If it’s time to move your job search to a new city, there are a few things you can do to make it easier and more effective.
Choose a City
Is the move to expand your job network or are you moving for personal reasons? If you’re moving for career opportunities take some time to research your options before focusing on a particular city. Use online resources to your advantage, running job searches for your specific position in particular cities to see what type of prospects are available and to review compensation ranges. Check out the city’s chamber of commerce or economic development council websites for media clips on job creation and business growth, cost of living information, and relocation tips. It’s important to understand what your job is worth in that market and if there is a demand for your talent.
CareerBuilder offers CareerRelocate.com, a tool that allows you to search career skill demands, and conduct a salary conversion based on local standards of living. You can conduct a keyword or category search for specific career skills to find where low and high demands are across the U.S. The tool also allows you to enter your current salary and city, and compare how much you would need to make in a different city to maintain your standard of living.
Use a Network
Once you’ve narrowed your choices down where you are going to search for a job, it’s time to build a local network. Thanks to local networking groups on LinkedIn or sites like Brazen Careerist, you can make connections with local individuals and learn more about the job market in that city. The best way to start interacting is to contribute information or past experiences to the questions posted within a group forum. For example, if someone is asking for advice on different types of software, respond with relevant advice regarding your experience. Try responding to a blog post or feature article with your own advice or insights. Another great way to connect is to attend in-person networking events sponsored by online network sites. Taking a trip to your new city before you actually move can also help speed up the job search in the new market by allowing you to gain some local contacts.
Another option is to work with a local staffing agency to uncover job opportunities. Staffing firms have a good pulse on the local job market and have established connections with employers that may help land you an interview. Also reach out to any friends or family you have in the area to let them know you’ll be job searching in their market. Send a copy of your résumé attached to an email explaining when you’ll be moving to town, a summary of your top skills, and what type of work you would like to do. Make sure to update your own social media profiles with information about your search for employment in a specific city and when you’ll be available.
Channel your inner-detective to uncover potential employers and positions. You’ll want to start your job search before you move to town by researching open positions and building local connections, but the best thing you can do is to visit the city you’ve chosen. Once you’re in town spend some time exploring the area and make sure to have a few contact cards or copies of your résumé handy when you do so. One way to get a feel for the local job market is to visit an area coffee shop early in the morning, ask the wait staff where people around that area work and what they know about the larger employers. Also, try visiting restaurants around the lunch or during happy hour that are located near an employer you are targeting for employment. You may be able to strike up a conversation with someone who can help connect you to local open jobs. If you haven’t moved yet, make sure to schedule your trip to your new city when a local networking event or job fair is taking place. You may also consider taking a class at the local technology or vo-tech school to brush up on your skills. This will give you access to their career center and allow you to meet others working in your industry.
In short, it may seem easier to look for a job where you currently live, but opening up your job search may allow you to discover the career opportunity you’ve been working toward. With the networking power unleashed within social media, the world seems smaller every day. Now may be the perfect time to get outside your boundaries and take your job search on the road.
By Rachel Rudisill