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I have a pending engagement to a man who lives 8 hours away. I'm a recent college graduate and I was hired by my recruiter last December; I've only been working about 3 months. If I had known then what I know now, I would have never taken the job.

But I did. He visits me every week and drives 8 hours after a nightshift to do so. I'm tired of not seeing him and he's exhausting himself. I want to move back to where he lives. We aren't engaged yet because we live apart. I'm worried that he'll be too tired and crash or else call the whole thing off because he can't make the trip anymore.

I've been applying for about a month and I've worn out the job hunting sites in that area. I thought I was accomplished for my age but I've only gotten a few interviews.

Here's my question: Should I include that I'm "engaged" in the cover letter? Should I say I'll pay for my own move?

I want to appeal to someone's better nature, but I don't want to sound desperate.

  • 2
    Can you define 'pending' engagement? Are you actually engaged or expecting to be very soon?? – Viv Oct 24 '16 at 2:49
  • You don't want to burden hiring personal with complicated personal details because they might just decide its a red flag and move on to other candidates. – Mark Rogers Oct 24 '16 at 14:17
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    Don't discuss this with potential employers at all. But have you discussed this with your man? People differ, but driving eight hours regularly to see you may indicate a certain level of commitment. I don't know how long you've been seeing each other, but it may be time to start making decisions together and dealing with challenges together. Tell him you want to get a job in his city so he won't die in a horrible flaming crash from sleep deprivation. See what he wants to do about that. You're suggesting a big step; then it's his turn. This isn't a workplace question. Good luck to you both! – Ed Plunkett Oct 24 '16 at 14:42
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    In the UK, marital status is a protected characteristic. When recruiting, we are advised to avoid any discussion of protected characteristics to avoid accusations of discrimination. e.g. if you appealed to my better nature for being engaged, that is potentially discriminating against another candidate who is not engaged. However, discrimination law varies a lot between countries. – paj28 Oct 24 '16 at 18:47
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    Side note - don't get discouraged about not getting many interviews. When you're going to an isolated area, you've got a smaller net to cast which means you get fewer fish. Stay with it and if you're a smart, driven employee someone will see that and pick you up! – corsiKa Oct 24 '16 at 19:08
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I would simply tell them that I have decided to move to their city. Whether it is to be with a fiance, to care for an aging parent, or simply because you prefer the weather, scenery, and nightlife is not relevant.

It is worth mentioning that your job search is not related to not liking your current job. But I would caution against over-revealing your personal life. Imagine if an interviewer worries that if you break up with your fiance you will move away again. The less you reveal the less they can use as a reason (not related to your abilities) to hire you.

  • How should I introduce it? How do you say, "I'm moving, not because of problems at my old job, but because of..." without getting into my personal life? – kc m Oct 23 '16 at 6:19
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    As simple as "I have decided to move to X" is enough. – Kate Gregory Oct 23 '16 at 6:21
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    In your cover letter you decide how to paint yourself in the best possible light. So you could say something like "while I enjoy my work at CurrentEmployer, and am doing well there, I have decided to move to X." Then carry on with the typical cover letter stuff that shows why you are a good fit for this company specifically. – Kate Gregory Oct 23 '16 at 6:22
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    What about "I decided to move to X for personal reasons"? – gnasher729 Oct 23 '16 at 21:23
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    Yeah, you might get a lot of "so why here? Do you have family here? Have you ever been here?" so just try to cover the questions with the simplest reason provided up front. – Raystafarian Oct 24 '16 at 19:37
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Definitely not.

Most employers associate "recently engaged" -> "wants a family" -> "will soon become pregnant" -> "will soon go on maternity leave". There is a reason why many countries do not allow employers to ask applicants if they are pregnant: Pregnancies mean an important employee will be unavailable for about a year, and then far less reliable because she has kids to care for. So employers would rather want to avoid hiring people who might become pregnant soon. That's not misogyny, that's an economical risk smart employers would rather avoid.

And besides, you being engaged says nothing about your professional skills. I can't think of any job where that factoid about your private life would make you any more qualified. There is really no reason to state that at all.

  • 17
    Note that OP's gender is not explicitly stated in the question. – Federico Poloni Oct 23 '16 at 19:12
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    Unless it's a same sex marriage in which case it's unlikely to result in an early pregnancy, but it's possible I guess. – Kilisi Oct 23 '16 at 21:21
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    @FedericoPoloni Answers should address the askers problem but are retained for the community, not just the asker. Exploring these avenues is useful. Children impact the performance and availability of men and women. How many times have you heard "its just a job....I have more important things to worry about...I didn't get much sleep last night" etc? Hiring managers will make these logical leaps. – Gusdor Oct 24 '16 at 8:48
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    @Kilisi Doesn't stop people from trying though! – David K Oct 24 '16 at 12:44
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    @Mindwin even an ethical employer might be challenged the idea of hiring someone who was about to become a parent, because they can't know in advance how your level of commitment will be affected. It represents a potential conflict of interest, at best. – employee-X Oct 24 '16 at 18:07
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Depending on your location, it may be illegal for your employer to ask about your family planning status (pregnancy discrimination laws), marital status (various reasons, including sexual orientation discrimination).

As such, mentioning being engaged doesn't do anyone any good - no good to you (because unscrupulous employer CAN decide to not hire you, and pretend its some other reason), and no good to employer (scrupulous ones wouldn't be allowed to know this info, and thus wouldn't want to be told).

Merely state that you have to move to this location for personal reasons, and that that is the reason for job change.

5

Don't Overshare, But Filter Yourself Into Consideration

Here's my question: Should I include that I'm "engaged" in the cover letter? Should I say I'll pay for my own move?

I differ from the previous answers which say one should never disclose one's motivations for switching jobs or looking in different regions for work. Employers are not entitled to your reasons for relocating, but there's something to be said for creating a human connection when interviewing. Some companies may see a given reason as a negative, but others may see it as a positive if it ties you to the region or job more closely. It's one of those "your mileage may vary" sorts of things.

However, there's a time and a place for everything, and the cover letter is not the place to share your life story—especially if it's a hard-luck story of some kind. However, one can make an argument for saying that you're planning to relocate to the city where you're applying, and that the presence or lack of a relocation package (something many employers don't want to negotiate anyway, especially for less senior employees) is not a primary consideration for you.

One should be judicious about this, as oversharing can come across poorly, and you may be leaving money on the table if the employer generally offers some form of relocation assistance. On the other hand, if the only reason you believe you're being filtered out is because you're not local, then changing your strategy is certainly in order.

Other Options

You may also want to consider some other strategies where your impending move might be less of an issue:

  • Reaching out to recruiters for the target area. Good recruiters can package you to potential employers, and can identify prequalified job opportunities that are a better fit.
  • Looking at temp work or contract employment. Even if you don't make a career of it, contingent work can be a great fit for people in transition.
  • Searching for jobs that explicitly offer a relocation package. Such employers are expecting that you currently live elsewhere.
  • Moving anyway, and continuing your job search when you're local. Obviously this option depends on your financial situation and your living arrangements in the new city, but it certainly removes your current locale as a filtering consideration by potential employers.

People relocate for work and for personal reasons all the time. It can be done. You just have to find an effective job-search strategy that works for you.

  • 3
    100% agreed with you here. I recently moved to be closer to my girlfriend and, while I didn't advertise it in any cover letters or anything, it certainly came up while interviewing (having flown in from another country!). Most were simply curious and were interested to find out -- human, as you said. I definitely feel that it helped establish my extra motivation to consider an offer from them. – Matthew Read Oct 24 '16 at 5:55
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From my own personal experience job hunting in a remote location, I didn't have much luck finding a job in the other city, either. As soon as actually made the move and I had a local address, I received A LOT more interview requests.

I think employers are generally hesitant to interview people who live significantly outside the location where the position is offered, because it's that much more effort to coordinate an interview and there's a perceived higher risk of the person "deciding not to move" or the job offer ultimately falling through. From my own experience, it doesn't matter how passionately you emphasize that you're definitely moving; they don't like hiring from other cities.

With that in mind, and assuming the idea is not completely anathema to you, I would suggest moving first. I know that's a scary proposition, but I really think you'd notice a marked improvement in job options, especially if you're confident in your qualifications.

I would NOT recommend putting a local address on your resume before you move or something like that. Tempting as it may be, if the employer discovers the discrepancy it could impact your odds of getting hired. Employers don't like lies on the CV, even little white ones. :)

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Discussing matters regarding your personal life with potential employers is very high up on the list of no-no's of job searching. Just say you're relocating and leave it at that. Best of luck to you and your fiance!

1

I agree with Steve-O though I would put a local address on your CV before making the move. What I'd use is your fiances address, if you're invited to an interview don't make any mention of needing time to travel there from far away. If you really want to make the move, do it

  • 1
    Just what I was going to say, a local address is the thing that really makes people take you seriously. But once an interview date is being set up I think it´s perfectly acceptable to indicate a preference to interview on Monday or Friday if you´re currently working 8 hours away. And at that point it`s OK to mention a partner as a purely practical matter- OP should imply that it´s her spending the weekends in the employer´s / her partner´s city even if it´s usually the other way round. – Level River St Oct 24 '16 at 19:29

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