Two readers asked related questions…
I’m considering relocating to a new city. I’m worried that a hiring manager may not look at my résumé because I’m not located in the area of the job. Do you have any tips on how I should address relocating in my cover letter, to be sure that hiring managers will look at my résumé?
I want to move to California or Washington from Ohio state because of cold weather. I’m still working in Ohio. Can you tell me please the starting pay rate over there?
Dear, Going the Distance,
Both of you are facing exciting new starts. I don’t want to be a wet blanket, but be sure to do extensive research before any big move. Hiring managers may be afraid you’ll bail and run “home” with your tail between your legs at the first sign of regret in your new job /city/state. Don’t confirm their fears by being uninformed.
If you are in a specialized vocation, make sure that there are job opportunities for you in the new city. For a broad overview of average state wages, you may find the Bureau of Labor Statistics website helpful, though the data is from May 2012. Click on the state you wish to research, then narrow your search by occupational field to view median wages. Some states may have more recent data, such as California’s Employment Development Department. You can enter a job title, and even narrow your search by county.
Once you’ve settled on one or two target areas, search for those geographic regions on the online job boards, such as CareerBuilder, Indeed, SimplyHired, and Monster.com. Be sure to Google for regional resources as well. While local newspaper “help wanted” ads may be going the way of the dinosaur, Craigslist, for instance, is popular with employers and job seekers in some areas of the country, but not in others. Check any of your LinkedIn contacts as well as your friends and acquaintances at clubs, church, or the gym, to see if you can find a connection with anyone in the area to which you’ll be moving. It’s always helpful to use an introduction to get your foot in the door.
As a general rule, entry-level jobs can be filled with locals, so your chances for landing a long-distance interview for those types of jobs are slim. For higher-level positions, most employers will consider a non-local if they have the specific skill set they need. For specific tips on crafting your cover letter and résumé for your out-of-town job search, check out one of my past blog posts, Job Search Out of State. In addition to mentioning your moving timetable and the fact that you are relocating on your own dime in your cover letter, offer to make yourself available for a first interview via phone or Skype. Be prepared to foot the bill for a pricey, last-minute plane ticket if they request a second interview.
Consider applying with a temporary staffing company in your future city, such as The Select Family of Staffing Companies. You may be able to sample different local companies, get to know the area, and network until you find a permanent position.
Readers: Have you ever applied for – and landed – a job across the state or across the country? Share your success story!
Do you have a question for Anita Clew? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.
Subscribe to receive weekly emails with career tips and advice for job seekers, employed people, and managers and supervisors.