The search for a new job can be an emotional roller-coaster for job seekers. While it can be exciting to move on to the next stage of your life and career, there are often unexpected challenges and anxieties. That’s especially true when you’re planning to relocate and land a new job at the same time!
The good news is that being from another state doesn’t need to put you at a disadvantage in a long distance job search. You just need to mention relocation on your resume in a way that helps you compete with local candidates seeking the same job. Here are some of the best strategies to help you manage any out-of-state job search, and minimize the concerns employers may have about dealing with relocation issues.
Why would a relocation be a problem for employers?
Before you even begin to mention relocation on your resume, remember that many employers are reluctant to hire out-of-state candidates. There are many reasons for this, but they all typically boil down to one thing: the company’s time and expense. There are often increased costs associated with hiring candidates from out-of-state. In many instances, local candidates are typically available to begin work shortly after being hired. That isn’t always the case when candidates live in another state.
Some employers also view relocation as a risk for everyone involved. After all, what happens if your move to their city doesn’t work out as you planned? Will you become a flight risk and have to move again--forcing the company to go through the hiring process all over again? You need to address these concerns if you expect to land an interview and eventual job.
Follow these simple tips when you mention relocation on your resume, and you’ll be able to more effectively compete against local candidates for that out-of-state job you deserve.
How to mention relocation on your resume
As with everything in life, there is a right way to mention relocation on your resume during the job search.
First, let’s be clear: you do need to mention it. There are always some job seekers who present themselves as locals. Unfortunately for them, that deception is invariably discovered at some point. It is important to be honest with any prospective employer instead of lying on your job application, and let the company know that you’re relocating.
There are several effective ways to handle this subject, and to impress employers while you're at it!
If your relocation depends on landing a job
If your relocation is dependent on landing a job, then you need to mention that fact somewhere on your resume and/or cover letter.
In this case, you would mention relocation on your resume and discuss it in more detail on your cover letter.
You could mention it at the top of your resume and use one of the following:
Willing to relocate
Willing to relocate to Florida (if it's a specific desired location)
Related: when your relocation depends on landing a job and a certain starting salary, read this post, too: How To Include Desired Salary In a Cover Letter
Don't make this common mistake
Many job seekers make the mistake of listing the city they're relocating to as a current location on their resumes or LinkedIn profiles, and only bring up intentions to relocate when it comes time for the interview. This scramble makes you look unprofessional and dishonest--not a good impression to make on prospective employers!
Instead, if you're planning to relocate at a later time and to a certain target location, you should mention that on the top of your resume with your contact information.
If you're moving whether you get a job or not
If you have a place secured and are absolutely certain about moving, you can include your new city and state on your resume in place of your current location. You don't need to mention relocation on either the resume or cover letter; however, you would generally be expected to appear for an interview.
If the date is still a few weeks out, you can provide the desired city you're relocating to along with the month and year.
Relocating to Florida in December 2018
Relocating to Austin, TX by 10/2020
Here is an example of including relocation on a resume:
Remember that hiring managers are generally reluctant to interview those who are relocating unless it's for a high level position that's difficult to fill.
Additional advice for job searching in 2021
During the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a huge shift toward remote work and working from home. While this means that there are more remote opportunities, many employers still plan to bring new hires into the office at some point.
It should be obvious from the job description whether the position is remote, fully remote, or temporarily remote. If it isn't, you need to get that clarification during the interview! When you're not interviewing in person, it may be tempting to say you're local when you aren't.
These lies have a way of coming out. For example, your new potential employer may need to mail you onboarding materials or notify you that you're expected to be in the office next week. Always be upfront about where you're located. Focus on the value you can add, regardless of your location.
If you aren't willing to relocate for this position, you need to be assured before getting hired that this position will remain remote indefinitely.
read our guide on How To Write A Resume For Remote Work to learn how to tailor your resume for a remote job.
How to mention relocation on a cover letter
The cover letter is where you would discuss your relocation in more detail. Take a look at the example below for more tips. You'll see that this type of statement would typically be placed near the end of your cover letter. That allows you to focus the main body of the letter on your potential employer's needs. It also enables you to establish yourself as the best candidate before the issue of relocation is mentioned.
I hope to have the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my qualifications and your company’s needs at your earliest convenience. While my family currently lives in Minneapolis, we are already in the process of moving to [company’s location] to provide better educational opportunities for our children. I am confident that the timing of the move can be beneficial for your company as well, and believe that there is much that I can contribute to its success.
I am prepared to travel to meet with you for an interview at any time – at my own expense, of course. Our move is already underway, so travel and/or relocation costs are not a concern. Thank you again for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Cover letters help your job application stand out to a hiring manager. Here's what a good cover letter looks like in 2021.
The fact is that you can--and should--mention relocation on your resume and cover letter. You need to communicate that you're serious about the move, and ensure that your resume presents you as the most qualified candidate for the job.
Unless you're applying for a remote job, competing against local talent is always difficult for out-of-state candidates. With the right resume and cover letter, however, you can level the playing field. And that can improve your chances of landing that job!
Good luck with your job search!
The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers and career experts located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.