How to Conduct a Long Distance Job Search

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Job searching long distance and attracting the attention of employers outside your home area can be a challenging task. Many employers view local candidates as safer prospects than those who would need to relocate. In addition, working with long distance candidates involves more scheduling and can complicate the hiring process for the company.

How to Conduct a Long Distance Job Search

Employers also save on relocation costs and interview travel costs by hiring from their local area.

What can you do to improve your chances when competing for out of town jobs? The key is to indicate that you are planning to relocate and that you're flexible - both for interviewing and for starting work if you were to be hired. Here are tips for conducting a long-distance job search.

Focus Your Job Search

Finding jobs to apply for in the new location is the easiest part of long-distance job searching. You can specify a location in the advanced search options of all the leading job boards and job search engines. You can also utilize local resources like the Chamber of Commerce and the help wanted ads in the local paper. Here's how to find local job listings, and how to find a job in a new city.

Explain in Your Cover Letters

Make it clear in your cover letters that you are planning to relocate to the city where the job is located. Mentioning a reason for moving to the area, such as to be nearer to elderly parents or to join a partner, can be an effective strategy.

In order to alleviate employer concerns about travel costs, you can state in your cover letters that you will be visiting the area to investigate housing options, and would be interested in meeting at that time, or during another such trip in the near future. Here's how to mention relocation in your cover letter.

Designate a Location

Your resume is another vehicle for conveying your plans to live in the area where a job is being offered. Some job databases allow registrants to designate a desired location.

A more powerful strategy is to list the desired location adjacent to your current address on your resume. For example, you might state "Moving to Tampa in June" or "Desired work location - Portland."

In some cases, you may be able to use a local address, such as a family member or friend's house. Keep in mind that the employer may expect you to be available on short notice for an interview.

Be Prepared to Interview

You will need to have a plan in place when you're contacted to interview. Figure out how you're going to be able to get to the interview location in a timely manner. That might mean an expensive plane ticket unless you can find a last minute bargain, and taking time off from your current job. The company may or may not offer to pay some or all of your travel expenses.

Use Your Network

If you are networking your way into an organization, you might enlist the support of your internal contacts to convey to decision makers the message that you are relocating to the area. Your network is also a good source of advice on making the move.

You'll be able to find out about housing, schools, and other factors involved in relocating.

Consider Making the Move in Advance

Another option is to move to the area where you would like to work before you have a job lined up. Temporary work to pay the bills while you're seeking a permanent position is a way to generate income, but do keep the expenses involved with a move in mind before you pack your bags.

Figure Your Expenses

It's a good idea to calculate your expenses prior to making your move. In addition to travel expenses for interviews, you will also have all the expenses involved with relocating. However, some of your job search expenses may be tax deductible.