Long Distance Job Hunt

ON THE ROAD AGAIN? Doing A Long Distance Job Hunt

Maralyn Kinch, Assistant Director, Career Development, Montclair State University Links researched by Lisa Allgaier, Graduate Assistant, Career Development, Montclair State University

Evelyn Waugh once said “Change is the only evidence of life.”  If so, we Americans are a very lively people, involved in change at every possible moment.  In today’s economy, occupational and residential change occur frequently after a layoff or buy-out or just for greater opportunity and a more satisfying lifestyle. Whatever the cause, average Americans will change jobs 7 times throughout their working lives.  Many of these job changes require relocation; all require planning and forethought. 

Below are several steps to make this change as easy as possible.

Learn as much as you can about the city to which you wish to relocate.

While finding a job may be the ultimate focus, researching lifestyle considerations such as the cost of living, recreational opportunities, quality of life, cultural factors and educational offerings is essential in deciding where you can have a satisfying existence.  Using Internet websites is an easy way to learn about a location’s community culture, state information, news, recreational opportunities, job databases, weather, shopping, cost of living and city information. Check out Click City and CareerOneStop.

Calculate differences in costs of living.

Consider that both salaries and cost of living differ from area to area.  To estimate such differences go to Relocation Salary to compare state and industry financial statistics.

Identify potential employers in your chosen area.

The Quintessential Careers Directory of Company Career Centers can help you research and contact major targeted companies geographically. This website lists a calendar of free or low cost career events categorized by state. Another site, The Wall Street Journal Career Section, can help you connect to events and people in your state and industry of choice.  You can search for various recruiter professionals by location at AIRS Recruiter Directory, which includes databases for computer, finance, industrial, health, and engineering professions among other industries. 

Connect to classifieds in your desired location.

Subscribe to a local newspaper in your chosen area, particularly the Sunday edition, to identify leads to jobs.  This classified search can also be done via the internet through Quintessential Careers Classified Job Listing Site where newspapers are available for viewing online. 

Network.

60% of jobs are attained through networking. So notify members of your union or department, friends and family who live near the area that you are looking to relocate to so you can receive leads and information about the area.  Review Networking Advice at Monster.com.

Join a professional association in your intended area to connect with those already in your field, receive updates on career events. To become a member of a professional listserv (which will allow you to receive emailed information on a regular basis), visit Scholarly Societies Project, which lists associations by industry.

Begin the application process.

Once potentially helpful groups, organizations or companies are identified, contact them by sending a resume and a letter of inquiry.  For assistance on creating the traditional resume, cover letters and letters of interest check out The Riley Guide Resume and Cover Letters. Continue to distribute your resume at career fairs, post your resume online and apply to openings through the Internet.  Be assertive and follow up with a phone call.  For assistance in creating and posting electronic resumes (known as E-Resumes) visit The Riley Guide.

Quintessential Careers provides an inclusive article about long-distance job hunting providing information about the city, jobs, resume building, cold calling, and job directories appropriate for the search.

Research information on the physical move.

The move can be just as stressful as the job hunt.  Practical information on relocating can be found at about.com's Career Planning section.

  The long range job hunt is not simple or easy.  It requires a lot of effort, a commitment to change and the ability to shake up your life for awhile.  Richard Bach, author of Illusions suggests, “In order to live free and happily you must sacrifice (the known).  It is not always an easy sacrifice.”