How to conduct an effective remote job search is a question that has vexed many working professionals who desire relocation to another location.
Once upon a time, a job search was governed by the same rule that applied to the sale of real estate: It was all about “location, location, location.” If you weren’t where a job was, you weren’t likely to get it because you probably didn’t even know about it.
Today, however, location matters very little. Why? Well, as the song goes, “It’s a small world after all.” Simply put, the Internet and social media networking has made it possible to conduct a remote job search for opportunities virtually anytime and anywhere, whether across the state or halfway around the world.
If you are considering working somewhere you don’t currently live, you probably feel as if you’re at a competitive disadvantage compared to those who reside in relative proximity to the job. That’s not necessarily the case, however, especially if you incorporate some basic steps into your remote job search. Although certainly not exhaustive, the following is a list of tips that should help make a job search for work in a different geographical area a more fruitful endeavor:
- Link up via LinkedIn. You already have some tools on hand that render distance essentially irrelevant to your remote job search. LinkedIn is clearly one of those. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is not only up to date but also includes as much information about you as possible that is of interest to or commensurate with the needs of employers regardless of where they’re located. Do you have specialized skills, speak a second language or have experience working with social media, for example? Include them. Also, change the zip code on your LinkedIn profile to your target area rather than where you actually reside. This will make it more likely you appear in recruiter searches.
- Use. Job. Sites. We don’t really need to explain this, do we? Of course not! In particular, make lists of prospective employers in the geography you are targeting, and regularly review their online listings.
Got people? Do you have friends, family or even professional acquaintances in the area in which you’re interested in working? If so, your job search should include reaching out to these folks. Many people limit their job search networking efforts to professional contacts only. Don’t. Nurturing relationships with others is as important to a remote job search as it is to one you conduct locally. And ask for referrals.
- They’re called associations, so associate. If you belong to an alumni association or professional organization, check to see whether they are active in the locale you’re considering. If so, don’t just join, reach out. Talk to the person in charge of networking to get the lay of the land, so to speak.
- You know your job but do you know how the industry works where you’re looking? Conduct online research on the trade association/industry groups in your target market location. Is there any connection between those groups/your profession and your contacts? If so, now is the time to establish or strengthen those ties. Make phone calls, not to ask for work but to start a conversation and develop a relationship strong enough that you can call that person in the future to ask for input, information or advice when your job search does yield potential new employment.
- You’re not from around here, are ya? When you’re looking for a job and you’re from out of town, employers are quick to dismiss you as a viable candidate, concerned that you’ll have a difficult transition getting acclimated to your new surroundings or won’t be able to make the necessary move when the time comes. There are two ways to approach this elephant in the room: 1) You can be upfront about your desire to relocate, offering reasons in your cover letter of why you’re looking at their town; or 2) You can eliminate all references to not being local, omitting your current address, listing your target city, state, and zip on the resume instead (eg., relocating to: New York, NY 00000) and obtaining a “burner” phone which is serviced in the area code you want to move to.