How to: Indicate an Upcoming Move on a Resume and LinkedIn

A reader writes in:

Later this spring, I will be relocating. Would I be dishonest to potential recruiters and hiring managers if I change my location to where I am possibly relocating to?

That is a great question — one that I didn’t find a lot of answers to when I did a Google search. So what do today’s recruiters and HR reps think about positioning oneself as a local when the move has not yet been made? I went right to the source and asked some folks on Facebook with just the perfect expertise:

The Recruiting Animal had this to say: “Does he have a full address? If so, of course. If not, he should indicate that he will be moving there so the employer doesn’t see a relo issue.” But, “Should he pretend to be a local when he isn’t? He’ll look like a fool.”

When asked to clarify this last statement, Animal said, “If he communicates with them by phone or in an interview and pretends to be a local, it would be hard because he just moved there and his resume makes that obvious.” Ah, that makes sense. The addresses of the previous employers are a complete giveaway of where a person has been living and working.

Bob Tarver, an experienced HR pro, said, “He would need to define ‘later this spring’ because everyone has a different time line.” Catherine Palmiere, President at Adam Personnel, Inc., concurred.

Palmiere added, “Would this person be willing to move into his new address if the company made an offer sooner rather than later? If the person is not willing to make a move immediately, he should not be marketing his resume around. Traditionally companies who are looking to secure talent, once they find the talent, want to move quickly.”

Tarver retold a situation from a previous move he made; he put down the address he would have within 30 days and had a local cell phone number that was the point of contact. However, “if a company wanted to interview right away in person,” Tarver cautioned, “they would have to make quick travel arrangements… It could backfire.”

Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa (and a veteran of the HR ranks) agreed with the advice being given: “Include the new address on the resume, assuming (as Bob mentioned) that he is ready, willing and available to move (maybe even sooner rather than later). Many companies don’t want to relo someone if they don’t have to, so the new ‘local’ address could be seen as one less obstacle.”

Debra Feldman, an executive talent agent at JobWhiz, had this to say: “Absolutely do not put any false information on the resume… Employers can do a search online and may find out location.” That’s a good point to consider — employers are going online and searching for information about you.

Feldman continued, “If the candidate is prepared to relocate at their own expense, this may enable them to be included as a local candidate. Then they should indicate, current city, state and prominently add a comment saying that they are open to a new geography, extensive travel, etc. to show their flexibility.”

Another bit of advice is to explain the circumstances. Both Animal and Palmiere suggested putting the new address on the resume with a target move date, as well as any wiggle room regarding that date. This will let the company know what the plans are for the move.

But what about LinkedIn?

That is an important consideration in the job search, too. Unfortunately, LinkedIn only allows you to enter your ZIP code and it places you in a specific geographic region — not exactly conducive for getting companies in your future location to find you. What can be done about that?

In the above advice, one of the things to consider is the time line. To put yourself in your future location too soon could work against you if a company thinks you are available right now. Instead, try this:

  • Keep your current location for the time being. In your summary, clearly indicate that you will be relocating and the date. Indicate in your status update that you are relocating so anyone who sees your profile will also discover that information quickly. Try to update at least three times a week and make one of those updates be about your move.
  • Using the 30-day time frame that Tarver suggested, make the change to your location. Keep the information about your relocation in your summary, and continue to make the status updates as you have been until you move.

Morgan said, “The whole idea is to get his phone to ring so he can have a conversation.” Exactly. Being as forthright as possible and removing potential barriers is the best way to do just that.

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