We live in a digital world now and snail mail is passé. Formal document formats have changed over time, with most being sent by email today, and cover letters are no exception. So, do you still need to put your own address on a cover letter? Well, not usually, but sometimes it helps - let’s talk about it.

Why Do You Think Your Address Might Be Necessary?

Back when job applications and résumés were sent by postal mail, there were good reasons to include both your complete mailing address and the hiring company address at the top of your formal cover letter

Companies needed this information so they could know where you’re from and how to contact you when following up. Plus, cover letters were considered formal business documents and that’s how they were handled. It was the traditional way.

Business communications were more structured in the past. Standard practice was to always start your formal letters with the following format.

  • [Your Name]
  • 123 Maple Street
  • Anytown, State, 12345
  • Phone: (123) 456-7890
  • [Date]
  • [Employer’s Name]
  • [Company’s Name]
  • 456 Corporate Blvd
  • Businesstown, State, 67890
  • Dear [Employer’s Name],

What’s wrong with this format?

This is still a valid way to begin a printed letter to be sent by snail mail, but there are problems with this format if you’re sending it by email.

  • It takes up too much space at the top of the letter.
  • It doesn’t include your email address or other contact links.
  • Your physical address is only relevant if you are applying for a location-specific job and you want them to know where you're located. 
  • Businesses no longer need you to tell them their company's address.

The traditional format needs tweaking for the modern world. The biggest problem is the waste of space and time required to scroll down to where the letter gets interesting. 

Modern Email Addressing Standard Practices

Because today’s email provides instant contact with the click of a button, physical addresses have been relegated to the end of the email and included only if needed. 

Here’s a streamlined heading you can use in your cover letter email.

This improved, uncluttered format is more concise, includes your email and professional links, and tells the recipient who you are with no extra fluff. If you'd prefer not to leave your contact details on your cover letter, make sure there's some way to get in touch with you on your resume so the hiring manager knows how to follow up on your online applications.

Additional Considerations for Cover Letters

You must review any application instructions to learn if a particular cover letter format is specified. Be sure to follow directions.

In researching the hiring company you should have investigated its culture and expectations. Being either overly formal or too informal is to be avoided. The company’s style should guide your choice of including your address in the traditional way or not. Try to fit in as a knowledgeable and tuned-in professional.

There are also legal requirements to consider in this global age. 

Some jurisdictions have personal information protection laws that influence how much information should be shared. It may be inadvisable to include your personal physical address.  You’ll need to research this based on the laws of your country and those of the hiring company.

Also, think of your own online security, as the potential for identity theft is growing. Emails may be forwarded to others who don’t respect your right to privacy. Only include personal information that’s absolutely necessary in your cover letters - most of the time your postal address isn't needed. 

The key here is to focus on your cover letter’s content and less on your private information.

What About ATS Scans?

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) scan your cover letter for keywords, skills, experiences, and education. They are less interested in your physical address and whether you include it or not.

The only time an ATS might assign value to your address is if the job is location-specific. In this case, including your city and country is appropriate. You needn’t provide your street address.

Also, if your email is improperly formatted the ATS may have difficulty recognizing and parsing your cover letter, including any included address information. Keep your layout simple and stick to standard modern business letter practices. 

Pros and Cons of Including Your Address on a Cover Letter

If you're still not sure whether you should include your address on your cover letter, here are some pros and cons that should help you make up your mind:


  • Location Relevance: If the job is location-specific, including your address can demonstrate that you are local or within a commutable distance, which may be advantageous to employers. Some employers might also prefer or give priority to candidates who are already residing within the region, reducing potential relocation concerns.
  • Formality and Tradition: Including your address can convey a sense of professionalism and adherence to traditional business communication standards, which might be appreciated by some conservative industries or companies. A full address can make your cover letter appear more complete and well-structured, which could be beneficial in some formal settings.
  • Specific Instructions: If a job posting explicitly asks for a full address, including it ensures that you are following the application instructions precisely, which can reflect well on your attention to detail.


  • Privacy and Security: Including your address can expose you to privacy risks, such as identity theft or unwanted contact, especially if the email is forwarded or shared beyond the intended recipient. With increasing concerns over data breaches, minimizing personal information in digital communications can be a safer practice.
  • Irrelevance in Digital Age: Including your address takes up valuable space at the top of your cover letter, potentially pushing more relevant content further down where it might be overlooked. In the digital era, where email and online applications are the norms, physical addresses are often unnecessary information and can make your cover letter appear outdated.
  • Bias and Discrimination: Revealing your address can inadvertently introduce bias if the employer has preferences for candidates from specific areas or if they have concerns about potential relocation costs or complications. If you are applying for jobs in different cities or countries, including your address might make you seem less appealing compared to local candidates, even if you are willing to relocate.
  • Formatting Issues: Overly complex formats that include full addresses might be misinterpreted by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), potentially impacting how your application is parsed and evaluated. A lengthy address format can clutter your cover letter, making it less visually appealing and harder to read quickly, which is crucial for keeping the hiring manager’s attention.

Looking Forward

There is more to think about beyond putting your address on a cover letter. 

To create a great cover letter, you must:

  • Highlight your relevant skills and show how they match the requirements of the job.
  • Include keywords that the ATS can match to the job description.
  • Demonstrate that you understand the company culture, products or services, and position in the industry. 
  • Mention your availability, especially if the job description lists specific start and end dates.
  • Showcase highly relevant examples from your work history that illustrate your ability to do the job.

The Final Verdict: Does a Cover Letter Need an Address?

The short answer is no. Back in the day, when people mailed in their job applications, it made sense to include both your address and the employer's. But now, with most applications being submitted online, this practice has become outdated. Plus, if you're applying for jobs in a different city or country, including your address could make you seem less appealing compared to local candidates. Instead of worrying about this old-school detail, focus on what really matters: showcasing your skills, experience, and passion for the job.


Do You Need to Include the Company’s Address on a Cover Letter? No, it is generally not necessary to include the company’s address on a cover letter, especially if you are submitting it via email. Modern business practices prioritize digital communication, and including the company’s address can make your cover letter look cluttered. Focus instead on providing your email, phone number, and relevant professional links.

Should You Include Your Own Address on a Cover Letter? Including your own physical address on a cover letter is not typically necessary in the digital age. Most employers prefer to contact candidates via email or phone. However, if the job is location-specific, you might consider including your city and state to indicate your proximity to the job location.

What Contact Information Should Be Included in a Modern Cover Letter? In a modern cover letter, you should include your name, email address, phone number, and a link to your LinkedIn profile or other relevant professional sites. This streamlined format ensures that hiring managers can easily contact you.

Are There Situations Where Including an Address is Important? Yes, if you are applying for a location-specific job and your proximity is a selling point, including your city and state might be beneficial. Additionally, some application instructions may specifically request a full address, in which case you should comply with the requirements.