Want to pursue a job in a different city? It’s tricky, but not impossible to do so. The reason it’s tricky to land a job elsewhere is because many companies prefer to hire locally to avoid transportation and relocation expenses and the risks involved in hiring someone who may decide not to move after all. For those reasons, the easiest way to get hired in a new community is to appear like you already live there before you make the move.
To compete successfully against locals for out-of-town jobs, follow these steps:
1. Research target cities and select the one that best fits your lifestyle, career aspirations, comfort level, and income. Be sure to target a city that has lower unemployment in your field than your current community. You can conduct such research online, such as on Business News Daily, through your local library and by speaking with current or former residents of the target city.
2. Firm up your relocation plans including your move time frame, strategy, and budget.
3. Learn about companies in the target area through sites like Hoovers and Dun & Bradstreet. Research nonprofits through Charity Navigator or Charity Watch.
4. Sign up for geographic-specific job sites Quintessential Careers has an extensive list. You can also receive job alerts for openings in your target city through well known national job sites such as Monster, Career Builder and Indeed.
5. Establish a local address to use on application materials. Use a friend’s or family member’s address (with their permission) or rent a mail box at a local Mail Boxes Etc., or similar company. If you opt not to establish a local address, make it clear on your application materials when you will be moving to the city.
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6. Sign up to receive local news (such as a local newspaper’s daily e-news blasts and the local Business Journal) to learn what’s going on in the community and about target companies so you can speak knowledgeably. Also read the news sections of target company web sites.
7. Join locally-focused LinkedIn groups, particularly job seeking and networking groups and groups related to your field. Participate in discussions and establish mutually beneficial relationships with members. Great question to ask a local group: “I’m moving to [CITY] soon. What are some of the best restaurants?” Locals love to share their advice.
8. Look through your LinkedIn connections’ connections to find people who live in your target city and ask your connection to introduce you to them through a LinkedIn introduction. Learn about the city and the best places to live, work, etc.) Engage these locals in your job quest — they can be an enormous help.
9. Use the LinkedIn “Follow companies” feature to follow hundreds of target companies in your target city so you can learn about their new job postings and recent hires and departures. Simply type the city name into the Search Companies box, then check the “follow” button for each company in which you have an interest. Learn more.
10. Seek phone interviews to establish rapport with target companies. If they become well acquainted with you, they will be much more likely to arrange an in-person interview with you.
11. Visit your target city to make sure it is right for you. Set up informational interviews. Also try to set up job interviews. Include in your messaging specifically when you will be in town. Stay long enough to accommodate second interviews, but make sure your target companies know time is of the essence. Interviewing tips.
12. Take a class at a local college and make it clear on your application materials that you are doing so, even if it is through distance learning. By being enrolled, you can access the school’s career center resources. It also helps you sound more local.
13. Consider enlisting local recruiters in your search. Select someone who specializes in your field and your target city. Learn more.
14. Join local associations and organizations. Assist them with projects even if from a distance. For example, you could help them write articles for their web site or assist them in creating their membership directory by selling ads by phone or handling the design of the directory. Get to know members through LinkedIn groups, phone calls, etc. Particularly try to network with people within your target companies. Let everyone you interact with know you are seeking work in their city.
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15. Let it be known if you are not seeking interview transportation and relocation expenses. Some interested companies may willingly cover such expenses for highly qualified candidates in sought after positions, but most companies prefer to hire less costly local candidates. Quintessential Careers has a different and equally valid perspective about letting hiring companies know this information.
16. Consider temping or doing contract work in your new city while looking for work but resist taking a lower level position or a job that is not related to your field, lest you get pigeonholed into long-term work that you don’t want.
17. Change your city on your LinkedIn profile. To do so, go to Edit Profile and then click on the pencil icon next to your city at the top of your profile.
18. Most importantly, make it clear to hiring companies that you are:
- The most qualified candidate for the job
- Committed to making the move and sticking with their company
- Worth the risk and expense to hire you