Artwork by: Olga Aleksandrova
Do you dream of a life of work and travel? Are you ready to shake things up a bit and set off on a new adventure? Relocating for work can be a way to land your dream job and land in a great new place. So, what's the first step to relocating for work? Updating your resume.
Every person has their own idea of a dream job. For those seeking routine, the idea of having a set schedule and location is grounding. For the wanderlust crowd, any job that offers the option to travel or change their environment would be considered their dream.
If you fall into the latter category, use these tips to show your potential employer that you are eager and willing to relocate on your resume.
In this article, we’ll cover:
What it means to relocate for work
How to indicate on your resume your willingness to relocate
How to find jobs that offer relocation
What's the difference between relocating for a job and traveling for one? Basically, it's the permanence of the move.
Professional relocation occurs when a highly desirable candidate for a position is asked to move in order to live closer to the office. This can be on a city, state, national, or even international level. In these circumstances, the move will typically last for as long as the individual works for the company.
Traveling for work, on the other hand, refers to maintaining your existing home base, but regularly traveling out of town for work-related reasons. Again, this can apply on a city, state, national or international level. The length of the trips will vary based on the position, company, and industry.
Even remote workers might experience a need to relocate for work. Often the draw for people to pursue remote work is because they can move around. So why would a remote worker pursue a position that requires relocation? Oftentimes, it provides the work visa they need to live long-term in a given country. Once in that country, they are still able to maintain that location independence by moving around within the country. Companies will ask remote workers to relocate so their time zone aligns with the time zones of other employees within the company.
Absolutely. Especially if you are pursuing a job you consider to be a dream job, it’s up to you to let a potential employer know that you’ll do whatever it takes.
Read about more tips and tricks for updating your resume.
At the top of your resume, near your address, is where you should indicate your willingness to relocate. It should be written in a way that subtly stands out, whether that's achieved by italicizing, using a decorative spacer, or putting the statement on its own line.
The wording will depend on your circumstance. The following are some examples that might apply.
“Willing to relocate to the east coast”
“Searching for a position in Chicago, IL”
“Willing to relocate nationwide”
“Available for national and/or international travel”
“Willing to relocate abroad”
“Relocating to Seattle by February 2024”
In short, no, you should avoid making this common mistake.
The reason is that it will inevitably be discovered that you don’t actually live there currently, and it could come off as deceptive or unorganized to a potential employer once they found out. This is most commonly discovered when the employer asks to set up an interview. If you’re far enough away, it might mean you have to book a flight to get there. If the flight is canceled or delayed, you’d end up having to explain the discrepancy. It’s best to keep it honest on your resume by using one of the examples above for indicating an interest in relocating.
For the most part, the risk is on the employer's end. Hiring someone with a willingness to relocate takes a lot of blind faith that they will follow through. Typically, employers are seeking out long-term team members, and moving to a new place can be tough for a myriad of reasons. Employers know this. So if the opportunity arises, it’s important to enthusiastically communicate your excitement for the endeavor. You need to communicate your commitment to the company as well as the move.
Before signing a contract, you should really evaluate the likelihood of your satisfaction in a new location. For some people, landing that dream job is enough to carry them through any less-than-ideal living situation. For others, ending up in a town that has limited community or resources can put a major damper on everything else. If you are considering relocating for a job, take some time to brainstorm what brings you joy. Make a checklist, and use it as a tool for determining if the move, and therefore the job, will be a right fit for you.
What if you are eager to move, and are using the job hunt as a way of determining a destination? If you’re in this boat, the internet is your friend. Use it as a tool! For starters, try Googling the phrase “Relocation jobs” or “Entry level, paid relocation jobs”. You’ll find a long list of opportunities.
One approach is to choose a city or region and search for jobs from there. The benefit of narrowing down your criteria like this is that you can utilize local platforms for searching. Additionally, when you speak with a potential employer you can say that you were only looking for positions in that area, which can instill more confidence in the employer that the move is right for you.
If you know that you are considered a highly sought-after candidate, you have some leverage. Ask the employer to compensate you for the cost of relocation. Many companies have policies in place for relocation packages (also called relocation assistance, relocation allowance, relocation bonus, or relocation reimbursement) which usually include a lump sum intended to cover the cost of getting you and your possessions to the new location. This range can fall anywhere between $2K and $100K.
You do need to advocate for relocation packages, which can be achieved by asking the recruiter directly, or by reaching out to the company’s HR department upon receiving the job offer.
Even for an entry-level employee, paid relocation is an option, and some industries tend to offer relocation more readily. Industries that commonly offer paid relocation include healthcare, education, mechanics/engineering, and construction.
Relocating can help you land your dream job
A job can help you move to your dream destination
You should write on your resume that you are willing to relocate
Employers want reassurance – be enthusiastic about the move
Ask for compensation for relocating
Emma is a certified employment specialist with over six years of experience in career mentorship and employment training. Emma is passionate about nurturing professional growth and helping people gain momentum in their field. She uses her writing and strategic career planning skills to help her clients fulfill their aspirations and reach new chapters in their professions. In 2020, she helped design Colorado’s first state-certified training program for people with disabilities entering the workforce.