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A change of career, or a change of scenery, or a higher power.
Whatever the reason for you getting out of here, you’re going to need a job once you get where you’re going.
You’re already living out of boxes and the moving company is booked.
There is only one thing.
You have only a couple months’ worth of savings, and no job offer in sight.
Anxiety is high.
With our relocation cover letter guide, you’ll have a job before you unpack your teddy bears.
In this guide:
- A sample relocation cover letter that will get you a job before the move date.
- How to score all the basic points on the cover letter format.
- How to project calm and confidence from a distance, instead of sheer desperation.
Let’s see a relocation cover letter example.
1. Sample Relocation Cover Letter
Our sample comes from Jerry, who has finished studies at Harvard, but is waiting on his wife to finish before he moves to New York with her. The job is a prestigious consulting job, one worth moving for. Let’s see how he writes his cover letter:
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Jerry E. Rivers
3165 Ross Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
Cambridge, Feb 12, 2020
McKinsey & Company New York
Three World Trade Center, 175 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10007
I am elated to finally apply to join the NY McKinsey & Company office as an Associate. Having graduated from Harvard University with a 4.0 GPA MS in Management, Leadership, Decision Sciences, and interned at KPMG, I believe I am equipped to learn how to deliver world-class consulting as a McKinsey Associate.
The findings of my research thesis in Management and Leadership: “The Psychology of Remote Productivity” has been published in the Harvard Business Review and received over 50 positive comments and messages from Fortune 500 executives, spurring discussion amongst the best in the field. As a consulting intern at KPMG, I saw first-hand the state of disorganization and productivity bottlenecks in client’s processes. During this time, I assisted on one project concerning industrial production supply chain management. The first involved the restructuring of production and shipment schedules across 17 sites to better match the production profile of individual sites to client demands in geographical proximity, reducing delivery spending by 8.5%, wastage by 3.2%, and storage costs by 4.5%. At a restructuring cost of $24m, the new processes generate a saving of $14.5m annually, and have seen a 9% increase in sold volume.
Working at McKinsey would be a realization of a dream of mine, to be able to apply my skills to make an impact on a global scale. My resume has a Cambridge address, as I will before relocating to New York after my wife’s graduation. She graduates July 2020 and starts a position at Saatchi & Saatchi NYC in August 2020, so by the time your Associate program starts in September, I will be relocated and ready to commit. Now, I am available for in-person and online interviews, training and onboarding to ease the transition for everyone.
I would appreciate the chance to meet you and discuss how my research on remote working and experience in supply chain management could apply to my first projects at McKinsey & Company.
Jerry E. Rivers
Notice how it’s done? With subtlety and clarity.
How to Write a Relocation Cover Letter
1. Format Your Relocation Cover Letter Correctly
You have all your ducks in a row. You have been planning this move for months, you have all the details figured out. All the things you need to purchase. You’re already sorting out a job, a long time ahead. Even your relocation cover letter is square and organized. It is, right?
Follow these cover letter format rules:
- Align text to the left without justification.
- Use 1-inch margins on all sides.
- Your cover letter font should be the same as your resume font—use a classic like Bell MT, Arial or Garamond.
- Use 1.15 line spacing. Drop a line between each section, and between paragraphs.
- 1-page is always enough for a cover letter.
2. Make a Header With Your Contact Information
Some people try and be slick with it by only listing their email and phone number on their relocation cover letter. One thing you can be sure of, when they call you up, and find out you can’t come in that Friday for a chat, you’re getting bumped all the way to the back of the line. If even that.
Be open from the beginning and list your current address, unless you already have a place rented and can be there at short notice. If you get a call and they know you are far away, you can be confident they are serious about you. It might be worth making the early trip.
Save their time and your time. Don’t omit anything. Match the header to your resume header, and below list city and date, as well as the hiring manager’s details.
Cover Letter For Relocation: Header
[ Your Full Name]
[ Your Job Title ] (Optional)
[ Address ]
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ LinkedIn Profile ] (Optional)
[ City and Date ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Full Name ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Position ]
[ Company Name ]
[ Company Street Address ]
[ City and Zip Code ]
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3. Identify The Position You’re Applying For
The first paragraph is for getting down to business. Address your cover letter by the hiring manager’s first name, unless you know it’s a more traditional company.
Start off your cover letter by identifying the position you are seeking, and justify it with the strongest possible reason you can give them to hire you. Or at least keep their attention.
Cover Letter For Relocation: Introduction
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
I am [power adjective, e.g. elated] to be able to apply for a [target position name] at [employer name]. With [number of years]+ years of experience as a [previous position title], I have the [relevant skills/expertise/knowledge/educational background] to be able to produce [results/goals/improvements/achievements] for [Employer Name].
Expert Hint: Making real big changes? Changing careers, as well as locations? See our guides on writing effective career change resumes.
4. Make the Right Arguments
Scan the job posting and fish out the most important responsibilities of your future job, and the metric with which they are measured. Ask yourself how well you did in those regards: How much did you improve something by, how much did you save, how big you did it.
Back up every argument with these numbers and achievements from your resume. These are the components of your relocation cover letter’s second paragraph. Allow them to imagine the impact you can make on their company performance.
Start with this:
Relocation Cover Letter Sample: Second Paragraph
In [X]+ years as a [Your Position Name], I have excelled at [Responsibility/Duty 1], on occasion even managing to [Achievement/Metric 1] for our company. While [Responsibility/Duty 2], I have been able to [Achievement/Metric 2], contributing to [a company metric, perhaps the company made record profits that year]. At the beginning of my journey with [Company Name] I have only been able to [Underperforming Metric 1], however, after [remedial steps/training you took] I am proud to say that I have [talk about your improvement and what it means for the company]. I am keen to keep developing further at maximum pace, and this opportunity is the right move for both I and [Company Name] to grow.
Expert Hint: Your future employer might try to find out more about you any way they can. Before you put yourself in the spotlight, make sure there is nothing that will ruin your chances accidentally, on social media for example.
5. Drop the News
Now that they are almost thoroughly convinced that hiring you might just be a good idea, it’s time to ease them into reality. Start off by stating what a remarkable opportunity this is for everyone to benefit, and how much you’re willing to commit and sacrifice.
Then inform them of your situation, expected arrival and arrangements, and how you plan to mitigate the effect on your recruitment—to show you are really engaged. Show that you are fully in control of the situation, and inspire their confidence.
Fill in the [blanks]:
Relocation Cover Letter Sample: Third Paragraph
Joining as a [Target Position Name] would be an excellent opportunity for everyone to develop, once I apply my [relevant skills/expertise] to the [type of work or projects] at [Employer Name]. My resume has a [Current City] address, and I will be relocating to [Target City] on [Date] due to [list reasons if you want to]. Until then, I am available for in-person and online interviews, training and onboarding to ease the transition for everyone.
Expert Hint: If you land that remote interview, it will probably be conducted with Skype, which you might already have pre-installed with Windows, or more likely, Zoom. Make sure you download and configure Zoom beforehand, so you’re not panicking five minutes before the interview!
6. Close the Deal
How to end a cover letter? By continuing to project your proactive and confident attitude. Ask for a chance to discuss how you can benefit their company by applying something that you uniquely have.
Relocation Cover Letter Sample: Sign Off & Call to Action
I would appreciate the chance to meet you and discuss how my [research/experience/skills] can help [Target Employer Name] achieve [something important to this company].
[Digital Copy of Your Handwritten Signature]
[Your Full Name]
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As you write a relocation cover letter, remember to:
- Get the formatting and header absolutely right—or it looks foolish.
- State what position you’re applying to, and introduce yourself with a relevant achievement from your resume in this capacity, or educational background.
- In the second paragraph, provide metrics in key areas of the job.
- Confidently and clearly state the relocation situation, and project that you’re in charge of it.
- Request an interview/call and sign formally.
Do you have any more questions about writing relocation cover letters? Did you find our relocation cover letter example helpful? Leave us a comment, I’ll be more than happy to hear from you!