How to Handle the Relocation Question
When should you mention relocation? There are a number of places where you can let employers know that you are willing to relocate. The first is during the application process. Most applications contain a field which asks your availability to relocate. The second is actually on your resume itself. This is particularly important if you are applying for jobs that are out of the area or a company that has multiple locations nation (or world) wide. If relocation is not an option for you, however, don’t say it is just to make yourself more marketable.
Include your relocation availability (or necessity) in your cover letter. Don’t offer too much personal information, but do indicate that you are relocating to the area. If you have a specific date when you plan to be in the area, include that too. Most companies need to fill positions as soon as possible. An out-of-state candidate may not look as appealing if the hiring manager is not sure if and when the candidate will be in the area.
What exactly should you say? Let the employer know your enthusiasm for the position. "I am searching for a position that would be a perfect fit, so I am definitely open to relocating for the right opportunity."
Once you have sent in your resume, you now need to make sure you are available for interviews. What does availability look like? You need to maintain your job search, but be willing to travel within a day’s notice. They are not going to wait weeks for you to find time in your busy schedule to come interview. Even if the employer is willing to conduct the first interview over the phone, most will not hire you sight unseen. While it may seem like you are at their mercy, you are. You are the one seeking the job.
What about relocation costs? Unfortunately, not all employers are willing or planning to pay relocation expenses. Many companies will only pay the relocation costs for managers, some reserve reimbursement or assistance at the executive level. Make sure you understand this up front.
In an employer’s market, relocation can make you more marketable. You need to be sure, however, that you have considered all of the options.
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