September 5, 2018

Why on earth would you put your address on your resume??

From: the other side of the recruiting desk…..

Over the past 9 months, I have observed a new phenomenon – candidates are submitting their resumes for posted positions without their address included on the resume. WHAT?  No address?  I’d like to make the case for how important an address is on a resume.

Before I make the case, let me tell you that I have socialized this idea and tried to understand from a candidate perspective why there might be a reason not to include his/her address.  Answers have been:

  • “What? My address isn’t on there?  Yes, it is.  Let me check. OMG. No, it isn’t.  I didn’t even notice.  I’ll send you a new one.”
  • “I am open to relocation and I don’t want a company to not pick me because of where I currently live.” (ok….see below for a suggestion on how to handle this)
  • “Discrimination.” Just discrimination. Not a protected class, but a reason nonetheless.

To be quite honest, receiving a resume without an address is baffling to my left-brain. After all, I taught a college level course for years on how to write a resume. Start with name, address, phone, email address, etc.  Why wouldn’t you? That is what you are SUPPOSED to do, right?  Well, consider it something you should do and, if you choose not to include your address, have a good reason why.

Let me let you in on the other side of the desk – the recruiter’s desk.  What we see and how things work once a resume gets to our inbox – or into our Applicant Tracking System (ATS or HRIS system for recruiters internal to companies.) could be much different than you think.  I have heard things like “my resume goes into a black hole” and “I never hear back.”  Well, there might be a reason.

  • When you apply for a particular position through following a link, the link you apply through is like MAGIC to a recruiter because the software will automatically capture your name, email address, company – all of your details and will PARSE your resume right into my system. What this means is that it will pull your current address and put it in the 'address' field, your current company into the 'current company' get the point. That way, when I search for you, I can search your last name, title, company - skills, certifications, etc. and find you readily.
  • This will ALSO attach your resume to a specific job opportunity that you applied to. So, for instance, if you recently applied for a Business Development Director position, your resume will be easily linked to that 'job' in my system so that I can review your resume and email you information about that job.  All of our interactions will be in an organized fashion and related to the position we are discussing.

Here are the things that can confuse our systems:

  • You use a different email to send me your resume than the one on the top of your resume.  Please use the same email for your job search at all times.  Sometimes, you will show up twice in our system.  (and PLEASE don't use your work email address)
  • You use a different name on your resume than the one you typically go by.  (i.e. John Betters might follow up with an email from Mark Betters (he goes by his middle name) and it confuses the heck out of us!)  One time I had the same candidate apply to the same job with two different email addresses and two different names.  I reached out to schedule phone screens with both of them and then realized that they had the same phone number.  You could be thinking - didn't she realize that the resume was the same?  When reviewing 40+ resumes and one is at the top and one was at the bottom, they all start looking familiar! :)
  • You don't have an address on your resume.  Some systems will bump you out as an incomplete parse and you won't be loaded properly.  Also, sometimes, we can search our entire database looking for candidates within 60 miles of a particular zip code. Without an address/zip code on your resume, you would not show up on those searches – at all.

So, for those of you who still have strong feelings about not including your address on your resume, let’s talk about what to do to make sure you don’t go in the black hole.  Options could include:

  • In your cover letter, explain that your address is not on your resume because you are open to relocation based on a new career opportunity. Only do this if you are NOT requiring relocation assistance.  Many clients will not pay for relocation expenses and it could hinder a recruiter’s relationship with his/her client if you are not up front with them.  If you are requiring relocation assistance, please be sure to tell your recruiter.
  • Link-In with your recruiter and send them a quick note to let them know what region/geography you are open to, so they can easily ascertain whether a particular opportunity is for you.
  • Get over it. Put your address on your resume.  If you are applying for a job outside of the region you live in, add your target location in your objective statement. (feel free to message me for suggestions on how to do this)

Addresses and resumes are like peanut butter and jelly.  They just go together.

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