Ready to take your career elsewhere? Make these CV changes

If you're willing to move for a job, how should you state that in your application? While there are several ways to tell potential employers that you're willing to relocate on your CV, some methods allow you to be more concise and professional. You might phrase it as “open to relocation,” “will relocate within [country or region],” or “willing to relocate worldwide,” for example. Let's take a look at your options in this guide. 

Should I say I'm willing to relocate on my CV?

When you're  applying for a job in a new location, you should absolutely say that you're willing to relocate on your CV. What's more, you should make sure that this detail has a prominent place on the page. 

Hiring managers are not mind-readers. If they see that you live somewhere else – and you don't state that you're willing to relocate – they may disregard your application. Perhaps they will think that you didn't read the job description thoroughly or that you're sending out your CV to every job posting that you see online. That's not a good look. 

To avoid getting overlooked, it's important to let the hiring manager know that you are willing to relocate. This simple phrase could be the difference between you getting the interview and getting ghosted. 

How do you write willing to relocate on a CV?

There are many ways to say that you're willing to relocate. It's important to choose your words wisely so that you make it clear to the hiring manager. Here are some “willing to relocate” statement examples: 

  • “Willing to relocate for the right opportunity”

  • “Open to relocating globally”

  • “Will relocate worldwide”

  • “Open to relocation within Europe”

  • “Open to relocation on a global level”

  • “Willing to relocate within the UK”

The words you choose matter more than you think. Simply saying that you're “willing to relocate” on your CV may not be enough. How far are you willing to go? Be specific about where you are willing to relocate to at this point. That will help hiring managers understand your application.

Where to put “willing to relocate” on your CV

The best place to mention relocation on your CV is your personal statement, which sits just underneath your name and contact details. That way, when the hiring manager reviews your CV, they will see it first.

Your CV personal statement should discuss who you are, what you can bring to the role, and your career goals. Add the details about being willing to relocate globally to the final part of your statement. For example, if you're looking for a software engineer role, you might write, “Currently pursuing a software engineer role and am open to relocating globally.”

Let's take a look at how that looks: 

An example of a CV that demonstrates a willingness to relocate or move for a job.

In this sample CV, the relevant line about relocation is underlined in blue and is included as part of the personal statement. You can view the full CV for this mid-level professional here. 

Where else to mention your willingness to relocate

Once you've mentioned relocating at the top of your CV, you might think that the job's done – it's not. You should reaffirm this point within your cover letter. This way, you can be 100% certain that the hiring manager won't miss this vital piece of information. 

What is a relocation cover letter?

A relocation cover letter is almost identical to your typical cover letter, except it details why you're relocating and your plans.

Employers will always need to see the elements of a traditional cover letter, which expand on your CV, such as your interest in the role and your relevant experience and skills. 

If you've expressed that you're willing to relocate on your CV, you must explain this eagerness further in your cover letter; otherwise, a prospective employer may choose to proceed with someone more “stable” who already resides in the area.

By mentioning your plans to relocate upfront, you reduce any potential doubt in the HR manager's mind about your physical availability, allowing them to focus on your suitability for the role.

How to write a relocation cover letter 

Learn how to write and address your relocation in a cover letter by following this 5-step guide:

1. Write a concise introduction that conveys your enthusiasm

All cover letters should begin with your interest in the open position and why you're applying for the role. For example, if you're applying for a project management position, have you always been fond of organisation and executing projects and campaigns? Perhaps you've always wanted to work for this particular company and have admired it from afar your whole career?

2. Detail your reasons for relocating and what your plan looks like

The next section should highlight the fact that you're moving and the reason for this. Your reason should be genuine and convincing, such as: 

  • Your spouse is moving jobs

  • You're moving to be closer to elderly parents

  • You're returning to your hometown

Be careful of your phrasing when offering your explanation. For example, if you're moving to London because you have always wanted to, this is great, but a prospective employer may read this as “could be a flight risk if London living doesn't work out.”

A better reason for planning to move to London permanently is knowing that it's a hotspot for jobs in your industry, and you've witnessed many friends find success in their decision to move here.

In a couple of sentences then, detail your reason for relocating, your thought-out plan, the relocation's permanence, and your ties to the area to convince the employer you're a risk worth taking. If you can mention a timeframe or the exact date of your move, that will help, too.

3. Add examples of your relevant experience

The next paragraph should address why the position is important to you and the relevant experience you have to offer. Identify the critical requirements listed in the job advert and detail the experience that shows your qualifications and readiness for the role. Make the outcomes and achievements of your experience a key focus too, as they will highlight the concrete value you bring to the table.

4. Emphasise key skills and qualifications

Next, outline any additional skills and qualifications that the prospective employer deems valuable for this role. Again, refer to the job description and cite the most pertinent abilities in your skill set which mirror the role's requirements. You're essentially offering the HR manager plenty of reasons to invite you for an interview by proving that your arsenal of skills is exactly what they're looking for.

5. Finish your cover letter with a summary

End your cover letter with a conclusion that summarises your expertise, reasons for relocation, and your enthusiasm for the role. Write that you're looking forward to meeting with them to discuss the exciting opportunity and your skills in more detail. Then sign off with “Kind regards” (or something similar) and your name.

“Willing to relocate” cover letter sample 

Offering the prospective employer genuine, persuasive reasons for your move is essential when writing a relocation cover letter. Below is an example format of a relocation cover letter, designed to be emailed.

outline of cover letter

Work relocation hints & tips

Deciding to work elsewhere requires careful thought and planning. Before you can even put “willing to relocate” on your CV, here are some pointers to consider as part of your job search and application efforts:

Plan your relocation in advance 

Food for thought: perhaps spend some time thinking about where you really want to work on a geographical level. If you have your heart set on a certain country, consider looking for jobs in that region, rather than hoping a new employer will send you there on a whim.

Alternatively, if you want the opportunity to work across the world, look at companies who have offices internationally. If you find a job you like, tailor your CV to that opportunity so you convince employers that you're the talent they need. You can then bring up the fact that you're open to working anywhere in the world in your cover letter or interview, as opposed to your CV that includes your current location.

Localise your CV

Furthermore, if you're thinking of moving to a new place, bear in mind that CV conventions change from country to country. If you want to relocate globally, you must adapt your CV to meet the expectations of your target country. That starts with understanding how CV rules differ from one country to the next. Here's what you should know when writing CVs for different countries:

1. The name 

The UK and most European countries refer to the job-application document as a “CV.” It is an abbreviation for the Latin term “curriculum vitae,” meaning “course of (one's) life.” In contrast, you'll typically find companies asking for a “resume” in the U.S, Australia, Germany and Asian countries, including China, Singapore, and Japan.

In the U.S, you may see the term “CV” attached to an academic CV (also known as an academic resume), which is used in the worlds of science and academia. Academic CVs are typically much longer documents that offer a deep dive into a candidate's education, work experience, appointments, and publications. They should not be confused with the British and European CV.

2. Page length

Length conventions tend not to vary by country too – most CVs around the world are typically kept at one or two pages. This generally breaks down to one page for entry-level positions and two pages for most professionals; a three-page CV format is uncommon and reserved for senior executives with extensive experience. 

The only exceptions are if you work in academia or a scientific field where you would use the aforementioned academic CV format, or if you're applying for a position within the U.S. federal government, which has specific requirements that often require more than three pages.

One minor thing to note, however, is that while page length conventions are not different, the page size is. In the U.S. and Canada, letter size is used, whereas the UK and most other countries use A4 paper. 

3. Personal information

In the UK, U.S., and Australia, the personal information you include will generally be limited to your town and postal code (or city and state), phone number, email, and the link to your LinkedIn profile. Employers see the incorporation of more specific details as a potential opportunity for HR managers to discriminate ‒ whether implicitly or explicitly ‒ between certain candidates.

But for EU countries, including personal details is often expected. These may include your age, nationality, birth date, maiden name, and often, marital status.

4. CV photo

You'll generally find that including a photo on your CV is discouraged in the UK, Africa, Israel, India, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Like some personal information, headshots can be seen as an opportunity for HR managers to discriminate between candidates. 

Actors and entertainers in these countries may include a separate photo with their CVs in these countries, but doing so outside of these professions is discouraged. 

However, there are some countries where including a photograph on your CV is still expected by some employers. These areas include: 

  • EU member countries

  • Latin America (except Mexico)

  • Southeast Asia (e.g. Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines)

  • Middle East (particularly in the UAE) 

If you're applying to work in any of these countries, your image should be a passport-sized colour photo of yourself in business attire. You want your photo in high resolution, preferably taken by a professional photographer ‒ selfies won't make the cut. Select a recent photo and make sure it's a clear headshot, as employers do not look favourably on group photos. 

5. Personal statement

Most countries expect the inclusion of a personal statement on a CV. This is a short paragraph at the head of the first page that gives an employer a summary of your career accomplishments and objectives. It can take the form of a bulleted list or short paragraph, though most professional writers use the latter. Learn more about writing a strong personal statement here.

6. Language skills

Do you speak another language? Multilingual skills are valuable in any workplace, especially when you're looking to relocate to countries that have multiple official languages. Therefore, it's crucial to include your language abilities on your CV if you have them.

In addition, if you're applying for jobs in a country where the language spoken is not your native language, it's important to provide a clear, accurate assessment of your abilities, unless the job description clearly states that language skills will not be needed. Also, even if you're applying for jobs in countries where the lingua franca is English, make sure to note differences between spelling conventions in the UK, U.S, Australia, Canada, and other English-speaking countries.

Apply with confidence

Moving for work can open up many doors. Remember, there's no reason your career has to tie you down to one location for life. Whether you're simply willing to move globally or actively wanting to use work as an impetus to start somewhere new, you can. To be successful at securing that role in your dream workplace, make it clear to the recruiter or hiring manager that you're willing to relocate on your CV, and be knowledgable about what's expected of you.

The rules of CV writing across countries can be complex, especially if you're unfamiliar with them. Get a free CV review or let our professional CV writers guide you in the right direction. 

This article was updated by Charlotte Grainger in June 2024. It contains work written by Rikki Wimmer and Laura Slingo.

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