Willing to Relocate: 5 Strategies to Successfully Obtain a Long Distance Job

Willing to Relocate Map Pushpins

Want to increase your chances of finding a job? Be willing to relocate. It can take months or even years to find a job within a 25-mile radius. But if you expand your horizons, it opens you up to countless opportunities.

Although looking for job options outside your local area is a wise idea, there are also some difficulties you may encounter during the process.

Eliminate Employer Concerns

Employers may have concerns or reservations about hiring someone from outside the area. There is the obvious physical and time constraints involved with being long distance—it may be difficult to schedule an in-person interview for tomorrow if you are in another state.

Employers may also feel concerned to bring you to a location away from your home simply for a job. What if it does not work out for either party? Employers may feel a certain sense of liability they would rather avoid. There’s also the matter of relocation costs. Some employers may not have it in their hiring budget to provide relocation costs to a new hire from outside the local area.

When employers hire, they normally do so strategically. It’s always easier for them to hire locally, but there can be advantages to them in opening up the candidate pool. If you want to be seriously considered for a long distance job opening, you need to recognize potential employer concerns, address them directly, and put them to rest. This will make it easier for the employer to look at your qualifications and what you offer without being distracted by your long distance status.

We’re sharing some ways to get your foot in the door, even if you’re miles away from the potential employer.

5 Strategic Tips to Get a Job Outside Your Local Area

1. State your intention and set a timeline. Don’t leave it up to the employer to figure out why you have a California home address, but you’re applying to a job in New Hampshire. Given the large quantity of applicants, employers may not take the time to attempt to decipher your motivations. Make it very clear you are aware of where the job is, you intend to relocate, and when you are anticipating making the move. It is also wise to inform them when you will be available for work. Some employers do not want to wait 3 months for a new hire to start. Try to demonstrate you have already thought out the details and will be able to start within 2-3 weeks (if possible).

2. Show interest in and knowledge about the location. As mentioned previously, employers are prone to certain concerns when hiring a long distance job candidate. If you imply you are simply looking for a job and do not indicate an interest in living in the area the job is located in, they may decide to go with a safer option. For this reason, do not indicate on your job application materials or verbally that you will move anywhere for a job (even if it’s true). Read up on the location you’re considering moving to. Visit the potential location if at all possible to make sure it’s a good fit for you and your family. Communicate your knowledge of the location to the potential employer, so they can feel more confident in choosing you for the job.

3. Ask for an introductory remote phone and/or video interview with in-person follow-up. Remote interviews are becoming an increasingly popular method to vet job applicants, even if they live in the area. You may consider volunteering to participate in a phone or video interview initially, so the employer can assess if you might be a good fit for the job. Then if they like what you have to offer, make sure to indicate your willingness to travel for an in-person interview. Although I know someone who has been hired for a correctional position via telephone interview only, most employers will want to do a face-to-face interview before making any final decisions.

4. Be willing to show up for in-person testing and/or interview. As indicated above, most employers want to meet in person with job applicants. Some hiring processes, like testing, are not easily carried out remotely. You may be required to take a written test, physical agility exam or medical exam. Some correctional employers conduct panel interviews with numerous agency representatives participating as part of the hiring process. Panel interviews are often best accomplished in person, so keep yourself in the running by being willing to meet if and when asked.

5. Set funds aside now for related job search travel, as well as upcoming move, or move ahead of time. Although some employers may volunteer funds for relocation, many of them will not be able to assist a job candidate with their move. If you want to set the employer’s mind at ease, it helps to let them know you are planning ahead for your relocation and do not expect them to cover your expenses. Even if an employer does pay for some relocation costs, they may not cover everything, so start setting aside money now. Do not wait until you must move and start the job within 2-3 weeks. You should begin calculating costs and storing away money to pay for your potential move. You should also be able to cover any travel expenses related to your job search, including traveling to the location to participate in a job interview, job-related testing or location/housing research. If you have the ability to and feel comfortable moving to your desired location prior to getting a job, your job search will be easier and you will eliminate this potential concern for employers.

Think Like an Employer

When you are a conducting a long distance job search, your job chances will increase if you learn to think like a hiring manager. You should consider the potential stumbling blocks that may be posed by the fact that you are a not a local candidate. Think about the possible benefits for the employer to hire someone local. Then consider how you can overcome any reasons an employer may hesitate to hire someone from outside the area.

You should be able to prove to potential employers not only your suitability for the position, but your emotional intelligence, maturity, and foresight in being able to successfully plan and execute a long distance move to further your career. If you can demonstrate that you know what you are doing, you will quickly become a desirable commodity to potential employers.

Need more information about getting a job in corrections? Check out these previous blog posts:

What You Need to Know About Getting Hired in Corrections: The Application Process
What You Need to Know About Getting Hired in Corrections: The Interview and Selection Process
Where can You Find a Job in Corrections?
With What Types of Correctional Agencies Can I Find Employment?

Job Seekers: Are you considering making a long distance move to increase your job chances? What is one fear or concern that is holding you back? How can you overcome that obstacle?

Employers: Have you ever hired a long distance job candidate? What are the pros and cons of hiring from afar?

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