January 25, 2011
A long-distance job search can be tricky. While it can be difficult to find a job in a different city or state if you’re looking for lower level positions, it’s often easier to do for high level or hard to fill positions. Many companies prefer to hire local candidates because expenses to relocate employees are high and the logistics of interviewing long-distance candidates can be complicated. But it is possible to perform a long-distance job search and land a great job with the help of these tips.
Networking continues to be one of the best ways to find a job. Many companies promote referral hiring, your resume has a better chance of being seen by the hiring manager, and you could gain access to job openings that haven’t been posted yet. So hit up your connections in your target area to learn about job opportunities at their companies. You may just be the candidate they’re looking for. Not to mention, as residents of your future city, they can give you tips on where to live, what to do, and what to expect of your community.
Mention Your Relocation
Be clear in your resume and cover letter that you are planning to relocate, or to include your availability for relocation. If you include an Objective section in your resume, include your relocation information here, as well as at the beginning of your cover letter. If you’re targeting a specific area, say something like, “Looking to move to Albuquerque, NM” or if you’re open to relocating anywhere, mention “Open to relocating nationwide.” If you have firm plans to move, include when you will be relocating as well. Try to give employers as much information as possible for you best chance of success.
Include Your Current Address
You need to include your current contact information (including your address) in your cover letter and resume when applying for a job so the employer can reach you. While it may be tempting to include a friend or family member’s address or make up an address in the area you’d like to work, you should avoid it. A recruiter may question why your current job (or last job if it is very recent) is so far away or why you’re unable to come in for an interview right away, and you’ll have to awkwardly explain that you don’t actually live at the address you listed. It’s best to be honest and list your current address, but include next to it “Looking to relocate to XYZ city.”
Cover Your Relocation Expenses
For highly sought-after candidates, a company may offer you a relocation package. However, for candidates who are competing with comparable local candidates, you might have a better chance of landing a job in a different city if you can cover your relocation expenses. Include in your cover letter and resume that you “will be relocating at my own expense” or that you are “willing to cover all relocation expenses.”
If you’re having a hard time finding a job but you’re set on moving to a particular city, you may increase your chances of finding a job by taking a leap of faith and moving before landing a job. Since it’s easier to find a job in the city you’re living in, moving may expedite the job search process. You’ll be more readily available for job interviews, companies don’t have to worry about paying for relocation, and you’ll have better access to local job seeker tools, such as local employment agencies.
While a long-distance job search can be tough, it is doable. By working your network in your desired area, including your relocation plans high up in your cover letter and resume, and offering to cover your relocation expenses, you can find a job in the location of your dreams.
Do you have other tips for relocation? Have you successfully found a job despite searching long-distance? Share your tips and stories in the comments below!