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Moving without a job? Try these strategies

New home but no job? Take these steps to find full-time employment in your new city fast.

Moving without a job? Try these strategies

Follow these tips for relocating without having a job lined up.

Moving to a new city is exciting. Moving to a new city without a job? Stressful—but  not unheard of.

Some folks move to be closer to family, some move to be in a city with more affordable housing, some move to simply start fresh—whatever the reason may be, it’s definitely doable to move to a new location without having a job lined up. The trick is to start your search before you arrive in your new hometown, not after.

When you’re ready to make the jump, these steps can help you build a network in your new city, gain financial stability, and find a job.

Scout out the local job market

If you don’t have your heart set on a particular company, find out who the major employers in town are by reading the local business paper (you can find some of them at American City Business Journals). “See what companies are in the news and what companies are growing to get a sense of the economic landscape,” says Andrea Kay, author of This Is How to Get Your Next Job: An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want.

Once you’ve identified five to 10 companies you’d like to work for, do your homework on each employer.

“Mine the company’s website, look at who their investors are, read their recent media coverage, and look at any annual reports if they’re available,” Kay advises. Company profiles on Monster can also give you an overview of an organization’s work culture and current job openings.

Start networking now

Begin building your network as soon as you know you’re going to move, says Deborah Krawiec, founder and principal career management consultant at Arrow Career Consulting. She recommends connecting with professional associations and industry groups in the region to start growing your sphere.

And, if you can afford to do so, “take a few trips to your new city before you move there” to attend networking events, says Kay.

Check out part-time jobs

Even if your primary goal is to find a full-time job, “don’t rule out applying to temporary or part-time jobs,” says Karen Litzinger, a career coach and business etiquette trainer in Pittsburgh. “These can be a great way to gain exposure and tie you over financially until you find a full-time job.”

Part-time work can also help you gain new skills and, in turn, make yourself more marketable to employers.

Explain (briefly) why you’re moving

Many employers prefer to hire local job candidates, often to save money on relocation costs. However, if you’re already moving to the area on your own dime, the fact that you’re applying from out of town shouldn’t work against you.

That being said, Kay recommends addressing your move, either in your cover letter or in an email to the hiring manager, with a “move mantra”—a short explanation of why you’re relocating to the area that shows employers you’re not a “flight risk” (someone bouncing from one city to the next).

For example, “My company was just bought out by a competitor. I’ve enjoyed working here, but now I’m looking at this as an opportunity to move back to the Midwest, where my parents live.” But don’t forget to tie your reasoning to the particular company or job. (“This is an amazing job opportunity, and I believe in your organization’s values.”)

Create a safety net

If you don’t have enough savings to pay the bills while you’re looking for a full-time job, supporting yourself financially in a new city can be tough (even with part-time work). Ideally, you should have sufficient cash in reserves—before you move—to cover your living expenses for at least three to six months without earning an income.

Tap your alumni network

Whether you’re a recent grad or have been out of school for a bit,  one of the best ways to find job opportunities is to leverage your school’s alumni database. In fact, many colleges have regional alumni chapters with alumni who are eager to offer career advice, especially to new graduates. By cultivating these relationships, you could eventually nab referrals for job interviews, says Kay.

Use Monster to your advantage

Monster can be a great resource for anyone job-searching in a new area. Could you use help getting plugged into the local job market? Join Monster today. You can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox, which can significantly cut down on the time you spend combing through job ads. Also, you can upload up to five versions of your resume, each tailored to the kinds of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates. Moving to a new place is a big undertaking. These job-search strategies can help transfer some of the pressure off your shoulders.


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