How do I apply for a job for two months from now?
March 24, 2012 9:56 AM   Subscribe

I'm relocating in 2 months and currently doing the job search. How do I handle current job postings which do not specify a start date: apply anyway and state my arrival time (or don't mention it)? Is there anything I can do in the application/interview process to increase the likelihood that an employer might hold a position for me, or how do I broach the subject? Is it worth applying to a job that has a start date earlier than my arrival "just in case"?

There is no possibility of me arriving earlier (unless they paid for a new plane ticket). I of course want to be completely honest with employers, but I also want to avoid my inquiries being dismissed out of hand because dates do not match up.
posted by dahliachewswell to Work & Money (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Your big problem is lack of availability for interviews. How do you plan on managing that?
posted by crazycanuck at 10:10 AM on March 24, 2012

Response by poster: I successfully been using Skype for interviews so far.
posted by dahliachewswell at 10:12 AM on March 24, 2012

Assuming that you'll make yourself available for interviews as necessary, what you need to do is put a local address on your resume, even if it's just a friend's. Then in your cover letter explain you are relocating to the town in two months, which is when you can start, but will make yourself available for interviews at their convenience before then.

If you're not available for interviews I wouldn't bother applying until you are.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:13 AM on March 24, 2012

The possibility of them holding the job for you is going to vary significantly with how high level your position is. If you're applying for entry-level jobs, it's likely that they'll just go with a more available candidate. If you're applying for very high level jobs, they'll be more likely to hold the job for you.

That said, I'd apply anyway. It can't hurt.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:15 AM on March 24, 2012

I applied for jobs 2-3 months in advance last May, right before my college graduation. I noted on my cover letter that I was "Available 5/14/2011". YMMV with this tactic, because my cover letter made it explicitly clear that I could not start a position until I graduated [and many of the positions required at least a bachelors degree].

It also varies by industry, but a lot of museums will post positions months before they begin the interview process. I believe some government agencies also do this. So while you might not have a job immediately when you arrive, you'll have a solid idea of what positions are out there and be prepared to apply to them.
posted by oxfordcomma at 10:25 AM on March 24, 2012

It really, really varies by job and industry, but based on my own experience, I wouldn't say anything about your timeline on your cover letter and I wouldn't let it hold you back from applying. Mostly because two months away is not a long timeline. Depending on the firm/organization and how bureaucratic they are, it could reasonably take 2 months from the day you submit your resume to your start date anyway.

For instance, I've been involved in a bit of hiring lately. We wanted to fast-track these hires as much as possible. We took resumes for a few weeks, then took a week to deal with logistics (scheduling interviews, mostly), then a week for the first round of interviews, then a few days to decide who to interview again, then a few days for second-round interviews, then a week to sort out paperwork, negotiate salary, etc. And then on top of that, most candidates need at least two weeks before they can start, sometimes longer. That's at least 2 months right there, with a somewhat fast-tracked process.

The fastest turnaround from resume to job offer I've ever had for a non-entry-level job was two weeks, and even then I told them that if I took the job I would need a minimum of three weeks before I could start, plus the 4-5 days I took to make my decision. So that still would have been a six-week process (had I taken the job) - and that was a hiring process that was so fast it made my head spin.
posted by lunasol at 11:36 AM on March 24, 2012

What type of job?

At a higher or more specialized level, yes - applying in 2 months makes sense.
posted by k8t at 11:50 AM on March 24, 2012

I just got into a new job and it was four months from resume to starting work. If you're available for interviews I would put a local address on your resume and not mention that you are relocating.
posted by winna at 1:10 PM on March 24, 2012

Like everyone else says, it depends entirely on the position and field you're in. If its the type of job where the company will fly you out for interviews and pay $20k of moving expenses, they will probably also let you be flexible on start date. A guy I know recently started at Facebook, and it was roughly two months from job offer to his start date, as he needed to move back to the US from Indonesia. Obviously if you're applying for retail positions these things will not apply, so it really depends.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 3:52 PM on March 24, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks all. I'll be applying to a range of jobs (arts, education, museums, non-profit sector) but mostly entry level.
posted by dahliachewswell at 12:39 PM on March 25, 2012

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