Relocating can be a scary and stressful time in itself, without the added stress of a job hunt. You’re uprooting from the place that you’ve come to know (and hopefully love) and trying to settle down somewhere entirely different. You need to find a place to live, organize your belongings, ensure you’re financially stable enough to make the move, and, of course, secure a new job.
If you aren’t transferring within the same company, finding a job in a new city or a new state can be worrisome. You don’t have connections, you don’t even know where things are located to do a decent job hunt. Then, there’s a whole different scenario, the one where the job you want is already in another location, and now you have to move to pursue it. In this case, you might think you have the job locked down, but the rest of your life needs to follow.
Whatever your individual circumstances, a lot of the process will unfold on its own as you undergo the move, but it’s always best to be well prepared. One thing is for certain, one of the best ways to stay on top of relocation is to apply for jobs prior to moving. It’s much more comforting knowing you have a job ready to start once you’re settled in. After all, you don’t want to up and move only to discover you’re having difficulty finding a job or hate your new job once you’re already in your new home. Here, we will go over some advice for getting a job when relocating.
HOW TO APPLY FOR JOBS IN A NEW LOCATION
Many applicants are after jobs in different cities or locations from where they currently live. You certainly aren’t alone in your desire or need to apply for a job out of state or in a different city. It’s common, particularly in big cities that people flock to with the sole interest of pursuing a killer career. Not to mention, if you’re already planning a move for any reason other than for a specific job, it’s best to apply for positions before you actually relocate. Either way, you’re going to be applying for positions that aren’t local to you, and that comes with a few hurdles.
Relocating in general or specifically for a job can be a positive experience, and the right decision, as long as you go about it the right way. One of the absolute worst things you can do is lie on your application about where you currently live or leave off information like your mailing address in the hope that the hiring manager won’t find out.
If you’re planning to relocate, be direct, upfront, and honest about it. There’s usually a section on most applications that asks you to list your mailing address, but also offers the option to indicate if you’re willing to relocate for the position. However, many applicant tracking systems screen suitable candidates by their location, and these systems won’t know that you want to relocate, so it could end up harming your chances. If this is a concern, you can try directly contacting a hiring manager or recruiter to explain your situation.
If you’re also turning in a resume or cover letter (which you definitely should), you can indicate there that you would be willing or desire to relocate for the job. For example, where you list your mailing address, you can add a small byline that states “relocation pending” or something of the sort. If you’re fortunate enough to have already finalized your moving plans, but just haven’t physically relocated yet, you can list a new mailing address. Just make sure that the mailing address is certain and don’t jump the gun.
BE READY TO ASK AND ANSWER QUESTIONS
If you manage to secure an interview, congratulations. The next step is to prepare yourself to answer questions regarding your move. Most employers may want to ensure that your relocation won’t have a negative effect on your job. Since they’re probably;y aware of how stressful moving cities or states can be, they may ask questions about how you plan to handle the scenario.
This might be particularly apparent if the job you’re after will rely on networking or familiarity with local areas, companies, or culture. Have a detailed answer prepared that explains how you plan to keep on top of your move and prevent it from negatively affecting your work life. A great tip in this situation is to explain past experiences where you may have overcome similar difficulties.
You may also want to consider asking an employer if they cover relocation costs. This may not be appropriate in every scenario, but if you’re making a move for a company you already work for or the job you’re looking into requires you to relocate, definitely ask this question. Moving cities or states is incredibly expensive, and you may want to consider other options if the employer won’t help out with moving costs at all.
PLAN FOR A REALISTIC MOVING TIMELINE
You should certainly be prepared to explain to a potential employer when you intend to relocate. Are you already in the process of moving? Can you relocate immediately upon the offer of a position? Or do you need some time to get organized? You might feel pressure to tell an employer you can relocate whenever they need you, but be realistic and don’t set yourself up for failure. A move to a new city, or especially a new state, can take a significant amount of time, planning, and arrangements. Don’t forget, if you own a home and need to sell, that adds another layer of planning and time commitment.
Make sure you’re honest and upfront about the time you need to move successfully. Many people are concerned that if they say they need too long, they’ll lose out on the position because it’s inconvenient for the employer. If it’s possible, you can offer to work remotely from home while you finalize your move as a solution to this problem.