RESUME FOOD FOR THOUGHT SERIES
UPDATED ON 12/17/2021
In this age of remote work, including location feels like old news. But before taking it out, know that it has its advantages.
Welcome back to The Resume Debates.
In this week’s fifth segment, a relatively new debatable element appears to be location.
Should we or should we not provide locations on our resumes?
It used to be a total must to have the complete street address included. Once the email revolution materialized, it got reduced to city and state. Sometimes country.
This revelation not only refers to our residential addresses. It goes for company addresses as well. Recently, I have noticed more and more resumes that do not include any company locations at all.
And I am not sure that is such a good idea.
Location vs. No Location
Five years ago, this was no argument.
No one questioned whether to include a street address on the resume.
Traditionally, companies needed to know the candidates’ locations in order to figure out moving expenses for the candidate or to ensure their prospective employees could reach the office in a timely manner.
Some asked— and still ask — about reliable transportation between multiple facilities or clients.
Add on the expense of onboarding an outsider, and companies would likely pass on numerous qualified candidates who were willing to travel.
Companies called this sensible. We, the job candidates, might call this discrimination. Either way, it happened. It will continue to happen.
And yet, times have changed so much.
We live in the early 21st century.
Although some companies still need physical bodies to run offices, the internet has wiped out old-fashioned snail mail, online meeting platforms such as Zoom has made it extremely easy to conduct business, and concerns over identity theft are at a record high. Gradually, our home street addresses disappear from our resumes. Plus, the pandemic has accelerated remote work for a lot of companies.
This, apparently, goes for company addresses as well. I have spotted a number of resumes that do not specify the location of past companies for similar reasons.
So as we dread being ruled out and as technology allows us to work from the beach, we become convinced that location information can be excluded all together.
But is that wise?
Ask me this yes/no question, and I would answer, “That depends on how much responsibility you want to take”.
Leaving it out could indicate the willingness to travel or work remotely. It persuades companies who are only looking for local candidates to hire us regardless of where we are.
That said, online job applications will ask for address(es) anyway.
If a company is truly constrained to local candidates, then we will be forcing the recruiter or hiring manager to search in the database for our location even though he or she may be looking directly at our resumes. In other words, we may be forcing whoever is considering our qualifications to take an extra step to look up our locations because we have decided to take it out.
Furthermore, missing locations might instigate distrust, something we do not ever want during the interview process and afterwards in the workplace, for that matter.
What about companies that do not care where the candidates are located?
In this case, we have to distinguish companies that are willing to pay for our moving expenses and those that do not.
It’s always awesome if we can find a company that pays for everything. However, that scenario appears less and less likely these days. Companies may be inclined to hiring outsiders but may also be reluctant to reimburse. If we omit our location from our resume and somehow the company mistakes us as a local candidate, then we would, without a doubt, have to stomach immediate travel costs for the interviews plus moving costs when hired.
On the other hand, if we decide to state our city and state on our resumes, then at least we have given ourselves a chance to negotiate our travel expenses.
In a telecommuting situation like we are now, providing locations also allow hiring managers to evaluate, schedule, and make arrangements for processes and meetings when different times zones come into play.
Last but not least, when it comes to the location of past companies, I truly believe it is a must, especially for those of us who have traveled long distances to pursue our dream jobs. A difference in locations can explain large time gaps. I mean, just obtaining the required working visa can take weeks to years. Being able to tell that a candidate is from a foreign country can be a matter of getting hired or not.
Hence, at the end of the day, there is no point in leaving any locations out of our resumes. In fact, to me, the pros trump the cons in stating it.
And In Closing
The idea of everyone working remotely has been brewing for years. People thought it would never transpire.
Then the pandemic has forced it. All of a sudden, everyone scatters and meets online.
Over the past two years, coronavirus has given every single workplace a test drive of what it would be like if everyone works at home. Some has suffered. Some see possibilities. Some has figured it out.
Multiple sources even show that working from home can be just as productive, if not more, as working from the office in many cases.
This fact diminishes the need for resumes to include addresses.
And somehow, it would be a misstep to do so.
Despite some security concerns, including our home addresses and past company locations can build trust, increase negotiations power, and resolve critical matters for hiring managers.
So locations on resumes will surely give us the upper hand.
Next week, we will consider one of the most debated aspects of modern resumes: graphics.