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Should Women Job Seekers Tell Employers They're Engaged?

by Meredith
(Boston, MA)

Mike-
I recently graduated from a masters program and will be moving to the opposite coast as I job search. My fiance has been transferred, so I am following him.

As a woman, I do not wish to mention to potential employers that I am engaged.

Based on my professional experience, I have found that employers may discriminate if they think the candidate is going to become pregnant in the near future.

Since I am a career switcher, my resume is extensive and it shows that I have relocated previously. But I am finding it hard to explain such a drastic move, whether on my letters of introduction and cover letter or during interviews.

I want to be wise about what I share. I am open to sharing the reason for the move but am cautious about it. Please let me know if you have any advice.

Thanks.

Mike comments:

Hello Meredith-

Congratulations on your master's degree...no easy accomplishment. And congratulations on your engagement!

You can rest easy about employers probing into your marital status. It's against the law for employers to ask about your religion, race, marital status, sexual orientation, or age.

It's perfectly legal for a prospective employer to ask you:

So what brings you to the west coast?

You can answer this question 2 ways.


  1. Tell them you like the west coast and you decided to explore your career options there after earning your master's degree.

  2. Tell them you're engaged and your fiance works in the area.


As an executive recruiter, I've placed women dozens of times in your exact same situation and it's never been an issue. I've even placed 2-3 women who have been pregnant.

I don't see any major hurdles for you.

Companies today are more interested in your skills and whether you're a good fit for their culture.

For more insights about this, see my post, Relocating for Love.

All the best.

Mike Petras

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