If you’ve ever dreamed of moving out of state, but worried about how to find a job before you get there, have no fear.
People do it all the time! And you can too. But, before you start sending resumes all over the country, consider the following key points.
Address Location in the Cover Letter
Many employers see an out-of-town job application and immediately worry about logistics. What if you move here and hate it? What if your family hates it? What if the move takes much longer than expected?
Put the prospective employer’s mind at ease right off the bat by explaining, in your cover letter, that you and your family are eager to move to the area, it’s a planned event that will take place on a specific date or sooner.
This kind of information may seem like overkill, but it addresses the concerns head on. You’re telling the reader that you’re not moving just for the job (which can lead to the concerns listed above); you’re moving because that’s where you want to live.
By framing it this way, you’re removing the fear that some other factor, outside of the job and company, could hinder your success at the organization.
Address Interview Availability in the Cover Letter
Another concern that immediately arises with an out-of-town applicant is that of interview logistics. Will you be able to visit the location for an in-person interview? Are there only specific dates when you’ll be available?
Address these things head on too by stating that you’re available for a virtual (video) interview at any time and, should the organization feel you’re a strong match, you’re able to arrange for an in-person visit at their convenience. (If you happen to already have a trip planned, be sure to note the specific dates of your visit.)
Yes, this is a potentially expensive proposition! You may have to foot the bill for multiple trips, though some employers may offer to reimburse you. But you have to be ready to do what it takes to make it happen. Few people would be willing to hire someone without an in-person meeting. And, as a job seeker, you should want the same thing before accepting an offer.
Note the Relocation on Your Resume
In the resume itself, list your current city and state of residence, and then include the following in parenthesis: “Relocating to [LOCATION] on [DATE]”
This helps give the resume reviewer a heads-up regarding the situation. Without noting this, it’s possible that you’ll get a call to stop by for an interview later this afternoon, which obviously doesn’t work.
You don’t want to blindside them. By providing the information upfront, you’re letting the reviewer know that you’ll need a little leeway for making travel arrangements.
Also read: Get Ready to Work Abroad
Activate Your Network
Your network is, far and away, the most useful resource for launching an out-of-state job search. When someone you know is able to make a warm introduction for you, your chances of getting an interview increase dramatically—especially when you have an additional barrier to entry.
People are more willing to accept the inherent difficulties of hiring a non-local when they have someone they already trusting vouching for the applicant.
When you’re ready to make an out-of-state move, go visit some friends or family in the area. If you don’t know anyone there, schedule a trip and attend some professional networking events or meetups. Get to know people and tell them you’re planning on making a move and would appreciate any help they have to offer. You’ll be surprised how many people will jump at the opportunity to help bring new talent to their town—and possibly even their organization.
Launching a job search outside of your immediate area can be time-consuming and costly. Prepare for the difficulties, but don’t let them stop you. There’s no reason you have to feel stuck where you are simply because of employment. Opportunities exist everywhere! You just need to tap into them.