So you’re relocating! Whether it’s across the country or just a few towns away, moving comes with all sorts of big goodbyes and new beginnings. How do you use a cover letter to your advantage when searching for jobs at a new location? How do you adapt a cover letter to a relocation position? Let’s delve into this guide and find out.
When you’ve already got the weight of so many personal changes on your shoulders, finding a new job can feel like a huge burden. That’s why we’re here to help. This relocation cover letter example and guide is packed with tons of writing and formatting tips to make you stand out in any industry – even when you feel like a bit of a newcomer.
Why is a cover letter vital for relocating professionals? The answer is complex. Firstly, for job seekers who are looking to relocate, a great cover letter for your resume is the only application material where you’ll even get to mention that you’re relocating. If the hiring manager’s got questions, your cover letter is the answer. Next, there’s the fact that in your previous place of residence, you were plugged in to the local professional community. In a new city or town, you need extra effort to showcase your personality, motivation and history. This is why a cover letter is the perfect introduction instrument, since it expands beyond the dry formula of a resume.
Resume.io’s collection of tips, tools and templates are designed to help take the stress out of finding a new job. We’ve got dozens of cover letter examples in multiple industries that can help supplement this relocation cover letter guide with the exact advice you need for your field and job title.
This relocation cover letter example along with our free sample sentences will:
- Explain the unique challenges of a relocation cover letter and how to overcome them
- Offer free examples, samples and templates to help you formulate your cover letter
- Explore the secrets of making your relocation a positive opportunity for the employer
- Help you avoid common pitfalls and stand out even among local candidates
Before you can write any great cover letter, you’ll first need to tackle resume writing. Check out Resume.io’s collection of 300+ resume examples complete with specific tips and advice for your industry. Then bring all your experience, skills and education together with great formatting. Our professionally-designed resume templates are quickly customizable inside of our easy-to-use resume builder.
The purpose of a relocation cover letter
The purpose of your relocation cover letter will be much the same as any other cover letter: to introduce yourself and your experiences. You’ll also want to create a personal connection that sticks with the hiring manager and makes them want to get to know you more, even if it means going through the extra trouble of bringing you in from far away for an interview.
A good cover letter is brief and to the point. As a relocation candidate, you’ll be at a slight disadvantage since some of your precious cover letter space will be taken up by the explanation of your relocation. Still, you’ll want to keep the relocation section short and at the end of your letter – more on that later on. The entire letter should be no more than one page or 200 to 400 words. In our overall example on how to write a cover letter, we’ve got tons of specific formatting advice, plus free templates to make great visuals a breeze.
It’s not about you, it’s about them
A “relocation” is inherently about you as the applicant since it won’t be the business who picks up and moves across the country. This fact is completely at odds with the whole point of a cover letter which is to show a business what you can do for them.
Therefore, during the writing process, make sure to focus largely on what makes you a uniquely qualified candidate. Don’t waste any time pleading or explaining why you need a job in this new location. Instead, focus on the specific skills and traits you possess that would make them fly you in from the ends of the earth if they had to.
Relocation cover letter structure, writing examples
A cover letter for a relocation follows much the same structure as cover letters for all other jobs and industries. The key exception will be within the header and at the end of the body section where you briefly mention your relocation. In the following chapter, we’ll break down these key components:
- The cover letter header
- The greeting
- The introduction
- The letter body
- The conclusion.
You can find even more details on how to write each of these sections, plus free sample sentences and formatting tips in our overall guide on cover letters.
Cover letter header
Your cover letter header serves two important roles: the first is to label your cover letter with all the necessary contact information should a hiring manager want to get in touch with you about a job interview. You should never hide any information, but for a relocation cover letter, you’ll want to stick to your digital contact info like phone number, email and LinkedIn instead of a physical mailing address.
The second purpose of your header is to create a professional presentation that catches a hiring manager’s attention and makes you stand out from other applicants. Your formatting plays a key role in how a hiring manager perceives you, so make sure to align your tone, branding and image with the formality of the company. When in doubt, clean lines and a neutral color palette work well for most situations.
The goal of this section: Keep your name and personal data at the hiring manager’s fingertips should they wish to get in touch. Create a visually attractive layout that is professional and appropriate for the employer’s image.
Align document styles!
As a relocation candidate, you’ll want to go the extra mile to make sure your application wows the HR team. One of the best ways to do that is by aligning the document styles at the top of your resume and cover letter. A cohesive format gives the impression that you are a confident, polished candidate who knows their worth – exactly what you want to project to make your relocation sound like an opportunity instead of a disadvantage.
If you don’t have time to become a graphic designer overnight, a resume template and corresponding cover letter template can make this process a breeze. Check out our collection of free cover letter templates in four categories that cover just about every profession: Simple, Modern, Creative and Professional.
Cover letter greeting
Your cover letter greeting plays a vital role in setting a positive and friendly tone for the rest of your cover letter. The golden rule: if at all possible, try to address the letter recipient by name (check the box below for what to do otherwise). Use the most appropriate greeting based on the workplace culture – “Dear” or “Hello” are two possible options depending on the formality level needed.
The goal of this section: Create a personalized message and positive tone by using the letter recipient’s name in your greeting.
Dear Ms. Pinnott,
The importance of names and addressed greetings
As a candidate who isn’t based locally, it’s a smart idea to use every option at your disposal to catch a hiring manager’s attention and make a great first impression. A big part of that is personalizing your letter with the correct name of the recipient. And it’s not just a shot in the dark – scientific research shows that humans have a positive neurological response to hearing their own names.
However, in large companies or offices with HR teams it can be difficult to know how many people will read your letter, let alone their names. If the company directory or the job application can’t help you, there are other options. A collective greeting is usually your best bet. Try “Dear (Company Name) Hiring Team” or even “Company Family” if it matches the branding.
Cover letter introduction
You can’t explain your relocation if you can’t even get a hiring manager to read your cover letter in the first place. Therefore, your introduction should be interesting and relevant while still exuding the highest level of professionalism. Above all, don’t begin with the details of your relocation. Instead, start your cover letter like you would if you lived locally: with an interesting anecdote, relevant statistic or bold personal statement that immediately flows into the body section.
The goal of this section: Encourage a hiring manager to read your cover letter through a skill, example or fact without mentioning your relocation right away.
Procurement is about identifying requirements and delivering best value solutions – $1.5m in cost savings over three years meant an extra 2.9% on the bottom line for my previous employer (with only a 20% change in the supplier base).
Cover letter body
Your cover letter body is where you get into all the abilities and unique qualifications you bring to the table. Begin this section like you would for any other cover letter. Make sure you use interesting and relevant examples from your previous positions that highlight what you could do for your prospective employer. The STAR method may help. Briefly describe a Situation, the Task you were charged with, your Action and the positive Result that followed.
The second paragraph of the body section is where you can finally mention your relocation. Remember to frame the move as a potential win for them – after all a great candidate is coming to their area! Let them know the date of your planned move and then express your enthusiasm for the position and let them know if you are available for a video or in-person interview before that time. Never come across as presumptuous or demanding for the position. The hiring manager should never feel like you’re asking for a favor.
The goal of this section: Highlight the skills and experiences that make you the perfect candidate, briefly and tactfully mention your relocation in a positive way without sounding desperate or demanding.
I am in the process of relocating from Los Angeles to New York in February due to my partner’s new job and am looking to secure a procurement role in the consulting industry. I worked on nationwide projects with Paragon and I estimate that the supplier base will be 75% similar for the sorts of projects that you take on. I have a strong New York network that will help me get up to speed with the local market – relationships are everything.
I have a degree in Business Administration from UCLA and have completed over 20 courses involving negotiation, influencing and supplier management areas. It is important to create a framework for managing performance, both to optimize current suppliers and to offer prospective suppliers an insight into what is expected. I hope that I will be able to replicate some of my previous achievements should I join Latitude Consulting:
- 15% cost saving on venue hire (with a 4.8/5 rating from over 10,000 attendees).
- $450,000 annual saving by renegotiating a nationwide accommodation agreement.
- 98% hitting supplier performance targets – up from 87% three years previously.
- Consolidated total supplier base from 240 to 170 – with 8% cost savings.
I understand that the New York events market will be a different challenge, but there are enough similarities in how procurement operates to feel confident that I can do a great job. A fantastic event does not have to be a mouth-wateringly expensive event.
Cover letter conclusion
For a relocation cover letter, your conclusion will likely be wrapped up into the final body paragraph of your cover letter. That’s because the closing paragraph contains the Call to Action – a sentence that expresses interest in the position and lets the hiring manager know you’re available for an interview.
Your signature should match the formality level of your greeting. “Sincerely,” “Warm regards” or “Thank you” can all work well.
The goal of this section: Create an effective Call to Action that invites a hiring manager to contact you, sign off with a professional and appropriate signature.
I would welcome the opportunity of an interview to explore synergies further.
Writing tips and strategies for a relocation application letter
The majority relocation cover letter should be geared towards your prospective position and the experience and skills you bring that would make you an invaluable asset to the company. Many employers are willing to take a chance on the relocation candidate but only if they can be sure that you won’t get cold feet about the position during the final stages of the hiring process – or worse, decide you can’t stand your new city and quit only a few months after taking the job.
Whether you’re an entry-level candidate or have years of experience, here’s how to avoid common red flags hiring managers see when they read relocation cover letters:
- Give a real reason for your relocation: Having always wanted to experience the magic of New York because of a famous movie probably won’t cut it. Make sure to offer a concrete, human reason for needing to change locations.
- Create a sense of permanency about your move: If you’ve signed a lease, mention it. Even if you’re still house shopping or you plan to move in with friends, these details show a hiring manager you won’t waste their time by backing out at the last minute. Plus, your new permanent address can be used on a cover letter submitted by mail or on an online application.
- Offer a date or time frame: Keeping your relocation a secret could actually hurt your chances of landing the position once a hiring manager finds out. Instead, give a specific date or time frame for your move and offer to accommodate an in-person interview if you can.
- Mention any connection to the area: Even if you land the position and your relocation goes smoothly, how can a hiring manager be sure you’re really in it for the long-haul? Briefly mentioning any family, school or professional connections can prove that you’re already familiar with what you’re getting into, and thus more likely to stay.
Relocation cover letter format and common mistakes
When it comes to writing a cover letter for a relocation, the stakes are high. Avoiding these common errors is essential to making a good first impression and landing an interview.
- Spelling and grammar mistakes: These simple errors can dash your credibility right from the outset and frame you as a poor communicator. Luckily, typos don’t have to be the demise of your cover letter. Use spell check or ask someone you trust to proofread your application before you submit.
- Negative tone: How can you expect a hiring manager to view your relocation positively if you don’t yourself? The tone and word choice you use when talking about your move are key to your cover letter’s success. Make sure to frame the change as an opportunity for you, and more importantly, for your potential employer.
- Generic cover letter: You’re asking the employer to take a chance on you and you can’t even be bothered to express interest in the company? That’s an easy “no thanks” for any hiring manager. Make sure to research the position and tailor your cover letter with the right skills, experiences and achievements for the exact job opening you’re applying to.
- Poor formatting: Childish fonts, too much text or neon colors might catch a hiring manager’s eye – and give them a chuckle. You need top-notch formatting to create a professional image and a great first impression. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: enlist a design-minded friend or use a cover letter template if you’re short on time.
- A cover letter is essential to your application when relocating since it’s one of the only places you’ll be able to explain your move and frame it in a positive light.
- Begin your cover letter with your strongest skills, achievements and experiences to draw the hiring manager into your professional story before mentioning your relocation.
- Use the end of your body section to briefly discuss your relocation by giving a date you plan to move, your reason for moving and your connection to the area.
- Do extra research about the company and make sure your cover letter is customized to their exact needs to paint yourself as the ideal candidate.
- Your application formatting is the first thing a hiring manager will notice about you. A professionally-designed cover letter template can help you create an attractive presentation without much fuss.
For even more useful writing tips, check out our other related cover letter examples: