Moving back to Ohio: how do I find a job (and maybe a new direction)?
March 29, 2016 11:55 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I have decided to move back to Ohio to be closer to family. I don't have a network related to my field in Ohio and I'm also not certain I'm applying to the right kind of jobs because of my background. Snowflakes inside!

I have lived in Seattle for ten years but realize it is time to move back home after death/sickness in my extended family.

Now for the career snowflakes.

I have my BA in English literature. Out of college I was hired by large corporation who moved me to Seattle to manage their retail store. After managing the store for a year I was promoted into the district office to work as a commercial credit collector. I did this for four years because the pay was decent and allowed my wife to work a lesser-paying job so she could work and go to grad school. Even though the commute was onerous (1.5 hours round trip!) it was stable. And decent 401(k) program.

After my wife completed grad school, I got my masters in TESOL. I chose this degree, instead of a business degree, because the course work was interesting to me and it was/is important to me to put a kind of cap on my undergrad studies. Because it was through the university where my wife worked, it was basically free. I never intended to be a full time teacher but to use the teaching skills to help when I could. I continued my job as the corporate collector during grad school because, again, stability. Also, I am not interested in teaching full time.

After I finished grad school I got a job as a Credit/AR/Export manager for a small wholesaler (of some renown within their industry). I didn't take the job because I was in love with the position but because it was much closer to home (10 minute round-trip commute!). I've enjoyed many aspects of this position, but it's hardly a dream job. When I came into the position it was pretty formless. I have implemented a lot of structure and processes that have made things much smoother/efficient/effective. I really enjoyed that part, but two years in I'm struggling to find more big projects that really make a difference. Since it's a small business I've learned a ton about running an organization that weren't clear to me from the corporate position. If I was staying in Seattle I would be looking for a new job and a new challenge, probably as a credit manager for a larger company.

Now, to the present!

I'm looking to moving back to Ohio and I have been applying for jobs as commercial credit manager. It has only been two months and I have only applied to 15-20 positions but the response has been...non-existent. Standard rejection letters. I don't think it is because I am underqualified (I meet almost all the minimum requirements). When I applied for new jobs in Seattle after finishing my masters I had responses from nearly every position I applied to.

My question comes in two parts: how do I make a case for someone to hire me from across the country? I doubt many of the positions I have applied to so far have relocation as part of their hiring budget. Is there a way to signal that I would be willing to pay the costs of relocation if I was hired? Also, is my unrelated masters acting as a deterrent?

The second part of my question: Is there a position adjacent commercial credit manager that would be a good fit for me and my skill set but of which I am unaware because of my limited experience? I came into this position through the back end, where I expect most of my colleagues in similar positions probably got here through accounting/business degrees. All my experience is limited to these two organizations. I don't know what the typical career path is to get to this position (is this a job people want? I have no idea) or where to go next. How can I plot the next five years of my career?

TL;DR - I live in Seattle and I am looking for a job as a Commercial Credit Manager in Ohio, but would be open to other relevant positions.
posted by Tevin to Work & Money (10 answers total)
Is there a way to reach out directly to the hiring managers with a cover letter that explains your circumstances? I'd imagine that if you're sending resumes via electronic means, they may just be tossing you out when they see your address.
posted by xingcat at 12:03 PM on March 29, 2016

What about banking?
posted by Candleman at 12:09 PM on March 29, 2016

Best answer: Speaking as a hiring manager, the recruiters/hiring managers probably have a few worries in addition to the relocation issue:

1. You don't actually realize where the job is (this happens).

2. You have no particular interest in Ohio and are just applying for every job in every market, which leads to:

3. You'll get there, hate it, get another job where you really want to live, and leave.

This is what you do:

1. If you're putting an address on your resume and CL, use an Ohio address (i.e., a family member's address)

2. State very clearly in your cover letter that you are currently in Seattle but are already planning to move to Ohio - give a date, for instance. Say it's to be closer to family - that way they won't worry about you moving back to Seattle after 6 months.

I've done this when applying for far-away jobs and it has worked well. I've also had people do this when I was a hiring manager and it helped alleviate the above fears.
posted by lunasol at 12:22 PM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: To clarify: I have inserted a line in my cover letter that reads "I am moving back to Ohio to be closer to my family." But those kinds of details (family member address and date of moving) are what I'm looking for lunasol!
posted by Tevin at 12:26 PM on March 29, 2016

I heard that it can be easier to land a job if you just don't include an out-of-state address on your resume. The fact that you're relocating can be explained in the cover letter or an interview a little more adequately. Good luck!
posted by helloimjennsco at 12:27 PM on March 29, 2016

It also kind of depends on which city in Ohio you're looking to work in. Some places (Cleveland) have much higher unemployment/fewer jobs than other cities.
posted by cooker girl at 12:43 PM on March 29, 2016

Response by poster: I'm mostly looking around Columbus and North/central Ohio.
posted by Tevin at 12:48 PM on March 29, 2016

how do I make a case for someone to hire me from across the country?

Unless one is in an in-demand specialty, it's tricky. Even with your stated intent to move and good reason to do to, it's still an element of risk that some hiring managers will shy away from, because there's always additional risk that you might decide not to. If they have qualified local candidates, it may be enough to exclude you from consideration. It also makes interviewing harder - even if you're paying for your own flight, if they have something come up and have to delay the interview, that puts you in a bad position. It may ultimately be easier to relocate and look for work, even though that puts you in a bad position.

You might be able to find something through a recruiting/staffing company that might both know companies that would be open to hiring someone that's planning on moving and might need your skillset for roles that you're not familiar with.
posted by Candleman at 1:09 PM on March 29, 2016

You may already know this, but your experience is a good fit for the Columbus job market, so it's a bummer that you're not making headway! You might think about picking up a 614 Google Voice number that redirects to your cell. Along with the address advice above this is a good way to demonstrate ties to the area.
posted by marmago at 5:48 PM on March 29, 2016

Response by poster: I didn't know that Marmago! If you can expound on that I'd love to hear it (either in thread, or memail if that is more appropriate).
posted by Tevin at 6:06 PM on March 29, 2016

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