Are you trying to find work in a different city but having trouble getting employers’ attention? There’s a chance your resume is getting thrown into the electronic wastebasket before it’s even read. Here are a few tips on how to improve your odds of finding a job in a new town.
Let’s start with the cruel truth. In today’s candidate rich environment, most employers aren’t interested in relocating candidates. If you looked over the shoulder of a corporate resume screener, you’d probably see them immediately rejecting any resume where the candidate’s address is more than 20 miles from their office. To make matters worse, if they’re using an electronic resume filtering system, they probably have it set to automatically reject these resumes.
Why? It’s a combination of things:
- They think you’ll want relocation expenses, which are non-existent in today’s corporate budget
- They’re worried that you’ll be a pain to interview and schedule
- They think you may back out if a better offer comes along in your home city
- They’re concerned that you’ll need several weeks or more to show up for work
Given today’s candidate abundant market, the prevailing employer philosophy is “I don’t have to fool with out of town candidates.”
That’s the bad news. The good news is there are things you can do to defeat the relocation bias. Here are three tips that can improve your odds:
- Consider the address on your resume.If you’re trying to find work in Boston, and your resume address says “Orlando,” you’re at an immediate disadvantage. On the other hand, if you’re planning to live with your Bostonian cousin for the first few months, you might consider putting your “new” address on your resume. To be clear, I’m not telling you to lie, rather I’m suggesting that you articulate your intent.
- Prepare to invest in your own travel.Under normal times an employer may be willing to pay for your interview related travel expense. Clearly, these aren’t normal times. If you really want the job, I’d suggest being silent on the expense issue and funding it yourself. Of course there are exceptions to this rule (e.g. you are so uniquely skilled that the employer is conducting a national search).
- Handle the issue delicately in the interview.If your out-of-town status comes up during the interview (perhaps they noticed your out-of-town cell phone number), you’re going to want your move to look like it’s almost complete. Perhaps you could say something like “I’m between the two cities at the moment. I’m tying up loose ends here in Orlando as I transition to Boston.” This approach may alleviate the employer’s anxiety that you’re not truly committed to living in a new city.
I hope this advice helps you navigate the treacherous relocation waters.Top 3 Three Tips for Job Hunting in a Different City by Harrison Barnes