Long Distance Job-Search Tips

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: August 21, 2008 - 2:59 PM

Finding a job out of town can be a big challenge; meet that challenge with some strategies that have worked for others.

 

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If you’re looking for a job in a distant city, you face an extra challenge: How do you convince employers to interview you when there are plenty of local applicants to choose from?

Challenging, yes. Impossible, no.

You can make a long-distance job search work. All it takes is some planning and creative effort.

Here are four ways that others have found work in far-off places. What can you learn from their stories?


1) Borrow a local address
If your resume and cover letters show an out-of-state address, it can count against you -- many employers will look only at local candidates because they don’t want to deal with relocation costs and related factors.

That’s what Jeff Esposito found.

“I began my search by quitting my job in New York and moving back with my parents in New Jersey, to find a position closer to my girlfriend in Boston,” he says.

After a fruitless month applying for out-of-state jobs, Esposito changed course by changing his address. “I replaced the NJ address on my resume with my girlfriend’s in Boston. This increased the number of calls that I received.”

Questions: Who do you know in or near where you want to work? Could you live with them temporarily should you need to relocate? If so, consider using their address on your resume and cover letters. Keep your existing cell phone number, however, unless you trust others to answer phone calls professionally for you.

 

2) Take a trip to your destination city
Most employers are unwilling to fly candidates in for job interviews. Why not solve this problem for them?

If you can’t use a local address, be up-front in your cover letter and say that you will be in town on certain days and would like to come in for an interview.

This worked for Taryn Mickus.

“I was living in Washington, DC a few years ago and searching for jobs in New York City,” she says. “I called all of the companies I wanted to interview with and told them I would be in town for only two days and would really like to meet with someone.”

Giving employers a small window of opportunity can nudge them into action because they won’t want to miss out on talking to you. And it gives them another reason to pull your resume out of the pile and examine your qualifications anew.

After setting a date to be in town and asking to meet employers, Mickus got enough interviews to land three job offers in six weeks … and was hired by a NYC public relations firm.

Questions: If you want to work in another city, plan a trip there to meet potential employers. Try to arrange phone interviews before you go, so you can maximize your results by holding second- and third-round interviews in person, after you arrive.

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