Dear Tina,

If you are looking for employment in another state, how do you stand out from the other local candidates?

TD in Philadelphia

Dear TD

Depending on the position, many companies are only looking for local talent due to cuts in their recruiting budgets so you'll need a few tips on ways to mingle amongst the locals from miles away. 

One of the first things that you can do is remove your current address from your resume.  Long gone are the days when employers would send you that little "thanks, but no thanks" post card, so the only contact information that you need are an email address and phone number.  Although your area code may not raise any red flags since people tend to keep cell phone numbers regardless of location, you may want to get a Google Voicenumber with the area code of your desired city.  It's a free service that will forward calls made to that number to any landline or mobile phone of your choice. 

Your cover letter is a great way to sell yourself to a company when you're out of the area.  In the letter explain that you are relocating and give them an estimated date that you will expect to be available to both interview and start work.  If you won't be able to do in person interviews, offer to do the interview via Skype.

One last thing that you should discuss in both your cover letter and in your interview are the benefits that you would bring from a different city. For example, if you're in sales or account management, highlight your current client relationships and how you may bring a national perspective to their sales philosophy.  Regardless of the industry, innovation  is always welcomed within a company and being able to bring a fresh set of eyes to the region may really set you apart from the local talent.  This way, even if you're seeking relocation assistance, they will see you as an investment rather than an unnecessary cost.

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