I've been applying to job postings. Sometimes the application forms ask for my home address. I would rather not give this to a random company I found on a job board, at least not in the initial step with uploading my resume. If it's required, can I use a relatives address or give my address without the unit number? If it's note required would it hurt not to give it? While I don't like lying I've heard the advice just to lie and if you get job offer tell them that you moved. Why do they need this information? I heard it could be used to discriminate, like figuring out if you live in a high income area, a neighborhood with lots of crime etc. Or to tell how close you live to the workplace. I guess a legitimate reason is in case they need to serve legal documents.

The topic of privacy has been on my mind recently (especially with COVID). When is it worthwhile to care about protecting your own?

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    VTC - whilst the question has some validity - the answers are going to be highly opinionated and the reasons for giving or not giving the info is going be very much a matter of personal choice. Commented May 20 at 21:16
  • @TheDemonLord there are no "rules" for looking for work, most things on things on this topic are opinions.
    – JazzgeMica
    Commented May 20 at 21:29
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    Address by itself is not a datum worth protecting unless you are trying to hide from a stalker, the mob, or police.
    – keshlam
    Commented May 20 at 22:09
  • @keshlam aside from the privacy aspect I don't like receiving things in the mail and having to update correspondents when I change addresses
    – JazzgeMica
    Commented May 21 at 6:08
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    @JazzgeMica, Trust me. I have not seen any legit companies that send you ads in the mail. Again, you should only apply for jobs at companies that look legit to you. If you don't trust a company, then don't apply for jobs at that company. Commented May 21 at 23:50

2 Answers 2


If you don't provide the minimum of at least a city, state, and zip code, here's what may occur:

  • No zip code provided may render you unhirable because a company may be concerned about your commute time. In the case of some place like the Los Angeles area, the city name alone might not be enough for a recruiter to assess a commute because a drive from the Sylmar neighborhood of LA to the San Pedro neighborhood of the same city is a 50-mile, potentially 1.5 hour drive at peak traffic times.
  • No state provided may render you unhirable because the company might not support paying taxes for your state, or providing health care benefits for your state. There are additional administrative costs to a company for each state they have employees in.
  • Given just the two items above, you may throw everything in a lurch if you interview and then spring different address information on a company at the last minute just before or after being hired. You would have some explaining to do, and other than some bona fide emergency situation taking place, you might cause a company to immediately terminate your employment for causing this kind of disturbance -- most especially if you live in a state with at-will employment.
  • Protests over this kind of information might give an HR person the idea that you're going to show up at an interview or to work wearing a tinfoil hat, or similar. Even as a qualified applicant, no one will want to deal with this (if I were an employer, I wouldn't).

The elephant-in-the-room is that many of our addresses can be quickly found with a Google search. So, what was that about privacy?

  • I would like to know this search you refer to that takes a persons name and gives their address
    – JazzgeMica
    Commented May 21 at 6:06
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    @JazzgeMica You mean like a en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_directory ? I know they would be a privacy nightmare today, but they existed and we all survived, having all this information literally just laying around in public.
    – nvoigt
    Commented May 21 at 14:18
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    @JazzgeMica Phone books have been replaced by websites. I went ahead and tested one such website and it instantly found me with the correct full address.
    – Anketam
    Commented May 21 at 19:07
  • Where I live people normally don't register with the telephone directory anymore. @Anketam the ones I tested don't work. What's your link?
    – JazzgeMica
    Commented May 21 at 21:27

If you don't trust the company, then don't apply for a job at the company.

But, if you trust that company, and apply for a job at that company, then please give them your correct and full address.

Nowadays, very often, when you apply for a job online, you also submit your resume to the company. Usually, your address along with your contact info such as phone number and email should be listed at the top of your resume.

The company may need your address to see if you are a local or live 1,000 miles away. They may need to pay for your relocation package if you live 1,000 miles away.

Or, if you do not live in the same country as the company, then there may be other issues. For example, you may live in a country that the company is not allowed to do business with (by the law of their government). In addition, there may also some complicated tax issues related to hiring the foreigners, and visa sponsorship, etc...

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    Or even complicated tax issues for hiring someone who lives in a different state in the US.
    – cdkMoose
    Commented May 21 at 21:24

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