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Could my address stereotype me?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
This is something I've thought about a lot over the last few years so I thought I'd just see what the general opinion on this might be here at TCS. I'm asking this in relation to job searches; where all someone can see of me is what I put on paper: namely my address directly next to my name.

I live in a trailer park; which doesn't bother me at all. I'm not ashamed to live here and other than the fact that DH and I are outgrowing our home and we have some trouble with noisy/inconsiderate neighbors; I've loved my home. It's my first place so why wouldn't I?

My concern is that when I've sent out resumes and things in the past; is that the first thing people see besides my name is that my address is 000 Something Street, Lot 00, etc. I know hiring managers (especially in times like this) see so many resumes come across their desks; they have to sort it down somehow and generally don't have a lot of time for that. I know because I've helped with interviewing candidates before; it's a time consuming process.

I'm afraid that people see that and can't help but automatically think that I'm more likely to not be what they are looking for. (I'm trying to say this without offending anyone. Please know that I AM NOT stereotyping anyone myself! Please do not take this as me putting down anyone because of where they live!)

So what do you think? Is it possible that this could stereotype me or others with similar addresses?

I think what I will try for future resumes is to use the alternative address; which some places default my address to anyway. So it would be 000-00 Something Street. I am sending out a resume for a job I applied for before and it seems like one I'd really enjoy. With a competitive job market; I don't want to loose a chance over something as simple as my address! Does that make sense?
post #2 of 20
I'd bet someone could - even subconsciously - stereotype an address. Not even something as small as trailer park/apartment/home/etc, but certain cities, states, etc.

Personally, though I wouldn't know what 'lot XXXX' meant, but that's because I've never lived in a trailer park.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
I meant to mention this in my OP; but when I was in college my boss stopped hiring people from the university across the street because she'd had so many bad employees (unreliable and thefts) that were students there. I don't know if that breaks EOE laws or not; but I saw the turnover rate from the kids that went to school there so I understood why she did it.
post #4 of 20
maybe get a P.O. Box for resumés? small ones aren't too terribly expensive...
post #5 of 20
When I lived in my mom's mobile home, instead of "Trlr 84", I put "#84" like an apartment.
post #6 of 20
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
maybe get a P.O. Box for resumés? small ones aren't too terribly expensive...
Originally Posted by Whisky'sDad View Post
When I lived in my mom's mobile home, instead of "Trlr 84", I put "#84" like an apartment.

Either one of those ideas would work.
post #7 of 20
Yeah, I've been there too. When I lived in a trailer park there were a couple of ways I could write the address. One was XYZ Trailer Park, Lot 123 and the other was 123 XYZ Lane. Although the latter wasn't officially a postal address, everything still got delivered fine, so I always used that one.
post #8 of 20
Originally Posted by Whisky'sDad View Post
When I lived in my mom's mobile home, instead of "Trlr 84", I put "#84" like an apartment.

My best friend also lives in a mobile home park and often wondered this. It may be a coincidence but she found a job after changing her resume as Whisky mentioned.
post #9 of 20
I would check with the post office to see what they consider as viable alternatives to using Lot ##. In this job market you want all the advantages you can!

We do not have alot of trailer parks around here but unfortunately some the the ones do have an undesirable reputation. So I can see where you can envision a problem.
post #10 of 20
LeighAnn, I would think just putting a number sign in front of the lot number would sufficiently throw people off That would really stink if you were being judged based on your addy though There's lots of different folks that live in a trailer park, not just your stereo-typical "trailer park trash"

I have honestly never even thought about people judging me based on my addy and I live in a trailer park too
post #11 of 20
I never would have thought of this until my DH worked as an outreach specialist in a 'high-risk' area a few years ago...and he mentioned it. Apparently it was common practice for employers in that city to immediately disregard resumes from anyone with an address in a certain neighbourhood because of that neighbourhood's reputation.

I agree with everyone who suggested making your address look like an apt. number or geting a PO box...anything that might help in this climate is worth looking into.
post #12 of 20
I wouldnt have ever thought that one may be judged based on an address, but it makes sence.

As a side thought.. a co-worker of mine was living in a trailer...
Another co-worker was picking on her about living in a "tin-can".. she retorted back "Ya, it sits right next to the new house that Im building!!!" She was in the process of building.. and was sparing no expence either!

She was talking about the conversation later to a couple of us.. and commented that she's not "trailer trash".. she's "trailer fabulous"!
post #13 of 20
I think this used to happen to me at the airport. I had my parents' address on my driver's license (Gary, IN) before I got married, because it was easier that way. About 80% of the time, I was pulled aside for "random" carry-on baggage checks.

I've been on three different trips that required flights since I updated my driver's license, and not once had I been pulled aside "randomly."
post #14 of 20
I used to work in the credit industry and designed software that accepted or rejected credit applications based on their zip codes. There are companies that track paying habits of people based on where they live, and if you are in an area where paying habits are bad, many credit companies will flat out decline you. A lot of companies pay a lot of money to obtain this information.

With the job market the way it is, I could see employers screening in weird ways these days. I agree with others - change the way you list your address on you resume to throw them off a bit.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm so glad (in a way!) to have my concerns validated! It completely sucks; but what can I do but change my way of writing my address ya know? If it comes down to it; I'll use my parent's address again!

I sent the resume out; with my address as 000-00. To me that looks more like an apartment or even a town-house number.
post #16 of 20
I would change it, just to make that one less thing to worry about.
post #17 of 20
Originally Posted by MoochNNoodles View Post
I'm so glad (in a way!) to have my concerns validated! It completely sucks; but what can I do but change my way of writing my address ya know? If it comes down to it; I'll use my parent's address again!

I sent the resume out; with my address as 000-00. To me that looks more like an apartment or even a town-house number.
Definately validated.

It is unfortunately but..... alot of people do judge addresses, whether deliberately or non-deliberately.

I live in XXXX Estates. People automatically assume that I have some good $ because the area is a mid to upper "class" neighbourhood (in reference to the cost of the houses here). Which frankly I don't.

Prior, I lived in a subsidized housing CO-OP, which everyone knew based on the address. We have 2 subsidized co-ops. I was in the better one, the other one is known as "No Daddy's Lane" and is not as taken care of as mine was... we worked hard to make sure the grounds were clean, and the like. The other coop most of the houses front yards look like the typical jokes "you might be a redneck if....".

We have a trailer park in town too, I know several people that live there. Mind you its mostly older folks, with grown kids not living at home.... but it is a beautiful part of our town.

It is very unfortunate that we are judged by the area we live in, or even the vehicles we drive.... but we are judged by anything... clothing, whether we smoke or not, homes, cars, etc.

Moving where I am now was "fun". I grew up poor, was a single mom on welfare, till I moved in here. My clothes are all second hand for the most part, and I commonly wear those plaid pj type bottoms and baggy tshirts. Most of the women in this neighbourhood wear preppy type clothing, or brand name new stuff. Yah I stuck out like a sore thumb, and was uncomfortable for a year or so. Then I said screw it, and me and my snakes, and my kids with my snakes/lizards started being ourselves again (more me...my kids were always themselves). Was I ever judged...omg....you shoulda seen the looks. Very funny thing though.... my immediate neighbour moved in a couple mos prior to us. She is in insurance, dresses very conservative, kinda quiet, polite, etc. (total opposite of me) had made a comment to her husband when she saw me moving in..... something along the lines of "we're in trouble now" type of deal. A year later we were friends. Now we are great friends, her husband is a Minister and married us 1.5yrs ago.

It sucks, but we live in a very judgemental world

I know I am definately not the real me when I go on job interviews. I never dress like that normally, and you can usually see my tattoos. But when looking for a job, my tat's are covered and my tongue ring becomes invisible because of the judging.

off my soapbox for now LOL.

But in your case, I'd definately address your resume like an apt. It will probally help you in the long run.
post #18 of 20
I have thought about this because I am currently living in a trailer park. But its also my dads trailer park. On ours we just put the street address and either lot or # depending on what it is and most people dont really think about it. We never right now the park name just because it isnt needed.
My thought is if someone wants to look down on me because I live in a certain place chances are I do not want to work for them or be friends with them.
Our house is mine, I'm not just renting, I just didnt want to pay for land! LOL!
post #19 of 20
I agree that it's possibly you could be stereotyped by your address, even though it's unfair. My friend says that because her husband is Vietnamese she has been discriminated against when looking for a job because of her last name. Normally I would say that you wouldn't want to work for the type of person who cares about where someone lives, but in these economic times, it may be worth getting p.o. box if you think it will give you a better chance. Good luck with your search.
post #20 of 20
I agree with the others on the stereotyping based on addresses. It isn't right, but as humans we seek information & sometimes that is all we have to work with.
The people that we are buying our in-town house from had moved to CO because the house across the street and the one next door had been bought by Mexicans. Our area is being called "Little Tijuana" I have no problem with my neighbors at all. Unlike the other area where we used to live which is "Anglo" - the neighborhood feuds were insufferable
when I was growing up, our community wasn't based along class lines or racial lines - there weren't enough people It was based on if you were a good worker or a bum, and if you were honest and down-to-earth.
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