One of the biggest challenges in conducting an out-of-town job search is getting a potential employer to consider you, as many hiring managers won’t look at non-local candidates. A major reason for this is that they have local candidates who can interview and start sooner, making the hiring process easier for them. However, if you are willing to move, what can you do to get a skeptical hiring manager to consider you?
Over on US News and World Report, HR expert Alison Green outlines five ways to catch the eye of a hiring manager if you’re doing an out-of-town search. She emphasizes the importance of being upfront in your application and making your move seem like a done deal (e.g. you have a moving date). Here’s one tip that really stood out to us:
Put the new location on your résumé. Many employers read résumés before they even look at cover letters, so take steps on your résumé to fight the out-of-town candidate stigma there too. For instance, you can put “(relocating to California)” directly below your address, or even use a local address if you have friends or family already living in the location you’re targeting. (If you do the latter, though, be sure that you’re prepared for the possibility that you’ll be called and asked to come in for an interview as soon as tomorrow.)
This also reminds me of a conversation we had on Idealist Careers some time ago about whether you should move before you job hunt. A major takeaway was networking in advance is just as important as job hunting. This looks like reading local news, trying to attend local events if you can, and visiting often. This way you not only build a network, you also get better insights on potential opportunities and can demonstrate your commitment to relocating.