If you’re getting ready to move, having a job lined up is ideal before you make the big move. After all, you don’t want to end up with no income while incurring additional expenses, like hiring professional movers and buying furniture for your new home.
In this article, we’re sharing our top tips for finding your dream job in a new city before moving so that you can spot opportunities, nail interviews, and land your new gig quickly.
Depending on your personality type, you may prefer the idea of moving over finding job openings. However, job searching can be tricky, especially if you have specifications for the work that you want to do.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of finding work before you move:
- Planning ahead: With a new job, it’ll be easier to decide where to live and how much you should budget for rent or a down payment because you’ll already know what your salary will be and where your job is located.
- Relocation assistance: Some jobs may offer or agree to help with relocation costs if they’re interested in having you as an employee. This may even be offered as an incentive to entice you to accept the position.
- Securing housing is easier: If you’re planning on renting, many places want proof of income before you sign the lease. If you already have a job lined up, this can help you secure better housing.
- Peace of mind: Many of us feel anxious about moving without a job lined up, so save yourself the anxiety and land a full-time position before moving.
- Saves you money: If you have a job lined up, you can immediately start making money when you relocate, which can help with moving costs. You also won’t have to worry about dipping into your savings to cover your living expenses while looking for work.
Before starting your job search, take several steps to ensure that you approach your search optimally.
First, start by asking yourself what kind of job you want. If you’re making a big move, this may be the time to consider if you want a career with fewer hours. Could you downsize to make this a reality? Alternatively, you may want to shift your focus into a different part of your industry or completely reinvent yourself.
Next, we recommend updating your resume and cover letter until they’re polished. Make sure that your resume and cover letter have your anticipated move date listed on them so that hiring managers don’t immediately toss your application. List your local address and current city. Write something like “Relocating to Chicago in September 2022” underneath it in bold to immediately address any confusion about your current address in a different area.
After completing these steps, create a list of jobs and opportunities that appeal to you.
Start looking for jobs as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the month of or a month before your move. Start submitting applications and networking months in advance to ensure you have plenty of time to choose a great new job.
Start your job search by compiling a list of opportunities in your new area. Most job search websites, like Indeed or Glassdoor, have a field for job title as well as the location so that you can easily filter your search results. Set up job alerts for jobs in the area so that you’re aware of any new postings.
During your job search, keep a Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet and list all jobs applied for, the original link to the listing, when you applied, and when you followed up. Following up can make the difference between landing a job and being discarded as a candidate, especially when relocating.
Don’t be afraid to follow up by email, through LinkedIn, or ideally over the phone, which will make a much stronger impression. Be prepared to field questions about your relocation and assure the hiring manager that you’re serious about your move.
Additionally, you can update your professional social media profiles, like your LinkedIn account, to include your upcoming move and job search. Under current job, list something like “Graphic Designer seeking new opportunities — Relocating to Chicago in September 2022.”
If you know anyone in the area or your industry, politely reach out to them and ask if they can keep an eye out for any job opportunities. You never know — some of your contacts may even have a great opportunity available.
After submitting your applications, prepare yourself for future interviews. Most prospective employers and recruiters will want to hop on a video call or complete a phone interview to make sure you’re the right candidate. Some companies may even have multiple rounds of job interviews.
Remember to be flexible with the times they propose for the interview. You may be three hours behind them because of different time zones. However, as the interviewee, you should be flexible with the company and their time zone. If the time zone difference is significant, inform the company of your time zone and ask for a different time.
Prepare for your interview by researching common interview questions, learning everything you can about the company, and writing down a few questions of your own. Have a strong story prepared about why you’re moving and dedicated to the move. No company wants to waste time on a candidate who is unsure about moving.
Don’t forget to follow up by email to thank the hiring manager for taking the time to interview you. Mention that you’re happy to jump on the phone again or answer any questions by email that they may have. You can even send a thank you note via snail mail to differentiate yourself from other candidates.
If you’re only a few hours away from the possible employer, they may want to move to an in-person interview. Be prepared to drive if this is the case. However, if the distance is too great, don’t be afraid to suggest a Zoom or Skype call instead.
Before accepting a job offer, consider the differences in living expenses in your new home. You may think that a job offering you $10,000 more a year is a stellar salary, but if the new cost of living in the area is significantly higher, you may actually be losing money.
NerdWallet has a fantastic tool that compares the cost of living in different cities, such as Los Angeles and New York, to your current locations. Use this to assess how much you would need to make to maintain or improve your quality of living.
During salary negotiations, don’t be afraid to bring this up. A company may think offering you a higher salary than your previous job is enough. Still, if the cost of living is higher, it’s probably not enough to maintain your current quality of living.
In addition, we recommend discussing relocation packages or assistance with the company hiring you. Many companies are willing to help with some relocation costs if it means they’re getting a great employee with desirable experience and expertise.
Don’t be afraid to ask about relocation assistance. You never know what they may offer and how much money this could save you.
Typical relocation assistance costs that may be covered include:
- Moving costs
- Housing costs, such as the costs associated with breaking a lease or selling or buying a home
- A visit to the area before your move
- Travel expenses, such as flights or gas costs
- Temporary living arrangements, such as corporate housing or hotel accommodation while your new home is prepared
You can also look into government programs that help with moving costs. Many programs are available to help people threatened by homelessness, veterans, and even individuals who work in community-centric jobs, such as teachers, firefighters, and police officers.
Looking for and landing a job before your move is crucial in giving you peace of mind and even reducing moving costs. Don’t be afraid to be an advocate for yourself and ask for a higher salary if the cost of living is greater in your new area. Do your research, know the facts going into a salary negotiation, and ask about relocation assistance. Relocation assistance packages are more common than most people realize, so don’t miss out on this money-saving opportunity.