I'm a software engineer with 10 years experience at a major US corporation but I'm looking for a change in scenery (literally and figuratively) and am starting to apply for lateral positions. This is the first time I've applied for a job since college and would like some advice on broaching the subject of relocation (up to several states away) with potential employers.

I've read that it's best to omit one's location from the initial resume and instead bring up the need to relocate only after being narrowed down to the serious candidates. However, that seems like burying the lead and more likely to irk the hiring managers if they assumed I was a local hire. I'm not applying for positions labeled 'local only' but it's unclear whether all of them typically hire outside of their own regions.

In addition, I'm unsure how much time is generally considered reasonable to ask for prior to starting the new position. I don't need to sell my current house or pull my kids out of school, but I would need to scout the area during the application process (I'm unfamiliar with the cities) and then make arrangements once hired. Giving my two-weeks notice, securing a temporary rental pending a longer-term purchase, actually relocating, etc. must all be accounted for.

I feel like I should have solid footing given my experience and the current job market, with relocation assistance being an unnecessary but appreciated possibility, but I'd appreciate some insight into personal experiences with long-distance job opportunities.

  • Welcome new user. Unrelated to your specific question, is this programming related? If so you'll probably have not much problem. With the ridiculous shortage of (skilled) software engineers (not to mention, those with a decade corporate experience .. woot) you can usually ask for stuff like this.
    – Fattie
    Commented Dec 29, 2018 at 19:33

2 Answers 2

  1. Job postings typically contain a the work location (or a choice of a few different location, if the company supports it)
  2. The job posting will often contain a phrase like "we will provide relocation for the right candidate". If it doesn't, than chances are, it's not in the budget
  3. Apply only to official job postings. "Cold calling" is a waste of time
  4. Apply only to job postings where the work location is on a place you actually want to move to.
  5. Do NOT hide your location. Your address should be in your resume anyway. If the work place is different from your current location and no relocation is mentioned, you should address this in the cover letter "I'm planning to move to this area because of XYZ, and I'm flexible on how to manage the relocation".
  6. Relocation will almost certainly come up during the first phone screens or interview session. Things are always negotiable in terms of timing and financial support. As with all negotiations: you should be clear (internally) what your minimum requirements are.

Don't wait with bringing this up. Not only will you be wasting your own time (doing interviews, then not getting the job due to relocation), you will also be wasting time of people doing the interviews. They typically don't like doing interviews, and doing pointless interviews irks them. Remember, the IT world is small, you may run into those people again.

Bring any relocation concerns you have up with your first contact with HR. If they deal with relocation, it's their job anyway. They are the experts in knowing what the company policy is on relocation.

Of course, it's much easier to just apply to companies who advertise that they're doing relocation.

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