Getting a new job is one of the top five reasons Americans move in general.
But not all of us move to a city with a job already in place. Perhaps your partner got a job and you transferred with them. Or maybe you had to move immediately for other family purposes.
Whatever the reason is, you may be a little nervous about moving somewhere new without work. That is ok. Rest assure, there are open positions all around you.
Read along for seven easy steps on how to find a job in a new city.
1. How to Find a Job in a New City 101: Make Your Online Presence Move Before You Do
If you know that you are moving to a new location without a job in tow, make sure to change your online locations to that city before you even go.
Changing accounts like LinkedIn and Indeed to your new locale will make you come up in recruiter or hiring manager searches. And you can do this before even having all your boxes taped up.
Don't do this if you are trying to conduct your job search undercover (as in, you have not put in your two weeks at your current job). But if you have your mind set on moving, then most definitely change the location in your settings.
2. Join Employment Groups Specific to Your Desired Location
Like most social media websites, LinkedIn has niche clusters you can join for your interests/field. LinkedIn Groups allows you to market yourself in an easier way than the general website does and is one of the best places to find jobs. A majority of metropolitan areas have groups that will be both industry and location specific (i.e., San Diego Education Professionals, Olympia Healthcare Industry, Manhattan Fashion Industry workers).
This may sound obvious, but once you are in these groups: be in these groups. Make sure to pay attention and contribute to the discussions going on. Also, search for people working at companies that interest you and make sure to introduce yourself to them.
The old cliche of, "It is not what you know, but who you know" stands the test of time. A huge part of making advances in your career has to do with your people skills and personability.
Again, if you are trying to move on the down low (aka, your current employer is still unaware): you can hide your LinkedIn Group logos in your settings.
3. Hone in on Three to Five Companies You Would Enjoy Working For, and then Work on Getting Noticed
There are several stressors that come with moving to a new city. Stress can make us fragile. But it can also make us brave.
Your life is not Classic Greek theater. You cannot sit back and wait for the perfect job to come to you. Use that moving adrenalin to go after companies that you would like to work for the most.
Sit down and create a dynamic and tactical plan that will aid you in coming up on the radar of your dream company.
Try to compose some relationships with a few people who already work at these places. Remember to be genuine and do not stretch yourself out too thin. In these situations, quality relationships trump the number of relationships you may have [LinkedIn, again, is a great place to create these connections].
When it fits into conversations, or when you can make it appear as such, let these people know that you are moving to their city. Starting these conversations can be as simple as asking about neighborhoods or via giving that person small, sincere compliments about their tastes. This is no time to be humble: when the time comes, tell them about your qualities and what you can bring to their organization.
It may seem scary to throw caution to the wind. But remember that the worst these people can say is no. Remember: seizing the opportunities we want can take risk, but are often rewarded.
4. Make It Clear In Your Cover Letter That You Are Moving
Many companies are hesitant to hire people outside their geographic location due to the risks that come along with it. Part of this reasoning comes from the probability of you backing out. And part of it comes from the company worrying about the financial costs it will be on them.
So, you need to make it obvious that you are already heading that way. Try to lead into this right away in your cover letter, for example:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Dr. So and So:
"As my family prepares to leave the cold weather and move South, we..."
This letter should, like all cover letters, be professional and friendly. But reemphasize that you are already moving to that location should be clear and concise.
It will show a company two things. A) that you are a person who is willing to take risks. And B) that they are taking a much lower one by hiring someone who will soon be a local.
5. Find Recruiters Who Specialize in Your Field
People do not take enough advantage of recruiters. People often think of them only hiring for low paying and temp jobs. But this is often contradictory to the truth.
In fact, job recruiters are an amazing resource for people relocating. More often than not, they work in a specific field and are always looking for new people. If you have awesome skills in a particular sector (which, of course, you do), look for a recruiter working in your geographical place of interest and your industry.
At the very least, a recruiter can give you a "lay of the land" for your field in the city you are moving to. And in an optimal situation, they can use you to fill a position they have been trying to recruit for.
You never pay for recruiters, and they make money from the company they get you hired for. It is a win-win-win for you, them, and your future employer.
6. Prepare to do Freelance Work in the Meantime
Several fields: from accounting to IT to marketing to art to writing to law (you get the idea), hire and are often looking for freelance workers.
Before moving to a new area, look for freelance positions offered in that location. Often, these jobs are online and can allow you to stay in your comfort zone while becoming accustomed to your new settings.
Freelancing is something many people are hesitant about. But think about it as networking and getting paid for it at the same time.
Freelancing also gives you the mobility to work for more than one company at a time. This allows you to scope in on whether a specific organization peaks your interest over others.
7. ABRTI: Always Be Ready to Interview
There are always going to be more fish in a bigger pond. Meaning, the larger the city you move to, the more people an organization has to choose from.
Most interviews will happen in the traditional sense. You will get a call or email telling you when and where the interview is. You need to make sure to have everything ready before walking into that building.
Your interview clothes should be dry-cleaned. You should have already done extensive research on the organization. You should also go on websites like Glassdoor and see if there is any information on the company's interview tactics.
But it is more than that.
Until you have something on lock, you need to be in constant interview mode. Be polite to everyone you meet. If you are going out to grab a coffee in the middle of the day, make sure you look presentable. You should always have your resume, and at the very least, your business card on hand.
Opportunities can come up when you least expect them. And while it may be annoying toting your resume around for a few weeks, it can pay off in the long run.
Also, always make sure to follow up on every interview.
Send a handwritten thank you card to your interviewee. And always, always, always try to add something personal you recall about something they said. Regardless of a person's job status, all people like compliments and feeling heard.
Make Your Move(s)
Did you move to another city? Are you moving to another city?
Congratulations. The hard part is over. Yes, finding a new job in new terrain can be a terrifying objective. But you are a strong, interesting, and individual professional.
You have the how to find a job in a new city. All the tools to find a new position are right there for you. All you need to do is use them to find your dream job in your new dream city.
Remember, you are brave. You are willing to take risks. And more than anything: you got this.
Do you have questions or comments for The Washington Post National Jobs site? Please feel free to contact us.