Ask LH: Is Applying For Interstate Jobs A Problem?

Ask LH: Is Applying For Interstate Jobs A Problem?

Hi Lifehacker, I’m a recent graduate who is looking for some suitable full-time employment. The only problem is, all the jobs I’m looking for are interstate. I have no qualms about moving or jumping on a plane for an interview, but should I be upfront with potential employers by putting my current location on my resume with a statement saying I’m willing to relocate? Or do I simply leave it off so I won’t get rejected right from the get go by an overzealous HR department which doesn’t want to deal with the potential hassle of hiring someone from a different state? Yours, In A State

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Dear IAS,

Disclosing your current location could potentially lead to fewer callbacks for the reasons you’ve outlined above — but we still think honesty is the best policy. You’re going to need a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to arranging interviews, so you might as well be upfront about it. Besides, do you really want to begin your new career by indirectly lying to your new boss?

As a recent graduate, it should be evident that you’re not tied to a particular location which most companies will take into account when reviewing your resume. So it’s not necessarily a deal killer. In fact, some employers may even be impressed by your willingness to move interstate to work for them.

When it comes to organising and acing interstate interviews, there are specific strategies that it pays to be aware of. For example, you should always allow yourself extra travel time in unfamiliar cities; aim to arrive at the interview half an hour early in case you get lost. If everything goes smoothly, you can then use the extra time to de-stress and prepare mentally.

If possible, don’t fly in for the interview on the same day that it’s set to take place — this greatly increases the odds of something going wrong. The last thing you want is to be out of pocket in an interstate city with nothing to show for it. Instead, spend the night in a affordable hotel close to the interview location.

During the interview, you’re bound to get asked why you want to change locations and how you intend to make the shift. Whatever you do, don’t cite the lack of work opportunities as your primary reason for moving. Instead, have a detailed answer prepared that’s specific for each workplace.

In addition, be sure to mention any family or personal ties you have nearby, even if you don’t plan on living with them. This will help to ease the employer’s mind about your ability to settle into your new location.

If any readers have additional tips to pass on, we’d love to hear them in the comments. Good luck!


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  • I used to work in the mines and we would get literally thousands of applications from “interstaters” looking for work. Unless they were qualified and experienced tradies they went straight in the bin and preference went to locals. Every.single.time. I would lie if I was you. As long as you don’t spring expenses on them later they probably won’t care.

  • It depends what sort of job you’re applying for.

    I work in communications and readily admit to avoiding interstate applicants. They present a riskier hire – what if the prospect of moving becomes too much and they pull out at the last minute? What if they move but decide they don’t like living here? We recently had someone from interstate resign after a week in the job because he missed his partner who was living back home.

    That said, you need to be upfront about your location. BUT you should address it in your cover letter by saying you are more than willing to move and can do so quickly if hired.

  • If you are confident relocation isn’t going to be a challenge or issue for you, I wouldn’t even mention your current location. I have worked for companies based in Sydney and lived in Melbourne for years, and just do the commute.

    If I was looking to relocate for a new role I wouldn’t mention my current location, and if a question of my location came up during interviews I would address it then making it clear that I would be arranging it all and that I am more than comfortable doing so.

  • Depends on where the job is located, some regional areas can’t afford not to take interstate offers seriously.

  • I wouldn’t mention it. It certainly isn’t going to HELP your prospects of getting the job by advertising that you’re not local.

    FYI – We found after moving to regional QLD, employers outright asked how long you had lived here. A NSW address on your resume reliably resulted in no-callback from any job more involved than fruit-picking. It’s generally acknowledged that if you haven’t lived here for a few years, expect to work casual until you have.

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