So, you’re looking for a new job. As you likely already know too well, getting noticed by the hiring manager can be a challenge. But, there’s one thing that makes it even tougher: Having a zip code at the top of your resume that’s miles and miles away from where you’re actually job searching.
There’s no sugarcoating it—hunting for an out of state job can prove difficult. However, much like every other aspect of your job search, it’s not impossible. You just need to know how to best approach the situation so that your current location is hardly a concern.
How exactly do you pull that off? Pack your bags—here are a few tips that will help you land that perfect job in the city of your dreams.
1. Be Upfront and Honest
You’ll likely hear from plenty of people that say you should simply remove your address from the top of your resume. After all, when’s the last time a potential employer has actually sent you something in the mail?
But, here’s the thing: Your current address is bound to come out eventually. Whether you need to coordinate with a different time zone for your phone screening or you have to travel to make it to your first in-person interview.
Honesty is the best policy. Be upfront about where you reside.
Once again, that age-old advice holds true: Honesty is the best policy. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to count against you. In fact, you can leverage it to your advantage. In your cover letter, express your excitement about the company and the city.
Enthusiasm and passion can’t be taught—so, make that clear, and you’re bound to make a great impression!
2. Network, Network, Network
When job hunting in a new city, your network will be a huge asset to you. Your contacts likely know people all over the country, and they might just be willing to connect you with someone who has some quality job leads!
First and foremost, make sure to loop your network in on the fact that you’re looking to relocate. Send personalized emails to targeted contacts, and ask them if they have any recommendations for places you could look for employment. More likely than not, if they have connections or “ins” to share, they’ll bring them that up at that time.
While your current network will pay dividends, you also need to roll up your sleeves and start building your new network. Search LinkedIn to find industry associations or young professionals groups in your new area. The more people you can start interacting with now, the better off you’ll be!
The bottom line is this: Don’t resign yourself to just having to scroll through endless job boards until you’re blurry-eyed. Enlist the help of your network and put yourself out there to meet new people. That’s oftentimes far more effective!
3. Be Proactive
Speaking of job boards, they can definitely be a big help when you’re unsure of how to get your search started in a brand new city. But, don’t trick yourself into thinking that they’re your only option.
Instead, be a little proactive. Roll up your sleeves and do some research about the area and some different companies that interest you. Once you have a list of some potential employers that seem like a good fit? Check if they have any open positions that you’re qualified for.
Knowledge is power, and you never know where conversations might lead.
If not? You don’t need to just write them off as a waste of time. Instead, send a cold email to introduce yourself, explain that you’re planning on moving, and then see if there’s someone who’d be willing to answer a few questions about the company, industry, or even the city.
No, you might not walk away with a job. But, knowledge is power, and you never really know where that conversation or relationship might lead!
4. Make the Trip (a Few Times!)
Even if you put those first three tips into action, job hunting from miles and miles away can still be challenging. It’s for that very reason that you should plan to make a few trips before you officially relocate.
In addition to giving yourself time to scope out neighborhoods and potential places to live, it’ll also give you the opportunity to meet some people, schedule meetings or interviews, and start building a support system there.
Maybe someone from that local LinkedIn group you joined will be willing to meet from coffee. Or, perhaps you can set up an informational interview with a contact from that company you cold emailed.
The more you can start to familiarize yourself with your new area—and the more readily available you can be for employers or connections who might be interested in meeting you—the better! Just because you’re states away doesn’t mean you need to remain totally anonymous.
As if moving wasn’t stressful enough, searching for an out of state job can present some unique challenges. While many people might think it’s as simple as eliminating your address from your resume (which we don’t recommend anyway), there’s a lot more involved than just that.
Use these four key tips to your advantage, and you’re sure to find the right opportunities, build a solid network, and hopefully score a brand new gig in your brand new city!