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5 Tips for Conducting a Long-Distance Job Search

If you’re on the hunt for a job in a new city, you’ll want to keep these job search tips in mind as you dive into this exciting transition. [TWEET]

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. Re-imagining 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. The new culture, new climate, new neighbors, a new job – all can make the prospect of moving exciting, yet a long-distance job search can seem daunting.

If you’ve been circulating your resume using an out of town zip code, you may already be used to the sound of crickets rather than a ringing iPhone. Competition is keen amongst the natives; so much more so when you’re hailing from another region! When you have made the decision to start a long-distance job search, and are determined to see what your career path looks like elsewhere, 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 your long-distance job search. 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 groundwork for a new one.  

2. Know your industry

During your long-distance job search, start with trade journals, and then check out websites of companies you are considering in your new locality to learn about how long they have been in business, average annual earnings, company standing in the marketplace, and who’s in charge. Want an inside look at jobs and companies? Try or, which have 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 can be 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 info you 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 – an out-of-towner. 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 reestablish 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 during your long-distance job search. Social media can be a big help when checking out the local scene, identifying thriving businesses and strategically tagging upcoming events. 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 your next career move involves relocating, 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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