…..are the words found in many job seekers resumes and cover letters, especially as job search have become longer than most job seekers had planned on. Job seekers have broadened their searches to include other job markets outside of the metro area. But does increasing your geographic target area increase your chances? Does saying “willing to relocate” make you a more attractive candidate?
The answer: it depends. It is not uncommon for Executives to launch a national job search and not uncommon for an perspective employer to expect to have to pay for the relocation costs associated with the search. However given the large pools of highly qualified candidates, if an employer can avoid relocation costs by choosing an equally qualified local candidate, they often will. Remember, we are coming off of very tight economic times and employers are being very conservative with hiring and the expenses associated with hiring.
For the general job seeker, being willing to relocate will require them to take extra measures to convince the perspective employer that they indeed are willing to relocate. I have heard countless stories from employers about how they pursued a candidate “willing to relocate” but when push came to shove, the candidate wasn’t really and the employer wasted a lot of time. This has made employers very hesitant to consider “out of town” applicants.
If you are sincere about relocating here are a few tips to help convince a potetial employer. First is to truely evaluate if relocating is a realistic option for you. This includes having a heart to heart conversation with your family, including kids. Determine if they are on board with the possible reality of selling your home, leaving jobs, school, and friends. Secondly truely research communities you would want to move to even if there weren’t a job there. Don’t get drawn to cities just for the job, consider the lifestyle, schools, access to transporation, healthcare, or cultural events, whatever is important to you. Once you choose some cities, if a job becomes available then indicate in your cover letter to the employer that you have already identified that community as a place you want to live and be a part of.
Also be willing to go to those identified cities to network in person. Be prepared to incur this cost yourself. You could then indicate this to perspective employers that you have done this on your own, which will help that employer truely believe you are sincere in your willingness to relocate.
Lastly in the event you get a job offer from a company out of town, realize that though they may be willing to incur the cost of relocating you there may be a repayment clause in the offer if you leave that job within a certain time frame. So before you state “willing to relocate”, ask yourself what are you willing to do to convince that employer that you really are.