In a difficult job market, one of the first things many look to do is expand their job search geographically. They feel that they should start applying to jobs ‘everywhere’, and if they are able to secure an interview, they will figure it out at that point. Searching for a job outside of your specific geographic location is certainly acceptable, but one must have a plan. If you try to be everywhere at once, it is hard to get anywhere. Some things to consider: When you apply for a job in a particular area of the country, do you actually want to live there? Does your family? Are you willing to balance the potential gain from the new job with the risks inherent in such a major move?
Make a plan. Research the areas where you may want to live and the current and future employment prospects for those in your profession and industry. Focus on those areas that have the right balance for you and your family.
If you are called for an interview, can you actually get out there? As many of have experienced, the interview process in our own geographic area can include multiple steps over the course of several days, weeks or months. This will very likely be similar anywhere else in the country. You will be asked to come in for an interview as soon as possible. Can you afford the transportation costs (last minute plan fight, car rental, etc.)? If the first interview goes well, will you be able to get out there again for the next steps?
Persons who live in the immediate area are more likely to be called, with candidate experience/education level being equal. Do you have family/close friends in the area that you can list as an address at the top of your resume? It will probably be clear to the company that you do not currently live in the location but will help to alleviate some concerns when you can show that you have a place to live/ settle into quickly if accepted for the position.
Try to book interviews for a certain week every month. You can then schedule other interviews in that city for the same week. Take advantage of the resources of that city. Certain cities and organizations in those cities want professional families to move to town and will offer help in housing incentives and job placement.
It is a challenge to search for a job long distance but not impossible. If you already have a residence in the location you would like to work, use that on your resume. It will help to increase your chances of a call back. If an employer is interested in interviewing you, you must be available to see them in person within a reasonable time frame. This can become costly if it involves airfare. The number of companies that will pay travel expenses for an interview is rare and mostly limited to executive level positions. When you already living in the region where you would like to work, it becomes less challenging. You are now available to interview in a timely matter. There are less question marks related to your serious interest in the position and commitment to moving, just for this opportunity. The ability to leave a job and move to a region in hopes of finding a new job must be balanced with a person’s current financial and family situation. Are you in the position to pay for a move and possibly lose months of income before the new job is secured?
About the Author: Lavie Margolin is a New York-based Career Coach and the author of Lion Cub Job Search: Practical Job Search Assistance for Practical Job Seekers. To learn more, go to Lavie’s website, Lion Cub Job Search:www.Lioncubjobsearch.com