Your resume is extremely important in finding a job and is the biggest factor in whether you get the interview or not. Living in one state (or country) and applying for jobs out of state makes it even more vital.
And one of the biggest hurdles is how to list your location on your resume when applying for jobs in a different state.
A question on this topic was emailed to me by a reader last week:
Hi Biron. I’m living in San Francisco and trying to move to Denver. The problem I’m running into is that I’m not receiving any interviews and I’m guessing it’s because there are local applicants that are equally qualified. I believe I can interview better than them and prove myself but I need to get into the interviews. My address and phone number on my resume are a dead giveaway that I’m living in the Bay Area. Do you recommend that I lie on my resume to get a job interview?
How To List Your Address When Applying For Jobs Out Of State:
At first glance there are 2 options: Tell the truth or lie about your address
Let’s look at the pros and cons of both options so you know what you’re up against. Then keep reading because there’s a third option that works pretty well too and you won’t want to miss it.
Option #1: Lie On Your Resume
When applying for jobs out of state, one strategy is to use a friend or family member’s address in that city, or just list the city without a street address on your resume. Or make up an address. Lying on your resume will probably get you the initial phone interview, but there are a few problems with all of these tactics.
4 Potential Problems…
- You probably don’t have a local phone number to put on your resume. You can’t hide everything.
- You’re beginning the interview process with a huge lie. Even if it doesn’t get uncovered, you’ll be more nervous during the process and it won’t feel as comfortable.
- If everything goes well on a phone interview, they’ll invite you on a face to face interview and you’ll have to cover all of the travel expenses since the company thinks you’re living locally. Some companies do multiple rounds of face to face interviews!
- And finally, when you’re offered a job, they’re probably going to mail the offer letter to the address you provided. Also if a company offers relocation assistance, you might lose out on that because they think you’re a local candidate.
Option #2: Tell The Truth And Put Your Out-Of-State Address
This option is simple, and chances are you’ve already tried it. Accept that some employers won’t want to interview you, but continue to list your full out-of-state address on your resume.
There’s one big drawback, which you probably already know…
Some companies only consider local candidates. This will limit the number of opportunities you’re able to interview for. Not every company will be open to interviewing you, even on the phone.
Still, I would try this option for a couple of weeks to start my job search. It’s a good place to start because it’s the safest, assuming you can get some companies willing to talk to you. The only risk is spending time applying for jobs and finding out you’re not getting enough responses or interviews.
If that happens, you’ll need to consider other options. That’s where option #3 comes in…
Option #3: Tell A White Lie (I Recommend This)
This option is great if you don’t want to tell a flat out lie, but you’re not getting enough interviews telling the truth on your resume.
Here’s what to do… Put your name and phone number on your resume, but don’t list an address. Where you’d normally put an address, instead say something like “Relocating to Denver in March 2017”. (replace ‘Denver’ with whichever city the job is in).
Using this approach to apply for jobs in a different city or state should get you a higher number of interviews without having to lie about where you currently live.
This is still a bit of a lie, since you’re probably not going to relocate without a job offer, but it’s also quite true- your goal is to find a job in the new city, and your plan is to relocate to that city if you can find a suitable position.
This will get you the greatest number of phone interviews and will keep your resume out of the garbage pile.
If you have an interview and they ask about this (they probably will), you can tell them you plan on relocating either way but you are trying to secure a job beforehand. That will put their mind at ease and quickly convince them you’re serious about finding a job in their city.
There’s one potential drawback with this option…
Just like Option #1, there’s a chance that you could lose out on relocation assistance if you say you’re moving to their city no matter what.
It’s not very likely but it’s possible.
With most companies, they’ll still offer to help if it’s a part of their benefits package though. Very few companies will try to weasel out of paying relocation assistance. The ones that do, you probably don’t want to work for.
So this method has a lot of potential and very little risk. I recommend giving it a try.
Now that you know what to do… you’re probably wondering how soon to start applying for jobs. If so, check out this article on timing your job search. I wrote it after a reader who is relocating from New York to Texas emailed me asking this exact question.
Also, make sure to leave a comment below if you have a question or if you’ve tried any of these options.
If you’re job searching in a new city, I think you’d love the step-by-step interview guide I just created. Each interview counts for a lot when you’re relocating; I’ve done it first-hand and know it’s definitely harder than the typical local job search. But it’s still doable! If you want to go into your next interview feeling 100% confident and well-prepared, you’re the type of person I had in mind when I created this guide. You can read about it here.
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Relocation cover letters to customize for your specific circumstances.
Whether you are planning to move or investigating the idea of relocation in order to secure a job, this relocation cover letter information will help get your resume noticed and get you that interview.
Your cover letter should persuade the potential employer that you are the best candidate for the position. Your relocation should be a non-issue for the company, with the focus firmly on your ability to do the job.
Select the relocation letter that best suits your situation and adapt it for your own use.
When writing a cover letter for relocation use these tips to help you get it right.
1. Use your current contact details
Don't confuse the situation by using the address you are relocating to. The potential employer needs to be able to contact you at your current address.
2. Explain your situation clearly and positively
Where, when and why you are relocating. Examples:
"I look forward to permanently relocating to Kansas City in July 2014 to be near my elderly parents. Your job opportunity presents the sort of career challenge I am looking for...."
"I read your advertisement for a registered nurse with interest and enthusiasm. The position seems to be a perfect fit with my skills and experience and I am open to relocation for the right job opportunity."
3. Reinforce the permanence of the relocation
Use the word permanent in your relocation cover letter to immediately reassure the employer that this is a long term move. If you are willing to relocate for the sake of the job opportunity then give a convincing reason why you would like to make the move such as a stronger economy, better lifestyle.
4. Include your availability for interviews
Plan to be in the area at certain times so you can attend interviews. Give the target company a choice of dates for the meeting rather than just one specific day. This demonstrates flexibility and a consideration for the reader's time and commitments. You can suggest an initial phone interview as an introduction.
Keep this relocation cover letter information in mind when you adapt the following sample cover letters for your own use.
Sample Relocation Cover Letters
This letter can be used when you are having to relocate and are looking for employment in the area.
Your Contact details
Mr George Harrod
Human Resources Manager
Nobel, Green and Associates
17 Park Plaza
Tampa, FL 33610
Dear Mr Harrod
I am permanently relocating to Tampa in October as my husband has accepted a job offer in the area. I read your online job posting for a legal assistant with keen interest as I believe my skills and strengths are an excellent match for this position.
Some of the key competencies I can contribute to the opportunity include:
- paralegal certification
- over 7 years experience in a legal assistant capacity in a fifteen-attorney law firm
- proven proficiency in legal research, preparation of legal documents and case materials
- excellent computer and data management skills
- a reputation as an independent worker who is able to manage multiple demands to efficiently meet deadlines
I enclose my resume for your consideration and I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss your needs and my abilities. I will be in Tampa next week or we can speak over the phone. Thank you for your time and interest.
Lesley J. Wood
Use this sample relocation cover letter when you are willing to relocate for the job opportunity.
Your Contact details
Mrs Carol Schuster
Mercy Community Clinic
1 Creswell Road
New York , NY 10025
Dear Mrs Schuster
Your recent advertisement for a Medical Office Manager has captured my interest. It has long been an ambition of mine to relocate permanently to New York and I believe this is the right job opportunity. I am confident my skills and experience are an excellent match for the position and I enclose my resume for your consideration.
Some of the strengths that I can bring to this opportunity include:
- Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE)
- 6 years experience organizing the business operations of a busy healthcare facility
- Responsible for all purpose accounting, payment processing and payroll
- In-depth knowledge of current healthcare regulations, medical laws and ethics
- Excellent computer, scheduling and information management skills
- A motivated team player who always go the extra mile
I am confident that my knowledge and expertise will allow me to make a valuable contribution to your clinic. I would enjoy speaking with you in person to explore this opportunity further and how I can best serve your needs. I will be in New York between date and date. Please contact me to arrange a convenient time for us to meet.
As I am planning to move to New York regardless, I will be responsible for any relocation costs.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Use these sample cover letters to develop your own job-specific cover letter.
Template for Relocation Cover Letters
Decide which of these cover letter formats is the right one for you to use.
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