location linkedin profile

Use the Location Where You Want to Work on Your LinkedIn Profile

According to an Economist report, up to 23 million Americans plan to relocate in 2021, mostly driven by the quest for affordable housing. 

If you have a 100% virtual job, you probably won’t look for a new position when you relocate. However, the rest of the movers will. Market research firm Forrester predicts that about 10% of jobs will remain fully virtual post-pandemic.

If your move entails a job search, don’t use your current location on your LinkedIn profile. Use your desired location instead. And don’t put your address on your resume.

Companies Love Local Candidates

Locations and addresses matter because most hiring managers want to hire local candidates.

Here’s why:

  1. It costs less to interview them.
  2. They don’t have to spend money to move them.
  3. They’re easier to retain.

When a company relocates a new hire, there’s a risk they won’t like their new location.

Moves can also cause family problems when a spouse or kids find themselves unhappy in a new city. That often makes for a short-term employee because trailing family members who aren’t happy have a way of issuing ultimatums about moving back home.

Because of the above-mentioned factors, many employers shy away from national searches. They often start with local searches and only look beyond their area when they can’t find good local candidates.

Recruiters Restrict Their LinkedIn Searches by Area

That means when their recruiters go to LinkedIn to look for candidates, they restrict their searches by metropolitan areas and zip codes.

Thus, if your profile isn’t coded with your aspirational location, they will NEVER find you. And that doesn’t help you get a job before you move, does it?

Case History

Last year, I worked with an engineer who wanted to move from North Carolina’s Research Triangle to Southern California.

When we prepared his resume and LinkedIn profile, we talked about which location to use for him – North Carolina or San Diego. He chose North Carolina because he didn’t want to signal his boss that he wanted to move to San Diego.

He called me after a few weeks and said he wasn’t getting any play for jobs in Southern California.

Then, he decided to take a risk with his boss and change his LinkedIn profile location to San Diego. Almost immediately, he had a new job in Southern California. The recruiter found him via LinkedIn.

As my italics highlight, this strategy involves some risk. In my client’s case, moving was more important to him than perhaps fielding some awkward questions from his boss. You have to decide what works for you.

You Must Be Findable by Your Target Employers

If you want to change jobs (currently about 60% of us, according to market research firm Morning Consult), then you must be findable on LinkedIn. If you’re not findable, why bother with a profile?

Post-Publication Updates

Check the comments below for Sergio Avila’s note dated 6/5/18 and my response dated 6/7/18 regarding the ability to now note aspirational locations on your LinkedIn profile.

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please invite me to connect on LinkedIn here: Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

Related Post

The 10 Most Important Fields on Your LinkedIn Profile

Image: dizain
Updated March 2021

© 2014 – 2021, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 16

  1. I wish LinkedIn would address this issue for people searching in multiple geographies.

  2. Once again, I hear that disturbingly hollow thud when I apply my palm to my head! It’s one of those ‘of course’ techniques that few people have heard of. Thanks, Donna.

    And Jono’s comment is right on target, too.


  3. Donna-While I agree with your logic and thinking, being deceitful with regard to your location should not be something that is encouraged any more than providing deceitful information on your resume………..


    I appreciate your perspective.

    However, my client’s profile showed him located in San Diego and working in North Carolina.

    Recruiters know to ask about that type of inconsistency.

    If he hadn’t shown a San Diego location, he would not have gotten the job. Showing a San Diego location didn’t read as deceitful to his new employer.

    Thank you,


  4. I would love to move to a different city, but my parents are aging, and I’d prefer to be about 3 miles from them instead of 3,000 miles. Also, I don’t have the money at this time to make such a move.

  5. Hi Howard,

    I appreciate your comment. There are many instances in a job search where one has to use their judgment about what constitutes deceit. This is one of those. Recruiters often search LinkedIn by location. If they can’t find you, no one is served well. It would be nice if LinkedIn would offer a “Desired Work Location” field with the opportunity to plug in several choices. Until they do, this is a BPA (best possible alternative).

    I’m curious to hear what others think about this. Deceit? Practical? Other opinions? Other options?

    Kind regards,


  6. Thank you Andy…but I don’t think you’re face palming very often. I ALWAYS value your insights. Donna

  7. Agreed. I just did this. We’ll see how my story ends and if it proves as successful as the story above. I’m getting nothing when applying for jobs I’m sure I’m qualified. *crosses fingers*

  8. Why after 2 years is LinkedIn still sending me jobs for Princton, NJ even though I have updated my info to the greater Boston area?

  9. LinkedIn has a “what locations are you interested in” option, but i would know if this affects the search by location a recruiter use

  10. Hi Sergio,

    That’s a good point.

    If a recruiter finds your profile through a Premium LinkedIn Recruiter account, they can find you via locations you have specified as of interest to you.

    But be aware that the vast majority of the 1+ million recruiters on LinkedIn don’t pay for a Premium account.

    Here’s how to activate location specifications:

    1. Click “Me.”
    2. Click “Settings & Privacy.”
    3. Click “Privacy.”
    4. Click “Let recruiters know you’re open to opportunities.”
    5. Set the toggle to “Yes.”
    6. Click “Update career interests.”
    7. Add locations to “What locations would you work in?”

    Say you live in New York but would work in Washington DC. My guess is this that this will let recruiters who have a Premium Recruiter account know that you would relocate. They can probably also do an independent search for people who already live in the Washington DC area.

    Thank you,


    Addition, 6/8/18:

    I asked my friend, Marvin Smith, Super Recruiter at Lockheed Martin, about location search features in LI Recruiter. Here’s what he said:

    “LinkedIn Recruiter has a search field under locations that allows for 3 types of filtering. Either “current only” “current or open to relocate” “open to relocate only.”

    Thus, if you specify locations, be sure to list ALL locations that interest you. If you’ll stay put, list your current location and others you’ll consider.

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