How to Write a Cover Letter When Trying to Relocate
COVID-19 has changed the out-of-state job search process. Companies are increasingly considering candidates across the country as they are expanding remote work options. There are also still a number of companies that want or need people onsite and are looking for the right person to be there. Here is how to tell your story in a cover letter that makes you stand out while trying to relocate:
Cover Letters and Relocation
Moving is stressful enough. This is why building a cover letter that addresses your plans before applying is important. Your resume provides the potential employer with your career history in a way that is relevant to their open job. And, the cover letter tells your story beyond the resume. This is often a great place to explain any potential relocation. The relocation cover letter could include reference to upcoming trips to coordinate the move or details about when you will officially move. This one-page document will help you to provide those important highlights that engage the employer enough to invite you for the interview.
10 Tips to Write the Relocation Cover Letter
#1 - Create a Concise Intro
Every good cover starts with an introduction to explain why you are applying to the open position and how you found it. This first paragraph is typically 2 sentences. The first sentence is how you found the job. This could be through a referral or through your relocation service. The second sentence is an overview as to why you are a good fit for the role. Hook the reader right away about why they should keep reading. For a relocation letter, you may choose to put the fact that you are relocating in the introduction. However, this would only come up here if it is relevant to your overall message because it may scare off the potential employer.
#2 - Explain Your Qualifications
The next part of your cover letter should focus on your qualifications for the position. The fact that you are relocating will matter less to the employer if you are a fit for their open job. Therefore, spend most of your cover letter on how you will be a good fit for the open position. Think about what aspects of your work history would help you in this new role and highlight those. You can also include that you are willing to relocate if it is a requirement for the job. Why is this important? Because you want to show that you are motivated.
#3 - Address Any Challenges
The next part of your cover letter should focus on your qualifications for the position. The fact that you are relocating will matter less to the employer if you are a fit for their open job. Therefore, spend most of your cover letter on how you will be a good fit for the open position. Think about what aspects of your work history would help you in this new role and highlight those. You can also include that you are willing to relocate if it is a requirement for the job. Why is this important? Because you want to show that you are motivated and able to do the job.
Another common challenge for someone relocating is the question of whether the company will pay for your relocation. You may intend to relocate regardless of assistance, but you don't want to close the door on that additional benefit. So, be strategic in addressing the cost of relocation in your cover letter. Everything is negotiable once you get to the offer stage, but you need to get the interview first.
#4 - Include At Least Three Relevant Skills
Include at least three relevant skills from your cover letter that you have that would help you excel in the open position. This will give the employer a good idea of how you will be able to do the job. Even if this cover letter is about relocating and it does not look like you would excel for the role, still include those skills and explain why they come in handy even when you are physically far away. If you have never relocated before, include other relevant skills such as the ability to be flexible.
#5 - Explain Any Experience You Have with the Company or Industry
If you are relocating for this job, it means that you want to work for this company. Your cover letter should reflect that by including any experience you have with the company through volunteering, attending an event, etc. This is also a great place to plug the fact that you are relocating if it is relevant.
#6 - Highlight Any Abilities You Have That Are In Line with the Job Description
This cover letter section will be where you show off your abilities. Take a look at the job description and think about what skills would help you succeed. If this cover letter is for a relocation cover letter, think about what skills would help you succeed. If this cover letter is for a relocation cover letter, think about what skills would help you excel in the role even though it is far away. You have some leeway here because if you are not relocating, your cover letter will likely touch on why the position aligns with your career goals. Since you are relocating, you can spend more time on cover letter skills that would make you a great fit for the job even though it is far away from your current location.
#7 - Include a Closing Sentence
The last sentence of your cover letter should be a closing sentence. Your cover letter closing should be polite and brief. You can end by saying that you are looking forward to meeting in person or speaking on the phone in the near future. If you want to cover all of your bases, you could ask the employer if it would be possible for an interview in your current location or when you arrive in the next few weeks/months.
#8 - Incorporate Your Research
You have done the research to see why the company is a good fit and found the position where you think makes the most sense. Now, include your research in the cover letter to connect the dots for the potential employer. Connect this research to your why - why you want the job and why you are a good fit. Taking this extra step to understand the company and relating your experience will make you stand out.
#9 - Be Creative
The challenge many experience when relocating is that they won't be able to start for several months and employers need people now. However, the ability to work remotely is much easier for most people post-pandemic. So, when relocating, keep in mind that you don't have to just apply to companies where you are currently located. Look for jobs that are fully remote or in the general geography of where you want to live. Apply to these jobs to help ease your transition. If fully remote isn't right for you, then look at jobs with a hybrid arrangement or that are temporarily remote. This would enable you to start the position before you officially relocate and make you a more attractive candidate.
#10 - Check for Spelling and Grammatical Errors
Once you have finished your cover letter, go through it once more looking out for spelling or grammatical errors. Make sure to get someone else to look at the cover letter as well before sending it off. If you are relocating, make sure that it is obvious from your cover letter that you are well-qualified to take the position. If it is not, perhaps this relocation cover letter is not for you!
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