Looking for a job is hard enough. Add the out-of-town factor, and it could seem insurmountable. What can you do to help smooth the way to find opportunities in another city or state?
Stop adding your local address to your resume. It’s not unheard of, in today’s era of privacy concerns, for people to omit their physical addresses from their resumes in favor of an email and phone number only. You don’t necessarily need people to see “Omaha” glaring at them on the resume when you want to work in Boston.
Get a “local” phone number. It’s easier than you think — just sign up for Google Voice, which is a free service from Google. You can access Google Voice directly from your Gmail account. Choose a number local to your target city, and have the calls forwarded directly to whatever number or numbers you normally answer.
Identify organizations and companies that interest you in your target location. Narrow down your focus as much as you can, since you’ll need to concentrate your efforts. Once you choose three to five companies of interest, start searching your networks to see if you know anyone who works there. (Remember, don’t discount the parts of your networks NOT in your target city…In today’s highly connected world, it’s very likely your contacts at one end of the country know people who may be able to help in a different part of the country.)
Work your networks to make in-roads at those organizations:
- LinkedIn — Use the “advanced” search feature on LinkedIn. Select it from the top, right toolbar and limit your search to the companies on your list. You may be surprised to find contacts in your network who work there or know someone who does.
- Facebook — Consider signing up for BeKnown or BranchOut, two applications that help you create a professional network among your Facebook friends. Tap into Glassdoor.com’s new tool, Inside Connections, to leverage your Facebook friend network and uncover whom you might know at various companies.
- Twitter — There are many tools to help you identify tweeters at target companies. Search Followerwonk.com (which searches Twitter bios — people often list where they work in their bios) orÂ TwellowHood (a local directory of Twitter users fromÂ Twellow). Also, check out TwitterLocal for a more geographical spin to Twitter search.
Plan a trip to attend an event. Consider checking out Twtvite to see if there are any “tweetups” (in-person meetups) in your target area. Plan a trip around a big event! Other, Twitter-based tools to find events include Twitter Search (search for the word â€œtweetupâ€ and target results to your targeted city). Use LinkedIn’s “Events” application to identify meetings and programs in your goal city. Even if you can’t attend those events, you can identify leaders in your field who live where you want to move. Once you notice the movers and shakers — start networking your way to those people; they probably know a lot of great contacts.
Find organizations and associations in your target location. Job-Hunt.org has a terrific directory of professional associations and societies. Find groups in your target city and identify ways to be active from afar. Learn about their events and try to plan a trip to attend one if possible. Note the leadership team and make an effort to network with them.
It’s not impossible to successfully land an out-of-town job, but it is a challenge. Give yourself every advantage by making full use of social media tools. Not using Twitter? Don’t recognize these features on LinkedIn and Facebook? Learn more about how social media can fuel your job search by reading my book, Social Networking for Career Success.
photo by jystewart