When it comes to moving long distance, the concept of earning a fresh start can often go hand in hand with the efforts required—from having to start from a clean slate in the arena of your social life, to learning the ins and outs of what is usually an entirely new city, it almost goes without saying that long distance moves require a series of challenges. However, what about covering the most important aspect of a new location of all—finding a job that suits your needs, while remaining in line with your current (and long term) career goals?
Finding a suitable position for yourself in the city you wish to move to certainly isn’t impossible, however. Although it is important to keep in mind that the challenges of a job search will likely be amplified by the added challenge of managing your application and interview processes from a distance, you should still avoid worrying too much over the distance seeming impossible. For the most part, your efforts will be focused on honing an up to date resume and sending out well-timed emails, so your area of residence is far from the most major factor involved in the process.
So what are some smart measures that you can take in order to hone your job hunting skills when shooting for long distance positions in a new city? Below, we’ve compiled a roundup of some of the more useful tips and strategies you can use to ensure that your long distance job search goes as smoothly (and successfully) as possible.
Assess any and all job options
Making the focus of your job hunt a particular city (rather than particularly ideal position) can prove to be a double edged sword. While this will mean you’ll have more options to choose from, it will still be important that you carefully review each and every position that has a chance of being a good fit for you. As you’ll be applying from far away, it’s important to keep as many potential options open as possible. You never truly know whether a long distance position will pan out to be a good fit or not, so you don’t want to put all your eggs into one preemptive basket.
Express the nature of your intent to relocate
When reaching out to prospective employers, it is worth mentioning to them that you’re intending to relocate to their headquartered city in the long term. For some employers, it can be confusing (or seem like a less than sincere application) when an applicant inexplicably resides far away without explanation. If there’s a reasonable opportunity, convey your desire to relocate to the company’s current city, perhaps in your cover letter or initial email correspondence.
Recent college graduate? Reach out to your campus career center
You might be surprised to find out that your college campus’s career center can actually offer a range of genuinely helpful advice when making your way out into the field (especially if you’re shooting for the beginnings of an entry level position). Consulting with a representative of your alum’s career center and expressing an intent to relocate can provide you with some interesting results, and it’s always a good idea to look into.
Know as much as you can about your destination
While it can almost go without saying, you won’t want to touch down in a new city that you know next to no information about. If possible, taking a trip or brief vacation to your city of choice can prove highly advantageous in getting a feel for what to expect, though if not a viable option, simply doing a substantive amount of research on your desired destination can be very helpful in the long run as well.
Staffing agents and recruiters excel at long distance
While it may not always be worth the additional effort to get a recruiter involved when applying for jobs in your field around town, these types of agents and agencies can prove to provide some advantageous abilities when reaching out to companies in other major cities. While many companies in a different city may not know of you, there’s still a good chance they may have a decent working relationship with a number of local recruiters in your town, and that can go a long way.
Keep your options more open than usual
It’s more important than you would expect to be flexible when applying for jobs out of city or out of state. Getting your foot in the door in a new locale tends to be more challenging than your average job search. So, it’s generally going to be worth the effort to branch out a little bit more with prospective positions than you normally would. The more the merrier!
Avoid burning bridges
Successful migration across the country in regards to your career means that you’ll need to make all the friends you can get. Sometimes, you’ll encounter networking opportunities in the most unlikely of places, so you’ll definitely want to avoid cutting off contact with any professional peers, whether they’re in your current city or friends from far away.
Network, network, network
The importance of who you know cannot be overstated when it comes to traveling toward new horizons. Any and all networking opportunities in the months leading up to your desired migration should be emphasized as much as possible. When in doubt, you should take the initiative and network out.
Expect the unexpected
You never know what to ultimately expect when it comes to alternative time zones, company cultures, and more. When you’re bracing yourself for the interview processes of a new city, try to keep your schedule (and your expectations) as open as possible along the way. You will not want to get caught unprepared when a potential employer calls you for a phone interview.
Linkedin is your friend
Social media will provide a range of additional opportunities for you. Essentially, any and all professional outlets that you can take advantage of will prove to be even more effective when applying outside of your comfort zone. Try and spend more time than you normally would cultivating social media profiles during your long distance search. Examples of some of the most effective social media channels to spend your time on can include Linkedin and similar professional networks. Since they don’t know of you locally, there’s a significantly higher chance that your employers-to-be will utilize these profiles to gain a clearer perspective on you.