When I was younger, I had dreams of moving to New York City or even Europe to work. But the hard part about moving is you need a job in the new city.
I often speak with women who have dreams of moving to another city, but they need a job first before they will move. It is true that it is a lot harder to find a job in a city you don’t live in but it can be done!
The one thing you have to be aware of (and you probably already know) is that when an employer sees an address that isn’t near their location on your resume, most likely it will get thrown in the trash.
Why is this? Because the employer doesn’t want to pay for your travel expenses and they probably think you aren’t that serious about moving if you haven’t moved yet. Why would they start down the interview process only to hear at the end that you don’t really want to move? I can see the employers perspective, and you should too.
So you have to make it easy for them and convince them that you really, really want to live there. And you can’t really do this just online. You have to speak to them.
The key really is that you can’t rely on online applications to apply to a job in a different city. I have never seen this be successful unless you lie and put a different address on your resume. I have seen that done and my friend was offered an interview….the next day! She had to hurry and book a flight (with her own money) to fly to the city for interviews. She also had to lie during the interview telling them she already lived there. Unfortunately, she didn’t even get the job. I am not sure if it was because they caught her in the lie or because they found someone else, but she was out a lot of money and was devastated afterward.
I do not recommend lying on your resume. So if you need a job in a new city, I want to share some ways you can find a job – while still telling the truth about where you live.
Strategy #1: Book a “Networking Vacation”
Go to the new city and do at least 3 informational interviews while you are there. Attend as many networking events as you can. Meet as many people as possible while you are there. Get as many business cards as possible and then reach out to them to do informational interviews over the phone when you return. Walk into the companies and meet people in person while you are there. Have your resume handy and be ready to do informational interviews on the spot.
Note this isn’t a fun vacation. You are going to have to hustle, so no goofing off and having fun with your friends in a new city. Remember you need a job, you are strictly there for networking only. Meet people in a coffee shop or at the train station. You can even go to a bar and be social. Just talk to as many people as possible and learn more about what they do! Once they get to know you personally and know your desires to move there, things will start happening!
Strategy #2: Target the Location on LinkedIn
One of the first places to visit when you need a job is LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn to see if you know people who live (or previously lived) in the city you want to work at. If you don’t already know people, you can join locally-focused LinkedIn groups and send messages to people in that group. One networking group that is in almost every location of the U.S. is “Network After Work.”
You can also start researching companies in the city to target on LinkedIn and identify key people to contact by using the LinkedIn “Follow Companies” feature.
You don’t have to network with only people in the career field you want. Anyone you can speak with in that location is a positive connection. They key is to do as many phone informational interviews as possible.
Strategy #3: Start Dialing
Start calling companies you want to work at in the location you want to move to. Ask for the department you want to work in and if you get a receptionist, you can let them know you want to do a short 15-minute informational interview with someone in that department. This might sound crazy and scary but you never know who you might get connected to and who might need a 15-minute break from what they are working on. You could be the perfect person to help them get that job completed!
Be prepared, you might have an on the spot interview and also don’t get frustrated when you don’t have success with this networking strategy every single time. You will hear a lot of no’s but that’s what makes the yes’s so much better!
I also recommend targeting larger companies, because they tend to have more experience with relocation.
Strategy #4: Pretend Like You Live There
Read everything you can about the city. Open the newspaper. Subscribe to magazines. Put the photo of the location on your fridge. Envision yourself there. Make a Pinterest board about all of the exciting things you want to do when you live there. Start researching places to live and restaurants to eat at. Start saying “When I move there.” instead of “If I move there.” Learn as much as you can about the city to which you wish to relocate. Learn the city’s cost of living, climate, and cultural offerings.
Decide right now when you will make the move, write down this goal and tell a friend. Pretend like you live there. Actually, start feeling like you live there and you have a job. Start making steps toward actually moving. Start thinking about packing up and what moving company you will use. By doing this, you are telling your brain that this will happen and you will be more aware of opportunities you may not have noticed before.
As you might have noticed, some of these strategies may require you to get out of your comfort zone. This is necessary because if you want different results, you have to do something different, right? So what are you waiting for? Pick one of these strategies today and you will be packing your bags in no time!
So, where are you moving?
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