Relocating? 4 Guidelines for Performing a Long-Distance Job Search

As we know, technology (notably, the Internet) has made job seeking considerably easier in recent times. The term, “pounding the pavement” has become all but obsolete; and while face-to-face networking is still recommended in many fields, the concept of visiting company after company to drop off your resume in search of employment is deemed practically archaic. These days, you can spend a few minutes to several hours completing applications and submitting resumes online from the comfort of your own home.

Nevertheless, moving to a distant area, especially without a job lined up ahead of time, can be a daunting task; and landing quality employment from a remote location certainly comes with its share of challenges. Yet, if you are planning to relocate to another state, for instance, the Internet proves to be your most valuable source for the research and application process.

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Here are some additional and equally valuable strategies which can help secure the job of your choice in the midst of relocating:

1.  Research the area

Before you dive right into your job search, research the location to discover the types of businesses and industries in the area. Be sure to explore within your specific field of expertise. While examining, study the companies you would most like to work for and keep a list. Do your best to learn what they seek in their employees, as well as any other information you can glean (company culture, benefits, etc.), so that you will be prepared if you are offered an interview.

2.  What to leave on/off on your resume

Some employers and recruiters may become disconcerted at the sight of applications with out-of-area addresses on them. Yet, believe it or not, a physical address is not always necessary on your resume, as long as you have included your email and phone number(s). However, be aware that you should be prepared to discuss your relocation plans during the interview itself. Some applicants who have a close friend or family member in the prospective area opt to use that address, but they must be prepared to move quickly if and when they are presented with the opportunity to interview. This is often not recommended since the employer does not know you are applying long-distance, and may expect you to meet with them immediately. It’s best to be up-front, and if you simply must put some kind of address on your resume, you can qualify it with “Relocating to …” in bold next to your current home address, so that the recruiter will recognize your intent.

3.  The cover letter

Here is your opportunity to really “sell yourself” as well as address your purpose for relocating to the new area. You should certainly provide a reason for your relocation, however there is no need to get into extreme detail. A line such as “family reasons”, for instance, is sufficient.  Also, remember that cover letters should be relatively short, preferably one page, but powerful enough to effectively convince a prospective employer of your potential value to their company. In other words, while mentioning certain information regarding your relocation is recommended, the letter itself should be focused on your skills, talents, and expertise.

4.  Visit and meet

If financially possible, plan a trip to the new location. Then let potential employers know when you will be in the area, and that you would like to set up a time to meet with them. This will indicate that you are serious about the move, and willing to do what it takes to make it happen. Long distance job hunting can be quite challenging for many reasons, but there are certainly ways to achieve your goal in a timely manner. If you’re lucky, you may encounter a company that opts for a phone interview; and nowadays, virtual meetings via Skype, etc. have become considerably more common. Of course, these options can reduce a great deal of stress on the part of the candidate. Yet, as a long-distance job seeker, it is still vital to ensure that you are prepared to take time off of your current job, as well have enough money set aside for last-minute traveling, should you be presented with an interview.

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From your initial research and application to coordinating a job interview, the key to effectively seeking work amidst relocation involves insight, simplicity in strategy, and proper planning.

Further Reading: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Jobs that Require Travel


Fred Coon, CEO

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