By Marla Bengert, CM
Resume trends come and go, if you don’t believe me check this out:
All of the content in the resume above was perfectly acceptable to include at the time the resume was written. The main reason for including all the content fit under the category “employers want to know those things”. Resumes are supposed to get you screened in for a face-to-face interview so including information employers want is a good practice. Or is it?
But, what if including the information employers want gets you screened out? William’s resume says he’s 60 years old, at the time his resume was written employers wanted, and expected to see that information on a document. Absence of it might be cause for disregarding the application entirely. Today, it would never be included because his age, number of children, height, weight and religion have NOTHING to do with the job he is applying for. So . . . . . . what about putting your street address on your resume – certainly that has nothing to do with the skills required to do the job, but there are some good reasons for including it, and equally as many good reasons for leaving it off. So consider this:
Put Your Street Address On Your Resume:
- Employers expect to see it. To some employers, it may appear you are trying to hide something if you don’t include it.
- It’s only been recently street or mailing address have started coming off resumes. Excluding it “feels like something is missing”.
- Including your address lets employers know you are a local candidate, you have an established residence. It also tells employers how close you live to where you might be working if they hire you. Short commutes are appealing to employers, especially in sprawling cities.
- What’s the harm? On-line applications where you fill in a form have “Address” as a required field, if you want to apply for the job you have to include it or the system will give a message that you did not complete a required field and you cannot move forward in the application process until it is filled in.
- In surveying my colleagues here are some of their responses in favour of having your street address on your resume:
“Employers want to know how far away they (candidates) live from the location they would be working, which may indicate their ability to get to work. I’m firm on teaching students to put their address on their resume, I wouldn’t want them to limit employment opportunities over something like this”.
“Hiring Managers/Site Supervisors need the information to determine how close geographically the applicant is to the worksite for transportation reasons. Applying to a large company is often done online; digital resumes are often submitted to a head office in another province and will always request a home address: Without the proper address and contact information, it is a hindrance and definitely limits a person’s opportunity within a specified radius of hiring.”
“There is no need or purpose for your street address but employers who are accustomed to seeing an address may automatically screen you out if it’s not there. Including your street address may increase your chance of landing the interview with these employers”.
As an employer who hires family care providers– I appreciate knowing the address because then in the interview I can gather information about how they will get to work for 6:15 am if they live across the city from me. Essentially if they don’t have a plan I question whether I hire them. By the same token if they live close to me I will often offer them fill in shifts if someone cancels at the last minute first.
Don’t Put Your Street Address On Your Resume:
- For those who worry about identity theft, sending your physical address to someone in response to an advertisement may seem risky.
- In this electronic age, some hiring managers may view the inclusion of a physical address old fashioned.
- If you plan is to relocate for employment you may get screened out in favour of a local candidate.
- In my “googling’ of this topic, I discovered a few things I hadn’t thought of regarding the inclusion of your physical address:
- Economic Profiling – one site actually quoted an employer saying if he does the economic demographics of where an applicant lives he can use that info. as leverage in salary discussions.
- Demographic Profiling – The practise of “labeling” certain areas of cities and demonstrating biases based on the people who live in those areas.
- Including your address invites biases and given that there is a growing trend for companies to engage in “blind hiring” (google the term, there is a ton of info. out there if you are interested) the last thing a company wants is to be accused of bias in the recruiting process.
- Your street address has nothing to do with your ability to do the job you are applying for. NOTHING!
- In surveying my colleagues here are some of their responses in favour of leaving your street address off your resume:
“I can see the benefits of not having it on your resume depending where you live and employer’s mental models of certain neighbourhoods.”
“When I consider sharing information on a resume, I ask, “what is the need or purpose of the information” and “does sharing the information get you closer or further from your intended goal of landing an interview”. The answer varies depending on the individual, the position and the employer. When I apply this to the question of including your street address, I would side with leaving it off but including your city and province.”
Until recently I had my street address on my resume. Lately I’ve considered it a privacy concern, similar to how my phone number is in the phone book without my address listed– just my opinion
So where does this leave us? Well, I called Human Rights and posed this question to them “Can an employer require your street address on applications”? “The short answer is YES, but they cannot screen you out based on where you live – but you would need proof that they did that”.
Next, I made 2 employer contacts (one large company, one smaller one) and I asked them “do you like to see the applicant’s address on their job applications. Charles Siman, HR at Conexus Credit Union said “none of the information in the header of a resume influences whether or not we interview them. We care about their skills for the job, we don’t care about where they live or how they will get to work. We contact people for interviews by phone or e-mail”. Laurel Mattison, of Hiring Hands, said: “their street address has no bearing on whether or not I interview them, but I do like to know if they live in Regina/the surrounding area”.
Finally, I made one more connection –Kayla Kozan, Director of Marketing with Ideal.com. (https://ideal.com/product/), a company that uses “artificial intelligence” for helping their clients do recruiting. Indigo Books is one of their biggest customers.
Here’s what she said:
“Hmmmm, I probably don’t have the conclusive answer you were looking for – I would be hesitant to say definitively leave the address off because we’re actually doing research on that right now.
Basically, we are scrubbing the addresses and names from resume data (sometimes called “blind hiring) to see how it influences who gets an interview and eventually who gets hired (with the hypothesis that this practice will be more equitable and encourage more diversity on teams). If you Google “blind hiring” there are a lot of good resources about the same method we are experimenting with! If I had to choose I would say the best practice is probably to write the city but not your address – so the person reading the resume knows that you live in the same city as the job but does not need to know the exact address which could potentially lead to bias.”
This gives us lots to think about right? My best advice is to do what is right for you. Do what will give you the best chance of being screened in for an interview. Not every job application situation will be the same. You can send ten resumes out with your address and one out with out it, and vice versa.
If I were looking for a job (which I’m not, I already have the best job I could possibly have) my header would look like this.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I encourage you to share your comments and experiences.