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Willing to relocate, how to explain

Q: What about dealing with employers who doubt your interest in and ability to move within a reasonable amount of time? Should you put a friend's Boston-based address on your resume just to get initial consideration?

A: This is a very real concern. With the hundreds and perhaps thousands of resumes to review, the hiring manager or recruiter may be looking for ways to screen out potential mismatches. An out-of-state address on a resume is certainly one factor that may put a candidate in the “no interest” pile.

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There are a couple of ways to increase your chances of in the “to contact” pile though. A quick list:

1. Apply to open positions for which you are well-qualified. If you know someone at a target company, even better!
2. Develop a resume that makes location less of an issue – delete the locations of your current and past employers so there isn’t an immediate assessment of your work history (e.g., “Not sure if she knows anything about the climate, pace and/or cost of living in Boston, she has always worked in the southeast.”)
3. At the top of your resume, consider stating your name, telephone number, cell phone number but not your out-of-state address.
4. Include your desire to relocate in the summary or objective. An example:

“Metrics-oriented media sales professional looking to return to the Boston-area for an opportunity driving sales results.”

5. If you have lived in Boston or attended school in Massachusetts or even New England, explain that in your cover letter. Links to this area will help minimize the prospective employer’s concern about culture shock or how well you will transition to this area.

I would encourage you not to use a friend’s address (although I would guess that some of our bloggers will disagree with me). It appears a bit deceitful and if you ever agree to background verification as a result of the hiring process, you would have some explaining to do. If you moved in with a friend and then provided that address, I would agree that in this instance using a friend’s address is permissible.

A recent related observation that I should share with you. Many large employers are scaling back generous relocation packages that have been offered in the past. I have even encountered candidates, very recently, who have offered to pick up the relocation expense themselves if a job was offered to them.


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