I’ve moved around a lot bit during my lifetime and racked up quite a bit of experience on how to find a new job in a strange town. Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. In a slow economy, many employers are not willing to pay for relocation expenses, so plan on paying for your own move. Mention in your cover letter you are already planning on relocation and give the reason. I found that if you have family living in your new town, or are returning home, you have a much better shot at getting noticed.
2. Read the local newspapers online, especially the editorial page to get a feel for the culture and collective mindset. Employers want to make sure you will fit in, and not move away 6 months after they hire you because you discover you hate the place.
3. If you’re moving to a big city, look at major online career sites such as monster.com and careerbuilder.com. Also, don’t rule out Craigslist, which has some excellent opportunities throughout the country.
4. Find out what the average salary is for your occupation by searching salary.com, as well as your local government page, that should list census information and the median home value as well as salary info.
5. If your seeking to buy a home, utilize zillow.com, a free site that evaluates the listing price and comps of recent sales of more than 60 million homes throughout the United States. I’ve seen FSBOs (for sale by owner) listed at thousands more than the zillow valuation. If you’re not aware of the area’s average value, you might end up paying too much.
6. Once you get settled, start networking immediately, with local clubs such as Toastmasters, the Chamber of Commerce, and organizations that share your interest. Many communities even have local job search clubs.
7. Have enough money set aside for at least 3 months rent and living expenses while you get settled.
Good luck in your move and your new endeavors!
–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes