This job search is putting holes in my soul...
April 23, 2012 7:18 AM   Subscribe

You live in City X. You want to move to City Y and are looking for a job there. Do employers care if your resume says you live in City X or City Y?

If yes, other than outright lying, what are some ways around this?
posted by the NATURAL to Work & Money (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think there's a generic answer to this, but it's certainly been the case at some companies I have worked for. A good candidate who lived in City X would improve their chances by having a concrete plan to move to City Y in a reasonable timescale, and a realistic assessment of how they could manage the commute in the meantime.
posted by crocomancer at 7:24 AM on April 23, 2012

Don't list physical address in your resume -- get city Y cell phone number and use that with your email address. Consider also not detailing the location of your current/ past employers.
posted by zeikka at 7:29 AM on April 23, 2012

Depends on the city, really. If you're planning to work in New York City, for instance, don't even bother applying for jobs without an address in the four boroughs (a Staten Island address may as well be out-of-state.) Hell, even then, if you're applying for a position on the Upper West Side and your address is in a particularly distant Brooklyn or Queens neighborhood, you may be SOL.

People who don't have an internal address borrow a friend's; it's not like anyone is going to be sending people to knock on the door and/or mail letters to check if you actually live there. Plus, these days, with cell phone companies letting you keep your old number, everyone who moves here keeps their old area code unless they bother to change plans, so that's no longer a tipoff.
posted by griphus at 7:31 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Consider also not detailing the location of your current/ past employers.

I'd advise against this. I used to work at a temp agency, processing dozens of resumes a day, and missing a basic piece of information like that would make you look careless.
posted by griphus at 7:35 AM on April 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

It will come up in the interview process. Expect to be able to answer the question "You're in City X. The job is in City Y. How/when do you plan on making the transition?"
posted by Runes at 7:35 AM on April 23, 2012

I've had luck in at least getting an interview when I mention in the cover letter that I was willing to move, or that I'm working on moving there, and this is to get a job lined up (which may have been a small lie). Them getting the message in the clear like that was well received.
posted by deezil at 7:37 AM on April 23, 2012

Best answer: It also depends on the kind of job and what level it's at--if it's for a big company, or in the kind of industry that pays for your relocation expenses, then it doesn't matter as much.

But think of it this way--the more competitive the city, industry, and position you're applying for, the more choices a company will have to chose from. In which case, they'll be much less willing to look out-of-area for an applicant, who may need extra time to start (time to move, find a place, etc) or even less likely to take the job if offered.

For instance, when I was looking for an editorial assistant position in book publishing in NYC, I was told outright by an interviewer that I needed to put a NY address on my resume in order to get any calls. I did and eventually got a job. (That did mean that I had to do things like get on a bus from Virginia at the drop of hat to go interview; and when I was offered a job on Wednesday, had to move up to the city over the weekend to start the following Monday, but ... it got the job!)

And yes, friend's address. When you start work you can tell them you moved. I think it's pretty common here.
posted by alleycat01 at 7:38 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think that yes, employers care about this. I recently moved and had a much better time getting called when I had put my mom's local address and then my actual address once I moved instead of an out of state address. I even put in cover letters that I was moving etc. and people just didn't want to deal with it I think. I would recommend getting a Google Voice number with a local area code and putting a friend's address if possible. Then be ready to fly out for interviews on short notice.
posted by Kimberly at 7:39 AM on April 23, 2012

Yeah, it's a hassle even in a relatively mobile industry where people are expected to move around, because they assume you're going to hit them up for relocation and they don't want to pay it (even if you're intending to do your relocation yourself) and they assume it's going to be a hassle to interview you because they'd have to fly you out and put you up and whatnot (even if you're totally willing to do it yourself).

Things I have done include: Getting a Mailboxes Etc./UPS Store/etc. type box where you get a street address rather than a PO Box number (so your address is 1121 SomeRoadTheyRecognize #ThatLooksSuspiciouslyLikeAnApartmentNumber, Their City, Their State, Their Zip), using a friend's address, putting together a "barnstorming tour" where I go to a bunch of cities I want to live in so I'm already out there and easy to interview, crashing on a friend's couch in that city for a few weeks until I can get a job, putting myself in an Extended Stay hotel for a few weeks so I can seem local enough to get a job, just looking up a likely-looking apartment complex and putting the address there.

But yes, you need to be ready to fly out for interviews (and handle your own travel) if you go this route.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:57 AM on April 23, 2012

It's definitely a consideration, but how important would almost certainly depend on the company, the type of job, whether your compensation includes any kind of signing bonus or relocation assistance, whether you'd be able to telecommute in the short term, et cetera.

Anecdotally, I once lost out on a position after two rounds of interviews solely because of geography (or so my would-have-been-boss told me.) I was the first choice, but the second choice lived right around the corner. I would have had a pretty grueling commute until I was able to relocate, and based on what the position paid they knew I wouldn't be able to afford to live much closer anyway.
posted by usonian at 8:04 AM on April 23, 2012

Best answer: Get a local address. Most HR departments are looking for ways to winnow the pile of 100 resumes down to 5, and living somewhere else is an easy way to winnow.
posted by Etrigan at 8:05 AM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Are you planning on moving to city Y regardless or are you waiting to get a job to do so? That will make a difference.

I'm currently in "city X" planning to move to "city Y" and will be staying with friends there, so I put their address on my resume and stated clearly in my cover letter that I was currently in "city X" and moving to "city Y" on "Z date." I've gotten phone interviews and have been flown out (on company's dime) to interview as well.

I would imagine it would be more difficult if you're not planning to move out there without a job. Then it would depend on the strength of your resume and the industry whether they will fly you out and pay for relocation.
posted by vivzan at 8:35 AM on April 23, 2012

I'd agree on a local address. Especially in desirable cities (or at desirable employers), it's pretty well understood that people apply for jobs they don't really *want* because they're just trying to get a foot in the door in the new locale.
posted by pjaust at 8:59 AM on April 23, 2012

I applied to a job in City X from City Y and stated in the cover letter that I was moving to X whether or not I got this position. I also gave some dates I'd be in town and available for an interview. I ended up getting the interview and the job. This was a fairly low paying nonprofit job with an unusual combination of skills required, so I doubt I had a ton of qualified competition who would take the job at that wage, so that was a big factor in this working out for me from afar.
posted by look busy at 9:48 AM on April 23, 2012

I got interviewed and got hired for a job 2000 miles away a few years back. Put my real address on the resume but in the very first paragraph of my cover letter, I indicated either the month or the season (don't remember) when I was "planning to move to City Y." This was six months from application to start date, however. It probably depends on how soon they want someone to start and how much they want you in particular.
posted by jabes at 12:04 PM on April 23, 2012

Depends. Are you specialized in your field? Are there few people able to do what you do, and are those the types of jobs you are applying for? If so, then no worries about an out-of city (state?) job.

Assuming that is not the case, I would recommend not putting an address on your cover letter and resume. I would not worry about updating your cell phone as many people have out of area phone number. However, I would list on your cover letter that you have immediate plans to move to City Y and that you are available for interviews. If you receive a call for an interview, you can determine if it is worth it. Not sure how far the distance is or how possible it is to travel for an interview.

Case in point: I just was reviewing resumes for a job two weeks ago. I first looked at resumes only before looking at cover letters. I did not even look at out of state folks (I know, wince) because we need to hire immediately and have someone start within the month. If this was a normal economy, I would not have had the luxury of receiving 30+ resumes over the weekend for an administrative position and would have not been able to hire quickly. But it is the current time, and I was able to hire someone within three days who started a week later.
posted by Kitty Cornered at 12:36 PM on April 23, 2012

« Older My daughter is being diagnosed for autism and I...   |   Cosmic Moon Power! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.