Rev up your resume to relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.
Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Let's face it: All other things being equal, employers would rather recruit local applicants than out-of-towners. It's more convenient to schedule interviews, and there are no hassles or cost concerns associated with relocation. But according to Monster data, about half of all job seekers are willing to move for the right job.
If you are planning to move or are just open to the idea of relocation, follow these tips to get your resume noticed.
Add all target locations
List all potential locations in the Monster Resume Builder's Where Would You Like to Work? fields (in the Resume Settings section). In the same section, answer "yes" to the "Are you willing to relocate?" question. When employers search resumes, they have the option to include job seekers who both reside in or are willing to work in the selected locations, so be sure your name makes their hit list.
Mention relocation at the top of your resume
Use the Resume Builder's Summary field to specify your relocation availability. If you're targeting a specific area, a statement such as "Searching for a position in the Dallas area" gets the point across. If you're more flexible, include a line such as "Available to relocate nationwide" or "Open to relocation to the Northeast." If you have firm plans to move, you can say "Relocating to Chicago in March 2018."
Elaborate in your cover letter
Your cover letter is the perfect place to explain your situation. Here are a few ways to word your relocation preferences:
- Targeting a specific area: "Please note that I will be relocating to Los Angeles in March 2018. Your opening presents the precise challenge I am seeking, and I would welcome the chance to discuss this opportunity with you."
- Returning to your hometown: This shows that you have roots in the target location, so you're more likely to stay put this time. "Although I have been successful in my current position, I am eager to make a permanent move back to Boise, Idaho." Don't be afraid to use humor and mention something unique to the town, such as the home team or weather.
- Keeping your options open: "At this point in my career, I am searching for a position that would be a perfect fit, so I am open to relocating for the right opportunity."
Be available for interviews
If you're targeting a specific area, plan to be available in the location for a week or so to attend face-to-face interviews. Your cover letter can mention that you will be available for interviews in the location for a certain period of time. You may also suggest an initial phone interview, and then arrange to meet in person if there is mutual interest.
Consider offering to pay relocation expenses
Some professionals with desirable credentials are aggressively recruited, and some employers are more than willing to pay for relocation, offer spousal relocation assistance and even help find a new house in the new location. These professionals can usually negotiate an attractive relocation package.
Other candidates face a more competitive job search, going up against local job seekers who may have comparable qualifications. If so, consider that you may open more doors for yourself if you are willing to pay relocation costs. Use this as a selling point in your cover letter with a line such as, "Please note that I am very interested in your opportunity and am willing to incur all relocation expenses" or "I will be relocating to Jacksonville in May at my own expense."
Don't use someone else's address
Some folks try to get an edge in a long-distance job search by fudging the address. This can cause problems; if your current job is located in one city and your address is far away, the hiring manager will probably be confused or concerned that your address is misleading. More problems may ensue if you're called for an interview and you're unable to get there right away. Then there's the uncomfortable discussion that you don't actually live in town. It's better to be honest about where you're living and use the above resume and cover letter strategies to show you're ready to pack your bags for the right opportunity.
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How to Mention Relocation in a Cover Letter
When you are planning on relocating, how you handle this conversation in your cover letter can be tricky. For low and mid-level positions, where there may be many local qualified applicants, you can risk being screened out if you submit documents with an out of the area address.
Candidates for senior positions or applicants for jobs with a shortage of qualified candidates will have a better chance of being considered for a job in a different location.
Employers will be more likely to consider someone who is already going to be in the area, though, so they don't have to deal with the logistics and expense of moving a new hire.
However, if you phrase your cover letter correctly you can get your application considered by prospective employers, even if you currently live outside of their region. First of all, keep the focus on your qualifications for the job rather than on where you live. Secondly, make it very clear that you are planning a move to the new location. Finally – if your budget allows – you can mention that you are more than happy to travel, at your own cost, to their campus or office for a personal interview, and that you also plan to be responsible for your own moving expenses.
Note: You will find career counselors who advise omitting your physical address on your resume and cover letter entirely, both because this may lessen your chances of consideration and because of potential identity theft.
However, many hiring managers will still perceive such an omission as a “red flag,” wondering why you have omitted your address even as they note that the latest job mentioned on your resume is located 1,000 miles away from them. Until omitting physical addresses on professional resumes becomes commonplace, it’s probably best to be upfront and explain your current address and relocation plans.
How to Mention Relocation in Your Cover Letter
You typically will benefit from directly addressing the fact that you are moving in your cover letters. This will make it clear that you are not applying just as a way to get to the new location. However, your main rationale for applying for any job should be the nature of the work, followed by the appeal of the organization. So, while you may decide to mention your relocation in either your first or final cover letter paragraph, a statement that addresses your interest in the job itself should precede any reference to the fact that you're relocating.
Option 1: Mention it at the Beginning of Your Letter
This type of statement can be included early in the first paragraph of a cover letter.
Example: "It was with much excitement that I learned of Maximum Communications’ search for an Associate Marketing Coordinator. I am highly interested in consideration for this position, since it would enable me to apply my project management skills and also would tap my passion for event planning.
The recent trajectory of growth at Maximum Communications, including your latest addition of Pepsina as a client, further stimulated my interest in applying for this position.
My wife and I are planning to relocate (or, even better, “are in the process of relocating”) within the next two months to the Seattle area to be closer to her family, so the timing of this job opening is ideal.”
Option 2: Mention it at the End of Your Letter
Perhaps the best way, however, to address relocation is to incorporate a statement in a final paragraph which mentions traveling to the area. This a) allows you to focus on the job and your qualifications themselves at the beginning of the letter; and b) gives you more time to make it clear that the employer wouldn't be responsible for your travel costs, moving costs, or any other expenses.
As mentioned above, organizations usually expect to fund travel and bring in candidates from outside locations to interview for senior and hard to fill positions.
However, for more entry level jobs there may be a preference for local candidates.
Example: "I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss this position. I will be traveling to Seattle for a conference (or to find an apartment or to network with local college alumni) in two weeks and would be available to meet at that time. However, I would also be glad to travel, at my own expense, for an interview at your convenience. Please know that I also have resources in place that would allow me to relocate and begin work immediately upon hiring. Thank you for your time, consideration, and forthcoming response.”
Tips for Job Hunting When You're Moving
Need help with your job search when you're planning a move?
These top 10 tips for finding a job in a new city will help you get started.
More: Job Search Tips for When You Want to Relocate