Resume and Cover Letter Tips for Individuals Looking for Work in Another City

by Ashley Horne | July 15, 2022

Relocating for Work

Are you getting ready to relocate?

Are you finding it difficult to gain an employer’s attention with an out-of-market address?

Finding gainful employment locally can be difficult enough, but looking for a position in another community can pose a whole new series of challenges. Let’s take a look at a few ways to pump up your resume and cover letter in order to grab the attention of potential employers despite your current location.

Tackling Your Resume

Address Updates

There is always the question of what address to list on a resume when you are looking for positions in other states or communities. You certainly don’t want to put yourself in a position to have your resume overlooked because you aren’t a local candidate, but you also don’t want to offer misleading information about where you are currently located. There are a couple of options that tie in to listing an address on your resume. Let’s take a look!

First, it may be most beneficial to list your current address and add an additional line that says something to the effect of “Relocating to [Enter City] in January 2018.” This way, you are providing an accurate address but also calling out the fact that you plan to move to the location of the job. You have also given an estimated date of arrival, which can be helpful to employers.

The second option would be to change the address. If you plan to live with a friend or family member in the city of interest, you may choose to use that address on your resume. You could also simply list the city and state of your destination (i.e. Pittsburgh, PA) with no street address. In either case, there are problems that come along with doing so that should be pointed out. You don’t want to mislead a potential employer about your current location. You also don’t want to miss out on relocation packages because an employer thinks you are a local candidate. Finally, you will need to be prepared to travel for interviews. If the employer believes you to be local, you will undoubtedly be responsible for paying for all the travel costs. If you choose to use a local address, you will want to be sure you bring up the need to relocate in the initial interview.

Personal Statement Additions

It will also be beneficial to add a personal statement on your resume that briefly recaps your desire to relocate. This can be as simple as making a statement such as the following:

Creative designer relocating to New York City for career advancement opportunities within the high-end fashion industry.

Of course, the more specific you can be, the more quickly you’ll grab the attention of a potential employer. As an example, you may add a specific company for which you’d like to work in your personal statement (i.e. “…for career advancement opportunities with Vera Wang Designs.”

Taking every opportunity to call out your move will give employers confidence in your dedication to the job search and desire to relocate.

Artfully Designed Cover Letters

Making the effort to sit and update your cover letter can be a challenge, but it is truly time well spent when you are attempting to gain the attention of an out-of-market employer. Your cover letter is often the very first thing a hiring manager will see. It is, therefore, your opportunity to lay out your future plans. Below are some simple tips for what to include in your cover letter regarding relocation.

  • State clearly that you do not live in the area, but you are looking to move. Include a potential relocation date.
  • Feel free to share your story. Provide insight into why you are interested in relocating. If you have your heart set on obtaining employment with a specific company (to whom you are writing), detail exactly why you are excited to be considered and why this specific company would make you want to pick up and move your life to another area.
  • Ensure that you have done your research to understand what salary you’d like to earn in the area. Demonstrating that you have an understanding of the market and are on target with wages will be helpful.
  • Strengthen your cover letter by doing research about the company. Be sure to include information that is relevant and shows a genuine interest in the company, industry, and position. Demonstrating your commitment to your application and the time invested will help draw attention to your resume.

Extra Opportunities

In addition to making resume and cover letter updates, you can take other steps to get noticed.

  • Reach out by phone to a hiring manager when possible. Simply check in and ask if the resume has been received. This will let you know that it has been received and will get the hiring manager to read what you’ve sent. You can also create a great impression over the phone, which is not an option when you just send electronic documents.
  • Start building a network in the target community. Reach out to organizations in the area and build your resources. You may be able to connect with folks who know more about the current job market than you are able to find online. You can also connect with individuals on LinkedIn and introduce yourself. Building your network, specifically in your field, may help you to get the inside scoop on job opportunities through your connections.

In the end, obtaining a position in another city may be more challenging, but it is not impossible. The key is to be proactive, remain engaged in your job search, and be persistent. Time and effort will help get you where you want to go.

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