Are you making this résumé blunder?
With all of the information available on the internet about strategic résumé writing, you’d think that less people would NOT be making this one critical mistake in the résumé header.
Just so we’re on the same “page” (lol), I’m talking about the area at the top of the résumé which houses your name and contact info.
Recruiters and hiring managers despise this tactic
If you’re making this résumé faux-pas, it can reflect poorly on you. Plus, recruiters and hiring mangers HATE IT with a passion. I know, because I’ve got more than a decade of recruitment experience and this was (and still is) one of my pet peeves.
If you think implementing this game of “hide-and-seek” is going to help you, think again. All it’s doing is potentially creating more of a problem.
So what am I referring to?
Not including your physical address on your résumé. As in, excluding it entirely.
The theory versus reality
The theory is that by hiding where you live, you’re preventing your résumé from being immediately disqualified based on location. Right?
This reality is, this practice doesn’t really work all that well, if at all. Right!
Now, repeat after me: “Location, location, location.”
Why is location such a big deal?
It’s one of the top reasons why people quit their jobs!
Recruiters and hiring managers aren’t being jerks – they simply need to know where you live because they want to avoid the messy logistics and expenses of:
#1: Relocating someone (which they likely won’t do anyways)
#2: Replacing someone who quits for a job that’s closer to where they live (or located in their home town from where they relocated and want to return to)
#3: Having someone turn down an offer at the 11th hour because they have second thoughts about the long commute or relocation
Location is a top selection criteria
In most cases, résumés are uploaded into an applicant tracking software system. The ATS systems score, rank, sort, and store résumés based on certain key criteria which includes location.
Additionally, recruiters and hiring managers typically use location as key selection criteria when conducting a database search, whether it’s through an ATS, Linkedin, or some other platform.
Why NOT disclosing your location is doing the opposite of what you might intend
While you might think you’re preventing immediate disqualification by not disclosing where you live, you’re pretty much guaranteeing you’ll never come up in any search. So, even if your location is doable for some opportunities, it won’t matter because you’re not going to be found.
It screams “red flag”
By excluding location, you’re just advertising that you don’t live anywhere near the job, so you aren’t “hiding” or “preventing” anything.
This tactic will surely prompt the reader to roll their eyes and you’ll end up being overlooked, forgotten, or deleted for reasons I’ve already mentioned and if I haven’t yet, it’s coming, so keep reading…..
You can be overlooked
Due to the sheer volume of résumés, recruiters and hiring managers don’t have time to contact you for information that they expect on the résumé. They might intend on emailing you later to find out where you live, but simply forget or can’t be bothered.
Your résumé is just one of more than 200, so by the time the reader gets to you, they are suffering from acute brain fog and eye strain.
Unless the position is extremely hard to fill and your résumé sells you as the purple squirrel, the reader will probably move on to the next best résumé that provides all of the information at their fingertips.
Not only can non-disclosure get you promptly disqualified, you aren’t giving the reader the instant information they need to determine if your location is doable. You just never know when the stars might align in your favour.
It puts your candidacy in jeopardy
When you purposely withhold important information from your résumé (or anything else for that matter), it can come across as evasive, sneaky, manipulative, unprofessional, and dishonest.
No employer wants to hire anyone with these undesirable qualities, so by using the non-disclosure strategy, you run the risk of creating a negative first impression.
It might waste everyone’s time
The last thing you want to do is go through four interviews only to NOT get the offer because your location suddenly becomes an issue – it was never addressed from the beginning and you never brought it up.
Not only would that be a colossal waste of everyone’s time, this turn of events could reflect poorly on you even though the employer should have confirmed where you live. Because your location is missing from your résumé, you can’t point it out in your defense.
Honesty is the best policy with the location dilemma
There’s no point in trying to hide where you live – you’re just delaying the inevitable “discovery”. My advice is to always be transparent in all business dealings which includes publishing where you live on your résumé.
While this act of transparency means you will face disqualification, you likely wouldn’t have been hired for those jobs anyways, so you haven’t really lost anything. In fact, you’re making yourself available for the next, better opportunity that you will be considered for.
How to show where you live without getting too specific
I know many people don’t want to publish where they live on their résumé because they’re concerned about how this information could be used. There are ways to get around that.
If you live in a small community, you could just include the name of the town and province/state and maybe forgo the postal/zip code. If it’s a large metropolis, narrow down the location by indicating the city, province/state, and postal/zip code.
The fact is, the search string the human uses will likely be the city and/or province, and/or postal/zip code, so ideally, you should include all of these to cover all the possibilities.
Help is only a “click” away!
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Hi! I’m Diana.
I leverage over 10 years recruitment and sales/marketing experience to create attention-grabbing résumés, cover letters, and Linkedin profiles that help job seekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired. You can learn more about my story here and about how I can help you here.
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