Further Questions: Which would draw fewer red flags, an application packet with no listed address or an address that does not match the listed work experience?

This week we asked people who hire librarians this question from a reader:

I’m applying for multiple jobs out of state and have seen on this site (and in my experience) that extra consideration is given to local applicants. I’m available to move to the locations where I’m applying at the drop of a hat, so I’m listing the addresses where I would stay (with family, my S.O., etc) until I could formally move. The problem is, I’m not currently working there, so my most recent experience isn’t there either. I mentioned this problem to a coworker, and she suggested not including an address at all, since she does that (with decent success) and insists that the hiring managers don’t need to know where you live until the negotiation phase starts. I see her point, but this seems equally problematic to me.

In short, this is my question: which would draw fewer red flags, an application packet with no listed address or an address that does not match the listed work experience?


Jessica OlinMy advice, based on seeing someone do this successfully, is to list the local address and explain it in the cover letter. Something like, “I am already planning to move to that area, so I was thrilled to see this opening,” should do the trick.
– Jessica Olin, Director of Parker Library, Wesley College

Celia RabinowitzThere are certainly some advantages to candidates who already live locally.  They won’t need relocation support if it is available, they already know the area which can help if there are geographic or demographic challenges (I have experienced both), and it is a lot less expensive to bring them to campus.  So a local candidate who is competitive might allow a search committee to expand an on-campus interview pool to 4 rather than the usual 3 if adding them does not add appreciably to the cost.

But – that all only applies if the candidate qualified and is competitive.  I have run searches that eliminated many applicants who lived fairly close to the institution because they were not strong candidates.  Advertising regionally or nationally should mean that all candidates are given equal consideration.

My advice is not to leave your current address off of your materials.  I think that would raise a red flag to a committee much more quickly than including your current address.  I also think it is not necessary to indicate that you are willing to move or that you have a place to stay.  If you are applying then you are ready to move.  I have seen people include such information in a cover letter when they write about why they are interested in the job – perhaps family live close by and the applicant is interested in moving closer to family which would be nice.  Perhaps it is in a part of the country the applicant wants to live in. I would just be careful not to make it seem as if those reasons are the primary ones you are interested in the job.

– Celia Rabinowitz,  Dean of Mason Library at Keene State College in Keene, NH

Definitely include an address; no address would be a concern for us. We expect that if someone is applying for a job where they do not have current experience, we would think that either that person lived in the area now or would move if offered the job.

– Kaye Grabbe, Lake Forest Library

Marleah AugustineI would imagine that an application with no listed address would draw more red flags — I don’t think it would necessarily be a dealbreaker, if the experience and qualifications were a good fit for the position, but it would definitely warrant some investigation. An address that doesn’t match the listed work experience can be easily explained if the question comes up. This is something that should be included in a cover letter as well, explaining that you’re temporarily staying in the area during the application process. However, that could lead to a sticky situation if they then want you to come on short notice for an interview if you would need to arrange time off from a current position or travel.

– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

angelynn kingAn application without an address would seem odd. What if the prospective employer needed to send you something in the mail?

-Angelynn King, Head Librarian, Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus


Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email us at hiringlibrariansquestionsATgmail.com.

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Filed under Further Questions

2 responses to “Further Questions: Which would draw fewer red flags, an application packet with no listed address or an address that does not match the listed work experience?

  1. Pingback: Further Questions Questions | Hiring Librarians

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