Finding a job is not easy. Finding a job a thousand miles away and moving into that city for that job is infinitely harder.
It can be an intimidating task, yes. But, like so many other things, you should first know what your challenges are, and then deal with them head on. For example, the first problem is competition. You are in competition against a surplus of applicants vying for only a few open positions. Given that situation, hiring managers are more likely to lean toward the local applicants when everything else among candidates is equal.
Your highest chance of landing a job relies on your ability to offer more than other people can.
Hiring managers have to review hundreds of resumes, and if there are unanswered questions, or concerns about your viability as a candidate, they’re likely to just move on to the next resume. Among other things, the goal is to address hiring manager concerns before they have a chance to hurt your candidacy.
The following are some other useful tips to help you as you look for a job in a new city.
Get a top-tier resume, and don’t be afraid to be creative
Like mentioned before, hiring managers are going to look at a lot of resumes, so yours needs to stand out. If you’re a top-tier candidate with a top-tier resume, it’s unlikely you’ll be overlooked. Also, do not be afraid to make creative resumes as they have a bonus impact on most hiring managers. There are thousands of free templates for creative resumes for you to use, and there are millions of ideas that you can copy from others if you can’t decide what to do on your own.
Aside from aesthetics, your resume should also be effective. Make it easy for the hiring team to understand your experience and your capabilities by including detailed points about your experience and your accomplishments. In addition, take the time to really vet the opportunities you’re applying for to make sure they’re a fit for your background.
One of the biggest questions candidates have is whether it’s worth putting their out-of-town address on their resume, or just leaving it off to prevent running into those biases. Just like a lot of other elements of the job search, there’s no absolute right answer here. It’s a big deal to some hiring managers, and a non-issue to others. Be aware, though, that there are dozens of ways for employers to know your current location, so if you do decide to leave your address off, it’s still best to address it somewhere in your application.
Make sure your online presence is up-to-date
Hiring managers nowadays look at online presence as a big factor in hiring employees. This is why you should also make sure yours is up-to-date and competitive. Make sure your online accounts, including LinkedIn, are duly updated. You’ll want to update your education, experience, and contact information if they’ve changed, and you’ll also want to consider adding that you’re available for employment.
Online job application platforms, web portfolio, social media, and the internet in general – this is where most hiring professionals now hang out. LinkedIn, for example, gives you the opportunity to connect with a company or a person within that company directly. Keep in mind that they are also looking for you online, so you better stand out from the crowd.
If you’re 100 percent committed to a new city, go ahead and update that as well—it shows you’re serious about the move and ready to embrace being a local. Plus, when hiring managers are searching for job applicants, your name would start showing up in the proper city.
Be available, or at least, accessible
Interviews, screenings, and other tests that require you to show up to land a job are big challenges. It’s best if you include in your cover letter that you are moving out to the new city so that they can make special cases for you.
Include a line in your cover letter to address that you’re looking to relocate to the area. If you have a set date that you’re doing so, include that information as well. If you’re applying via an online application system, and there’s no area to address this, include it somewhere within your resume. As you start to talk to recruiters, bring up relocation casually towards the end of your call if they don’t mention it first. Let them know what your plans are and what your timeline is, so they can plan and make decisions accordingly.
After that, make yourself accessible. Whether it’s a time difference, travel restrictions, or cost, it’s significantly more difficult to conduct an interview with a remote applicant. If at all possible, make the suggestion to conduct the first (or second) interview via phone and/or video. It’s a common process today, and most employers are accommodating enough as long as you can work with their schedule.
In the long run, you should prepare for a trip to the new area before you accept a role to meet the team and see the office. This is to ensure that you’re making the best choice, especially if you’re relocating just for the position.
When you are on the road to getting a job, you have to make sure you know your options. If you work in a niche industry, you’d want to start your online search there. However, if your skills are broad enough and you could work in multiple fields or positions, try some more diverse online searches.
Look for lists of the largest employers in the city, as well as workplaces that are known as the best places to work in town.
It is also a good practice if you can research the local Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Association and other types of betterment organizations. Members of these groups tend to be community leaders and often have the inside scoop on which companies are hiring, even if the posting isn’t public yet. By learning the names and associations of these individuals, you could have a better understanding of who you should get to know when you arrive in person and what’s happening in town.
When you’ve done enough research, you can now start creating a list of employers you want to keep on your “Watch List.” Your Watch List should consist of organizations you want to reach out to after you move or that you want to keep an eye on for possible job postings. Don’t forget to include surrounding communities in your keyword search. There might be a great employer just one town over who doesn’t show up when you did your initial search.