- Benefits and challenges of applying for out-of-state positions
- How to address the location issue with recruiters
- Where to find the right job for you
You might seek a job in another state for various reasons. Maybe you’re following family or perhaps you need a change of scenery. In some cases, your dream gig might be more readily available elsewhere. For example, urban centers like New York City, Los Angeles, or Miami often present opportunities you won’t find in smaller towns.
Whatever the reason, finding a job in another state presents some hurdles. Human resources professionals may prioritize local candidates over those living farther afield if the company doesn’t want to pay relocation costs, for instance. That said, getting a job from afar isn’t impossible. There are a few tricks you can follow to make it easier!
Our guide explains some of the challenges you’ll face as an out-of-state job seeker and provides actionable tips on how to overcome these hurdles so you can ensure a successful search.
Applying to out-of-state jobs presents some challenges — but first, let’s talk about the positives. One pro is the fact that opening yourself up to jobs beyond your immediate location provides more opportunities. When you cast a wider net, the number of job openings will immediately increase.
Applying to jobs in more geographically diverse areas will also allow you to pursue opportunities that may not be available in your current location. If you want to work in TV or film, for instance, a big city like Los Angeles will have greater opportunities. Alternatively, let’s say you want an outdoorsy job — like, working in a national park — unless you have a national park at your front door, you will definitely need to relocate.
Benefits aside, applying to out-of-state jobs presents a few challenges. Some recruiters shy away from out-of-state candidates because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of a remote interview process or relocating people from afar. There are also basic logistical concerns, including the fact that you won’t be readily available for last-minute, in-person job interviews.
This isn’t meant to deter you; it’s simply to ensure you’re aware of the potential hurdles you’ll face when job hunting from another state. Educating yourself in advance allows you to prepare to tackle these hurdles and overcome them so you can secure your dream gig.
Use the following tips below to improve your odds of conquering the job market from afar.
Simply deciding to move out of state will leave you with so many options (in terms of both location and job choice) that you won’t know where to start. Clearly define what you’re looking for before you start searching.
Is there a certain type of job you want? If you’re in construction and want to work on high-rise buildings, you’ll need to move to a city where that kind of construction is prevalent, such asChicago or New York. Alternatively, is there a certain place you’ve always wanted to live? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of being in the Big Apple and want to center your job hunt accordingly.
It’s critical to tailor your resume and cover letter to the position for which you’re applying. This applies even if you’re looking for a job based on location alone. If you want to move to Wichita, Kansas, for instance, don’t just apply to the jobs you find in Wichita. Take time to think about which positions will further your overall career goals regardless of locale.
Let’s say you’re starting college and looking for a job on the side. Your life’s dream is to work as a fashion merchandiser and you’re planning to study marketing and fashion design in school. Instead of getting a side gig as a waitress, consider looking for a part-time gig at a local boutique. Check out these cover letter and resume writing tips for help.
Once you’ve narrowed things down in terms of location and/or job preference, make a list of fitting companies that match your criteria. Taking the example above, you might search for boutiques in the area where you hope to move. Sending personalized cover letters and resumes tailored to each boutique is a great first step.
If there is a company that you are really interested in working for, make yourself available for an informational interview — even if they don’t have any current openings. Make a good impression so you’ll be first on the recruiter’s to-call list when something does open up.
Trying to hide the fact that you’re out of state can backfire if the recruiter calls on you for an in-person interview. If you have to explain that you’re located elsewhere, they might think you concealed your residence. Any hint of dishonesty can quickly land your job application in the reject pile.
A standard resume and cover letter will contain your contact details, including your current city and state. Leaving this blank can raise questions or, worse, red flags. What should you fill in that is honest but doesn’t turn off potential employers?
In place of your current address, you might include something like “[First Name Last Name] will be relocating to Los Angeles, California, in August 2021.” This way, you’re making it clear that you aren’t there now but you plan to be — and you’ve also clarified the question of a potential start date.
Recruiters may shy away from pursuing long-distance candidates, especially if they think that you expect them to pay for your relocation costs. Be open and honest about your reasons for job-hunting in the given location. The goal is to address and eliminate any practical hurdles that might make a recruiter think your resume is too complicated.
If you can cover your relocation costs, let the recruiter know. If you’ll be in the given location in the near future for alternate reasons, flag this and mention that you’d be happy to meet for an in-person interview then (following initial Skype chats or phone calls, as needed).
If you know people in the area where you hope to move, let them know that you’re hunting for a job. Friends, family members, and old colleagues are all worth consulting. If you’re currently employed and have given notice at your job, you can also ask current bosses and co-workers for possible connections.
Another option is to scour your LinkedIn network for local connections. Don’t have a LinkedIn account? Creating a profile is a great way for potential employers to get a quick digital snapshot of who you are, even from afar. You can also use LinkedIn to connect with local hiring managers.
People move for all kinds of reasons. Maybe you have the perfect gig but want to change locations for personal reasons, like a partner relocating for their job. Before you start looking for a new job, talk to your current employer about the possibility of keeping your position on a remote basis.
Telecommuting is quickly becoming the norm, and modern teleconferencing equipment, project management software, and chat apps make it easier than ever for teams to collaborate remotely. Alternatively, your employer may have offices or subsidiaries in your target location where you could get a position.
Let’s say you don’t have a network you can activate in your desired new city and you can’t secure any opportunities through your current employer. Don’t stress. The internet is a fantastic resource for finding a job. Most search engines allow you to filter options based on location and industry.
Follow the other applicable tips described above — like addressing the location issue head on, then tailoring your resume and cover letter to the job for which you’re applying. You’ll still have a great chance of getting a job offer in another state, no personal connections needed.
Joblist offers a comprehensive database of job opportunities throughout the United States. You can search based on location and industry, allowing for an efficient and easy job hunt. With our career advice blog, we also offer resources to help take the stress out of job searching.
Are you ready to advance your career and find a job in a different state? Start your search now.