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ETIQUETTE AT WORK

Be honest in hunt for out-of-state job

Q.My husband and I will be relocating out of state, and I will be seeking employment. Our relocation time frame is between 18 months and three years, sooner if I get the right opportunity. We already own a home there, and our mail is being forwarded from that address until we move permanently. Because my search could take a while due to the current job market, I want to start filling out “job interest cards’’ with various employers, to be notified when certain positions become available. The notifications are supposed to come by e-mail, which is not a problem, but they want other contact information, which brings me to my question: Which street address do I use? I want to be honest, but I also do not want a potential employer to discount me because of an out-of-state address. The online form has space for just one address. Any advice you can provide will be appreciated.

G. B., Springfield, Ill.

A. Since you already own a home where you want to locate, you can legitimately use that address when you fill in the job interest card. You are being honest with the prospective employer. As long as you are being honest, you are on firm ground. You have a home in that area, and you would be able to accept a job offer and be at that location ready to start work. In no way are you attempting to pull the wool over a prospective employer’s eyes.

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In this online age, job seekers are no longer limited to a local search. There’s a fair chance that applications will come in from across the country. However, if a company uses the interest card as a way to screen applicants local to the area, it would be to your advantage to use that address.

If a person didn’t own or rent a home in the area, he would be creating a fake address or using a post office box to show he had roots in the area when he really didn’t. In that situation, the only appropriate course is to use his current address.

Providing a “local’’ address in an area where you don’t actually own a residence is really a white lie. Once you get caught in it - and it’s really not a matter of if you’ll get caught, it is when you get caught - correcting the situation is much more difficult than simply having been honest in the first place.

E-mail questions about business etiquette to etiquetteatwork@emilypost.com.
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