Long Distance Job Search Tips

Published:11/18/2016 | Posted by StevenDouglas

Long distance job hunting is challenging. Many employers don’t want to deal with the logistics of interview coordination and relocation when there is a sufficient talent pool in the local area. Additionally, out-of-town candidates come with more risk and are more likely to turn down a job offer if they don’t receive the boost in income or relocation assistance needed to sustain a move to a new city.

The difficulty level is high for long-distance candidates- but the mission is not impossible. Nine years ago I began my search to find a job in Florida while living in Pennsylvania. At the time, I was unaware that the likelihood of actually landing a job was slim. Against the odds, I landed a dream job within four weeks of beginning the search. There were a number of reasons I was successful in my pursuit to move to Florida with a secured position. The achievement was partially because I had positioned myself as a candidate correctly. Below are some tips for how to effectively position yourself as a great long distance candidate.


  • Choose your city with purpose. Location is the one component that is entirely within your control during this job search. Be ready to express a concrete reason you wish to relocate to an area. While escaping a small town for a big city adventure is a common reason for relocation, we suggest coming up with something with more substance. The reasoning you provide will validate your interest and intent to relocate.
    • Example: You want to live closer to family. Or, you’re looking for more career opportunities in your field.


  • Position yourself as a highly skilled specialist on your resume. What makes your experience exceptional? Individuals with a specific skillset will benefit most when an employer is unlikely to find someone locally for their tough-to-fill position. Write your resume with a focus on highlighting your unique skillset. It is wonderful to be a jack-of-all-trades, but having an expertise can better your chances of landing an out-of-state job.


  • Use your LinkedIn network. Many job opportunities come from networking. Use LinkedIn to identify local contacts in the companies you desire in your new location. You can also use LinkedIn to connect with old colleagues and friends who live in the city you wish to move to. The possibilities are endless, check out our article on ways to use social media to your advantage during a job search.

When I found a great job, at my asking salary, in my desired location in under a month: some would say I got lucky. Others would say I created my own luck. Luck happens, however, when preparation and opportunity collide.

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