Job hunting is hard enough in your local market. When it comes to finding a job in another state, however, the task is even more daunting. There are a number of reasons why relocating professionally is so difficult. In this post, we are going to go through a bunch of tips and tricks to show you exactly how to find a job in another state.
Should you Include an Address on a Resume?
Actually, you should never put your full address on your resume, only your city/state and zip-code. Many are given bad advice of leaving their address off all together. Your resume always needs a city, state and zip as removing it will raise suspicions. It may also be rejected by applicant tracking systems that most employers use to screen resumes.
Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. It’s a bit of a grey area but If you’re absolutely certain that you’re moving to that city, or you secured a place already, you can include the city/state and zip.
If you’re not certain about moving, or it depends on whether or not you land the job, you’ll need to put your current city/state and zip. In this case, you need to mention on your resume – “willing to relocate”. You can explain it further by stating it in the cover letter as well.
Remember that since you’re relocating, you need to capture the hiring manager’s attention. They usually have to go out of their way to deal with someone who’s relocating so let them know you’re worth the time.
We wrote a good post covering relocation on a resume and cover letter here.
Be honest and straight-forward about your plans
You don’t want your relocation plans to be the absolute first thing a potential employer sees. But, that does not mean you should be hiding it.
Like every other aspect of your career, honesty is important and hugely appreciated. If the hiring manager is interested, they’ll probably be researching you anyway. A quick Google search is usually enough to oust anyone’s location. You absolutely do not want to be caught twisting the truth.
If a hiring manager asks you about your location, don’t lie. Tell them your plans and be prepared to give a concrete moving date.
This also means that you may want to even include your plans on a cover letter. Wait until the way end of your cover letter and drop it in there. Be specific about exactly where you will be moving and exactly when you will be moving.
Think about it. If you were going to be disqualified because you are relocating, you may as well get to that point earlier so you don’t waste your time.
Be ready to explain why you’re moving
The truth is, as long as you’re not running from the law, they probably don’t care exactly why you’re moving. They just want to see that you have a real, legitimate reason for moving. Mainly that you’re serious about moving and are a legitimate candidate moving forward. They also want to see if you’re confident in your decision making.
Having an inspiring or cool story to tell can help to put a great spin on your reason for relocation. Be prepared to emphasize passion and seriousness.
You should also be ready to answer any questions on relocation in an interview whether it’s in person or over the phone.
Maintain flexibility and understand the challenge
The hardest part about finding a job in another state is competing with local applicants. Why?
Because local applicants can come in for an interview at short notice. They can come in multiple times on different dates with short notice. In short, their closer proximity allows them to be more flexible in visiting the office.
Don’t worry! You can negate this advantage by remaining super flexible yourself. Of course, it’s going to be a lot tougher for you. But it’s something you will probably need to do if you want to find a job in another state.
Being flexible in your interstate job search means being ready on a few fronts:
- Be willing to take a flight on short notice
- Master the online video chat interview
- Perfect your phone interview skills
Don’t expect any potential employer to treat you special just because you’re relocating. It’s only an issue if you make it an issue for them. Keep in mind the above points and make sure you’re open to the hassle of remaining flexible.
It’s also important to note that, while flexibility is important, you shouldn’t need to go over the top. For example, if you’re flying across the country for an interview, make sure it’s the final round.
Effective networking is the main factor in nearly every major career advance. The importance of networking is exponential when relocating. Especially if you’re going to a place where you don’t know anybody.
Fortunately, people like helping each other. As the great Steve Jobs said, “I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help”.
There are so many effective ways to build your network. Here are a few of the best:
Join an organization and attend networking events
I can’t think of a better way to meet people with shared interests. Organizations always have stated goals. Often, their entire reason for existing is to bring together like-minded individuals. Take advantage of these awesome opportunities!
Same goes for networking events. While it’s not as easy to build solid relationships, it can still get you some great introductions that you can build on later.
Yes, LinkedIn is a great way to network. It should come as no surprise given its extreme popularity in the professional world. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is perfect and start reaching out.
It’s important to craft a well-written message that won’t get ignored. Check out this blog post by The Muse that goes through how to write killer LinkedIn messages.
Ask friends, family, and colleagues for referrals
You never know who’s going to know who. Let your network know that you’re planning on making a move. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to secure an introduction before your move.
Once you have that first connection, expanding from there is easy. Especially if you’re well connected in the industry you’d like to work with in your new city.
Final Thoughts & Summary
Moving is hard and finding a job is even harder. By sticking to your guns and following our simple steps, you should have no problem at all making that tough transition.
To sum it all up, here are the key points to successfully finding a job in a new state:
- Utilize the address tips we discussed above
- Be honest and straight-forward about your plans
- Always be ready to explain why you are moving
- Maintain flexibility and understand the extra challenge
Practice and follow our advice and you’ll land your dream job in the perfect location in no time!
Good luck with your job search!
Also, if you’re just not sure if you’re resume is good enough, get the resume reviewed for free!