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In the last year alone, I’ve applied for over 4000 jobs all over the world. I only got about 14 of them, but the other way to start this piece is by saying I have over a dozen jobs. Have you ever seen that episode of King of the Hill where Boomhauer shows Bobby the secret to picking up women? The more times you apply, the more hits you come up with.
In order to accomplish this, I had to make job searching as efficient as possible. Here are some practical tips for your long-distance job hunt that will help you land that next paying gig:
1. The Internet Is a Valuable Resource
If you don’t already know the internet is the first place to look for information about a new place, why are you on the internet? Did you hear about it on the TV? Pft…that’s the most unreliable medium on the planet. The internet, however, is where most employers search for employees. Between Craigslist, Indeed, and CareerBuilder, you can get a clear picture of what employment opportunities are available anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world.
2. Smarten Your Search Result
Although you’re looking for a job in a new city, you’re still the same person; it’s not like you’re moving and picking up an Accounting degree at the same time; you’re relocating, nothing else. Don’t bother with jobs you’re not qualified for – you’ll never make it past their resume filters. It’s not necessary to only search your current job title either; searching by related keywords is a great way to widen your net.
3. When in Rome…
Not everyone uses the internet the same way you do – research companies geographically on Yelp and Google to get a feel for what’s around you. It’s also a good idea to look into places to live. Factor the commute into your decision, but don’t let it be the only deciding factor. Also registering with their local government websites, you’ll have access to search for local municipal employment.
4. Build Your Social Network
A lot of job opportunities you’ll get are through social media. Friends who respect you will be happy to recommend you for employment. Don’t just stick to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter though – access your entire social network by telling friends, family, and coworkers you’re planning to relocate. People will let you know if they know someone in that area and you may get an introduction or two. These people can help answer any questions you may have about the area.
5. Get a Local Number
It’s always a good idea to have a local number – some employees only hire locally or, at the very least, give preference to local candidates. With services like Google Voice, you can easily obtain a phone number with any area code, so get one with a local number. You’ll get a lot more calls this way. If you can negotiate a job through email, even better.
6. Leave Out Your Address
Don’t include your address on your resume or cover letter. This sounds counter-intuitive, because you want people to know how to contact you. The problem is the same as mentioned above – you want to look local. You can explain all your issues later, but you need to make a good first impression. Once you’ve sold them on you, then you can explain the geographic and scheduling problems.
7. #Protip FTW
Don’t be afraid or too proud to seek professional help. Temp agencies, employment agencies, and universities have great job search options available. Their people are trained to find jobs and they have resources and contacts to do this much more efficiently than you. It only takes a couple minutes to register with these agencies and you’ll get valuable assistance.
8. Perms Never Looked Good
Temporary work, gigging, contracting, and freelancing are great ways to work. I prefer freelance work because I don’t have a boss, set my own hours and have creative freedom. Even if the lifestyle isn’t for you long-term, it’ll provide some temporary income while you look for another job. Working as a contractor or freelancer means you’ll have to market yourself – be prepared for the extra work.
9. Quit Your Day Job
The reason you’re moving may be for a legitimate reason, but if you’re looking for something different, you may be better off staying put and changing directions. Pursue ways to get paid doing things you love, such as hobbies, or that dream career in entertainment or the media you always wanted. No matter what it is, take a shot at it. The only way you’ll fail is by not trying.
10. Manage Expectations
I’ve had days where I applied for 10 jobs and got five responses and I’ve had weeks on end where I applied for 100 jobs a day before finally receiving one reply. Don’t let the numbers trip you; focus on your goals, and don’t be overly cynical. Whether you sit around waiting or apply for a dozen more jobs won’t change whether or not someone calls you back. Stop putting all your eggs in one basket.
As you can see, applying for work takes work, especially when looking in other places. If you take proper precautions and act like you belong at the table however, you’ll see results sooner rather than later. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged; every great accomplishment takes suffering,
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