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Tackling The Job Search In A New City

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Searching for a job is a daunting task. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a recent graduate or a professional just looking for a change, job searching is often an overwhelming undertaking. When you’re in the need for a change of scenery it becomes a whole new monster.

If you’re looking to make the leap to a new city with your career there are plenty of ways to jumpstart your job search before you even pack your bags:

Research Prospects in Your New City. Searching for a new job should always start with outlining what you’re looking for. A few questions to ask yourself as you begin searching could be what you like about your current position, what environment you thrive in, company benefits, how far you are willing to commute each day, etc.

Once you figure out what is most important to you, make a list of potential employers in the area and begin researching them. Find out which have what you’re looking for, which have posted job openings recently, what kind of work they do, who to reach out to and, most importantly, if you know anyone who might know someone you contact to chat and share your resume. Try not to be too picky with what you’re looking for, but don’t sacrifice things that are really important to you.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage. Before, if we wanted to make connections and search for jobs in a new city, we’d have to make numerous cold calls, scour phone books and company listings and buy newspapers for the classifieds.

Luckily, the internet makes job searching so much easier by making everything accessible no matter where you are. It’s great to have all the information you need at your fingertips, but it can be overwhelming. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. LinkedIn
    • Set your location to your new city before you move
    • Join LinkedIn groups focused on your career and new location
    • Research your desired companies and follow them for updates
    • Use LinkedIn Job Search to find and apply for new jobs
  2. Twitter
    • Create lists of the companies in your new area that you’re interested in
    • Connect with influencers in your profession and desired area
    • Join Twitter chats to meet new people & seek out those in your new city

Make a Local Appearance. Sometimes all that separates you from your dream job in a new area is your location. If you’re planning to make your move, take your location off your resume, make your intention to move clear during the application process and be prepared to make a trip or two.

Any trips you make should be well planned and you should explain as you’re applying that you’ll be in the area on these particular dates and that you’d love to schedule an interview. If you’re visiting a couple of times, try to make a few informational meeting appointments for your first trip and schedule real job interviews for your second visit.

Effectively Use Your Resources. You should always work smarter, not necessarily harder, especially when it comes to looking for a new job. Make use of everything you have at your disposal, from job boards to alumni resources to your professional network. Contact your alumni association to find which alumni are in your new city and field. Attend alumni and networking events and leverage your current network to grow an even larger one in your new city. Ask your connections if they mind making a few introductions – more often than not, professionals will be willing to help a young professional or recent grad.


Robyn Rudish-Laning is a graduate of Duquesne University, with a bachelor’s in Public Relations, a master’s in Media Arts and Technology. Robyn is currently a marketing coordinator by day and juggles clients for a boutique PR firm and writing for multiple blogs in her free time. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter, read her PR-focused blog, or check out some of her other work here.

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