Friday, October 29, 2010

Five Things You Can Do To Land a Job in a Different Town

If you're looking for a job in a city you don't live in, here are five things you can do to increase your chances of being considered:

  1. Look like a local:  Establish a phone number in the area you're hoping to move to/work in, and put that number on your resume.  Leave your real address off your resume, or get a P.O. Box in the target city.  Or, use the address of a friend who lives in the area. 
  2. Make it easy for them:  If you don't require financial assistance to relocate (assuming you haven't done #1 above and companies can see from your resume you don't live in the area), state at the top of your resume that you do not need financial assistance to relocate! (This alone could be the reason companies aren't calling you. If their relocation budgets have been slashed, they may only be considering local candidates. See #1.)
  3. Talk like the locals: Get to know the area you're hoping to move to. Become familiar with the companies, neighborhoods, housing options, traffic patterns, big events, sports teams, etc.  Learn about the issues facing the city and surrounding areas. This will help you when you go for interviews because you won't feel so out of your element, and you'll be able to carry on conversations with the locals about matters that are relevant to them. You'll also feel and project to others a sense of belonging. 
  4. Create urgency:  If a recruiter or hiring manager contacts you about a position, tell them you'll be in town talking with a couple of other companies next week/next month/whenever you want to be interviewed, and would love to schedule a time to meet them while you're there. This accomplishes two things: it creates a sense of urgency about your candidacy because they think other companies are already talking to you, and it takes the travel, hotel and food expenses off of their plates. This is attractive if they have no travel budget or have local candidates they're planning to interview before they bring you to town.  (Some of you may feel this is lying and are concerned about getting "caught", since you don't actually have other meetings lined up. Don't claim to have interviews with companies you don't, just say you're visiting companies and talking about jobs with them. Who says you're not going to stop into a couple of other organizations and drop off resumes while you're there?)
  5. Act like a local and hang out with the locals: Attend the monthly meeting of the professional organization for your industry, in the town you're targeting. If you can't attend, get on the website and read the member blogs and comment on them smartly. Establish yourself with your future peers. Follow their tweets. Ask questions about the companies, issues, and opportunities. Subscribe to their newsletters.
In short, you need to create a local presence in the town you're hoping to move to, in order to land your next job there. There are so many qualified and experienced candidates available, and companies are running lean and trimming costs wherever they can.  Get smart and start thinking and acting like a local, until you are one!

No comments: