I was told by a friend (who has some limited experience recruiting) that having a local address improves one's chances.

Her reasoning was that the HR person looking at the 100s of resumes is looking for excuses to toss out as many resumes as possible. And applicants who live nearby are more desirable because of such reasons as:

  • The recruiters in the company will feel bad if you fly a few hours over for interviews and they have to reject you.

  • If you live nearby they feel that they can easily get in touch with you any time.

The above reasons are apparently true even if you vigorously state on your application that you are happy to relocate to where the company is.

Her advice was thus that I should put a local address on my CV when applying for jobs. One way to do this would be to use an address of a friend who lives in the city where the company is located.

So my question is: Does having a local address indeed increase one's chances?

(I am thinking specifically of the USA - I now live in Michigan but am looking at jobs, many of which are in the Bay Area. But more general answers are also welcome.)

  • The other factor is the company has is your willingness to accept an offer and how long it will take you to start work. A local worker is much more likely to accept a job and they don't have to pay to relocate. If the company pays for relocation then it is an expense the company does not pay. – paparazzo Jul 28 '15 at 19:08

Locals generally have an edge over out-of-towners. Why so ?

  • The transition to the work environment will be smoother. Cheaper as no need to offer relocation assistance. No worries about finding the office or nearest Subway

  • The local feels more comfortable in the area.

  • By hiring a local, you feel confident that this person is interested in staying. An out-of-towner may easily be pulled back to their home turf

The above said, I'm sure employers will hire you if they need your skills. Just a higher benchmark for the out-of-towners (though, the job markets are relevant here also - a lawyer differs from an engineer).

Regarding your idea to "forge" an address - see this answer is to why it's a bad idea.

  • 1
    Locals have an edge for permanent hires. But you know how the old joke goes - "What's the definition of a consultant? Anyone with a briefcase who lives out of town" :) – Laconic Droid Jul 28 '15 at 16:50
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    Always is a pretty strong position to take. My company doesn't care where you live and we don't filter resumes based on it. We want the best people we can find, and your current residence does little to define that. Larger companies tend to care less about the expense of interviewing as that is a one-time sunk cost. If you work out, it will be well worth it. – cdkMoose Jul 28 '15 at 17:21
  • @LaconicDroid - funny that you mention that because as I was typing this I thought .. "ugh but what about consultants?!?!" They can claim, "I am Local to Mother Earth> " – Caffeinated Jul 28 '15 at 17:59
  • @cdkMoose - Touche, let me add in an edit for this one : ) thanks – Caffeinated Jul 28 '15 at 17:59
  • @cdkMoose - And - I can vouch for the point about bigger companies not caring about the extra costs of relocation – Caffeinated Jul 28 '15 at 18:01

Being local certainly tends to help. Putting a local address on your resume might help get past a very early screen but is likely to backfire if you're not actually local.

A local address on a resume generally implies that the recruiting process is going to be easier. The company can, for example, expect to schedule an on-site interview relatively easily and without needing to arrange flights, hotels, transportation, and everything else that comes with setting up interviews with folks from out of town. They can have a couple rounds of in-person interviews rather than needing to coordinate everyone's schedules. The company can expect that you'll likely be available to start relatively soon since you just have to put in your notice rather than needing to put in notice and then coordinate a cross-country move that likely involves spending a reasonable amount of time looking for housing and things of that nature.

If your resume shows a local address but when the company calls to schedule a meeting you mention that you're across the country, that's not going to leave a great impression. If a hiring manager gets a great resume from someone from out of town, particularly for a software developer in Silicon Valley, they can get the appropriate people to sign off on paying for travel before reaching out to the candidate to schedule a time. Depending on the company, they may want to talk with at least the first batch of local candidates before they start flying people in. If the hiring manager reaches out to the candidate and then gets blind-sided that they need to arrange a bunch of travel, that can lead to a bunch of headaches and a sour taste in their mouth. With some justification, the hiring manager is likely to think that you're at least somewhat deceptive as well which is never a good way to start off a relationship.