Career Tip of the Month
The Long-Distance Job Search
You've graduated and decided to look for a job in a different city. Relocating can be an exciting, new adventure. But how do you go about landing a job in a new city when you haven't moved there yet?
Here are some tips for a successful long-distance job-search:
TARGET AND CONNECT WITH COMPANIES
It is important to do your homework and familiarize yourself with the businesses in your area. Utilize online newspapers, the local Craigslist, job search engines, local business journals, the Chamber of Commerce, and local groups and chapters to professional organizations to create a target list of 10-20 companies. You can research companies, salaries, and the costs of living expenses using sites such as City-Data.com, Hoovers.com, Payscale.com, TheLadders.com, and Glassdoor.com.
Connect with those companies on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter, and join their Facebook page. Use the LinkedIn "Follow Companies" feature to follow companies in your target city and learn about new job postings and recent hires and departures. Make yourself known, and learn about events with the company and any future job opportunities.
ADDRESS RELOCATION EARLY
Employers are naturally skeptical of out of town applicants so your job is to assure them of your sincere intent to relocate. Some experts recommend using a friend's or family's address. The only problem with this strategy is that you may have to explain why you can?t immediately come to an interview. I recommend stating your intention to relocate it up front in the cover letter. This addresses any concerns and shows the hiring manager or recruiter that you are serious about moving. It is also helpful to mention that you are available to move with little notice.
Expect that most recruiters and hiring managers will ask probing questions about your desire to relocate in order to make sure that you will stay once you do relocate. When they do, it's a good idea to talk about any roots or connections that you have to the new city (previous vacation area, completed an internship, friends or family live there). Even factors like wanting to be close to your industry's hub (e.g., moving to Silicon Valley for IT) can confirm your desire to stay in the location. Having some tangible reason to move to a city will help put the employers at ease.
USE THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Now is the time to reconnect with old Facebook friends that are in the city you are targeting. They may know of open positions. Look at your LinkedIn connections (and their connections) to find people who live in your target city. Also, join local alumni chapters and use their career sites. Alumni can assist with more than job searches, but also provide tips about the city and the best places to work and live.
CONSIDER USING A RECRUITER
Select a recruiter who specializes in your field and your target city. Another option is to register with a staffing firm in the city you wish to work. Many recruitment agencies have offices in cities nationwide and therefore, have knowledge about hundreds of job openings you might not know about otherwise.
There are more logistical challenges when job-hunting remotely, but luckily technology has made the job easier. Be prepared to have access to a fax machine, computer and a cell phone. Be prepared for different interview settings and timelines such as phone and Skype interviews. Things like drug testing and paperwork locally and then faxed to the company.
There'Ss no better way to find a job in another location than by actually moving there, or at the least, making a couple of short trips. Make arrangements to stay with family or close friends while you search for a job. Otherwise, make an effort to spend a week in your new location?or take a few short trips over the course of a couple of months?to schedule interviews, make contacts, and explore apartments.
Job hunting is definitely harder when you're not local but is very doable thanks to the internet. With a little extra time and effort, you can successfully find a new rewarding career, and a fresh start.