|  March 11, 2013

Tips for applying for jobs in another city

Big news – we’re making the big move from San Francisco to NYC after one wonderful year. It’s really exciting but also bittersweet since we’ve absolutely loved living here.

Thinking about my own move and talking to many of my clients who are looking to make big moves got me thinking about applying for jobs in another city. The job search can be complicated enough but applying for jobs in another location adds a whole other element. Combine that with all of the logistics of moving, and you probably have your hands full!  Here are my quick tips…

applying for jobs in another city

Take your current address off your resume

Some people out there might disagree with me on this one, but I think it’s important. I’m not advocating being dishonest but I am saying “don’t advertise it”. Many jobs won’t be looking to relocate you. That’s expected. For jobs that have tons of applicants, it’s possible that a recruiter will opt for a local candidate since it will be easier to get them through the recruiting process.

However, if you are planning to relocate on your own, you don’t want to end up in the no pile based on your location. When you have your first phone screen or when the recruiter tries to set up an interview, of course you should disclose the details of your current location and move right away. However, getting to that first phone call or contact allows you to be judged on your resume alone, and not how inconvenient it might be to recruit you.

Note: if you happen to know where you are going to live or stay once you arrive in the new city, put that address on your resume instead and write something like “Future address: X”. However, you have to be more literal when filling out employment applications and should never lie on them in any way. When it comes to those types of documents, you will need to put down your current address.

Make your move “low maintenance” for the other party

When you explain your situation, give as much detail as possible and make it very low maintenance for the other party. I suggest saying something along the lines of “currently I am located in X but am planning a move to Y in Z timeframe. I am fully prepared to relocate on my own and can make myself available for video interviews any time between now and then”.

You can also mention that you’d be willing to travel for interviews but this assumes you’d be able to absorb that cost if the company is unwilling to cover it. Unless money is not an issue, I’d probably only recommend doing a trip on your own dime if you are interviewing with multiple companies at once (make it worth it) or if you have made it to the final round. At that point, most companies are willing to cover your travel anyway.

Turn your networking up a notch

Even if you take your address off your resume,  your current location still might be obvious. For example, if you’re currently employed you probably have that location listed. Or maybe it’s on your LinkedIn. Or maybe most of your network is in that location…

This is all the more reason to turn your networking up a notch. It’s not too early to start making connections in the location you want to work. This means getting back in touch with people you do know, asking for introductions to get talking to those you don’t know, and even reaching out blindly to total strangers to express your interest in working at their companies.

Anything you can do to differentiate yourself and get your resume seen is key, especially when relocating.

Consider working with an external recruiter

There are times when I think it can be really worthwhile to work with an external recruiter and this is one of them. Agency recruiters in the city you are looking to move to are very very well-networked. If you are considering moving somewhere where you don’t have a lot of contacts, they can be extremely helpful in getting your foot in the door.

These are a few simple things to help you get started. Do you have a personal success story to share about getting a job in a new city? Would love to feature it on the site so please shoot me an email at [email protected]

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