Thinking about making a career move? For many of today’s job seekers, this raises the question of where to call home.
With the cost of living increasing across the country, perhaps you’re in search of a place where your dollar will go further. Changing your place of residence can also reduce your tax bill. Or maybe you’re just craving a more agreeable climate. These are just a few reasons that relocating to a new city (or even country) is appealing to professionals.
7 Key Tips for Your Road Ahead
Whether you are just starting your search for a job in your dream location or have already found an ad for that perfect position, here are seven do’s and don’ts to consider before applying for a job that requires relocation. A few moving tips are included.
- DO research cost of living: A lateral pay move for a job in a location with a lower cost of living can feel like a pay raise. On top of that, there can be tremendous tax savings. Nine states, including Florida and Texas, do not tax earned income. If you’re thinking about relocating to another country, your earnings abroad could also be exempt from federal income taxes. Remember, your individual tax situation could impact the amount you save on taxes, so be sure to consult a tax professional for more specific information.
- DO save up for moving costs: It is essential to know what you can afford to spend on moving, packing supplies, temporary housing, etc., before you commit to a job. Will you rent a moving truck or hire professional movers or another moving service? How much relocation assistance do you need from a potential employer? Are you willing to relocate at your own expense? While many employers help with relocation expenses, you’ll most likely have to pay expenses up front and get reimbursed after your move. The last thing you need in this transition is to be short of money. So, you’ll need cash reserves to turn a relocation dream into reality.
- DON’T rely only on job boards: If you apply online for multiple jobs in your preferred city but never hear back about your application, don’t be surprised. Unfortunately, if you apply online as a candidate interested in relocating, your application can easily be overlooked. Just as often, it is impossible to tell from an online job posting whether the employer is even open to relocation candidates. Further, if you happen across an employer that does consider such candidates, it can be difficult to convey your interest or connection to their location through an online application. My advice? Use your network instead. Reach out to people you know in your desired city, or even better, make local connections on LinkedIn. (Pro Tip: Did you know that when you list yourself as “Open to Work” on LinkedIn, you can also choose specific geographic areas where you are interested in job opportunities? This helps recruiters find you for jobs in those regions.)
- DON’T remove your current location from your resume: You may be tempted to do this to show potential employers that you are open to relocation. However, if your resume has no information about your current location, it can fall into a black hole. One of the first things automated resume parsing systems look for in a resume is the candidate’s location, particularly a zip code. If the system can’t find this information, there’s a good chance your resume will never be seen by a human! It’s best to include at least your current city, state, and zip code, and the words, “Open to relocation.”
- DO plan a trip for in-person interviews: My first job out of college was as a television news reporter. Searching for a job in this ultra-competitive field often meant loading up the car, driving cross country, and stopping at TV stations with a VHS tape of my demo reel in hand. Yes, it was that long ago! But some things have not changed. When you get serious about your job search, it’s still worth the investment of a little time and money to plan a trip and meet employers face-to-face. Be sure to share in advance that you’ll be in the area and available to interview in person. This can give you an edge over other relocation candidates.
- DO choose a realistic moving day and timeline: Once you land a job interview that requires relocation, be prepared to answer the question, “When can you be here?” If you can’t answer with a degree of certainty, your potential employer will be skeptical about your desire to move. Choose a date that offers plenty of time based on the amount of notice you need to give your current employer and the time you need for the move. The moving process can be involved — so plan ahead, keeping in mind that moving companies book pretty far in advance. If you land the job, your new employer will likely give you flexibility for unexpected delays.
- DO talk with your family and loved ones about moving: Relocating for work is just as much a life change as a career change. You’ll want the support of your parents, spouse, partner, kids, significant other, friends, etc., before committing to a new employer and new home. Talking with others may also facilitate your process. For example, you may need help on the day of the move and with any last-minute things. Others can help ensure you don’t leave loose ends.
Bonus Tip for Job Hunting in Another Country
Take a close look at your passport. Is it torn, stained, or damaged in any way? Is it within six months of expiring? If so, your passport may not be valid for international travel. Make this step stress-free by getting it renewed before you start applying for jobs in another country or territory.
A Word for Employers in Today’s Competitive Hiring Market
Don’t overlook or be quick to rule out relocation candidates! These professionals are highly motivated. Once they settle into their new homes, they are incredibly productive, loyal, and committed employees. Opening your search to include relocation candidates does not necessarily mean you have to pay for their entire move. Even a small relocation stipend or signing bonus can go a long way in attracting in-demand candidates. With the help of a professional recruiter like the partners at Goodwin Recruiting, you can rest assured you’ll be presented with candidates who are ideally qualified, excited about your company, and ready to make a move.
A Final Tip for Candidates on the Move
It’s not enough to love what you do. You should also love where you do it. Goodwin Recruiting removes the complexities in finding viable job opportunities in other cities and states. We know which employers are open to recruiting people from across the country, and our expertise spans multiple industries and fields. Tell us about your career goals and ideal location, and we’ll help you make your dream of a new home base come true.