Americans have always been on the move. Some left comfortable homes to take a risk on the unfamiliar. Others traded financial insecurity for opportunity. Then a funny thing happened. People started staying put. Starting in 2006, fewer people relocated to a different state. During the Great Recession two years later, people who lived in communities where real estate prices dropped the most were the least likely to leave. That’s because they couldn’t afford to relocate unless they sold their homes but were reluctant to lock in their losses if they did. Even as the economy recovered during the 2010s, a recent Brookings Institute analysis of Census Bureau data showed
that fewer than 10% of Americans changed residence in a single year. This was the lowest number ever recorded.
The COVID-19 pandemic supercharged relocation. The earliest lockdowns coincided with a nearly 27% bump in the number of permanent change-of-address cards submitted to the post office during the first six months of 2020. Americans logged seven percent more permanent moves between counties in 2020 than in 2019. In many cases, people traded cramped urban environments for spacious rural homes. But what if you want to live in the city? Maybe you’ve been dreaming of working in L.A., NYC, or even Boise. No matter your dream destination, there are things you can do to increase your chance for success. Here are seven steps to land your dream job in a new city.
1.Learn All You Can
Your first step should be asking yourself why you want to relocate to this city (or cities). What is it about the location that sparks your interest? There’s nothing wrong with becoming interested in a place because of TV. Nashville and Portlandia drew plenty of folks to the cities that inspired the shows. It’s just you need to go deeper. Portland, for example, has become far more expensive since the hit comedy first aired with the median rent in Portland jumping 57% from 2010 to 2019 –– double the national rate.
You don’t want to just research rent and nightlife but do a deep dive on some of the companies you’re considering working for. One of the most important steps to land your dream job is to get a good idea of the labor market and if your skill set is in demand. No matter when you are planning on moving, start getting organized now.
2.Use Your Network
Besides reaching out to professional contacts, personal contacts can help as well. You will benefit from speaking to anyone who has spent time in the city you hope to relocate to. You also want to connect with people who have worked for the company you are interested in. Join LinkedIn and MeetUp groups that are located in your dream city. Your university’s alumni organization can be a great help as well.
3. Update Your Resume
People hoping to relocate were once advised to use a local address, even if it just belonged to a distant relative or a rented mailbox. With so many people working remotely these days, that step may not be as necessary. However, you do want to see if you can emphasize a skill set that will be expected and highlight any benefits you received by working in your present location.
4. Clarify with the Cover Letter
This is your chance to shine. It’s also a great place to highlight all the research you’ve done on your desired location. In other words, if you plan on relocating to Nashville it’s better to highlight their growing healthcare and tech industries (if that’s your field) than just writing that you love country music or the eponymous TV show. The more detail you can provide about your interest in the city, your reasons for relocating, and willingness to work locally the better it will be.
5.Elevate Your Elevator Pitch
You need to present yourself in a clear, concise manner which means polishing your pitch. Be able to describe your achievements and your goals in a brief amount of time. Consider connecting it to a story about why you became interested in what you do for a living. Selling yourself to potential employers can be harder when you don’t share the same zip code but it can be done.
6. Learn the Location
Make it a habit of checking local news sites including online newspapers and information on what’s going on in your dream city. Besides giving you more information for when a hiring manager asks why you want to relocate, it could give you a heads-up on business development and companies that just like you are planning to move.
7. Remote Interview
If you have money saved and a place to live, then it’s fine to move to your dream city. Just understand that you may have to accept a make-do job to make ends meet. Fortunately, many companies now use remote interviews exclusively so you can get a job from your home. In fact, you may not even need to relocate. However, if the city is somewhere you want to live, emphasize that you plan on living there. This could help you stand out from other candidates. You could even become their go to in-office person when others staffers opt to work from home.
The truth is, landing a dream job in your dream city is easier than it’s ever been. You don’t have to relocate beforehand and you may not even have to move once you find work.
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