IT Employment

Tips for looking for a job in another city

A willingness to relocate can certainly open up your job possibilities. Here are some tips for finding a new job before you move.

Do you find yourself in relocation mode? Maybe the town in which you currently live is not exactly a hotbed of IT. Or maybe you've developed a crush on someone you encountered on Facebook and stalking would be much easier if you lived in the same town. Whether your goal is practical or creepy, here are some tips for looking for a job in another region.

If you've already picked the place

  • If you've got the area picked out, but don't have any specific jobs targeted, utilize online job boards. Many of them allow you to target specific geographic areas.
  • Check your LinkedIn contacts for people who live or work in the area you're interested in. Not only can those people give you the "real" scoop on the area that you may not be privy to as a non-citizen, but they may know of job openings or people in the same field as you.
  • Develop contacts with professional and alumni associations in this new area. If you already belong to professional organizations in your current town, ask if there are chapters located in the target town.

If you've found a job that you would relocate for

So let's say you've isolated a position that you would love to have and be willing to relocate for. You have to be a little careful when crafting your resume and cover letter. Employers might shy away from you if they see that you must relocate to take the job--erroneously believing they would have to pay for your relocation.

  • A good tip is to leave your current address off your resume.
  • If you have any connection at all to the region, mention it in your cover letter. If you're definitely going to relocate to the area because of, say, a spouse's job transfer, mention that.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

40 comments
RayJeff
RayJeff

Wow...stray post. I'm glad you could get some kind of amusement from it, if that was even possible :-D

gadjet
gadjet

I've done it a few times, I would suggest you visit the place you want to go to first with the the sole intention of job seeking, if you have a freind in the area with a temp address you can use is VERY helpful. I've found you can find out much more in person when delivering a resume than any other method AND if you visit the tentative office before you drop off a resume, you can "personalize" the cover letter. Going there also gives you a big step in "knowing" the "battlefield" first. What's on paper is not always reality, and can save you a bundle og moving expenses.

dwcryan
dwcryan

I am going to be graduating next year, and I have no solid preference as to where I would like to live. For me it is more about what the job is going to be and what I believe I will find interesting. When it comes to relocation costs, I just figured I'd have to cover it myself anyways, the only issue would be start date in that I'd need a little time to relocate myself (at my own expense). I would hope that I would not be limited to one area immediately after graduation when it is the best time for me to re-locate as I have no big expenses/assets that would tie me down to one place (such as a house). Even when looking for summer employment, which I have been in the process of doing for the past few months, I try and reach out to other locations that are not my home town or where I am attending university. In most cases I have family in the area that I could stay with.

eatont9999
eatont9999

I have been looking, seriously, for a year to move from north of Boston back to Texas. I grew up west of Houston and I have been itching to move back to the area for quite a few years now. I have applied for literally hundreds of positions over the past year. I have had a handful of semi-serious calls, most of which are companies who did not notice I lived so far away. When they talk to me they seem interested, but when the relocation subject comes up, they shy away. I have resolved to biting the bullet and moving down there unemployed. I hate to take the risk, but I owe it to myself. Are there any job placement companies that are worth looking into? Anyone here with actual success with one possibly in the area I am looking?

jck
jck

I didn't meet her on Facebook...it was Yahoo Personals. :^0 j/k. Nice article. :)

loota
loota

Thanks for this excellent tip!

elazerus
elazerus

I have often discounted an candidate based on relocation. Usually because of an immediate need. I would prefer to see in the cover letter when you could be available in the new area and what you expect in relocation expenses.

animoid
animoid

yes, sometimes I look for jobs in other places, but sometimes I don't. I don't think I'd like it. But on the other hand it might be nicer so I look. But I like where I live so I don't want to leave. I've never got a job in another city, but then again I don't work anyway.

ossyemeh
ossyemeh

What of when one is willing to relocate, but doesn't have a work permit in the area?

pseudoazurin
pseudoazurin

Totally agree. This is even worse, if you are thinking of moving to another country. The connection is useful and the reason behind the move is important. The timeing of the move, the schedule and working visa can be real headache.

mr_m_sween
mr_m_sween

"A good tip is to leave your current address off your resume." As a recent relocatee myself, I cannot endorse this statement enough. It was several months before I realized that my resume was being tossed aside because they looked at my address before reading the first line of the resume...which clearly stated that I was relocating to their area. I almost went as far as putting the address of a friend in the area (with his permission of course). Also of interest is that several "professional" resume reviewers had looked at the resume and not one suggested to remove the address.

santeewelding
santeewelding

No amusement. I am, like the other man says, deadly earnest. I take you seriously. You, it appears, do not take me so. Your loss.

WiseITOne
WiseITOne

I think the only way to get chosen over a local candidate is to state explicitly that you WILL relocate because of a spouse's new job and that you do not require moving expenses AND that you are available immediately. It is still a hard sell becuase a local candidate is a zero risk factor. On the flip side their is an immense risk by moving especially if you are going to short sell your home in this horrid housinng market AND you never know if you get to the new job and it "just doesn't work out" and you are left jobless. It would really need to be a much better job for all of the hassle on both the company and potential employee. I would really like to move to Dallas, TX but it is for all the reasons mentioned above that I have not submitted any resumes.

coots
coots

This makes a lot of sense -- "When can you start?... NOT when we can help you get here...

RPip
RPip

If you could afford to fund your own relocation, do you feel it is better to leave off the address and let this come up in the interview process, or address it in the resume? I find myself looking longingly back at the east coast after being in Denver for a few years, and wonder which would be the better approach. Thanks!

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Thanks for the chuckle, animoid. That was a very random, yet entertaining post!

herman404
herman404

Some countries have schemes where if you can apply for a work permit (which allows you to work for any employer or start your own business) if you meet the education and work experience qualifications. Examples of this include UK, Denmark, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. You can find out more details online. Also a pan-European Union flexible, non-employer sponsored work permit, the Blue Card is being discussed and planned to be introduced very soon. Look up "Blue Card" in any search engine. For other countries, a work permit is dependent on an employer over there sponsoring you. So you usually must have hard to find skills in order to go via this route...

coots
coots

Find out everything you possibly can about your target organization. What do have to offer them? Do you want to work for them? Do they want you can offer or are they threathened by it? Figure it out. Then decide. Just to relocate to another city for some undefined dream is (in my mind) silly. If you need for any other personal reason or dream to be in Geographic region 'X' then truly educate yourself on the needs of the region X... it can never hurt you and may be fascinating to you.... Is your target region an old rust-belt city, a silicon valley, a mountain valley town. Learn the locale then figure it out. etc.

santucciaj
santucciaj

I went from NY to NC back to NY and now back in NC [to stay]. When I was looking to return to NC, I explained in my cover letter the reason for moving from NC to NY and reason for wanting to return to NC. Be honest and sincere - don't say I want to move to AZ cause I'd like to try out living in 112 degree temps. You should do your homework on the area (http://www.bestplaces.net/ and hook up with as many Linked-In groups for your prospective location. I had gotten a throw-away cell phone with a NC area code but was advised not to use that with a NY mailing address. PO Boxes aren't a good idea either. basically, if you have what the employer wants, AND you are willing to pick up the relo expenses, it shouldn't matter whether you are local or not, IMHO. You may have to 'eat' a week of time between jobs to perform the move, if the distance is great. Just my $0.02.

cynthiahansen
cynthiahansen

When I moved from El Paso to San Antonio I started applying in November, rented my home in Jan and moved in with a family member until I got an offer. I kept a po box and went out to check it regularly. You could also have a friend or family member check it for you if it is too far for a weekend drive. I moved three times before I finally found a place to stay in for good. The po box also saved me from having to change addresses every move I made until I settled down.

herman404
herman404

Mr. Sweeney is 100% correct. I ran into this myself when graduating from my MSc course. The city where I wanted to live was not the same as the city I was studying in, so I got contacted about jobs in the wrong area and it took some explaining on the phone to the ones that did call that I was going to relocate. I ended up using an umbrella company for contractors' business address on my resume/CV for more appropriate contacts from recruiters.

jlewis
jlewis

I agree that putting the current address on the resume hinders one's chances of getting a job in the new city. Speaking from experience, I'm looking for opportunities in another city that I plan on relocating to. I currently have my current address on my resume. The only calls that I'm getting for assignments is companies who have jobs in the area where I live now, even though it's CLEARLY STATED on my profile that I'm relocating and I don't want offers from jobs in my current area. Many HR professionals will toss aside a resume if it doesn't have a local address, even if the candidate CLEARLY STATED that s/he was relocating to the area. I'm not sure if you get as many calls if you omit your address (HR pros may think that you're trying to hide something), but it really helps if you have a contact in the area to where you are relocating. If the contact gives you permission, use the contact's address as your "current address". If you want to take it a stage further, you can get a virtual phone number (for about $9.95/month) that appears to be local to the area to where you're relocating. The virtual phone number can be set up to forward to your mobile or land line phone, and the virtual phone number has its own VM

airjos
airjos

Check with Skype (and surely other services like onebox.com), they offer telephone numbers in areas across the country. You can even get vanity numbers for easier to remember patterns of numbers or letters.

bus66vw
bus66vw

metropolitan area to rural area. They feel you won't fit their life style. The big city syndrome is what I call it, "You couldn't possibly be happy here in the sticks".

RayJeff
RayJeff

But also, this is you we're talking about here. So, I'm not sure whether I should take you seriously...or is this santeewelding being santeewelding. Because I take this topic very seriously. While it may not be that serious to you..it really is for some of us. With that being said, you lost me a little with your first response. In other words, I just don't get your response.

RayJeff
RayJeff

I have to say I pretty much fear bringing up relocation expenses. With contracting work, it's never steady. As much as you can save for a rainy day, it will never be enough. So, I would think hat it would be very difficulty for most people to be able to handle all of the relocation expenses. It makes me scratch my head to why if an employer knows that the person they are interested in has to be relocated, then why even go after them when the possibility of providing relocation expense is there? And on the same token, if an employer may possibility have to offer relocation expense to a potential employee, why drop them out of the running?

kapptaink
kapptaink

Sonja, I guess I might need to try a few of these tips and see if they help me to land a position in Louisville or E-town, I Sure want to get out of Mississippi, not sure why I came here to begin with. Maybe it will help get me out of the big city of Denver Syndrome, and out to the sticks. Then again now maybe they don?t want a MS redneck moving to the big city. Maybe I can use my in-laws address.

bus66vw
bus66vw

Identity theft deterrent. Anything that makes it harder for thieves to pen you down makes for a layer of safety. I even did this to make my last move easier. All the bills went to the PO box and I was able to follow up on problems with back taxes that could have caused problem during property selling. It just a good move if you can sing it.

Ed.Pilling
Ed.Pilling

I used to live in Los Angeles and moved back to Boston. Years later now I want to move back to LA. I am applying for positions in LA but getting no response. So now I am going to set up a virtual phone and use a buddy of mines address. All interviews are phone screens first, so I can weed out the lame ones right away. If asked for an in person interview I can say that one of my parents had passed away and I am settling their estate and I can be there in a week. If everything is on the up and up I wouldn?t mind paying for airfare.

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

Okay, I agree with your points concerning how to fool HR into not wastebasketing your resume/application. But if I were the hiring pro (not an HR guy, but the person who actually makes the decision) and I saw a local current address even though I find out through the interview process that it would be a relocation, I would ask about the current address. And I think the current address, even if given permission by the current resident of the address, speaks more to your integrity than anything. And I would think long and hard about hiring someone who starts off by lying about their current address. Leaving it off - not deceiving. Placing someone else's address, even with permission - lying.

RayJeff
RayJeff

that was posted I think last year or the earlier part of this year where there was much discussion on how santeewelding responds to TR members. How his postings can be very cryptic at times. Maybe saying "taking him seriously" was the wrong phrase. And when he said "stay post", as I said before in my response to him, I didn't know how to take it. But, like many of the TR members, sometimes my posts are serious and sometimes they aren't.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

And why is he so special as to not be taken seriously?

jjloven
jjloven

I also fear relocation expenses. I am planning to move to Florida from Wisconsin. I have had my address on my resume and cover letter but received no queries yet. With over 20 years IT admin experience, I have to assume it is the address that is suppressing my search? So to ask for relocation expenses would not help I'm sure.

coots
coots

If you have the skills and motivation what is limiting you from any city or city/suburb in this country. For those who have the skills and want to move it is a question of match. No one seems to want to pay relocation costs anymore. You need to be centered in yourself as to your wants, needs, hopes and resources. I wish you the best -- look inside yourself.

bus66vw
bus66vw

Just like moving expenses? I would suggest trying to line up more than one interview just to be more practical. That way if there is a follow up you may still be in the area.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Your stray post catches my eye. For what I am worth, this whole modern IT geist of employer/employee (divulgement: I am an employer) troubles me to no end. I am aware that IT turns in upon itself full-bore come the occasion of employment. One must, to swim, swim with like. If you don't, you drown. I am fortunate, I think, in that I look personally in the eye -- I behold like. It's gut. I am not able to conceive, even, how such is done at large in the IT community limned here. I draw back, hands up and showing, to a thing -- a geist -- I reject. I say this to you and to host Toni, both. Something is rotten, and, it stinks.

RayJeff
RayJeff

I'm seriously having a hard time believing that leaving off the current address is a valid and good thing to do; even if to "fool" HR. And while I do understand the reasoning behind it, the integrity part doesn't "bother" me as much as eventually it's going to come out that you aren't physically living in that area/region/state. I've done quite a few out-of-state applications over the past 3 years. The ones I've gotten feedback that lead to interviews, me having to relocate wasn't an issue. But, being a contractor, relocating doesn't appear to be an issue for employers anyway, if they are willing to hire contractors (obviously). So, in that case, the whole idea of relocating is a moot point .

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

So a lie for the address is a "little lie" and it is okay because others have more misleading information? I had a friend who worked in IT a few years ago, and HR had a list of lies they found out about on applications. Whenever the employee turned out to be a problem, they terminated with cause because of the misleading application. Much easier to do than to terminate on the basis of performance (the lie is black and white, the performance has more room for interpretation). Oh, and a lot of the times, when an employee is becoming a problem, the first thing they did was to pull the application and most lied about something or other. I don't see a reason to lie on an application at all. For me, it is a matter of integrity. For others, perhaps you don't want to give future employers enough rope to hang you.

bus66vw
bus66vw

are so many people who tweak info on their resume that indicating an address in the area pales when compared to the other misleading information. Also given that many resumes are filtered by automated systems, one must adapt or be left behind.

MisTeree
MisTeree

That is exactly how I felt: that I didnt want to have to explain an address that is clearly not mine. Another thought that I had was that I would not be able to come in for interviews on the interviewers schedule. I would have to either book a flight or plan for a long drive there and back. It was just easier to me to EXPLICITLY state in the cover letter that I was relocating, and that I did not expect any type of relocation reimbursement. If I was going to be in the area on a certain date, I let them know that as well. And let me just state that having an out of state phone number has not proven to be an issue as much as when I was not living in the state I planned to move to. I still have an out of state cell phone number even though my home number is a local one.