Dear Matt: My husband was transferred out of state for his job and now I need a new job in a new state, and fast. What tips do you have for finding a job out of state?
Matt says: When Jen Guyer-Wood’s husband took a new job that quickly moved them from Mankato to Louisville, Ky., she was forced into serious out-of-state job search mode. Her main goal was to stay in higher education, where she has worked since 1997, but even with a background in career development, she knew this job search was going to require her to step out of her comfort zone.
A self-proclaimed introvert, here are Guyer-Wood’s tips for out-of-state job search success — and what she did to get hired as the Associate Director of Career Services at a university in the Louisville area:
1. People genuinely want to help. Before the move, Guyer-Wood tapped her higher education connections in Mankato and throughout the country, many of whom had connections in Louisville. She quickly contacted those leads, making sure she told the contact how they were recommended, helping to break the ice in the process.
2. Industry events and professional organizations are a goldmine. Guyer-Wood reached out to the Louisville chapter of an organization she was once the president of in Minnesota. She attended an event with that chapter in Louisville and volunteered to work the registration booth — making sure she got to meet almost everyone who came through. By the time the event was over, everyone knew about the woman from Minnesota looking for a job. “The two days of that conference were the most productive in my entire job search,” she said.
3. End each meeting with one question. Every time she met someone, Guyer-Wood would close with this: “Is there anyone else you think I should talk to?”
4. Applying for jobs isn’t enough. Many of Guyer-Wood’s connections said that HR in their organizations might miss qualified applicants in the screening process. They said the best move was to meet people who could hire her and then send the résumé directly to them.
5. LinkedIn works. Guyer-Wood changed her LinkedIn headline to read “Currently seeking employment in Louisville, Kentucky.” A recruiter saw that, contacted her, she applied, interviewed, and got hired.
Guyer-Wood summed it all up: “I networked like crazy and met with around 40 people individually. I looked at job boards and applied online and I also researched organizations and looked directly on their career pages. I think I got noticed by having a complete LinkedIn profile, by attending relevant events, and by setting up meetings. I made sure to have my résumé available and followed up every connection with a thank you note or email.”
GOT A CAREER QUESTION FOR MATT? E-MAIL ASKMATT@STARTRIBUNE.COM