating your street address can actually pay dividends. Without a street address, companies cannot send you a form rejection letter after interviewing you. Instead, reputable employers will be bound by professional courtesy to give you a rejection phone call. What’s the advantage, you might ask? With a phone call you have dialogue and one more opportunity to sell your value.
Suppose the company has already selected another candidate, you now have an opportunity to ask about other openings in the company and to describe how you could be an asset to the company in another role. If the caller is familiar with you (perhaps he or she interviewed you), you could say, “I know I have a lot of value to offer the right company and I’d like to perform better on future interviews. Would you mind telling me what you thought my biggest strengths and weaknesses were from our interview?” Most likely, the person on the other end of the line will be more than happy to help you (it eases the guilt of having to deliver bad news).
And if the company has not made its final hiring decision, you just might make an impression over the phone that makes them reconsider your qualifications.
3. Economic Profiling
Here’s where your street address can take a real chunk out of your wallet. The Internet age gives job seekers a wealth of resources for conducting job searches, but it provides just as many powerful tools for employers. And those tools can directly affect salary offers.
Include your street address and employers can use online search engines (think zillo.com) to determine the value of your property, the median income in your neighborhood or how much you paid for your home and develop a salary offer based on your current economic situation. If you live in a lower income area, companies can reliably assume that you will accept a lower salary offer. If you live in a super posh neighborhood, they might overlook you thinking they can’t afford your salary requirements.
Several of my colleagues conducted an impromptu survey of HR professionals and found that most agree your physical address is not essential information to provide on your resume. Several respondents posed a very interesting reason for not including your physical address, one that I had not considered when writing this article: some employers will look at your street address to determine how long your work commute would be. Some actually weed out good candidates simply because they feel the commute might be too long.
The bottom line is that you control your contact information, and you need to use that asset to your advantage. All they really need is your phone number, city, and state, and email address. I never include street addresses.
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