When reviewing graduate students’ CVs or résumés one of the first questions I am asked is, “What address should I use?” While I wish I could provide a simple answer, this question most often merits a bit of conversation and a few strategic considerations.
Why is it so complicated?
Well, let’s first think about the many address choices one might have. These could include some of the following:
- a residential address where the person permanently lives;
- a residential address where the person temporarily lives;
- no address at all if moving from place-to-place or if homeless;
- a department address at UConn;
- an address in another country or state outside of Connecticut.
All of a sudden, what seemed like it should be a simple answer might now seem a little more complicated.
Here are some questions that will help further determine which address to use and when to use it.
Are you applying to a faculty position or research position at an academic institution? If your response is “yes”, then it is a common practice to use your department’s address as your address on your CV. This is unique to applying to faculty positions and is not true of other areas of higher education or other jobs in industry, government, or non-profits.
Is the employer (business, government, non-profit) to which you are applying located in the same geographic region as one of your addresses? If your response is “yes”, then you might want to use that address to signal to the employer that you are a candidate from the area or currently residing in the geographic region.
Is the employer (business, government, non-profit) in another part of the country or world where you don’t have an address in that same geographic area? If your response is “yes,” then you might want to only include your email, phone, and LinkedIn URL if you have an up-to-date profile. The reason for this strategy is that most mid-size and large employers use applicant tracking systems(ATS) to scan candidate application materials. Employers can set these systems to only review applicants with a more local address to the company or the role for which they are hiring. As an example, a company in Houston, Texas can set-up their ATS to give priority to applications that show addresses within the state of Texas, or “X” number of miles from Houston. Some believe that by not having an address candidates are more likely to get further along in the system and are signaling that they are mobile, but others have indicated that by not having ANY address the system will also not move the candidate through. This is a tricky scenario because it is highly dependent on how the employer has their ATS configured and that is information that a candidate just won’t know. Sometimes willingness and ease of relocating can be addressed in a cover letter if the employer seeks applicants to submit one or provides the option.
Are you frequently moving from place-to-place or are you homeless? If your response is “yes” then you could put the city/town and state where you spend most of your time and if needing to provide a mailing address, because you would be receiving actual mail, then perhaps check with your department and/or a trusted family member or friend to use a c/o “care of” designation and their address. If purchasing a post office box is possible, then that might be an additional option and the cost can widely vary by location.
The address on your CV and/or résumé is rarely used for any mailing purposes, but more frequently to inform the employer of your location. You may find that you will use different addresses or no address based on the particular situation. For the most part, it is no longer an expectation to have a mailing address on your CV or résumé but it is quite likely that there will be additional requests for this information in other areas of the online application.
So which address should you use? When possible, the one that makes the most strategic sense.