Job Hunting Out of State: Jump and the Net Will Appear?

Hi everyone! I'd love to pick your brains about how to handle an out-of-state job hunt. As someone who leans toward the responsible, play-it-safe approach to big life changes, securing a job before I move would be ideal. However, it seems like such a long shot to get any employers to take you seriously with a NYC address. And how do you handle interviews when you're not yet a resident of your desired city? Then again, the idea of arriving in my new city and job hunting is pretty scary too... I'm imagining I'd burn through my savings pretty quickly. 

For those who have made the move, which approach did you take? For those considering, what is your strategy?

Views: 175

Comment by Christian J on July 23, 2012 at 7:52pm

Hey Jess,

I'm in the same boat as I will be leaving NYC in the next few weeks with no job lined up when I relocate. I don't know what employers/companies you are applying where a specific address is required but the best thing I can suggest is have a separate resume for this new city. On it, replace your current city with your projected new city along with your contact info t (i.e. Name/ San Francisco, CA/phone/email/website/etc).

If they contact you for an interview tell them the earliest date you'd be able to make it. If it's sooner than you're project move date, be honest, but firm that you will be living there on such and such date or (if you're comfortable and 110% serious about the new city of interest) you could even say you live there but are out of town until then such-and-such date.  If its close enough or you can afford it, fly out/travel for an interview.  no matter what, you have nothing to lose applying to as many as you can and always try to follow-up. I also don't know what line of work you're in so I would imagine some fields would be more flexible and understanding where as others may not be.

Another suggestion, if you haven't already, would be to begin networking and maintain an active online presence where you're planning on moving. for example start following companies, employers, people of interest in the new city on twitter, try and chat with people on linkedin in the new city on discussion boards or contact them directly. and obviously if you know anybody where you're going, start getting in touch with them. I added an app today on facebook called "my friend map", I was surprised to see where some people I went to high school and college with ended up so this might have potential in finding out people you know in your new city of interest to maybe help you network and land a job.

airbnb is a great website for finding accommodation by the night, week or month without having to sign any lease or deal with expensive hotel bills. its anyone from singles, couples, students or families that are offering extra rooms so they are 90% of the time furnished and flexible with your stay. the prices are pretty reasonable and there are some phenomenal-looking apartments/houses/condos. however, if money is tight, there's a website called couchsurfing which is free but, as the name implies, it may be a couch, bed, air matress or floor you will be sleeping on and most hosts usually dont allow you more than a couple nights. it is free though.

I wish I could give you more solid advice right now, but as I can completely relate, I thought I would share some ways im trying to make this happen.

Comment by Anna on July 23, 2012 at 10:51pm

Wow, Christian, that's a lot of great ideas/advice! Jess, do you mind sharing where you're thinking of moving? And what line of work you're in?

Comment by Jess K on July 24, 2012 at 6:46pm

Christian - this is amazing, thank you! Love the airbnb suggestion... great option for a last-minute interview scenario in another city. As scary as it can be to make the move without a job, I think it gives you that extra surge of motivation - you find a way to make it work. Good luck with your move in a few weeks... let me know how it all works out!

Anna - I'm in marketing/communications. I'm looking primarily at Denver, Charlottesville, VA, Raleigh/Durham and Asheville (which of course you're well acquainted with!). The list is a bit all over the place, but these are the cities where I have friends & family nearby... or I just love the area. I know the job market is tougher in certain cities (i.e. Asheville), so at this point I'm casting a wide net and looking all over. At some point though I may need to just bite the bullet, zero in on a location and make the move...


Comment by Anna on July 24, 2012 at 8:48pm

Yeah, you're right that some have better job markets than others. Asheville's is pretty abysmal. In a larger city you can at least temp until something else comes along (I did that in Austin; bet it would work in Denver, too) - but I tried that here and those types of agencies just don't exist.

I would definitely snoop around on LinkedIn - find companies that seem cool and ask if you can get an informational interview, or if they know anyone who's hiring for positions like yours.

One other thing to consider about the types of places you're looking at... Having NYC on your resume usually kicks ass in smaller markets. Especially for something like marketing. So I wouldn't worry TOO much about alienating people with your current address - it might actually be attractive.

Comment by Kathryn Bedard on September 3, 2012 at 7:08am

My husband and I did the same thing: moved before the jobs.  We left NYC and moved to Austin in July.  I have a job, but he doesn't; it has been hard in some ways, but easier in others as Austin is much more affordable than NYC.  No job market is like the NYC market, but the truth is it isn't easy no matter what you choose to do.  Good luck!  

Comment by Anna on January 31, 2013 at 11:53am

Jess - would you mind sharing an update on your search? Have you been able to narrow down your list at all?

Comment by Jess K on February 11, 2013 at 12:55pm

Hi Anna! I'm looking primarily in the southeast at this point (although if a great opportunity came up in Denver, I wouldn't shoot it down). I'm opting for the "job first" method at the moment, which just seems safer given the current climate. As I suspected, it's been challenging getting out-of-state employers to respond, though I have gotten a couple bites. At the same time I'm working on transitioning my current job here in NYC to a remote role down the road, as well as checking out jobs here in NYC that would allow for relocation/working remotely. To be honest, this seems like a more realistic option at this point. 

It is definitely a slow process, but I'm also not at the point where I'm dying to get out of NYC... even with all this post-blizzard slush :) I would love to hear how Christian's move went as well, if he happens to be reading this...


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