Summary: Learn how to increase your chances of getting out-of-state interviews in this article.
Question: My graduation date is on the horizon, and I’ve been searching for positions around the country. I live in Florida and have found that an abundance of the jobs I’m interested in are located in cities outside of Florida, such as Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. Although I understand the simplicity of sending resumes to these employers, I’m curious as to employers’ perspectives on hiring out-of-state graduates. Can you please offer some tips as to how I should approach this issue?
Answer: The ease with which you can secure an out-of-state position depends on a variety of factors, including your marketability. If you’re in a high-demand field, with the right credentials, you shouldn’t have any problem getting potential employers to pick up your travel costs for interviews and cover relocation expenses if hired.
Finding a position in a lower-demand field will require a more creative approach. If you have a preference for a specific city that both interests you and has the kind of positions you are targeting, do your homework and consider moving to that location to conduct your search from there.
In any event, the following tips should increase your chances of conducting a successful long-distance job search campaign:
- Put together an excellent marketing package: impressive resume, targeted cover letters and a portfolio, if relevant.
- In your cover letter, always state unequivocally that you are moving to that city. This will help to dispel concerns that you may be mass mailing and not serious about relocating to that specific locale.
- Take advantage of the internet to get to know your target cities and employers in great detail that in the past would have only been available by being there.
- Use family, friends, alumni of your college and any other potential contacts to gain useful information and to start a network in your destination city.
- Join a national professional association in your field and contact the local chapters in the cities you’re considering for information and leads.
- At the very least, plan at least one visit to each target city, at your own expense if necessary, and set up interviews with employers of interest.