I often get asked about resume writing strategies for job seekers who are planning to move to another city or are open to job offers in areas outside their jurisdiction. It is a competitive job market out there and hiring committees are often inundated with applications. Subsequently, applying for jobs in other cities can be problematic and create barriers for job seekers given that companies are not always willing to put the time and money into interviewing and/or hiring you.
Many job seekers are willing to cover the costs of a move on their own, however, they are not considered for positions because HR assumes that they will have to pay for this. When designing your resume, it is critical that you minimize the relocation barriers so that HR can explore your candidacy for the job.
Here are some two resume strategies to employ if you are looking for a job in another city:
Resume Strategy #1:
Instead of listing your current address on your resume, consider listing the city in which you hope to relocate. Nowadays, it is not imperative that job seekers list their exact street name and number on their resume. It is sufficient to just list the city, province and/or state where you live. Similarly, if you are hoping to relocate to another city, it is fine to list the new city in your header of you resume. For example, of you live in Vancouver BC and are hoping to relocate to Toronto ON, it is fine to list Toronto as your city of residence.
Clients often ask me whether this would be misleading to HR and I explain that it is up to them to alleviate any concerns when approached for an interview.
For example, you may say the following when receiving a call for an interview:
“Thank you for the call. I am excited for the opportunity to be interviewed. I do want to let you know that I am in the process of relocating to Toronto and still living in Vancouver. Is there a way you can accommodate a remote interview? If not, I am happy to travel to Toronto for the interview as this is a wonderful opportunity.”
The reality is that they may say “no”, however, the fact that you got a phone call and have an opportunity to talk to HR and convince them that you are worth the investment increases your chances of getting hired.
Resume Strategy #2:
Your cover letter is a great place to explain your suitability for the job and also touch of certain aspects of your resume that may cause concerns for HR. If you choose to list your current address (and not change it to the city you are applying to), use your cover letter to provide more information on why you are not currently living in the city you are applying to. Perhaps you have family in this new city or are excited to live on the beautiful west coast? Whatever your reason is for wanting to find work in the new city, give HR some context so that they can see that your commitment to relocating runs deeper then just the job.
Here is a great example of a simple statement that was included in a client’s resume that wanted to return to her home province (in Ontario):
Examples of a statement to include on cover letter:
“With my roots in Southwestern Ontario, I am looking to return closer to home in a role that is best suited for my personality, education and professional experience. This includes 8 years of organizational leadership with demonstrated expertise managing programs to ensure they compliant, profitable and meet the need of the community…”
Resume writing is an art and there are many important strategies that will help you get flagged for an interview. The above 2 tips are great strategies to improve your resume application and enhance your success in applying for jobs outside your city of residence.
If you need help crafting a great resume and cover letter, please reach out to us as we are happy to help you.