How do you contact companies looking for work when you're in a different city?
May 11, 2012 7:01 PM   Subscribe

How do you contact companies looking for work when you're in a different city?

So I'm trying to find a new job in a city I don't live in in order to be with my partner. If I was IN that city, I know one of the ways you can network is by having informational interviews with folks to learn about their companies, and then keep in touch with them. Unfortunately, I haven't moved to my new destination yet - I hope to find work there first. It's fine if there's a job ad - the reason why I'm apply for a job when I'm on the other coast isn't always an issue. While I am applying to job ads, I know the hidden job market exists, and to tap into that you have to network in person at events, or follow up with companies even if there isn't a job ad.

The question is, Is there a way to do this from so far away without feeling... weird, or making the recipients feel weird? The way I see it, I'm contacting them to offer my services and sending them my contact info (Web site) unsolicited seems scammy, and I've never actually seen a company keep and actively use a resume that's in their system. While I'm confident of my skills, it comes up - why are you relocated to our (fairly less cool, less known small Midwestern) city? Do I be honest and say 'for a relationship', and that even if the relationship doesn't work out, I still want to work at their company? The ideas I have for contacting them center around engaging with the work they've done or commenting on commenting on a blog post of theirs - find some way to make it personal, that I'm interested in THEM and I have x skills that they need to do z. And I know folks are busy with their day jobs, so I'm offering short, tailored content - keeping it short, including a Web site, etc. If we have connections in common, I could contact the people we have in common, but again, it feels a little slimy, and the last thing I want to seem is slimy.

A lot of this is also trying to figure out if 'non traditional' methods of cold calling work. The jury still seems out on unconventional approaches - like using social media to make a name for your skills (like the 'Google Please Hire Me') guy. If I create a marketing campaign and contact someone and have a good portfolio - is that too eager? I am in a more creative field (Web design) so there is some leeway in your job hunting efforts (i.e. more creative is good), but I know first impressions still count, and don't want to seem slimy, desperate or a weirdo (even if I'm a little desperate). Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think "to be with my partner" or something is fine. They want to know that you have a reason to be there, in my experience, because Milwaukee or wherever will have a little chip on its shoulder about not being New York in regard to outsiders.

Do you visit your partner? Can you do informational interviews while you're in town? I don't see why you can't do informational interviews just like you would if you lived there.
posted by J. Wilson at 7:13 PM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

(J. Wilson, I have never noticed, in my time living in cities that are not New York, that anyone "has a chip on their shoulder" about not being New York. That's a really odd thing to say.)

I'd just say that I am moving to be with my significant other, or "to be closer to family," or something along those lines. People relocate all the time.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:58 PM on May 11, 2012

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