JOB SEARCH / MAR. 25, 2014
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How to Manage a Long Distance Job Search

Searching for a job in another state, region or country is far harder when you are not a local candidate. Many hiring managers won’t even bother to respond to non-local job applicants because there is no need to take on the hassles of long-distance candidates if they are able to capitalise on the large pool of local well-qualified candidates. Employers are also aware of the fact that long-distance job hunters are not always immediately available to attend the interview or start the job plus they may face adjustment problems which could result in them quitting their job and moving back home.

Finding a job elsewhere is not impossible, but it usually involves a series of challenges that you can overcome simply by ensuring the employer that you are serious about the move and as flexible as possible to show that the hiring process won’t be more difficult than it would be for a local candidate.

Here are some invaluable tips to increase your chances of finding work in far-off places.

Explain Yourself Frankly

Give the employer a context in your cover letter of why you are interested in landing a job in this particular area, so that employers grasp your perspective and your motivations for your application. Try to give them the impression that you are a candidate who is keen on becoming local to mitigate the disadvantage of being seen as a long distance candidate. You could for instance state that you are in the process of moving to their area to co-live with your spouse, who has a job there or that you are from the area and excited to join your family, which lives there.

Borrow a Local Address

Employers are skeptical about hiring out-of-town candidates, so you have to show then that you are eager to move to the new place and that you have already preplanned your movement. Consider using a relative’s, friend’s or an acquaintance’s home address who lives in the location you are targeting and put it in your resume. Alternatively, if you are relocating to London for example, you can put ‘(relocating to London)’right below your address.

If you choose to use another person’s address, be prepared to respond to possible calls from the employer or even come in for an interview as soon as tomorrow.

Pitch Your Competitive Advantage

Consider the potential employer’s perspective and think: Why would someone invite you for an interview when there are plenty of local people who could do the job? Be amazing to communicate the idea that you are such an expert and specialised in your field that your employer is unlikely to find someone else as good as you locally. In other words, you need to prove that you have all these special skills that set you apart from local competition. If you are moving to a smaller city than the one you live, pitch yourself as having big-city know-how that you can bring to a smaller city. In this way, you will build the image of a star performer in a big city and increase your chances of getting hired.

Build Local Network

If you are determined to get the job before you move, you should spend a lot of time finding local allies where you wish to work. Remember that although technology may greatly facilitate the process of landing a job away, nothing compares to making the most of personal connections to network your way into a job. Spot those influential and well-connected people in key positions to introduce you to potential employers, help you expand your network, provide you with the inside scoop of the job finding process and help you with administrative processes or logistics.

Make it Easy for the Employer to Interview and Hire you

Last but not least, do everything possible to help the employer get rid of the hassle involved with hiring out-of-town candidates. The bad news is that this can have several implications on your pocket as you might have to cover your travel expenses on your own, sometimes paying higher prices for last-minute air tickets, as well as assuming the entire relocation burden on your own. You should also come prepared by working out how you can start as soon as possible if you are offered the job and how to quit your current job if this applies to you.

Overall, it is worth remembering that in order to increase your chances of landing a long-distance job, you need to evidently show that you are serious and committed about your move as well as create a profile of a dependable candidate. The more you make your move seem like a done deal – that is a move which is already in the works- the better for you to not be ignored in the job search.  

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