Moving is tough.

Finding the right job in another city or state can take forever. With a few quick pointers, you can speed up the process.  Consider the following scenario:

Ron is a graphic designer who wants to move from Chicago to Austin, TX for quality of life reasons.  He applies to positions online for years and doesn’t get any interest in his resume.  He calls numerous recruiters in the area to try and build relationships, but eventually grows frustrated when their communication tapers off and they become non-responsive. Finally, Ron changed his address on his resume to a family member who is local to Austin and got several bites.  He explained to the company that he is moving soon, and offers to fly down for an interview.  They take him up on the offer and it looks promising.

What happened?

Companies couldn’t find Ron’s resume because they were searching  Austin zip codes and area codes and he didn’t show up in their search.

When Ron applied to specific positions, he was likely being eliminated for several reasons:  a) The company was probably unwilling to pay for his relocation b) The company was probably afraid to hire him in case he didn’t really want to move.  c) There are likely numerous local candidates from which to choose so why would they take on the added headache?

Relocation Tips

To create a successful long distance job search, keep these tips in mind:

1.  Have a realistic plan for relocation.
Are you willing to pay for your relocation yourself?
Do you expect your new company to pay for your move?
Do you need to sell a house or break a lease?
What kind of timeframe are you considering?

2.  Understand why relocation is risky.
Companies are sometimes reluctant to hire someone who is planning to relocate.

Relocations are costly.

It may take the relocating employee longer to start in the new job.
The new employee may not like the location and quit.
The family may not adjust to the new location and then the new employee will leave.

3.  The company must be able to find you
Companies want to feel that you are interested in their location.

Use a local physical address of someone you know in the new location on your resume so it will come up on local recruiter’s search.

4.  Do your research.
Know the top industries and employers in the area.  Make it a point to follow the local news and keep up to date with the market.

5. Reach out and begin to create a network of people with whom you’ve built a relationship.
This could be as simple as picking up the phone and telling someone that you are looking to relocate to this job market and asking their opinion about the market.

Who are the best employers in your field?
Do they know anyone who is hiring?
What professional organizations are the most active in this geography?
Would they be willing to meet with you on your next trip to town?

6.  Take a trip to the area and set up interviews prior to your arrival to begin making the process a reality.

7.  Sometimes, it makes sense to make a quality of life decision and move.  Sometimes you can figure out work once you get there.  Make sure you’re realistic about pay scales and job availability.  Ask yourself if you are willing to take a pay cut for quality of life.