Entry-level job seekers are more likely to follow the first promising offer wherever it leads, even if that means out of state. Other job hunters may want to move to where the heart of their industry lies — New York City, for example — but they often like to mitigate risk by landing a secure position in that area before attempting to move there. And some restless employees at the mid-career level are simply ready for a change of geography as well as position.
But not all employers are excited about the prospect of a candidate who needs to be flown in for an interview. And employers often hesitate to make offers to applicants if their acceptance will be contingent on a complicated relocation process. If you're concerned about how your application will be received, a few moves like these can help employers see past these minor geographic obstacles and focus on your talents and potential contributions.
Pursuing a Long-Distance Position
If you live in one state but are trying to land a job in another, keep these tips in mind as you begin drafting your resume and cover letter.
1. Be upfront about your willingness to cover your transportation and relocation costs. In case an employer may have doubts, include a short statement in your cover letter making it clear that you'll pay for transportation to your own interview. You can also state your willingness to relocate yourself without making any demands on your employer, financial or otherwise. Of course, only make this statement if it's true.
2. Don't apologize for your current location. This may draw attention to an obstacle employers may not even have noticed, and it can also come off as desperate.
3. Call on the support of friends and family in the area where the job is located. Check your contacts list carefully for the names of those who may be able to help you, provide connections and introductions, or put you up for a few days. Don't be an island. The more support you receive from friends, the less strain you'll place on your potential employer.
4. If a job posting specifically requests “local candidates only,” don't just walk away. If you really want the job and you know you're willing to move (at your own expense), apply anyway. Just be honest with the company, and try not to make your location into an issue.
5. Put cultural concerns to rest, and be ready to discuss them if they come up during a phone or in-person interview. If you're located in downtown Los Angeles and the employer is in central Wyoming, expect some questions about your ability to adapt to a workplace culture you may find unfamiliar.
6. Be prepared to negotiate a salary that makes sense in your intended location. Research average salary data in that area, and make sure you aren't asking for compensation that's unrealistically high or low.
Get Ready to Travel
Most important of all, be ready to pack your bags and go when you receive an offer. A cross-country move can involve a high level of stress, and a position that begins in two weeks doesn't provide much of a planning window. Use the job search resources at LiveCareer to learn as much as you can about your industry, your intended location and any job market trends that may have an impact on your long- and short-term goals.