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I've been applying for jobs and am surprised so many require so much personal information. For example on the initial job application they ask you for obvious ones such as your full name, email and telephone number. But I'm a bit uncomfortable giving out my home address and the phone number of where I currently work.

Also the privacy statement normally contains terms like they may share information with business partners or associated companies etc.

I understand eventually they need this information but I don't like giving it at the first contact. Can anything be done about this? Would it be a bad idea to give a false address or just the cross street(I would leave it blank but the website requires it to be filled out)?

EDIT: I only gave a few examples of personal info that companies collect on initial application. Other examples are, which school you went to, what grades you got, when did you graduate, what your relatives do for work, did you serve in the military, did you ever have a criminal offense etc.

Also by false address I meant more like an address you don't actually live at but still can receive mail, like a relatives address or current workplace.

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    So "lots of personal info" = just phone number and address? – Lilienthal Jan 30 '17 at 13:25
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    It's always a bad idea to give false information! – Artery Jan 30 '17 at 13:49
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    Your last name, address and phone number were printed in index files 30 years ago. It was called a "phone book" and was publicly accessible at every corner. How to call or mail you is not really private information. – nvoigt Jan 30 '17 at 16:08
  • All someone needs is your name and address and they can find out who you are and where you live!! – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Jan 31 '17 at 11:42
  • @Lilienthal see update – DawnJoe Feb 3 '17 at 21:02
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Your home address is not only useful for documentation to be sent to you (and yes, some do this as the very first step in the process), but also for planning (are you based in a useful location for the role) and as part of background checking, as sometimes checks need to commence early in the process.

If you are wanting to be employed by the company you have applied for there is absolutely no reason to withhold this information - they will need it at some point. If your current employer would not take kindly to you receiving calls from a potential employer, then I think you have good reason to decline this one, though.

Oh, and never give false information - that could really come back and bite you. I mean, if you get the job how do you think it would look if you said, "this is my real address...?" At that point I'd take you straight off my list of candidates, as I'd know I couldn't trust you.

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Would it be a bad idea to give a false address [...] ?

What if they send you work documentation ? Contract for review ? Anything, really. You would not want your documentation to come to a false adress.

Overall, there is no reason to fear a misuse of your information. If you are willing to work at a company, you should trust it with non-sensitive information.

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    I seriously doubt the first thing they would do after the initial application form is to send something in the mail and not contact you in any other way. After at least a phone conversation the situation would be different however. – DawnJoe Jan 30 '17 at 12:58
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I get your concern with handing out your personal information. Anything you provide can be used in terms of a scam such as getting signed up for junk mail / email, etc.

However, if your going to apply to work for a company you should do enough due diligence to know their general reputation.

Regardless of that, think about it from the employers perspective should you provide a false address initially on the application. After provide the application with false information, they ask you to come in for an interview, and then you are finally you are offered the job. At what point will you be able to explain away the use of a false address or any false information?

I would suggest that you take a leap of faith and supply the necessary information for the initial application.

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You certainly don't have to give them your work phone number -- if you have a cell phone, it would be better for everyone if they called that. But it is better for you if they can contact you during the day; if they are considering two candidates, which one the can reach more easily could be the deciding factor.

The same argument applies for most of the other stuff. Basic contact info really is not worth protecting, certainly not from folks who you are going to be trusting to evaluate your performance, manage your health insurance registration, and sign your paychecks.

If you don't trust them enough to make it easy for them to contact you for interviews and such, they aren't a company you should be interviewing with at all.

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No, giving false address will bite you later. As others have stated, how are you going to correct the address once you are employed?

If address is a concern for you, you can always rent a P.O box nearby to receive mails.

As for the work phone number, couldn't you just give out your cell phone? I doubt they need all three of your numbers (home, cell, work). And you can state your time of availability for calls, and ask them to send you a email instead if they called you during your work hours.

  • Please leave a comment if you down vote, so I can improve the answer. – Alic Jan 30 '17 at 18:10
  • good point about the po box, +1 – Z. Cochrane Jan 31 '17 at 17:29

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