Looking for a job in a city other than your own can present obstacles. If you are seeking a senior management or other high-level position for which employers conduct national searches, you may not need to do anything special on your resume. And you may have little difficulty if you have rare or high-demand skills in areas such as technology, medicine or science. For everyone else, landing a job in a new area means proving to employers that you are worth the extra time, effort and, possibly, money the company will have to spend to hire you instead of a local candidate. If you are to have a chance, your resume must be up to the task.
How to Write a Relocation Resume
Make crystal clear what you are trying to do. Explain your move at the top of your resume in the "objective" section. If you are targeting a specific city or state, say so. You can even allude briefly to the reason for your geographic selection. Your objective could be, for example, "to continue my project management career in Phoenix, where I have family." If you are applying for jobs in several areas, it is OK to mention a broader region, saying you wish to relocate to "the Midwest" or "the West Coast."
Play up any connections you have to the target location. While under normal circumstances you'd write that you traveled to set up computer networks for firms nationwide, if you are looking to relocate to Los Angeles, you could mention that you set up networks for firms nationwide, "including Company XYZ in Los Angeles." It may not be much, but the firm's name may ring a bell with a hiring manager. It will will let potential employers know you have some familiarity with the area and are less likely to be disappointed with the city and leave in short order.
Avoid using a bogus address. If you are seeking a job in, say, Milwaukee, you may be tempted to list the address of your cousin who lives there. Although you'll look like a local candidate at first, this ploy is likely to backfire quickly when the resume screener notices that you are currently employed in Miami. Even if you are unemployed, a manager could get suspicious when your availability for an interview is limited because you live a distance away.
Get your resume into the hands of contacts in the area where you would like to relocate. They can pass you resume along to hiring managers, who'll take notice if your resume comes to them from someone they know. They may also feel reassured that you have genuine reasons for applying in the area and are not just blanketing the country with resumes.
Pair your resume with a strong cover letter that details your game plan. Say why you have selected the area and what your time frame is for moving. If you have any trips to the region planned, give details. If you can cover your own relocation expenses, say so.
Be especially diligent about following up with employers. It is easy for employers to overlook you when your resume bears a non-local address, so a call may be just the prompt a hiring manager needs to notice you.
If you are relocating because of a spouse's job, ask if your spouse's employer can help you with contacts or other job-search assistance.