Finding a job is hard enough when you’re on familiar turf. Move to a new city and start fresh, and the degree of difficulty goes up a few notches.
As career expert and Jobhuntercoach head Arnie Fertig writes in a U.S. News & World Report titled “8 Steps to Finding a Job When You Relocate,” moving to a new zip code in search of employment “can be both an exciting and fearful time in your life.” Fortunately, there are ways to ease in and make the process more the former than the latter.
Fertig’s first piece of advice is to “get the lay of the land.” Before you even get too stressed out with resumes and interviews, take a look around your new burg and figure out where to buy groceries, eat Mexican food, shop for clothes, enjoy sunny afternoons, etc. Are there areas of historical significance you should know about? Do you have a dentist? If you have kids, where will they go to school?
Once you’ve gotten a sense of your surroundings, you can begin your job search. The first step here, Fertig says, is to use sites like Careeronestop.org to get salary surveys for the area. What are people in your line of work making in this city? You’ll want to know this when you begin applying, interviewing, and (hopefully) weighing offers.
Next, you’ll want to “scour all the big job boards to see what’s out there” and make use of tools like Hoover (free at many libraries) to see about “hidden potential employers.” As Fertig says, every industry has something called an SIC code, and by plugging them into Hoovers, you might come across listings you won’t find elsewhere.
Fertig’s final three steps are all about connecting with people. While it might pay to “find recruiters who fit your industry and skill set,” he warns about putting too much stock in their ability to find you a job. Only a small percentage of positions in the U.S. are filled by recruiters, so you might fare better if you “find a job” fair — the next suggestion on the list — and you’ll definitely do well to “network your way into your community.” While you can use tools like LinkedIn to build connections, Fertig recommends getting out there and actually meeting people, perhaps through Meetup groups related to things you’re interested in.
“Remember: You are not just looking for a new job,” Fertig writes, “you’re building a new life for yourself in your new community.”