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Can You Use a P.O. Box on a Resume?

Can You Use a P.O. Box on a Resume?

John asks, “Do employers care if an applicant uses a PO Box as a mailing address? I’m concerned about privacy and don’t want my real address circulating all over the internet.”

It used to be a bad idea to include a P.O. box on a resume — many employers were suspicious and wondered why a street address wasn’t listed. Times have changed, and use of P.O. boxes on resumes is becoming more common as job seekers try to protect their private contact information. Employers still want to know where you live, but if the P.O. Box is in your hometown, it’s not a problem. Just make sure to include a zip code so that you turn up in applicant searches if you are a local candidate. Also, keep in mind that if an employer is interested in you, you will most likely be contacted by phone or email.

  • Scott

    Thanks for asking & answering this. I was wonder about this.

  • Out of the many years I’ve had my PO Box on my resume, for the first time during a Job Club someone looked at my resume and said I should use my actual street address. However, there are some problems/concerns with using my street address on my resume. For job hunting purposes employers screen out applicants who live in poor/bad or high crime areas. Unfortunately, I do not live in a good neighborhood, but an area that would be considered “bad” and thus prospective employers will look at me the same way. Also, I believe prospective employers will say I live too far from the job. I understand that employers want to know will I make it to work every day, but there are no jobs in my neighborhood. Also, disclosing my street address will mean prospective employers will send all correspondence to my street address when the mail should go to my PO Box. Even if its indicated to send mail to PO Box they will still send to the street address. The street address is not a safe place to send my mail because many times the mail is not safely delivered and/or someone else will get their hands on it before me. The person who told me I need my actual address on my resume because thats what employers want and they want to know that I live somewhere. However, in the past prosective employers simply asked where exactly do I live, but I am concerned about the safety and privacy of disclosing my actual street address especially via the Internet. What can be done or is this person who gave me that advise not totally correct? I don’t want to be screened out because of where I live, but my phone number is also on my resume and that should be sufficient (the area code says what part of town I am from). I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I thought about putting an approximate address like 30th and Green or 80th and Harvard. Its just an idea, but what do you think?

  • Tina – Great question! You can omit the physical address from your resume — more and more job seekers are listing only their phone number(s) and email addresses for their contact information. You can also omit the address and just include the city and state to show that you are local. Hope this helps!

  • Tina, I think we can. Resume need the address of the applicant. Good question.

  • Nancy Nolan

    I have a situation where I live in a motorhome full time. I use a mail service that fowards my mail to wherever I happen to be at any particular time and pay a small monthly fee for this; very common for RV’ers. The mail service has assigned me a P.O. box and a physical address but I don’t actually live there; I live in my motorhome.I have decided to put my P.O. Box on my resume, my phone number and my email.Any comments?Nancy.

  • Nancy – Your solution to use the PO box and include your email and phone # on your resume is perfect. Good luck to you!

  • Nancy Nolan

    Thank you Kim. I am curious to see how prospective employers will view my situation but honesty is the best policy and I have the advantage to work anywhere in the U.S. if the position is the right fit.Nancy.

  • Most employers prefer just to see an email address and phone number so I don’t think any address is necessary. Some employers use address just to make sure the candidate is local.