Finding a job when moving to a new city is easier than it used to be, but it still pays to plan ahead. Consider why you’re relocating and how to take advantage of your networks to make the most of your job hunt.
Q: I’m considering moving to another city, but I don’t want to be out of work for too long. Should I try to line up a new job before I move, and if so, what’s the best way to do that?
A: Finding a new job in another city is easier today than it used to be, especially if you plan carefully. That’s because we live in a much more mobile, digitally connected world where relocating is common and resources to support a move and a remote job search are abundant.
That said, to best position yourself for a new job, you will want to think carefully about how you approach your relocation. Here are some questions to consider and actions to take before your move:
Why are you relocating? You can expect this question to come up during your job search, so practice being able to share your story in a couple of sentences. Try something like: “I’m moving to your city because your hot job market appeals to me. I want to progress in my career, and I see opportunities in your area that aren’t available to me where I currently live.”
You may be relocating for personal reasons, and if you’re comfortable sharing, you can let the organization know the reason why. But you don’t have to tell them if you don’t want to.
Use your professional and personal network. This is the time to review your LinkedIn connections and see who you might know in the new city. Let people in your network know your plans and ask for help in finding the best organizations or opportunities in your selected location.
Build your network where you’re looking to move. Consider reaching out to new contacts in your current association, alumni networks, or family members who live and work in the city or region where you plan to move.
Develop a cover letter template. You should update your cover letter for each organization or opportunity you apply for, but your template should include information about whether you expect to relocate yourself or will want your new organization to foot the bill. Write something like, “I will be funding my relocation to your city” or “If you have a position that I’d be qualified for, I hope that you can offer me a relocation package.”
Make sure your technology is reliable. If you haven’t already, update your technology so you can handle a Skype or Zoom interview, and be sure that you have good lighting and a reliable microphone.
Consider making an interviewing trip. If possible, line up a couple of interviews in advance so that you can maximize your time and resources.
If you decide to move without finding a job in advance, be sure that you have the financial resources to support yourself while you look. Since most roles now are filled through networking, focus heavily on building your new network as quickly as possible while staying flexible and positive.