Most people advise against relocating without a job lined up, especially with the current U.S. unemployment rate at 8.2 percent, but with some effort on the jobseeker’s part, finding that long-distance job while still on home turf is certainly doable.
There are numerous obstacles jobseekers’ face in this situation and it’s important to know what you’re up against. For entry-level candidates, it’s almost always likely an employer will go with someone local. That doesn’t mean your skills aren’t up to snuff, it just means there are plenty of local candidates to choose from. For a mid-career or senior-level professional, employers are more likely to pay attention because the candidate pool is smaller.
Then there are the issues of being readily available for interviews, relocation expenses, area adjustments, and lack of support in this new location you’re moving to. There are plenty of considerations to be made from a jobseeker’s and an employer’s perspective and what’s convenient for the employer usually wins out.
So now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about beating the odds and scoring yourself a job.
When job searching long distance, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of landing a job.
Get Your Head in the Game
No one ever said finding a job out of state was easy. It’s hard and stressful and this job search is something you need to prepare yourself for mentally. If you’re moving because you can’t land a job in your current city and you’re hoping a move will open some doors, take a look at these statistics of the unemployment rate in different states. Just in the month of July, unemployment rates rose in 44 states.
Visit the Area
Whether it’s a short drive or a flight across the country, go for a visit. If you’re from the east coast and are thinking about relocating to the west coast, it can be a bit of a culture shock. Schedule a trip and take a good look around. See what businesses are in the area and figure out if this is the best location for your career and your lifestyle.
Be Open in Your Cover Letter
Whether you’re definitely relocating at a specific time, or just thinking about it, let the employer know your reasons. If you’re relocating to be with your significant other, simply state it. Being marginally open to an employer in this aspect will make him feel more comfortable considering you as a candidate.
Use a Local Address (if Available)
If you have family or friends in the area where you’d like to relocate, ask them if it would be okay to use their address on your resume. You’re much more likely to get a call back if employers see a local address. Just be ready to field questions when an employer calls and asks you to come in for an interview the following day. This tactic may seem a little shady to you, but if an employer knows you have a place to stay in the area, they are more likely to consider you knowing you’ll temporarily have a roof over your head if you do get the job.
Pay Your Own Way
Assure an employer that you don’t need any help in terms of relocation assistance or travel reimbursement and that you’re happy to travel on your own dime. It sucks, but in this job market a jobseeker’s got to do what a jobseeker’s got to do!
Network in and Around Your Desired Location
It always helps to know someone who knows someone. Go on LinkedIn and see if any of your friends, family, extended family, and college alumni are in the area.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Wetfeet!
About the Author: This post was previously published on WetFeet.com and has been reprinted with permission. WetFeet provides career advice through our magazine, insider guide series, and website (WetFeet.com). Our mission is to equip job seekers with the advice, research, and inspiration to plan and achieve a successful career. Follow WetFeet on Twitter!