Will applying for a job in a different state hurt my chances for hire? What should I do differently from local applications?

QUESTION: Will applying for a job in a different state hurt my chances for hire? What should I do differently from local applications?


Nancy Grant, Regional Career & Employment Services

This can be tricky. However, not impossible. Start by enabling your targeted areas in your LinkedIn and Indeed accounts. If you are sending a resume to a direct person, address your relocation goals in the cover letter. Ideally, you should have a plan for how you could move quickly if necessary and mention such to the recruiter. Lastly, be realistic and consider the logistics.

Jonathan Estreich, Natfluence

Applying out-of-state won’t hurt if you address relocation upfront and show you can move quickly. In your cover letter and resume, mention ties to the area. Discuss applicable market trends. Tailor your resume to the job while highlighting adaptability and relevant skills. Lastly, leverage LinkedIn to network within the state and attend virtual events to prove you’re a serious candidate.

Brenda Mariah, Push Career Management, LLC

No, it won’t necessarily hurt your chances but be strategic and include a statement on your cover letter and resume that indicates your desire to relocate to THAT area. “Will be relocating to City, ST, in January 2024.” Also, set your location preferences in LinkedIn to include the out-of-state location.

Cathy Lanzalaco, Inspire Careers

Location bias is real, and it could mean the difference between you getting an offer vs. someone who lives closer to the company office with perceived easier access for meetings, events, etc. The best way to combat this is to communicate your plan for collaboration and accessibility for team events and client meetings. If you don’t have a plan, don’t expect an employer to create one for you.

Grant Cooper, Strategic Resumes & Business Plans

If you are in a high-demand or technical position, applying to out-of-state jobs should be no problem. For other positions, employers may prefer to hire in-state candidates since they are familiar with the area and may not seek relocation benefits. If you are determined to seek a position in another state, try to find a local address you can use on your resume, such as a friend or mailbox service.

Thomas Powner, Career Thinker, Inc.

📌 Address location upfront in your cover letter/resume. Mention relocation plans or remote work preference.
📌 Use a local address, or clarify willingness to relocate at your own expense.
📌 Highlight relevant skills over location—emphasize how you’re a great fit regardless of geography.
📌 Network: Utilize LinkedIn to connect with professionals in that state.

Scot Hulshizer, The Career Expert

There are a few quick tips that make you much more desirable as an out-of-state candidate in this scenario.
(1) Change your location on your LinkedIn Profile to match the metro area where you want to work.
(2) Delete your full address from your resume, and instead only list your destination town/ZIP code.
(3) Be prepared to answer relocation-related questions – how soon, relocation assistance, etc.

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