Author Topic: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?  (Read 6032 times)

Wolf_Stache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Portland
    • Flower's Fang
Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« on: October 31, 2014, 05:08:15 PM »
Hi all. I currently live in Seattle, and at some point in the next 6 months, I would like to move out of state. In previous moves of a significant distance, I never planned the move - I just picked up and went, I did this 3 or 4 times. Obviously things worked out, but it did make it stressful not having a place to live or a job waiting for me.

This time I would like to actually prepare for my move ahead of time, which means job hunting long distance. Are there any tips you can give me? I never did it previously because I was always told 'employers won't consider your application if you don't already live in the area,' regardless of whether or not you actually already have plans to move out there. My couple of tentative attempts before my last move seemed to bear this out. But maybe I was just going about it wrong?

coffeehound

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 88
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 05:29:37 PM »
My only suggestion is to let the employer know, when you apply, that you plan to move to the area where you're job hunting.  Employers mostly hate hiring people who live at long distances because of moving costs.  Let 'em know that you're looking for a job now because you plan to move in March 2015 (or whatever).  This is what I did.

YMMV.

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4568
  • Age: 11
  • Location: USA
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 05:36:29 PM »
It depends on the field. The more in demand you are, the less they care. Large tech companies will fly 20 year olds through 10 timezones just to interview for an internship.

Wolf_Stache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Portland
    • Flower's Fang
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 06:49:42 PM »
For the record, I'm an accountant with my CPA license and 10 years experience(lapsed since my current employer won't pay for CPE and was requiring me to use my PTO when I took parts of the day off to attend CPE classes). BUTTTTTTTT.... I don't have any any public accounting experience, I went straight into corporate accounting, which realistically cuts the potential job market down by 3/4.

Kriegsspiel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 977
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 07:31:08 PM »
I gave my resume to someone I knew who worked in a field I wanted to get into, she gave it to the supervisor, and I got the job! Totally unrelated to my former job, so don't let that stop you (unless you actually want to keep accounting).

Guizmo

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 263
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 07:35:49 PM »
I got a job once when I applied from out of town. Not a particularly in demand field but I had a good enough interview that they wanted to hire me.

Spondulix

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 640
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 07:42:46 PM »
Depending on the size of the company (or if you're applying to a job through a recruiting company), they might just put your resume straight into a database which narrows applicants to certain key words. So even if you mention, "I'm ready to relocate", if your address isn't local, it could be thrown out. So maybe it's a question of getting it to the right person, too.

It probably depends where you're moving to, also. In Los Angeles there is a constant influx of people wanting to move here. The typical response you get sending a resume from out of town is "get in touch when you're here." (you'll get an interview, but no commitment.)

Do you have your resume on Monster? I have a CPA friend who used to get calls from head hunters regularly.

Wolf_Stache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Portland
    • Flower's Fang
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 08:25:16 PM »
Depending on the size of the company (or if you're applying to a job through a recruiting company), they might just put your resume straight into a database which narrows applicants to certain key words. So even if you mention, "I'm ready to relocate", if your address isn't local, it could be thrown out. So maybe it's a question of getting it to the right person, too.

It probably depends where you're moving to, also. In Los Angeles there is a constant influx of people wanting to move here. The typical response you get sending a resume from out of town is "get in touch when you're here." (you'll get an interview, but no commitment.)

Do you have your resume on Monster? I have a CPA friend who used to get calls from head hunters regularly.

Yeah I think it still is. I get emails and calls about jobs occasionally. But it is all for stuff in Seattle. Maybe I'll see if I can update it to put the city I want to relocate to. The difficulty is not having a local address.

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7396
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2014, 06:43:22 AM »
Networking is the best way to get jobs. I hate doing it when I'm not looking for one, but it's how I've gotten most of the jobs I've ever had. When people know you or they know someone that knows you, it transforms you from just another resume for a posted position into someone that they should want to hire--and even create a job for you (that no one else can apply for). My last 2 jobs were created for me because they wanted me to come work for them because of recommendations from mutual acquaintances.

cavewoman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 522
  • Age: 33
  • I'm a woman who likes caves
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2014, 07:11:26 AM »
I've heard that if you are applying with just a resume, you can leave off the address part of your contact information.  No direct experience if this works.

I've gotten jobs from a distance, but they were seasonal guide jobs, so it's common for people to travel to them.

Hope some of the folks from the hiring manager thread come on over!

NICE!

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 687
  • Location: Africa
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2014, 08:49:15 AM »
It isn't easy, unless your career field is in high demand and you're going to a job-rich area. Even then, it isn't easy. I've watched my brother and wife both go through it and struggle. They got offers eventually, but they weren't ideal or, in my wife's case, anywhere near what she was offered locally when she wasn't even looking. So much of this is networking.

I'm not in your situation and I don't know that I'd do this myself, but maybe the moving and figuring it out later idea isn't a bad one? Alternatively, you could look at large organizations and tell them you're location agnostic.

Good luck.

aschmidt2930

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2014, 08:55:10 AM »
Unfortunately I don't believe there's really a trick for this.  You just need to be a near perfect fit for the job, in an in-demand field. 

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2014, 09:35:22 AM »
Not sure if this would fix the problem, but perhaps getting an address in the new city through a mail forwarding service?

Spondulix

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 640
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2014, 08:33:00 PM »
Or a PO Box? On my resume I just include my city and not the address (but that's in part from blind applications, Craigslist listings, etc).

MoneyCat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1754
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2014, 05:22:28 AM »
I was able to completely change my entire life with a long distance job hunt.  You just have to be smart about it.  In my case, before moving, I found a friend just over the border from the state where I wanted to move and crashed at his house for a few days.  I took the train into the city where I wanted to work and went to pre-scheduled job fairs with copies of my resume and my portfolio to show potential employers.  Luckily, a few of them bit and invited me back to give demonstrations within that week.  I was offered a job by three of the employers, made my pick, and had a month to move to the new state.  The moving part was made a lot easier with ads on Craigslist.  I just lived in a rented room with no credit check for a few months until I could find something more permanent.

It can be a little scary to pack up your whole life, roll the dice, and move somewhere completely new, but it really does work out if you plan everything properly.  In the span of a couple years, I went from shitty credit, an empty bank account, an abusive relationship, and no employment opportunities to great credit, investments and a healthy emergency fund, marriage to someone wonderful, and full employment.

Mrs. Frugalwoods

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
  • Location: Vermont
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2014, 07:00:51 AM »
I've job hunted long distance (successfully) 4 times now and, every time, I was upfront in my cover letter about the fact that I was planning to move to the area and was available for interviews via phone and could travel for an in-person interview. I then did indeed travel for in-person interviews in 3 of those instances.

Additionally I just hired for a position, and, being on the other side of things, I appreciated folks who were honest about their plans and made themselves available for an interview by phone.

mining_melancholy

  • Guest
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2014, 07:04:44 AM »
I'm in the same boat. I've only been applying for about a month. I've gotten three rejections so far, and I think it's got a lot to do with the fact that I (for some stupid reason) chose not to address the distance problem in my cover letter. I guess I thought, "I'll just let them know in the phone interview." Yeah... that didn't happen.

Needless to say, I'll be sharpening my letter for the next batch of applications.

Wolf_Stache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Portland
    • Flower's Fang
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2014, 08:49:17 AM »
I've job hunted long distance (successfully) 4 times now and, every time, I was upfront in my cover letter about the fact that I was planning to move to the area and was available for interviews via phone and could travel for an in-person interview. I then did indeed travel for in-person interviews in 3 of those instances.

Additionally I just hired for a position, and, being on the other side of things, I appreciated folks who were honest about their plans and made themselves available for an interview by phone.

Thanks for the view from the other side! And good point about using the cover letter to convey that information.

Brian Fellows

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 36
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2014, 09:00:07 AM »
As someone said earlier it depends on your field, so I don't know how in demand you are.  Both jobs I've gotten have been 1400 miles away (first job out of college I had to move, next one I wanted to move back).

The first one was a super in-demand field and I had a perfect education, so they came after me.  My second time not so much.  My trick was to put my current location on monster.com and careerbuilder.com AS THE AREA I WANTED TO MOVE TO, not the area I currently lived in.

Of course as soon as people call me on the phone I'm immediately up front about the fact that I currently live super far away but plan on coming back.  Not one single recruiter ended it at that - some just let me know that they didn't have any interest in flying me out for an interview and/or paying moving costs.  It's up to you at that point to decide whether it's worth it to fly/drive yourself out there to continue, but as long as you can appear for an interview on the day they set up you up for it, they won't care.

My field is more technology related than yours so that may have made it easier for me, but the little white lie on my current location definitely led to immediate interest from tons of companies that were located where I wanted to be.

Mrs. Frugalwoods

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
  • Location: Vermont
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2014, 01:57:10 PM »
I've job hunted long distance (successfully) 4 times now and, every time, I was upfront in my cover letter about the fact that I was planning to move to the area and was available for interviews via phone and could travel for an in-person interview. I then did indeed travel for in-person interviews in 3 of those instances.

Additionally I just hired for a position, and, being on the other side of things, I appreciated folks who were honest about their plans and made themselves available for an interview by phone.

Thanks for the view from the other side! And good point about using the cover letter to convey that information.
You're most welcome, I hope that helps. Yeah, as a hiring manager, I just want people who are honest about their situation and upfront with me. With the most recent position I filled, I ended up hiring someone who did need to relocate for the position and, it wasn't a problem for either of us.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5643
Re: Long Distance Job hunting works? Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2014, 02:55:36 PM »
In the past I have been successful in doing the same thing as Mrs. Frugalwoods. I think the key that she mentioned is to be upfront in your cover letter.