How to write a resume & a cover letter for a relocation job

Updated February 21, 2017

In today's job market, relocating is often necessary to obtain a new position in your field. But it can be difficult to get an interview for a job that's out of town based on your resume and cover letter alone. It's important to express to a potential employer that you're not only willing to relocate, but that you welcome the opportunity of moving to the new location. Plus, it's always essential to create a resume and cover letter that will impress a potential employer.

Design your resume carefully. Make sure the design and layout are attractive and consistent. Plus, you want your resume to really grab the attention of the potential employer. Use clear fonts that are easy to read, bold headers, bullet points and spaces between each section.

Incorporate specifics into your resume content. Describe the specific strengths that you'll bring to the job if you're given the opportunity to relocate. Explain the responsibilities you've had in each of your professional positions. Use action verbs wherever possible. Incorporate figures, such as "contributed to a 10% increase in sales" or "taught classes with more than 30 students."

Use words directly from job ads and the website of the company you're applying to. Employers sometimes scan resumes looking for key words. Also, the more you can tailor your resume to fit the job ad and the company's overall philosophy, the better you look as a candidate. For example, if the job calls for excellent communication skills and the company really values such skills, be sure to highlight both your written and verbal communication skills on your resume.

Create an objective that means something. If you're applying for a position as an investment banker, your objective shouldn't read, "To obtain a position as an investment banker." Instead, you should list your specific strengths and areas of expertise, explaining that you'll bring these assets to the position along with a strong work ethic and natural leadership skills. Remember, you need to convince a potential employer to call you in for an interview even though you live a few cities or states away.

Talk about why you want to relocate, and mention specifics about why you'd like to live in the city where the company is located. A potential employer needs to really believe that you want to relocate and that you would be able to transition easily. He wants you to be able to start the job right away with minimal stress and anxiety about being in a new town. Make that clear in the first paragraph of your cover letter.

Be sure to let the potential employer know when you're available for an interview. Including this information tells the employer that you're serious about the job, and it ensures that you won't have to rearrange your schedule to attend an interview. This information should be included in the second to last paragraph or the last paragraph of your cover letter.

Discuss your needs in terms of relocation expenses. If you're willing and able to relocate at your own expense, let the employer know. On the other hand, if you're not willing or able to relocate at your own expense, figure out how much you think you'll need and include an approximate range in your cover letter. It's better to be upfront about how much money you need to relocate than to vaguely mention that you'll need some relocation expenses. But remember, this is no time to get greedy. If you really don't need it, it's best just to relocate at your own expense. This information can be included in the paragraph that discusses your availability for interviews.

Don't lie in your cover letter. Sometimes, candidates who would need to relocate to accept a position are tempted to include an alternate address in the city where the job is located. The employer may do a background check, and then he would find out that you lied about your address on your cover letter. Lying never makes a good impression. In fact, the employer may wonder what else you're lying about. Also, if you're not from out of town, you shouldn't need any notice for an interview. If the potential employer wants to see you with little notice and thinks you live in town, you'll be stuck explaining why you're not available.

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About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.