Why You Should Never Put Your Address On Your Resume

Recruiters are looking for every reason to put your resume in the “no” pile. Surprisingly, where you live is one of them.

Why You Should Never Put Your Address On Your Resume

Of all of the mistakes you could make when putting together your resume, you likely wouldn’t consider including your home address as one of them.


But for many recruiters where you live is a potential red flag. The problem: the commute your address suggests.

That’s according to Donna Svei at Avid Careerist. Her insight:

You might not have thought about it, but in-house recruiters know that people with long commutes have more stress and often eventually quit “because of the commute.” If you quit, they don’t look good AND they have to replace you. That’s more work, with no more money, for them.

The slow-boiling terror of the commute has been born out by research: behavorial scientists have found that somebody with an hour-long commute needs to make 40% more than somebody who walks to work. Bonus tip: long commuters are more likely to get divorced, too. No wonder recruiters count the commute so hard.

“When you put your address on your resume, believe me, they do the math,” she continues. “If your commute would be longer than what’s tolerable long-term, your resume often finds its way into the ‘maybe’ or ‘no’ pile.”

what to do about the commute if you’re already in it

If you’re already in the throes of a long-distance commute, there are plenty of ways to make it productive: if you’re taking the subway to work, you can load up your smartphone with awesome articles (like those from Fast Company, natch) or bring an actual book with you. Drivers can get erudite by listening to books on tape or get calm with guided meditations. And either can sidestep the rush-hour stress part of their commute if they work the first few hours from home or a café–letting you glide to work with much less exhausting hassle.

What to do about that commute if you’re applying for a job

If recruiters are going to discard your resume for having a too-far address on it, then don’t put your address there. Instead, Svei says, put your most recent employer’s city location only.


To Svei, going with this strategy gives your employer-to-be enough information to say that you’re local while not spilling the beans if you’re not local enough.

Or you could just move closer to the job. Research suggests it’ll make you happier.

Image: Shutterstock

Hat tip: AvidCareerist

About the author

Drake Baer was a contributing writer at Fast Company, where he covered work culture. He's the co-author of Everything Connects, a book about how intrapersonal, interpersonal, and organizational psychology shape innovation.