Job searching in current market conditions is challenging, but it can be even more difficult when your job search is out of state. Many employers question why they should hire someone from out of state when there are many in-state candidates to choose. This doesn’t mean it is impossible to find a job out of state, it just means you need a convincing answer and plenty of patience.
Here are things to consider before undertaking a long-distance job search:
- Sell your uniqueness: Long distance or not, if you have unique and desirable expertise, knowledge, and/or experience in a profession or industry, you may be the right candidate for the job. Be sure this is clearly communicated to prospective employers.
- Research different locations: If you’ve spotted a job posting you plan to pursue or you’ve targeted certain locations of interest, extensively research these to see if they would be a good fit professionally and personally.
- Factor in expenses: A long-distance job search could involve long-distance calls, faxes, and even travel if you land an interview. If you are fortunate to receive a job offer, make sure you understand what relocation expenses you will be responsible for, and budget for them.
- Use location criteria in job-search engines: If you’re targeting your job search to certain locations, use this criteria in job-search engines. Combining location with key words produces even more relevant results; for example, combine “San Diego” and “accounting.” The Career Transitions “Find Jobs” portal enables you to use a variety of search criteria.
- Visit desired job-search locations: In most cases, you will have at least one onsite interview prior to a job offer. However, technologies like Skype (audio/video conferencing) are reducing the number of onsite interviews required. If you travel to an interview, spend ample time getting a feel for the location before accepting a job offer. If you happen to be visiting a particular location of interest, explore whether you can line up interviews with prospective employers while in town.