I will graduate college in a couple of months and have already been on a couple of interviews last year. As I am doing some preparations, I was wondering about something. Before the interview, the formal exchange of mailing/phoning, is it okay to mention you'd prefer to work some place close to home?

For example would a recruiter/HR person be appalled to read on my LinkedIn profile when he/she read - or later hears - I want to work some place close to my current home.

It's a reasonably important factor to me right now. I'm okay with making a bit less than if I would have found a job in one of the bigger cities in my country.

Is it ever okay to mention this? On your LinkedIn profile? Personal website? During an interview? Or should I just keep it to myself and filter companies I dislike overall?

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    The term is "commute" and yes, it is a very common and important, even deciding factor for a lot of applicants. – Travis Christian Feb 10 '16 at 14:57
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    Perfectly reasonable. See questions from the employer's persepctive and for too long of a commute – David K Feb 10 '16 at 14:57
  • Thanks for th heads up @TravisChristian I briefly forgot the term – GillesDV Feb 10 '16 at 14:59
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    Realistically, the answer to "short commute" is likely to be "it'll cost you considerably more, but there are apartments near our site; if that's your top priority relocate appropriately." And if ypu aren't willing to do so you risk missing that dream job which decides they're outside your radius. I'd suggest finding the jobs first, then filtering with this as one of your criteria, unless it's an "I'd rather work at McDonalds"-level essential for you. – keshlam Feb 10 '16 at 15:29
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    When people call me, if I don't want to commute to that town, I tell them. And that's pretty much that. – Amy Blankenship Feb 10 '16 at 16:07

Is it necessary or beneficial to mention the requirement of a short commute? Sometimes, but I wouldn't advertise it on LinkedIn, my CV, cover letter or application.

This is because having a short commute doesn't make you more attractive to a business, as there is an assumption that all staff will work their contracted hours.

If the situation arises though, feel free to mention the short commute as being important. Cases include:

  • A recruiter asking whether you would be willing to relocate
  • In an interview, the interviewer lives in the area and you can use it to build rapport
  • If you work in an industry where local knowledge is important
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    I don't understand....why would he make himself atractive to a business that he would never work for, due to distance? It seems like he'd be getting a lot of unwanted attention. Why waste that time with companies already outside his interest? – Lawrence Aiello Feb 10 '16 at 15:14
  • Just to piggy back off of this, there is a difference depending on where you live. I've found that "being within walking distance" of a company has made me more valuable because on days where people have to work remote or can't even get in to work due to weather, I was always able to show up and clock in. – knocked loose Feb 10 '16 at 15:22
  • @LawrenceAiello: What if the OP's circumstances change? What if they are approached by a company that offers an enticing package? A LinkedIn page is a great resource to gather contacts that may be useful one day. – user27483 Feb 10 '16 at 16:53
  • @WorkerWithoutACause Circumstance do change and when they do, it's important to let recruiters know. When I was working within walking distance of my employer, I simply would not consider a position with a long commute. When I was laid off however, that changed and I communicated that change to the recruiters I'd been in contact with. There's still no compensation package within reason that would entice me to relocate outside of commuting distance. – DLS3141 Feb 10 '16 at 18:42

It's perfectly fine to tell recruiters any preference you have towards jobs. That is their job after all, to find you a job that's perfect for you.

As far as your website, LinkedIn, etc. I would place a line in your bio that says "currently not looking to relocate". That will hopefully fend off jobs from faraway places. Unfortunately you will probably never be able to escape "recruiters" that blast everyone on a job board with the word "software" in their resume, but that's the nature of the beast.

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    In my experience, adding "currently not looking to relocate" will just guarantee that a recruiter searching for the keyword "relocate" will find you and contact you without reading the rest of the sentence. :-) – Carson63000 Feb 11 '16 at 2:23

It is OK to mention "short commute" - yes - but when and where

Also you are mixing relocation with short commute. You would prefer not to relocate but if you do relocate you want the option of an affordable short commute in a neighborhood you desire. "Short commute" would mean very little to most business - yes we have housing within 10 miles.

On your LinkedIn or CV I would say no. It is easy enough to filter.

For a recruiter yes tell them. Have them focus on local jobs but not ignore others.

On a cover letter yes if it is a local business. And you don't need to be obvious. "I am local and can come in for an interview at any time". If you have the qualifications they are going to think let's check him out. Clearly you are more likely to accept a job offer than someone from out of state. If they pay relocation expenses then you save them money.

Also maybe skip the recruiter for local jobs and apply directly. You know the local businesses. The business can avoid recruiting fees. Don't be obvious you will take a low offer - but if you get a fair offer just take it.

In the interview yes mention you live close.

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I don't think you should advertise your preference. Apply heavily to local jobs. When asked why you like the company/want to work there, then you can indicate you appreciate the short commute. No sense in letting people think they can underpay you because of this even though you may be wiling to work for less.

You will get contacted by companies with further commutes and you'll have to decide if they have something to offer that will over-compensate for a longer commute. There could be a time when you want to relocate and may end up with a longer or closer commute depending.

If you get an offer, but really don't want the commute, just tell them. You never know, they may offer to allow you to work remotely a few days a week or offer some flex-time if that allows you to avoid high-traffic times.

Put more time and energy in hanging around areas where people who work in your area congregate. You'll learn more about who works there and what it is really like to work there. You'll benefit from the location as well as knowing the company is a good fit.

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