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10 Practical Tips for Your Long-Distance Job Hunt

10 Practical Tips for Your Long-Distance Job Hunt

Statistically, someone is likely being raped or killed behind one of these windows…

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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