How to Apply for Out-of-State Jobs

Dear J.T. & Dale: I was wondering if you could offer any advice on applying for out-of-state jobs. (I have family I can stay with in the area where I’ll be applying.) — April

Dale: Out-of-town applicants raise HR questions: Who’ll pay for an interview trip? What about relocation costs? What if they move and don’t like the area? What if they can’t sell their house? On and on. If there are locals available, why mess with all those unknowns?

J.T.: One option is to put the address of your family members on the resume — but then if they call and say, “Can you come in tomorrow for an interview?” you’ll be in a pickle! So, call your target companies directly and explain that you are relocating, saw that they had jobs that match your skills and were wondering the best way to indicate that you’ll be moving there so you will be considered for the job. Not only will this ensure that you do the right thing, but it will put you on their radar screen so they will specifically look at your resume!

Dale: The key is to present your moving there as a fait accompli. That answers their questions and offers them the chance to be welcoming instead of being a skeptical gatekeeper. Indeed, if you tell HR or hiring managers that, as part of your moving process, you’ll be in town on a given week, it puts some deadline pressure on them to make a decision about talking to you, and can make your status as a soon-to-be local an advantage.


Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of Dale Dauten’s latest book is “(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success” (John Wiley & Sons).

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