On the hunt for a job in a new city? Learn how to relocate with success using these job-search tips.
We live in a brave new world. Technological changes, along with the competitive nature of a global economy, have made it necessary to break out of your comfort zone when it comes to your career. Reimagining yourself in a new setting — a new city, state or even country — comes with a unique set of challenges that are best-met head on so that you are not met with surprises down the road.
There's nothing more exhilarating, albeit terrifying, than starting fresh in a new place. A new culture, new climate, new neighbors, and a new job all can make the prospect of moving exciting, yet applying to jobs out-of-state can seem daunting.
If you've been trying to find a job in a new city, you may already be used to the sound of crickets rather than a ringing cell phone. Competition is keen amongst the locals, making it so much harder to land a job out-of-state. When you have made the decision to start a long-distance job search, here are a few job-search tips that will help you pave the way.
1. Know your availability
Sure, you want to jump right in and start applying to out-of-state jobs. But first things first: Figure out a time frame when you can actually move. Are you selling your house first? Uprooting the kids in the middle of the school year? If you're currently working, you will have to tie up some loose ends with your current job before you lay the groundwork for a new one.
2. Know your industry
During your long-distance job search, start by combing through online trade journals and magazines to develop a rough target list of companies in your new locality. Then, check out the websites of the companies you're interested in to learn how long they've been in business, their average annual earnings, each company's standing in the marketplace, and who's in charge.
Want an inside look at these companies and their open jobs? Try Glassdoor, which has tons of company reviews written by previous and present employees. To hone in on an industry, market research sites such as Dun & Bradstreet and Plunkett Research are helpful. Community newspapers can help you feel at home with the area; make sure to check out the ads to become familiar with your business competitors.
3. Know something about the people you'll meet
Dig into the wellspring of information you'll need to gather about potential colleagues by checking out websites of companies in your industry, finding names, and Googling them. In many cases, you'll be directed to LinkedIn profiles of the top performers. Forging solid connections with those prospective leads will be easier when contacting people you already know who may know someone who knows someone. With some effort and a little luck, your LinkedIn connections can make six degrees of separation seem more like two. Conduct an informational interview — a technique meant not to ask for a job but to tap into intel such as industry jargon, an organization's culture, and insider tips — because there's just no substitute for familiarity in an unfamiliar place.
4. Know how to get to the top of the hiring list
Face it: During your long-distance job search, you're an outsider. You know you want to bridge the gap between contacts and your extended network. To do it, you must overcome any perceived objections in order to re-establish yourself in your field. Emphasize the positive: your relevant skills and experience, your determination and ability to conquer challenges, your flexibility and comfort level with learning new things, as well as how much enthusiasm you have for the employer. Less well-known firms in allied industries may be more willing to give you a look, so don't just apply to big-name companies.
5. Know the location
Once you feel sure of your destination, continue to make yourself familiar with the local community when you apply to jobs out-of-state. Social media can be a big help when checking out the local scene, identifying thriving businesses, and strategically tagging upcoming events. City-Data.com will give you insights into the local economy, demographic data, crime rates, and job prospects. Peruse the hometown paper, put regional job fairs on your 'to do' list, and immerse yourself in reading about the place. Acquaint yourself with local recruiters and you may initially nab a phone or Skype interview. Finally, you may want to plan a visit so that you can schedule face time with three or four prospective employers — mentioning, of course, that any relocation expenses would be on your dime, not theirs.
Whether you are just starting out or have years of relevant experience under your belt, if you're applying for jobs out of state, infinite opportunities abound. With some leg work and a little know-how, your next career move may be your best move.
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