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How to Write a Relocation Resume

by THEA kelley | June 29, 2023

If you’re applying to jobs in Austin, you’ll be at a disadvantage with a resume that shows you’re living in Albuquerque. How can you write a resume that gets interviews out of town?

Employers generally prefer to hire someone local. Statistically, hires from out of town are more likely to quit. Recruiters may worry that you’ll miss your old friends and familiar turf, or that you might not like the new city. They also know that out-of-town candidates are more likely to cancel interviews.

While your current address isn’t doing you any good, a resume with no location is at a disadvantage, too, since the recruiter may guess why the address was left off. Furthermore, a no-location resume may perform poorly in an applicant tracking system since a recruiter searching the system for candidates is likely to use the company’s local zip code as a search term.

So what do you do?

How to Write a Resume for a Job Out of Town

An honest and effective way to handle this problem is to put the target city, state and zip code (a street address on a resume isn’t necessary and looks old-fashioned) instead of your current location, like this:

Desired location: Austin, TX 78701

Or like this, for a more confident way of putting it:

Relocating to Austin, TX 78701

Is that honest? It’s a judgment call each individual needs to make. In my view, it is: you are relocating as soon as you get a job offer, right? And if you have a specific date planned, include it:

Relocating to Austin, TX 78701 on April 5

Some job seekers have written resumes stating the local address as if they already live there. This might get you an interview, but do you really want to have to hide your true residence from the people who may become your day-to-day colleagues? If they discover the lie it will damage the relationship. The approach above is safer.

Make your relocation plans as definite as possible, and include details in your cover letter to show you’re serious. For example, if you’re planning a scouting trip to the area, or if you have secured temporary or permanent housing, say so. It can also help to mention a compelling reason for the move, such as a spouse who already has secured a job in the new area, or a desire to be closer to family members who live there.

It may also be helpful to mention these facts very briefly in the summary/profile section of the resume, since the cover letter may not be noticed.

If your resume includes any experience working in the area or remotely collaborating with colleagues there, make sure that information is very noticeable.

Don’t Over-rely on Your Relocation Resume

Networking is more powerful than just sending your resume to open jobs. And yes, there are ways to network your way into a job out of town. With smart job search strategies, a great relocation resume and smart interview preparation, you can make the move you’ve been dreaming of.  (This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated.)

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