Dear Matt: I've been considering moving to Minnesota to find a new job but it seems most companies don't want to hire someone from out-state. Do you have any tips on how to create an out-of-state job search?
Matt: I've talked to many recruiters who are actively recruiting - and many of the candidates applying are from out of state - so recruiters are well-versed and prepared to consider out-of-state applicants. The key is finding a way to get noticed and the most effective way to do that is through the many online tools available to job seekers.
"Without question, your best friend as a long-distance job seeker is the Internet and access to online resources and social networking sites," said Kathy Northamer, district president of Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group (rhi.com/thecreativegroup.com).
Develop a long-distance job search by using these tips, said Northamer:
Take advantage of the Internet. The Internet allows you to search companies and provides the same resources and access as it does to local candidates. The first step involves finding the jobs and companies you would like to pursue.
Utilize social networking. Use LinkedIn and Facebook to connect with professionals in your industry and region. Make sure your information showcases your expertise, skills and specialties.
Maximize travel time. Prior to a visit to your new city, pre-book as many interviews as possible with professionals to whom you've been referred. Even consider informational interviews to expand your network, increase your knowledge of a particular industry and build your confidence.
Use a recruiter. Contact a nationwide staffing or recruiting firm that has offices in both your current residence and your hometown. Staffing services that specialize in industry-specific positions have vast networks throughout the profession and may know of appropriate opportunities.
Michelle Beck-Howard, senior human resource specialist at Administaff (administaff.com), also points out that with such a high unemployment rate, employers do not need to offer additional compensation, such as a signing bonus or relocation assistance, to find qualified candidates. Don't automatically assume that compensation will - or won't be - available because you're moving, but it's certainly something to openly discuss in the process.
Also, have a backup plan. "Be realistic enough to consider what you'll do if things don't work out exactly as planned," said Northamer. "Build as much flexibility as possible into your job search by allowing for multiple options. If it takes longer than expected, consider temporary assignments in your new location. Project work can not only augment your budget but also allow you to build new skills and learn firsthand about the culture of a variety of companies. It can also lead to long-term job opportunities as well."