An interesting topic has been under discussion on the NRWA’s professional resume writers forum this week: Is it advisable to list or to exclude your street address on a resume, particularly one that is going to be posted to the Web on job or recruiter sites?
With the increasing incidence of identity theft nowadays, omitting at least part of your contact information would seem to be a wise move. Since e-mail and telephone are going to be the route taken by most recruiters or hiring executives to initiate contact with you, the street address becomes the obvious candidate for omission.
If you provide your city and state, or perhaps city, state, and zip, that should be sufficient to indicate your general geographic location. Some opt to omit only the actual street or box number, and still include the street name. It would seem that the danger of identity theft would increase as the level of detail given increases, so omitting even a small portion of the information is preferable to publishing all of your contact information in full for anyone to see.
One of my colleagues pointed out that if you include your full street address, an employer can look it up and find out the value of your home through zillow.com or the local tax assessor. They’ll know when you bought your home, the annual taxes on it, and whether it’s for sale. This info could easily be used in determining the amount of any salary offer to be made.
I see more and more resumes every day that list only city and state in an effort to safeguard privacy. Some list either a cell number or an e-mail address, but not both. However, I have also seen a fair number of executive resumes that include neither an e-mail address nor a phone number. This is not a wise move! Even if your resume is going to be circulated in an extremely limited fashion, at least some contact information is necessary in order for someone to interact easily with you regarding an opportunity.
To protect your privacy and avoid the annoyance of spam e-mail, you can obtain a special e-mail address that is exclusively for your job search from one of several free Internet providers (e.g., gmail, ymail, hotmail). You can also forward all e-mails to your primary address, avoiding the inconvenience of checking multiple e-mail accounts several times daily. (Speaking of e-mail addresses: Be sure your e-mail address is dignified, not frivolous, vulgar, or silly! Also that it does not indicate your political views or a non-traditional lifestyle!)
I do routinely recommend that work phone numbers be excluded from the resume, due to privacy considerations and the fact that including them can be considered poor business etiquette by both your current employer (risking your job!) and potential employers. Privacy considerations and the fact that you do not want your 3-year-old taking important job search messages also make it a good practice not to use your home phone number in your employment search materials.
This leaves your cell phone number. If you are greatly concerned about telemarketing calls on your cell, you could set up a separate cell phone number for your search. However, the question then arises of when or if to disconnect this number, since resumes often remain on file with recruiters and corporations for months or years.
The level of interest in this topic has been high. One member did note that she had asked the chief HR officer for a very large company about it, and he responded that they do like to know the candidate’s city, state, and zip, but do not care at all about the street address. A survey of employers’ views on the subject is contemplated in the near future. Once that is completed, I’ll post a summary of the results here.
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