Nailing the Long Shot: Tips for Applying for Jobs Out of State

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Dec 9, 2018

Dec 9, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Unemployment rates in the United States are hovering near an all-time low of 4%. That reality has put a lot of duress on recruiters who don't have access to enough qualified labor to lure into positions.

What does that mean for you?

It means that it's a great time to be a job applicant since you'll find less competition and more leverage in salary negotiations.

But does that leverage hold up when you're looking for jobs out of state?

For the most part, it does.

Applying for jobs out of state can be tricky since most people looking to hire don't want to deal with complications surrounding distance. Still, just because you're at a disadvantage doesn't mean that you shouldn't apply.

Below, our team shares with you some things to consider to raise your chances of getting called in for an out of state interview!

1. Ask Yourself If You're Really Willing to Relocate

Relocating can be hard. Especially if you have a family.

It means quitting your current job. It means displacing your partner. It means pulling your kids from school... Because of all that, it's not something you should approach lightly.

Before you start taking the time applying for jobs out of state and imposing on the time of recruiters, ask yourself and your family if you'd really be willing to take an offer if it was given to you.

While the allure of relocating for work might seem enticing, the reality is often a difficult one. You being 100% sure that you're willing to jump at offers when they come will heighten your chances of getting them.

For tips on relocating, click here.

2. Assess Expenses

Another key consideration prior to submitting out of state job applications are moving expenses. On average, it costs between $5,000.00 and $6,000.00 to pay for an out of state move.

Can you afford that? Are you expecting your employer to offer you a moving stipend?

Understanding what your expectations are of your employer when it comes to contributing to your move can help you figure out which jobs are going to be a possibility for you and which won't be.

3. Start Networking Out of State

The more ingrained you can get into the network of out of state recruiters you're interested in attracting, the better. That's why we always recommend that you try to connect with out of state professionals via LinkedIn prior to sending out job applications in the area.

Most recruiters will look at your LinkedIn profile prior to inviting you in for an interview. If they see that you share mutual connections with them, it can mean a big boost in your odds of being followed up with.

4. Update Your Resume Header

Now that you're committed to making your move, it's time to start working on your resume.

One of the most integral parts of applying for jobs out of state is listing the right location in your resume header.

Should you put your out of state address? Should you put the address of an in-state PO Box? Should you borrow a family member's address?

There are a lot of schools of thought here. Our suggestion is that if you don't have a family member's address you can borrow, list your address as the business' city.

For instance, if the out of state job you're applying to is in Boulder, Colorado, list your address as Boulder, Colorado.

5. Research The Area and Make Meaningful Connections to It

When you're listing your hobbies on your resume, try and make connections to the area you're applying for a job in.

For example, Portland, Oregon is a nature-focused, active town. If you list hobbies like hiking, exercise, and biking, your recruiter might think that you're a good cultural fit for their like-minded team.

6. Prepare to Honestly Discuss Your Living Situation

If a recruiter calls you and asks you about your vague address or poses any other questions in regard to your living situation, it's important that you try to keep as honest as possible.

For example, if you're asked where in Boulder, Colorado you reside and why you didn't list your full home address, you can say that you're in the process of relocating and are still securing housing. Doing that is much better than outright lying and giving out a false address (which could even be considered illegal).

7. Don't Give Up

No matter how well you present yourself when applying for jobs out of state, there's still a chance a recruiter will shut you down the moment they find out you don't live in the area. Don't be discouraged if that happens to you.

Keep applying for more positions in the area you'd like to relocate to and even consider applying for jobs at the company that rejected you.

The more time you put into applying for out of state jobs, the more recruiters will see your commitment to attaining employment in the area. That show of commitment could very well lead to a business taking a chance on you!

Wrapping Up Tips for Applying for Jobs Out of State

From assessing your relocation seriousness to being appropriately vague when it comes to disclosing your location, there are a number of considerations and strategies worth trying when it comes to applying for jobs out of state.

Our hope is that the tips you just read will help you on your way to landing your dream job!

Want more career-focused advice? If so, check out additional content at National Jobs by The Washington Post.