Many job seekers seem to get nervous about applying to out-of-state jobs, but it can actually be fairly simple. The best way to apply for out-of-state jobs is to apply as if you were in state.
What does that mean? Here are a few tips:
Fix the Header on Your Resume
The first step to applying for out-of-state jobs is to change up your header so it reflects the location of the job to which you are applying. There's no need to include an address, but if you're applying for jobs in Boulder, Colorado, include "Boulder, CO" in place of your current address.
Employers often shy away from out-of-state candidates because they simply don't want to deal with travel or relocation costs, and they want to start scheduling interviews quickly. Don't give employers the chance to write you off because of your address.
The way I explain this strategy to clients is this: Be transparent with the employer. Explain that you're going to relocate. You're not changing your location to lie to the employer -- you're changing it because you don't want them to pass on you before getting the chance to talk to you. If a company feels that you're the right candidate for the job, location won't matter.
Do the Research
You should be doing research when you apply to any job, but it's especially important when you're applying from out of state. Because you're going to relocate for the position, you need to show recruiters and hiring managers why you're worth the hassle and why you really want the position.
Do your research on the company and the job so you can include company-specific information in your resume and cover letter. A great way to do this is to find an area in which you believe you can help the company improve, and then discuss how you can do that.
If you're applying for an out-of-state position, you need to be ready to hop on a plane or jump in the car and get there for an interview. If you applied for an out of state job on your own initiative, it's your responsibility to pay the travel and relocation costs.
If the company is pursuing you -- that is, the company reached out to you first -- you can expect it to cover travel and relocation. However, the easiest way to ruin your chances of landing an out-of-state job is to be fussy and unaccommodating. If you want to land a job out of state, you need to jump at the opportunity. If a company feels like you're too much of a hassle or that you're not willing to make the necessary arrangements, they will likely go with another candidate -- probably a local choice.
When applying for any job, it's important to show employers why you're committed and why you'll be the best fit. When you're applying for a position out of state, this is even more crucial. If you can't show employers that you're worth the risk and extra work that comes with hiring an out-of-state candidate, then they'll go local.
The bottom line is that you need to show employers you're willing to do anything to get the position. Prove this to them, and you'll be good to go!
Michele Lando is a certified professional resume writer and the founder of Write Styles.