Where you live is top selection criteria during a hiring process.
Employers typically want to hire someone who lives close to the position. If the commute is considered “too far” or worse – requires relocation – you run the risk of not being considered for the job.
So, if you’re searching for a position that requires you to move, will you automatically be rejected?
If you address the “relocation issue” effectively in your résumé cover letter, and Linkedin profile, you can increase your chances of landing the interview. If you don’t, you will probably face immediate rejection.
If you’re seeking a job that’s outside a comfortable commute
Recruiters and hiring managers are very concerned with the logistics (costs and time) required to hire someone who needs to relocate. That’s why they generally favour candidates who live within close proximity to the position.
Exception to the rule
If you’re a very high-level and/or highly-specialized candidate, you might be considered for the job but even then, you’d have to really impress the employer and convince them 100% that relocation is NOT an issue for you.
How to increase your chances of being considered for the job
If you’re applying to jobs that require you to relocate, then you must be serious about it. This isn’t the time to be just “willing” or “open”. That’s way too passive (and many people say that without meaning it).
Do your due diligence first
Before you send out your résumé, you must first research what’s involved in relocating to your target job market.
What is the cost and time investment to relocate? Many employers will not cover the costs of moving.
How much is it to rent or buy a property?
Is your family completely on-board with relocating?
These are just a few questions that you will have to answer to determine if relocation makes sense for you before telling potential employers you’re committed to packing up and moving.
Make it a priority
Position relocation as your priority for your job search and mean it! Discuss relocation (giving some detail as to where/when) if it’s already in progress.
What’s your timeline?
Be specific about your timeline.
When addressing relocation in your cover letter, say that you are in the process of relocating and state a definite date that you will be available for in-person meetings.
Ensure there’s a match
Make sure the location on your résumé and cover letter reflects the market where you will be relocating to. You should change the location on your Linkedin profile to match the location.
Use a physical address
Using a genuine, physical address in all of your career marketing documents is the best approach.
If you don’t own or rent properly in the location you are moving to, you can use a friend or family member’s address as your temporary “residence”.
If that’s not possible, then list the target city and state/province on your résumé and cover letter. If you’re applying to a job in Los Angeles, include “Los Angeles, California” in the contact section of your documents.
Whatever approach you take, you should be prepared to explain (at the appropriate time) that you have done the research and are 100% committed to relocating, if you get the job.
Use a phone number that reflects the location
Including a phone number in your career marketing documents that clearly doesn’t match the location of the job is an immediate red flag.
You could elect to not include your phone number and just use an email address, although this isn’t ideal because you could get disqualified for not providing the information. Plus, it kinda screams “I don’t live anywhere near the job.”
You could acquire a temporary phone number that matches your target location. I’m not an expert on this, but there are burner numbers and probably other ways to do this.
Maybe you can use a friend/family member’s landline (if they live in the target location) and have the calls forwarded to your cell phone.
Employers want certainty
Companies that will consider candidates outside their preferred zone want to be 100% sure that relocation will be a smooth transition.
They also want to know that you aren’t going to reject an offer at the 11th hour because you had second thoughts (because you didn’t do your homework).
The main objective
The goal with all of this is to give the message that you’re 100% serious about moving and can do it without any major disruption or issues.
Jobseekers who need to relocate for a position will most likely face the challenges of competing against local candidates who are considered more accessible and less of a risk.
To increase your chances of being considered for the job, you must position yourself by doing your research, preparing your story, and communicating your value proposition in a clear and compelling way.
A solid résumé is a key career marketing tool to help you land the interview (and subsequent job). Check out the résumé help below.
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I draw from over 15 years recruitment, career/job search coaching, and sales/marketing experience to help all kinds of jobseekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired for their dream job.
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