Relocating and in Search of a Job?

If you are one of the 8 million adult Americans relocating this year who will need to find new employment, how will you find a great job in your new city?

In America just under 15% of the population relocates each year. Some relocation is local and regional, although a good portion (at least 20%) is relocation outside the region. Unless you are relocating outside the area as part of a job transfer or retirement, chances are high that you’ll need to find employment in your new city. So, how do you go about conducting a remote job search? Here are five things a relocating job seeker could do, most of which require just a bit of planning to do them effectively:

1. Leverage Existing Employment. Let’s assume you’ve established a good track record with your current employer and that they are aware of your plans to relocate. As early as you can, approach your manager and/or HR and ask if your company has affiliates, business partners, key customers, or other contacts in the area into which you plan to move. It may be possible to get a transfer, which could enable you to continue your tenure and benefits. Additionally, make sure to get letters of recommendation from people at your current employer, which might include supervisors, peers and subordinates. Recommendations can also be posted on your LinkedIn profile. Ask key people in your current organization who they can introduce you to who works in your new city. Then ask those contacts for their advice for someone with your background and qualifications who will be relocating to their city. Bottom line, ASK for assistance!

2. Research Your Future Region. You can begin researching employers in the area where you are relocating by Googling “employers in {city}.” You can narrow your search to specific industries; for example, Google “hospitals and healthcare practices in {region}.” Once you’ve identified prospective employers in whom you are interested, visit each employer’s website to learn more about them and to identify suitable openings they have posted. If applying online or sending a resume, remember to tailor your application or resume for each position using the right keywords, and mention the timing of your relocation to the new region.

3. Pre-Network. This strategy requires you to have been diligently building a strong network long before you have the need to relocate. It is NEVER too early to build your network in earnest, making it a goal to add at least one new person every day. Networks like LinkedIn make it easy to identify people in your first and second level networks who live and work in your new area. Filter the list by the people who work in:

a. Industries in which you are interested in working,

b. Companies in which you are interested, and

c. Positions which are a fit for you.

Inform your network that you will be relocating to {city} during {month} and that you are now conducting a job search for appropriate opportunities in the new area. Provide a brief, bullet-point paragraph of the types of positions in which you’d be interested, as well as any specific companies for whom you’d like to work. Ask your network contacts for help by making you aware of suitable opportunities.

4. LinkedIn Groups and Search Engines. Use LinkedIn’s groups and search engines to network for a job in your new area. There are over 1 million LinkedIn groups, most likely ones associated with your professional interests as well as alumni groups affiliated with your college or university. Use the Advanced Search feature of LinkedIn to identify people who work in target industries, companies, and roles of interest in your new region. A few ideas:

a. Invite fellow group members and alumni to become first level connections. Personalize your connection invitation by citing your shared group or school, and your plans to relocate to their city.

b. Once they become first level connections, you’ll have access to their direct contact information (email, phone, Twitter, etc.) to communicate with them directly.

c. Perform further research on each person accepting your invitation, and identify the ones you want to contact directly to request a brief telephone call (see #5 below).

5. Informational Phone Interviews. Use an informational review approach to learn more about what the person does, his or her employer, and its culture. Develop the questions you want to ask ahead of time, and provide him or her with your LinkedIn address and a pdf of your resume. During the information interview learn if your connection’s employer has an employee referral program (which might make it easy for him or her to suggest you for suitable openings). Try to determine how well you’d fit the culture, and based on what your connection has learned about you, how he or she feels about your fit. If you believe there could be a fit, ask their advice on how you should go about bringing your candidacy to the attention of HR and the appropriate hiring managers. Make sure to thank them during the call and with a follow-up note afterwards.

There are certainly other things you could do to conduct a remote job search, including visiting the area and meeting face-to-face with employers and folks with whom you’ve networked. Bottom line: take action as early as possible, well before you begin packing the van to move.

Boyer Management Group works with universities, employers and job seekers alike to help them become more successful. For employers, we offer world-class talent acquisition and onboarding tools and programs. For job seekers and universities, we offer the world’s first tow assessments to measure someone’s knowledge and awareness of current and emerging job search best practices, along with the educational programs to support higher ed curriculum, career coaches and individual job seekers. To find out more, please visit us at, or call us at 215-942-0982.


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