Photo Credit: mikecogh via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: mikecogh via Compfight cc

Old-style resumes included lots of information that just isn’t necessary anymore – and may actually harm your chances of getting a job in today’s market.  One of those things is your home address.

I never include home addresses when I’m putting together a resume, with very, very few exceptions.  Here’s why:

  1. It takes up valuable “real estate” on your resume that could be used for a more useful piece of information about your skills, performance and impact.  Why waste 2 lines of a resume on non-essential information?
  2. There could be privacy concerns. You may want to put your resume onto a company or jobs website.  Do you really want everyone with access to resumes to have your home address?  I don’t, and I don’t think you need to take that risk.
  3. Hiring managers have from time to time discriminated against people based on their address.  One person told me she didn’t want to look at resumes from people who lived on Long Island, because the LIRR was so often delayed and those people were bound to be late.  I counseled against this because it is up to the candidate to take that into account and leave enough time to get to work on time.  If you live more than an hour’s commute from a job, you could be given lower consideration because of commuting concerns.  It’s really no one’s business but your own if you want to commute more than an hour to a job you really want.
  4. A street address is not necessary anymore for communication.  Today, most people use email to communicate, not snail mail. (That’s why a handwritten note of thanks gets people’s attention – in a good way.) Don’t date yourself by including a street address on your resume.  I suggest your telephone number (labeled “home” or “cell” – and using your cell phone number is more “modern”), email address, and LinkedIn profile url as a hyperlink (e.g. my LinkedIn Profile).

Leaving your address off  your resume allows the reader to focus on what really matters: your experience.  Make sure you use the resume to tell your story: the places you’ve worked, the skills you’ve used, and especially the impact you’ve had on your employer(s).

The exception: when you are looking for work in a new community and want to ensure that the potential employer knows you already have relocated.  And instead of putting your address on your resume, you could put it on your cover letter , and make a point in the cover letter of saying you’ve relocated.  Putting it on your resume does ensure that if the cover letter gets detached, the resume will convey the message on its own.

Two other old-fashioned and unnecessary things to leave off your resume:

Objective.  Of course your objective is to get the job for which you’re applying.  Employers don’t care what YOU want. And using such an old-fashioned term marks you as old-fashioned or out of touch with what’s current.  Instead, include a Profile or Summary of your Core Value Proposition:  what you do well, how you do it, and the impact you have on your company or organization.

References Available on Request.  Also, actual reference names and contact information.  It really does go without saying that you’ll provide references.  So don’t say it.  The only time you should list actual references is when requested by the employer.  Otherwise it’s none of their business until they decide they might make you an offer, depending on how your references check out.  Then I recommend putting a separate reference page, with your name and contact information on the top, just like on your resume.

The resume’s job is to convey the message that you are a good fit for the job as it is today, not as it was 5, 10 or 15 years ago.  So be modern!