Strategies for Finding Jobs in Another State

by Sara Mahuron

Finding a job in a new state can feel like a scavenger hunt. Once you have collected all the pieces though, everything should fall into place. Some might be surprised they have more opportunity if they move. If your career requires licensing or certification, find out first if there's a reciprocal agreement or what you need to do in the new state before moving.

Start Early

Use the luxury of knowing you will be moving in advance to your advantage. Start your job search on the Internet. Check job postings in the local newspaper or search national job databases. Use a local address for the employer if you have one available or make it clear you are relocating. You can write "Relocating to Seattle in June 2013" in place of your out-of-state address so the employer knows.

Brand Yourself

While your skill set, experience and education are important, give your marketing skills center stage. Advertise yourself as someone the employer wants or needs but can't generally find locally. For example, if your current home is a breeding ground for tech savvy or high fashion experts, shop around your expertise or specialization in the new market. If you're trading city life for someplace more quiet, test out the theory that opposites attract. If you're lucky, the locale you're coming from is valuable where you are going.

Speed Network

Find out just how fast you can network in the new state to tap into the hidden job market, or learn about opportunities only the locals know about. As a newbie, reach out to others in your industry and introduce yourself. Look up any relatives, even if they're only slightly related. Share your career goals and ask straight out for suggestions or recommendations from others. Post your resume on local Internet job boards and send it to organizations that typically hire for the job you want.

Use Resources

In a tough job market where you're having trouble finding jobs to apply for, refine your search. Temporarily switch gears and look for job search resources instead. Hit up the first career fair you get wind of and show your face at college and university career centers, the local job service and employment agencies. Volunteer for organizations or community programs to get your foot in the door.

Research Location

The new locale may seem foreign, but that can change quickly. Learn about the new place quickly through research. Compile a list of employers in the area and research them thoroughly. Drive around and write down the names of businesses that interest you and look them up too. Check for job postings on company websites and read about the organization's culture. Sign up for a career workshop and learn about your new town's history. Your interest just might be returned.

About the Author

Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.

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