applying for work in another city
February 21, 2009 10:58 AM   Subscribe

I am wanting to move back to a major metro area from my current locale, about 10 hours drive. I've been living in relatively small town for about 3 years now. The job opportunities in my previous locale are much greater and I'm getting tired of swimming upstream. I'd prefer to have work there before moving but it's problematical applying long distance. What's the best way to apply for work in another town?

To make a long story short, I'm thinking of three ways to apply for positions in another geographic area. I can apply acknowledging up front that I am currently located in another locale. I can conceal that I am living elsewhere and put a friend's address and local voicemail on my resumes, or I can move and hope for work while applying locally.

Moving is certainly an option but it entails a lot of stressors including no income while I get employed. I think I can relocate inside of 30 days when I have a new position.

Just wondering what people have done in the past? While honesty is the best policy, I wonder if it wouldn't substantially slow down the process if people think I am not local to the area. An accurate resume would show my work history in my current area plus the work history in my previous location.

I don't know that's there's some perfect picture. I'm inclined to simply give it a shot with my 'real' profile and see if anything comes my way. If that doesn't work in 1-2 months (meaning no replies), then I would tempted to try to stealth apply using local address information.
posted by diode to Work & Money (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
As long as you state that you are willing (eager?) to relocate, and can get yourself there physically for interviews, I don't think this is a big deal at all. People move all the time.

One thing I would NOT do is make it seem like you're applying for the job because you want to move. I once reviewed an application from someone who basically stated that they were moving to [X city] from [Y faraway place] and wanted a job, now, please. Not impressive.

You're willing to move because you want the job, right? Right?

You don't say what kinds of jobs you're applying for. If it's something like low-level retail or McDs, this advice might not apply, and it would probably be better to go faux-local.
posted by charmcityblues at 11:27 AM on February 21, 2009

I get applications from people out of town all the time. They are discarded if:

1. They can't fit an interview into their schedule.

2. They won't travel for an interview.

3. They aren't available to start work when I need them to start.

Otherwise, it's no big deal for me.
posted by HuronBob at 11:37 AM on February 21, 2009

I'm no HR Director, but I've heard that a lot of companies won't look at out-of-area resumes for most jobs because it could require them to spend money to interview that person.

Do you know someone in town whose address you could use on your job application materials? If you get the interview, you can be as honest as you feel like, but this will prevent you from getting cut immediately.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 11:49 AM on February 21, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the comments. Yes, I have local addresses I can use from this area, and I am able to get to interviews. It may be that I'll simply go ahead and use an address that's local plus my straight resume with my current up to date info. The question is bound to come up about my current situation and if I'm getting interviews I can simply relate that I am available within 30 days and that I am willing to handle any relocation costs and travel for interviews.

It's good to know that relocation or inquiries from other areas is pretty typical and not necessarily a dead-end when applying.
posted by diode at 12:03 PM on February 21, 2009

Using an address in your new town is great but what about a phone number? Won't employers wonder why your address is in DC but your phone has a Boston area code? What about when they look at your resume and your "current" job is in Boston? If you're unemployed and already living in your new city, why do you need 2-4 weeks before you can start? Lying to a potential employer is a surefire way to not get an interview.

If you decide to move first, rent a cheap room on craigslist. I was planning on moving when I couldn't find a job in my area and I was shocked how many people were renting rooms in nice houses. I guess times are tough all over. Some people were asking ridiculous prices (just because you need $800 a month doesn't mean your spare room is worth that) but there were some deals too. Plus, you could negotiate a shorter lease so you could move out after you get on your feet. Also, I was trying to move to a town with a lot of colleges so returning students were trying to sublease their apartments for the summer. Some were willing to take a loss so they didn't lose the lease.

After being in the job market semi-recently, I wouldn't even consider moving without a job now. It took me about 5 months and all of my savings to get a new position. I would apply from my current city and state in my cover letter that I can start in X weeks and will interview\relocate at my own expense. A couple of the employers I spoke to out of town lost interest when they heard I had a house I would need to sell. I can't say I blame them considering the market.
posted by bda1972 at 2:23 PM on February 21, 2009

Everyone has cell phones nowadays and nobody changes numbers when they move just to have a local area code. A large proportion of the applicants we interview have out-of-area area codes and it totally doesn't affect how we evaluate them (unless it's "cool, a cell number from Hawaii, remember to ask about that in the interview" or something like that).
posted by gum at 11:19 PM on February 21, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the tips. I had thought to get a voicemail in the area perhaps with forwarding. I don't think anyone thinks twice about leaving messages on a number. Many voicemail systems will send you a message or attach the message to an email. Perhaps I could get an SMS text.

As for housing, since I'm returning to a known area, I know of housing I can find fairly quickly for the short term so that's not so much of a problem.
posted by diode at 9:20 PM on February 23, 2009

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