If you are searching for your next position in another part of the country or the world, there are additional unique challenges to your search. Anticipating these challenges in advance and being prepared to address them can increase your chances of success.
Networking Challenges – Conducting a long-distance job search does not eliminate the need for networking. In fact, it makes networking more critical than ever. You lose the luxury of meeting contacts in person over a cup of coffee to learn more about their careers and the companies they work for but that information is still critical for your success. Leverage your alumni database and Linked In to identify alumni in your desired area and in companies on your target list. Reach out to schedule telephone conversations to accomplish your networking objectives and to support your search. You have to work at building a network to support your search in a new location.
Overcoming Objections – Hiring managers want to identify the best candidate for the job as soon as possible. They are also often looking to minimize additional expenses in the process. This leads many hiring managers to overlook qualified candidates who must relocate. Hiring managers may assume that the candidates expect the company to pay their relocation. Most companies only pay relocation for specific senior level or highly specialized positions where a national search is required to identify the appropriate talent. If candidates are more generally available, it is highly unlikely they will pay your relocation. You need to consider that expense in your planning process. If you are planning to relocate anyway, be sure to make that clear in all your job search communications. For example, “I will be moving to the San Francisco area on August 28.” Consider in advance whether you would fly out for an interview at your own expense if necessary.
Do Your Research – Build a target list in your new area of companies you are interested in for future employment. Prioritize your list and work to identify networking contacts within each target organization. Proactively set up informational interviews with networking contacts, build your knowledge of your target organizations and strengthen relationships so you have resources to support you when the appropriate opportunity comes along.
Invest Your Time and Energy – As you define your job search plan, acknowledge that it will take longer to conduct a job search from a distance. Schedule appropriate networking meetings. Conduct as much online research as possible in advance. Invest your time and energy in conducting a focused job search to maximize your opportunities for success.
With careful planning and focus you can succeed in your long distance job search.