5 Tips to Land a Job in a City You Don’t Live in (Yet)

We’re all familiar with that itch to drop everything and move to another city. Sometimes it just feels like the right decision to get up and go. Or maybe you’re following a loved one who just landed the opportunity of their dreams. The prospect of moving to a new place (or moving back to an old one) is exciting and full of possibility! But there are a lot of practical things involved in making a move — and one of the most important things is securing a job. Because student loans and bills.

If you’re applying for jobs in another city, sending a prospective employer a standard application online might not cut it! It’s pretty common for companies to throw out the resumes of candidates who don’t live in or near the city where the job is located! And who can blame them? Relocation can take time for someone to settle in, and if a startup is hiring, it means they needed people to start working yesterday . It’s too bad though, because sometimes awesome candidates don’t get a fair shot in the application process. And that’s why you need to make yourself stand out above all the rest so that they have no choice but to hire you!

We’ve compiled our top 5 tips for job hunting outside of your local area. These tips might just be the key to landing your dream job!

#5 — Don’t put your current address on your resume

Once they see your out-of-town address, they’re more likely to ditch your resume early on. Via Giphy.

Hear us out. When startups get a mountain of resumes for a single job position, they don’t have time to go through every single one from top to bottom. It’s not uncommon for an employer to take a quick look at the top of the resume, see that your application is nowhere near their office, and chuck your resume out of the candidates pile without looking at the rest of your qualifications.

If you think your resume looks a little sad without an address, put the new location or write “Relocating to (city/state).” If you omit your address from your resume, employers are more likely to look a the rest of its content and reach out to you if they think you’re a good fit. While you’re at it, remove your address from your Linkedin profile as well. This will help even out the playing field for you.

But keep in mind that this isn’t about lying or “conveniently withholding” information. What you want is to stay in the running for a job despite your current location. Unfortunately, some companies might have a pretty hard rule against any applicants who aren’t local, so if they ask where you live during a phone interview, it’s best to be honest about your plans and timeline for moving if they ask.

#4 — Research the city (and the company!) before you apply

When you move somewhere new, you have to know what you’re getting yourself into. You don’t want to move to another city and be completely disappointed. Google for info and ask friends about the life and culture of the area to make sure it’s a good fit for you. Take your budget, income, lifestyle, and career aspirations into account with where you’re moving. Do the same thing with the company and job you’re applying for. If you can’t see yourself living and working there, don’t apply! If you can, let the employers know that you’ve done your research and know what you’re getting yourself into. It will show your commitment to the position and willingness to move. This is an essential step when any company is taking a leap of faith in hiring someone from outside the area!

#3 — Be clear about your timeline

Don’t be all wishy-washy on your schedule. Via Giphy.

If you can’t transition to the new city for another month and a half, don’t keep it from employers. Sometimes companies can wait for you to start working, but sometimes they need you ASAP. If you get to the final rounds and wait until then to reveal that you can’t start working for another couple months, not only will you have wasted your time and theirs, but it also ruins your reputation (never know who the company is friends with). Make it clear from the start what your timeline is and save yourself a lot of drama.

#2 — Reach out to people from the company via LinkedIn and email

If you want a certain job, other people probably want it too. Hiring managers are often buried under resumes, and resumes all start to look the same after a while. We cannot stress enough how important networking is in the real world. Use LinkedIn to reach out to employees in the company (but don’t do it in a creepy or desperate way). Don’t just ask these folks for tips on how to get the job — make an effort to learn more about the work culture and the job you’re applying for. If you hit it off with the people you talk to, they might be able to pass your resume on to the hiring managers and put in a good word for you. Now that’s how you do a job application.

Need some tips on how to approach someone out of the blue? Check out our post on How to Turn a Stranger Into a Professional Connection.

#1 — Have a relocation plan ready

For something this big, you need to be ready. Via Giphy.

Startups are running on a tight budget and sometimes cannot pay for your relocation, so you can’t rely on them fronting the bill when it comes to compensation negotiations. If you’re serious about moving to another city, you’re probably going to have to do it on your own with your own money. Make a clear and realistic plan of how you’re going to make the move. See if you can get friends and family to help you, and plan how you’re going to make the down payment to your new place. If your relocation plan ends up sounding unrealistic, maybe you should hold off until the stars align a little bit more (and you’ve had a chance to save).


Want to get connected to jobs in cities you’re not in yet? Not sure where to start? Need a helping hand? Sign up for Planted, and let us connect you with startups and other high-growth companies looking to hire people like you!

Original version of featured image by picjumbo.


Originally published at www.planted.com.