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The challenges of a long-distance job search are reminiscent of the challenges you may have faced when you were trying to get your first job. Just like it’s hard to get a job without experience, it seems like you can’t get a job in a new location until you move there — but it’s hard to move if you don’t have employment set up. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it can’t be done — check out these tips on how to job search long distance:

  • Set Realistic Expectations

Job searches in general can be challenging, but searching long distance will take a lot more time, effort, and resources than local searches. You will have to try harder to get hiring managers to take you seriously and consider you over local candidates. It can happen and many people successfully get long-distance job offers, but having realistic expectations of the journey ahead can keep you from getting disheartened and losing motivation.

  • Tap Your Network

Out-of-area candidates are often filtered out when hiring managers are reviewing resumes because of the additional logistics they’d have to deal with (such as travel expenses and a later start date). They may only consider out-of-area candidates if they have a reason, like a referral. If in-area people can refer you and get your resume in front of a hiring manager, you have a much higher chance of being considered since referrals are a top factor in hiring decisions. Ask your personal and professional contacts that are in the area, or could put you in touch with someone who is, if they have any leads.

  • Brand Yourself

Hiring managers will typically venture outside of local candidates if there are significantly more qualified candidates out there than the ones who have applied in the area. Determine what skills or traits you have that set you apart and make you the best candidate. Highlight them in your cover letter and resume to make a serious case for yourself.

  • Provide Context

Assure hiring managers that you aren’t just applying as a pipe dream, but that you’re actually ready to move if you get hired. In your cover letter, explain your objectives and motives regarding why you’re applying for a long-distance job. Provide context to your long-distance search by giving a reasonable explanation (such as relocating with a spouse, or already have concrete plans to move to the area, etc.)

When you’re conducting a challenging job search, a staffing firm like Mark/Ryan Associates, Ltd. can help you become successful in your job search efforts. Since 2004, we have been matching talented accounting, finance, and administrative candidates directly with employers with available positions in Chicagoland. Get started by contacting us today to learn more.

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