13 Jan 5 Mistakes Job Seekers Make When Looking For Jobs In Another City
If you are having difficulty landing a job in a different area from where you live, troubleshoot your job search. Don’t assume that it’s harder to get hired if you live elsewhere. Most of the job search process is done virtually, such as researching companies, applying to specific job listings, and some, if not all, job interviews. Even networking is mostly done virtually these days, via video or phone calls, social media and emails. You can learn about a geography and establish a presence there without necessarily living there.
Therefore, if you’re serious about landing a job in a different city from where you are now, don’t let the distance stop you. Start your job search, taking advantage of the many virtual tools at your disposal. That said, there are job search strategies specific to landing a job search in another location (you can see 10 tips here).
In addition, you want to avoid these five common mistakes job seekers make when looking for a job in another city:
1 – Overlooking your current employer as a possible option
If you’re employed, your current employer should always be considered an option, and that includes when you’re relocating away from the employer. Explore a remote option. Transition your status to consultant, if they’re adamant that all employees must reside within the home state. Ask if there are subsidiaries of the company where you can transfer. Even if you have already tried this before and your employer declined before, ask again — you might be able to renegotiate.
2 – Not casting a wide-enough net for employers
If your new target location has less diversity of employers – say, only one Fortune 500 company – you’ll have to expand your perspective on possible employment. Look at the Fortune 1000. Consider a regional office of a larger company. Look at smaller companies – Inc magazine profiles the fastest-growing private companies, and some of these are not yet household names but show impressive numbers. Consider non-profits and municipal agencies to broaden your search outside of the private sector.
3 – Not having – or sharing – your relocation plan
As a job seeker coming from the outside, employers worry that you’re going to ask for relocation reimbursement. Or that you won’t be available right away. Or that you don’t really know the area, aren’t really committed and could leave if you get here and things don’t match your plans. These are reasonable worries for employers because hiring costs time, energy and money (recruiter fees or simply opportunity cost of their internal recruiters hiring you instead of someone else). Employers don’t want to risk or waste their resources on an outside candidate who may not work out. Therefore, you have to anticipate these objections and counter them before they become an issue. Let employers know you already have relocation covered (if you are indeed not planning to negotiate for this). Share your start date. Share your excitement for the new area. If you sound like an insider, you make it easier for prospective employers to say Yes.
4 – Relying on general, instead of local resources
While I mentioned that your research can be done virtually, it doesn’t mean relying on national or general resources. Tap local colleges, the area chamber of commerce and local chapters of alumni and professional associations for the most relevant and updated news, trends and leads. You want to know what industries are thriving, which specific companies or organizations are growing and hiring and what local initiatives might be happening that impact investments made into the area.
5 – Limiting your networking to people you KNOW are connected to the area
People hire people, so all job searches should focus on reaching out to people for information, leads and openings. For a location-specific job search, don’t limit the people you network with to the ones you are sure are connected to that location. We can never know who or what people know – your next-door neighbor may have grown up in your new target location, may have studied or worked there, or may have a best friend who is still there. Check your entire network, not just the obvious suspects or people you can remember. Do a search on LinkedIn for your connections and your target city or state as a keyword, not just location – this way, you catch people who might have moved away.
Even though much of the job search can be done virtually, it helps to make yourself available in the new location.
With an increasing amount of work being done virtually, living in the same city as your job is becoming more optional. However, that doesn’t mean that employers won’t prioritize candidates who are local (see number 3 for all the reasons). If you can get to your new location, it helps to let employers know you’ll be there. They may want to meet live and may put you on their schedule since they know you aren’t there all the time. At the very least, it shows that you are serious about the location. Even if you don’t meet live, telling employers you’re coming over is another point of contact and keeps you top of mind.