A participant in my Resume Revolution Webinars (register at http://ResumeWebinar.com) asked me if she should include her address on her resume. With today’s concerns about identity theft, this is becoming a more common question for job seekers. My response surprised her and it might surprise you …
Because of increasing risk of identity theft, the question of how much personal information to disclose on your resume is a valid question today. There are big tradeoffs at play and careful consideration of personal information disclosure brings up a number of critical pros and cons …
R.R. asked me:
“Should I include my address on my resume? I heard at a community career center that it’s a bad idea … “
R.R. was concerned about the risk of identity theft, a common concern today. However, she is also looking for a real estate job and had a number of years of experience in a specific neighborhood of a major metropolitan city. Additionally, she has an incredible amount of community, volunteer, and non-profit leadership experience with organizations located in the same local community.
So R.R.’s address is very important information to her job search, isn’t it? Not including her address limits her ability to be found by neighborhood – because her resume can’t be found in a search by address or zip.
In the case of applying for an out-of-town position and if you don’t have a local address to use, leaving your address off of your resume won’t matter. Employers will likely assume that you’re an out of town candidate – if that’s a deal killer, it won’t matter if your address was excluded or your out-of-town address is included.
While R.R. has a specific circumstance, it applies to many job seekers who are searching for a job within their own city. With the high number of candidates in the market today, employers and recruiters often give preference to local candidates – sometimes going as far as making geography a pre-screening criteria, so they only consider locals. Choosing an out-of-town candidate is an additional risk for an employer – a risk that the candidate won’t move, can’t sell their house, or they (or their family) won’t like the new location. If there are many local candidates who meet hiring criteria, why take on the additional risk?
But what’s the risk of including your address on your resume? What’s the risk of including other personal information?
Unfortunately, anyone with a computer and a credit card can get incredible amounts of personal information on just about anyone these days – including family, credit and legal history. This is regardless of whether you include your address on your resume or not … including your address won’t increase or decrease this risk.
But excluding your address from your resume can result in employers not considering you for a position that you’re otherwise well qualified to do.
What information should you avoid disclosing? There’s still information that you’ll want to avoid including on your resume or posting on job boards. For instance, it’s probably not the best idea to disclose your Social Security Number. In past years, many job seekers included their SSN on their resume – it’s seldom disclosed on resumes today, due to concerns over identity theft.
Many staffing firms require Social Security Numbers prior to submitting candidates, because the staffing firm is responsible for submitting tax information and verifying citizenship/visa status to the government. These are legitimate uses and reputable staffing firms provide safeguards to protect candidates’ personal data.
As for your address – it’s a personal choice but if your goal is finding a new job, you take on more risk that you won’t even be considered for a local position if you decline to show that you’re local. In a better job market, it may not make such a difference … but in today’s market, a candidate needs every advantage they can get.
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