JOB SEARCH / MAR. 31, 2014
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Conquering the Challenges of A Long Distance Job Search

Your decision to search for a job in New York City is thrilling. Sure, it is nearly 1.800 miles from your hometown. But, as a recent graduate you have found that jobs at home are not available in your field. The excitement of a large city where work in your field is plentiful is appealing.

If this is you, you need to know one thing. Most prospective employers are not at all thrilled about hiring someone who lives far away. Arranging an interview schedule is hard, and moving costs are often prohibitive. But, if you have the commitment to finding work long distance, it is possible to help employers focus on why they should hire you and not on the geographic limitations, they may see as obstacles.

Use Your Cover Letter and Resume

To put a potential employer at ease write a brief paragraph to let them know you are willing to pay interview transportation costs yourself. Let them know that too, you are planning to move anyway so you will handle all aspects, including cost, of moving if they hire you. Only make these statements if they are truthful.

Another way to handle the problem of who is paying for transportation to the interview is in your cover letter; tell the potential employer that you will be in their area looking at housing and would like to meet with them at that time.

Use your resume to instill confidence in your potential employer that you plan to stay. You can state “Relocating to Miami in June” or something like “Desired Work Location – Chicago.” This reinforces your intention to move whether or not you get the job.

In your correspondence, there is no need to apologize for the distance between your hometown and the job. This unnecessary information draws attention to a drawback they may never notice without your help. It also can make you sound frantic.

If you have an earlier connection to the area, it may reassure employers about why you have an interest in their company. Use your resume and cover letter to alert them to relatives in the area, earlier work and schooling.

Use Your Network

Ask family and friends that live in the area for help. Comb your contact list for people who can help you with their connections, get you introductions, or even let you stay with them for a few days. Using your resources cuts the strain you might place on your potential employer.

Prepare for a Telephone or Electronic First Interview

Be ready for alternative interview techniques such as telephone screening, Webcam, Skype or other electronic interviewing mediums. These kinds of first interviewing methods cut costs down for both the potential employer and the job hunter. Be available and eager to use their preferred method of screening before a face-to-face interview.

Double Up

If you land an interview at the place you have your heart on going to, try to arrange other interviews at the same time. You may have to cold call or use email, but make the effort as it saves you money on travel expenses.

Make Salary Expectations Relevant

Check the economic conditions of the place you want to move. What is the cost of an apartment in a good neighborhood? Will you need a car? If yes, how much is car insurance? Once you have an idea of the costs you will sound as if you know the area and negotiate a proper salary.

Be Ready to Go

When you receive an invitation to interview be ready to pack and go! Hesitation about the date and time of the interview and how you get there will fail to reassure your potential employer that you planned well for this long-distance job search. This could harm your chances of being hired.

Sell Yourself

At the interview conduct yourself in a professional way, sell your skills, show your knowledge of the company and the area, and make sure they know you are the best candidate for the job. In other words, avoid discussion about where you come from; concentrate on where you want to go.

Do you have any experience of long distance job searching? How did you find the experience? Your comments below please…

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