Figuring out how to get a job in another state can be challenging, but it’s far from impossible. By learning what the potential roadblocks are, you’ll be able to prepare yourself and improve your chances of getting hired.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the process of finding a job in another state.
Table of contents
- See if Your Current Company is an Option
- Tap Your Network for Opportunities
- Use Job Search Websites
- Consider Getting in Touch with a Recruiter
- Mention Your Intention to Relocate in Your Cover Letter and Resume
- Prepare to Address Your Relocation in Interviews
- Be Smart When Scheduling In-Person Interviews
See if Your Current Company is an Option
When many people start trying to find a job in another state, they automatically assume that the relocation requires an entirely new job search. However, that doesn’t have to be the case!
Many companies have several locations in multiple states. While there are no guarantees, there could be job opportunities with your current company worth looking at.
Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re unhappy with your current employer. But if switching the company you’re working for isn’t the main motivator for your relocation, see what’s available.
The department you want to go to is human resources. Managers may also have the ability to pull a few strings and see what’s available in other cities. But human resources are the ones who handle relocation affairs.
Reach out and see if you can get a job in another state with the same company. HR specialists can often present you with options and see if any openings are coming up. Sometimes, they can work their magic to create a role for you.
It all depends on the company’s needs. The organization may be open to you moving. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!
Another option is to consider remote work. Many businesses are starting to offer virtual work for positions they previously hadn’t. Several jobs that the corporate world thought had to be in the office are now available for telecommuting.
See if that’s an option. You may not have to worry about a considerable work transition. You can set up the parameters of your work agreement, log in from your new locale, and continue business as usual!
Tap Your Network for Opportunities
Here’s another reason why networking pays off dividends. Figuring out how to get a job in another state isn’t always easy. You’re unproven in that new territory, and you often have to work harder than others who have built their careers in that state.
But if you have a solid network, you may be able to get some doors to open for you before you even arrive. Turn to your LinkedIn connections and reach out to your contacts working in that city. Even if they can’t help you directly, they may know others who can.
Someone in your professional network could connect you with people who can help you get a job out of state. Ask for an introduction and do your best to impress! They may be able to help you set up interviews, put in a good word with hiring managers, or keep you in mind when new opportunities arise. Once again, you’ll never know until you reach out.
If you don’t have any existing connections in that state, don’t worry. You can turn to professional networking sites like LinkedIn. These platforms offer a treasure trove of potential networking connections.
All it takes is for you to reach out to the right person. A friend of a colleague could be the one who provides you with the connection you need.
Use Job Search Websites
Where do most people turn when they’re seeking employment? The best job search websites like Indeed, Glassdoor Jobs, Google, and more can help job-seekers find open positions in minutes.
Naturally, this applies to anyone who wants to get a job in another state as well. Do a simple search in the state you want to live in and see all the available opportunities.
However, there are a few things to remember when doing this.
When you apply for jobs on these websites, you must provide your address. Unfortunately, many hiring managers will not even consider out-of-state applicants. Why? There’s a lot of risk going through the hiring process with someone who isn’t local.
What if the hiring manager goes through the entire job process and makes an offer only for the applicant to change their mind about relocation? It sounds unlikely, but that scenario happens enough times to make companies throw out-of-state applicants into the bin without an ounce of consideration.
So what do you do? Do you risk getting your application tossed, or do you risk coming off as dishonest by putting an imaginary address in the state you want to move to? Both options can be problematic.
When using job sites, the best course of action is to mention that you’re relocating. You can provide that tidbit of information in the address input area, leave a little note in the “comments” section, or send an email to the hiring manager directly.
It’s as simple as “relocating to [city], [state] in June of 2022.“
That small gesture makes a significant difference, providing peace of mind to hiring managers that you intend to make a move.
Consider Getting in Touch with a Recruiter
Contacting a recruiter is another great way to get a job in another state before moving there. This method can yield excellent results, but whether or not you see success depends on many factors.
Recruiters have tons of knowledge about the local job market. They probably have a massive roster of open positions they need to fill, and most are more than willing to hear from job-seekers.
But here’s the thing: Working with out-of-state recruits can be challenging. There are many communication hurdles, and some companies don’t want to deal with relocation. Even if relocation fees aren’t in the mix, it can be a hassle from the recruiter’s standpoint.
Think about it from their perspective. Recruiters get paid for every placement they facilitate. When working with an out-of-state applicant, they could encounter tons of pushback from organizations. Pair that with the trouble of coordinating interviews and addressing location inconsistencies in applications, and it hardly seems worth it.
You must remember that recruiters get paid either way. Your current location and plans to move often don’t factor into the recruiter’s fee. For these reasons, many recruiters are hesitant to spend time on putting out-of-state applicants in the running.
A common exception to this is if you have an in-demand skill or specific qualifications for challenging positions. In those cases, you could be the person they’ve been searching for!
It all depends.
Generally, the best course of action is to seek recruiters specializing in your industry in the state and city you want to move to. Be direct with your plans to move, and express willingness to work with the recruiter no matter how challenging the process is.
After reaching out, they may provide you with leads. However, most experts agree that it’s not wise to rely on recruiters alone for job opportunities out of state. They can be helpful and provide tips that make all the difference, but it’s better to be proactive and continue your job search without relying exclusively on the help of a recruiter.
Mention Your Intention to Relocate in Your Cover Letter and Resume
One of the main challenges with getting a job in another state is that many organizations won’t consider candidates who don’t live where they operate. While this is a significant obstacle to overcome, you can address it head-on through your resume and cover letter.
The cover letter is a great place to mention your relocation plans. This one-page document is something you usually submit alongside your resume. They’re typically more flexible and holistic, catered to each position you apply for during your job search.
It’s the perfect place to add more insight into your skills and qualifications. The cover letter is also the place to provide more tidbits of relevant information about yourself, your experience, and your goals. That includes your plan to get a job out of state.
When crafting your cover letter, provide a quick note about how you plan to move to their state. Provide this information early on. The goal is to capture the reader’s attention immediately before they dive deep into the details of your resume.
You want them to see that cover letter message first and foremost, ensuring they don’t see your out-of-state address and toss your application.
It’s tempting to have a generic message on your cover letter. However, refrain from using the cut-and-paste technique. Cover letters are supposed to be unique and address the hiring managers directly.
If you go with a generic, “I plan on moving to your state” message, it comes off as inauthentic. Give your words power and meaning!
This tip is about more than leaving a strong impression. You also want to show the hiring manager you’re serious about relocation. You don’t want it to come off as if you’re on the fence about moving.
Many organizations have gotten burned by taking chances on out-of-state applicants. The people responsible for putting you through the hiring process have likely been through a similar situation before. Sounding anything less than confident and assured about your intention to move will make them start to wonder.
Be direct and sound as low risk as possible in your cover letter.
Beyond that one-page document, you can mention your intentions to move to the state several times in your resume. There are opportunities to talk about the move in your mission statement. You can even put “Relocating to [STATE] in the address box in lieu of your current address.
Those small details make a big difference, indicating how serious you are about relocating and landing the job.
Prepare to Address Your Relocation in Interviews
Finding a job in another state and submitting applications is just half of the battle. You still have to go through the hiring process. That includes going through interviews.
Interviews are another opportunity to reassure hiring managers that you’re serious about moving. You’ll likely need to address the relocation effectively to provide a vote of confidence in you as an applicant.
Here’s how to prepare for those inevitable questions.
Explain Why You’re Moving
It doesn’t matter how qualified or exceptional of a candidate you seem. Interviewers will ask about why you’re relocating. It’s a common baseline question that almost always comes up for anyone who wants to get a job in another state.
Your reason for moving says a lot about who you are and how serious you are about your career. Those details are crucial when gauging your fit for a company.
For example, saying that you want to find a job in another state because you’re tired of your current gig and need a change of scenery doesn’t paint you in the best light. An answer like that will only tell the interviewer that you get bored easily and might leave for the same reasons in the future. Why hire you if that’s the case?
Alternatively, saying that you’re moving to take control of your career is a fantastic answer. Maybe the new state offers more job opportunities than the one you’re currently in. Saying that your decision is career-based lets the interviewer know you’re serious about your job and will work hard to make the move worth it.
Some common reasons for wanting to get a job in another state are:
- More job opportunities
- Lower cost of living
- The desire to be closer to family
Whatever the case might be for you, talk about it. Be honest and let the interviewer understand why you are moving so they can factor that into their evaluation of you as a candidate.
Give Them Confidence That You’re Committed
Companies don’t want to take a risk on people that could change their minds later. The hiring process alone costs the organization more money than you realize. Imagine how frustrating it would be to go through that entire process only to have applicants decline a job offer because they changed their minds about moving.
That’s a scenario interviewers want to avoid. That’s why it’s important to address those concerns efficiently. It lets the hiring manager know you’re serious and not prone to backing out.
When you provide an answer, take your time and be as crystal-clear about your dedication to moving as possible.
No matter why you want to get a job in another state, talk about it confidently and let the interviewer know that you will be relocating without a shadow of a doubt. The goal here is to sound secure and provide them with the peace of mind that you’re serious and won’t bail out at the last second!
Avoid anything that might make you sound like you’re only moving on a whim. The biggest mistake you can make is mentioning that you’re moving due to emotional or personal problems. Saying that you’ve never actually been to the state can be a major red flag, too.
Think about your response carefully and put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes to ensure that you sound concrete in your decision to pursue a job out of state.
You don’t want to be coming up with responses on the fly. As an out-of-state applicant, you can bet that questions about your move will come up. Prepare for it and develop an answer that’s both impressive and reassuring.
Your word choice matters here. Practice your response and have others listen in. Make sure your answer cements the fact that you’re serious about the move. If it even remotely sounds like you could change your mind, go back to the drawing board!
You don’t have to write a script and recite it verbatim. Doing that can make you sound robotic and inauthentic. Instead, have confidence in your words.
Know what you want to say and how to say it. Once you reach that point, you can deliver a solid answer regardless of how the question is presented to you.
Be Smart When Scheduling In-Person Interviews
There’s one colossal obstacle to overcome when doing interviews: Location.
If you’re trying to get a job in another state, doing several rounds of in-person interviews can get expensive and stressful very quickly.
Always inquire about video and phone calls when you’re setting up interviews. Ideally, hiring managers will accommodate you and conduct the interview remotely.
However, some organizations are not that flexible. It’s understandable. Many hiring managers want to meet face-to-face to better understand who you are and what you can bring to the table.
If you must do in-person interviews, be strategic about scheduling. Group them and try to do every scheduled interview in one trip. That way, you can plan your stay and avoid jumping back and forth. It’s less stressful and much more cost-effective.
Another option when scheduling an in-person interview is to ask if they will cover your travel expenses or reimburse you for airfare and hotel costs. Not all companies will cover these costs, but larger businesses may have a budget for these expenses.
Getting a job in another state can be tricky at times, but that shouldn’t discourage you. As long as you know how to address the concerns of potential hiring managers, you can improve your chances and make that exciting move to bigger and better things!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.