For a long time, the rule of thumb regarding out-of-town addresses on resumes was to toss them into the “maybe but probably not” pile. Employers were understandably wary of considering out-of-town candidates for a number of reasons. Scheduling interviews was problematic, for one thing; being expected to help new hires pay to relocate was too. Contrary to what you may still be hearing, however, most employers have softened their stances regarding relocation. That’s particularly true in the IT field, which has been experiencing a major talent shortage for some time. If you are serious about landing your ideal job and are willing to move to get it, there’s never been a better time to do so.
Overlooked for Being Willing to Relocate?
Like many job seekers, you may have held off on mentioning your willingness to relocate due to fears that it would put you at the bottom of the pile. Most recruiters know better, but there are still plenty out there who retain this outdated way of thinking. In fact, someone I know recently spoke with a recruiter in Phoenix who stated, “Unless you are already in Phoenix, you will have a hard time landing a job here.” Based on the experiences of myself and many other recruiters in the area, however, this is complete hogwash.
Why is Relocation In Again?
What has prompted this major shift in the acceptance of relocation among employers? Technology plays a big role in the phenomenon. Most notably, it’s no longer crucial to sit down for in-person interviews — at least, not in the earliest stages of the hiring process. Employers have long been reluctant to base hiring decisions on phone interviews alone, as it’s difficult to get a good feel for a candidate without seeing them face to face. However, Skype and other videoconferencing tools have leveled the playing field in this regard, allowing candidates to sit down for virtual interviews no matter where they’re located.
Another reason relocation has become more accepted is because in many markets, the talent just isn’t there. During the height of the recession, when unemployment rates were well into the double-digits, employers could afford to be picky. Oftentimes, there was a glut of talent locally, so why should they consider out-of-town candidates? The economy has been rebounding, however, and talented, highly qualified candidates are largely in the driver’s seat. More of them are willing to move for the best jobs and benefits, which has forced employers to become more amenable to such arrangements too.
How to Convey Your Willingness to Relocate
If you are willing to move elsewhere to find a great job, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about expressing that. First and foremost, never use someone else’s address on a resume. People sometimes do this to make employers think they live in the area, but the strategy backfires when they’re called to come in for a quick interview and are mysteriously unable to get there quickly.
The best place to convey your willingness to relocate is in your cover letter. The way you phrase it will depend on where you’re willing to go and how willing you are to do so. If you have a specific city in mind, of course, something along the lines of “searching for a position in the _____ area” works well. If you’re up for relocating just about anywhere, something along the lines of “available to relocate nationwide” should suffice. If you plan to move soon, stating something like “relocating to ____ in 2016” ought to do the trick. Regardless of how you do it, the important thing to know is that relocation is no longer the kiss of death it once was. In fact, it might be the ticket to finding the job of your dreams.
I highly recommend Phoenix, Las Vegas and Austin as great destinations!
Allen started his career in retail, working for grocery stores and then PetSmart until getting into the staffing world in 1998. After working for one recruiting firm until 2002, he struck out with a friend to launch Phoenix Staff. Allen and his wife love the fact that they have a stellar team of people working towards a common goal – employing good people in good jobs. Outside of work, they are fortunate to be surrounded by a great extended family in Florida and California. A graduate of Florida Atlantic University, Allen is dedicated to his team and to helping identify ways to help people growth their careers and find a place where they can love what they do and where they do it. When not spending time with his wife and son, he enjoys running, camping, reading, working and rooting for the Red Sox.