Relocating to a new city, no matter how much excitement is involved, tends to be a chaotic experience, and when you’re job searching on top of that, stress can reach sky-high levels.
Finding secure employment before you make a big move can prove strenuous.
Employers and recruiters are often hesitant to make offers to out-of-state candidates, as being nonnative can complicate certain areas of the hiring process.
Especially when a senior-level role needs to be filled, recruiters work tirelessly to vet candidates before deciding who will be the best fit. It can be difficult convincing a recruiter you’re the best person for the job when you’re not even in the same physical location yet.
The good news is that there are strategies to help appeal to executive recruiters when you’re trying to simultaneously relocate and change careers.
Here are a few tips to get you on the right track:
1. Demonstrate to Recruiters That You Are Serious About Moving
Recruiters worry that they’ll waste time interviewing and vetting an out-of-state candidate who ends up never actually making the move, so it’s imperative to clarify that you’re absolutely serious about moving.
Your cover letter is an excellent outlet to demonstrate your commitment to relocating right from the start.
It helps to clarify that you’re planning on moving to the town or city regardless of if you are hired for the specific role-in-question, as this illustrates to the recruiter that you’re moving for more than a hypothetical reason.
You don’t have to dive into a tremendous amount of personal details, but shed some light on your motivation to relocate to that specific city. It could be that you want to be closer to family, the city is a hub for your industry, or your significant other is transferring to a job there.
The point is to emphasize there is no chance you’d change your mind, regardless of whether you get an offer.
2. Be Open-Minded to Alternative Positions and Salary Discussions
If your heart is set on a specific city, it never hurts to be open-minded to various positions, even if you are hoping to secure a certain role. The same sentiment rings true for your salary.
While it can be disheartening to make less than you are making currently, sometimes you have to settle on short-term sacrifice for long-term gain.
When you’re moving to a city that is highly competitive for your niche, remember there is still a great deal of merit in making valuable connections that will allow you to one day move up or transfer to a position and pay grade that is more ideal.
3. Be Strategic When Sending Your Resume to Executive Recruitment Firms
Because recruiters can be caught off guard by resumes that list addresses that aren’t local, it’s important to be strategic in how you handle this. You may want to leave the address off altogether.
In fact, with advancements in telecommunications and technology in our digital world, it’s becoming increasingly common to leave addresses off resumes.
You can also consider writing down that you are relocating to the area by a specific date in place of the address.
The point isn’t to mislead the recruiters; it’s to explain your situation and demonstrate your value before the hiring professional can make a judgement based purely on your location.
While on the subject, take time to update and revise your resume so that it’s carefully tailored to the position and the company you’re applying for, as a personal touch makes a much bigger impact than a one-size-fits-all approach.
You also want to familiarize yourself with common resume mistakes executive recruiters notice, and triple-check yours for errors before sending it out. Remember, a resume is your first chance to highlight your attention to detail.
4. Consider Paying for Your Own Relocation Fees
One of the primary reasons why recruiters are reluctant to hire out-of-state job seekers is that the hiring company either can’t or won’t pay for relocation fees.
Ideally when you relocate for a job, you’ll be offered relocation assistance to help cover some or all of your moving expenses, but if this isn’t a benefit that the company-in-question offers, you may want to think about covering your own costs.
If you’re planning on moving whether you can find a job first or not, you most likely are already prepared to take responsibility for all of the relocation fees.
However, if you were hoping to secure employment first, you may be able to sway favor in your direction by letting recruiters know you don’t expect any assistance when moving. Budget-wise, this puts you on the same playing field as local candidates.
5. Assert Your Willingness to Travel
One of the major downsides when recruiters consider non-local applicants is that meeting them in person can be tricky.
While technology has made virtual interviews much more accessible with applications such as Skype, many recruiters and employers still heavily value the one-on-one interview dynamic, especially when interviewing for executive roles.
To avoid this becoming an issue, make it clear to recruiters that you are able and willing to travel to interview in person on your own dime.
Similarly, keep in mind that most positions need to be filled quickly, so make it clear that you would be able to make it to the interview within a short window of time. After all, you can’t expect them to hold the position open while you make arrangements.
Deliberately asserting that you’re willing to spend your time and resources shows recruiters that you respect the interview process and are willing to go above and beyond for a chance to join the company.
6. Leverage or Establish Local Networks
In the business world, networking plays a tremendous role in garnering opportunities. If you know anyone in the area who could possibly help get your foot in the door somewhere, leverage that contact efficiently.
If you don’t know anyone, connect with people on LinkedIn (or any valuable social media platform) who live in the area you’re moving to and are also involved with your industry.
You can even look for groups that are dedicated to the alumni of the college you went to, and try to network with those alumni who are also working in the city you’re moving to.
Likewise, be bold and get in touch with the companies you’d love to work for directly. It certainly can’t hurt, and connecting on social media before you move could make a positive impression. Remember, any connection has the possibility to support your job search.
It’s understandable why recruiters feel more comfortable working with in-state candidates, but at the end of the day, their priority is finding a qualified candidate who can easily harmonize with the company’s culture.
If you can demonstrate your skills and experience, make it clear you can be relied on to actually relocate, and be flexible in your job search, you should be on your way to landing a job in a brand new place.