So, you’ve decided that you’re ready to spread your wings and relocate to another state for your next career move. If so, you’re not alone. A recent survey from MSN shows that 1 in 4 jobseekers are willing and ready to relocate in order to facilitate a career change. With those statistics, you might think that employers are open to candidates from varying locales, but ask any number of job seekers who have been in the hunt for a job outside of their current area, and you will likely find that securing a position in another state is a bit more challenging than you’d expect. Oftentimes employers do not offer relocation packages, and they may look poorly on candidates from different areas because of the time and effort that it would take to have them move to the job location. Sometimes employers just don’t want the bother.
So, what can you do about it? Below are three tips to help you move your interstate job search forward.
- – Remove location markers from your resume
Most recruiters agree that when they see a resume with an out of state address, it comes off as something of a red flag. They anticipate that employers will give pushback on those candidates, and therefore they are moved to the bottom of the “priority list”. One of the easiest things that you can do to make yourself more competitive in the out-of-state job market is to remove your address from the document altogether.
Also, keep in mind that an address is no longer an important element of the resume – in fact, it is pretty erroneous information at this point. You would be better served to use the area traditionally reserved for your address to instead showcase a link to your Linkedin profile or a headline introducing yourself to the employer.
You can also take it a bit farther and remove the locations of previous jobs that you have held as well (since this is also not pertinent information) and use the Google voice app to create a local phone number. These two strategies are less common, but still considered acceptable according to most recruiters.
- – Talk about it and BE HONEST
Once you’ve been called for an interview, it is best to address the topic upfront. When talking with a potential employer, you should use affirmative language and reference a time-frame for your move. For example, you might ask for a Skype or phone interview for the first round. At that point, you would let the company know that you are planning to relocate by saying something along the lines of, “Yes, I currently live in Ohio – however, I anticipate moving to Boston within the next 8 weeks.” You should also include that you are prepared to move at your own cost, as many companies rule out candidates for whom they feel they will have to make a substantial investment in up front (such as a relocation package).
Also take care not to lie or lead an employer on. I’ve often seen candidates use a local address on an application in order to avoid getting red flagged for being a non-local applicant. This is fine – however, be sure that you explain clearly to an employer that this is the address you anticipate staying at once you arrive in the area, and not your current address. Telling an employer you currently reside in LA with a current employer in Colorado is a sure fire way to get those red flags raised again, and, what’s worse, now you look like a liar to the hiring manager. Don’t do it – this is never a good idea.
- – NETWORK!
Aside from the above two tips, you should treat your out of state job search largely the way that you would a local search – with the exception of needing to cast a much wider net. Network with as many people as you can from your target area – Linkedin is a great tool for this. You should be making connections with people in your industry and preferred area – be diligent about this, and make sure any meetings/informational interviews/etc. are as fruitful and meaningful as possible.
You should also be prepared to make a few trips to your target area as well. Doing this will allow you to meet with your connections in real time, as well as become familiar with the area itself. Depending on your familial situation, you may also need to research housing, schools, etc. All of this will be much easier to do in person.