Applying for a job in a different state can be tricky. There is a myth that most recruiters or HR managers won’t even consider an out-of-town candidate because they’re afraid they’ll be asked to pay for interview trips or relocation costs. They might be worried that they’ll go through all the trouble of hiring you, only to have you leave the area if you decide you don’t like it there.
One solution is to put a local address on your cover letter, such as the address of a family member or friend who lives in your target town, but that can be perceived as dishonest. Or, if the company calls and asks you to come in the next day for an interview, and you don’t live nearby, you’ll have to tell them why you can’t get there quickly.
How can you find a job in another state if you’re not local? Here are 5 tips to help you infiltrate your target market.
1) In your cover letter, state up front that you are moving to that area, not that you’re thinking about it. If you can mention a specific moving date, do so, and mention that you don’t require relocation assistance. On your resume, list your contact info like this:
Relocating in [month, year] to [target company’s city]
2) If you can find contact information for the right person at your target companies, call directly and explain that you are relocating, saw that they had jobs that match your skills and were wondering the best way to be considered for the job.
3) When you communicate with the HR contact or hiring manager, tell them that you’ll be in town on a given week and would like to meet with them. This lets them know you’re not expecting them to pay your way for an interview.
4) Use social media. If you don’t already have friends or family where you’re hoping to move, make some contacts online. Through Facebook, Twitter, and blog search engines such as Technorati, you can connect with people in your field in your chosen city.
5). Become familiar with your target location. Subscribe to the online edition of the local newspaper, especially the Sunday edition, and the local business journal. Pay attention to articles on new businesses, expansions, and notices of promotions and new hires, as well as job postings. Contact the Chamber of Commerce, Office of Tourism, and the Department of Labor to request a relocation packet, so you can familiarize yourself with the area ahead of your visit.
When you’re applying for an out-of-state job, it may seem like the odds are stacked against you. And depending on what type of job you’re applying for, you may be right. But like all challenges, there is a way to overcome them, if you just know how.