Should I disclose my real location when applying for remote jobs?

Yes. Be honest about your real location when applying for remote jobs.

You don’t need to put your address or location on your resume or cover letter, but you may be prompted to disclose your location on a job application form. A hiring manager may ask you where you are currently located as well. In each situation, tell the truth.

Examples

Example of a US citizen applying for remote jobs in the US while living abroad (i.e. digital nomad)

I was living abroad in Europe in 2017 but applying for remote jobs at companies in the United States. When the hiring manager at a company I applied to asked me where I was located I was honest. Since most of the team at this company was based in San Francisco there would be an 8-hour time difference if I was hired. But because I was a good candidate and honest about my situation the company hired me. And because I am a US citizen I got benefits even when I was living abroad.

Bonus

You can listen to and watch me give an answer to a US citizen about applying to US jobs while living abroad here.

Example of a non-US citizen applying for remote jobs in the US while living abroad (i.e. foreign worker)

My friend Ana who lives in Mexico wants to work remotely for a company based in the United States because they can pay her more, which is important because she is the only working parent in the family. Before her current remote job search she worked remotely for a company that was not based in Mexico and made more money than she could for a Mexican company. She was honest about her location before receiving a job offer. She is doing the same for her new remote job search.

Exceptions

One of my friends who’s a US citizen applied for a remote job that required him to be located in the United States when he was living abroad with me in Europe. But during the interview he lied about his location. He really wanted this job because the pay was very high.

He was hired but had to work late at night to accommodate US hours and had to do little annoying things like change the time on his computer so that when he was screensharing during video calls his teammates wouldn’t discover that he was outside the United States. He also had to fly all the way back to the US a few times to meet with the team.

Eventually these things made him miserable, but he needed to make money and needed a job so he considered the lie to be a white lie since he could complete his work.

Just be careful about these “white lies” if you are not a national citizen because some companies will require you to be an employee vs contractor. In these situations you will have to prove that you are a citizen with documentation, bank accounts, etc.

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