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Home  > Article

Road Map for Long Distance Job Searches

By Deborah Walker, CCMC

There are 3 major challenges you face when conducting a long distance job search.

And knowing someone in the right company or industry can make the difference between wanting the job and getting the job.

Finding a job in the city where you live is hard enough; trying to find a job hundreds or even thousands of miles away can be even tougher.  Not only are you fighting against the job market in a city you don't know, you're also dealing with three big challenges:

Challenge #1:  Lack of a business network in the new city

Whether you realize it or not, many job openings are filled before they even become public knowledge.  This hidden job market consists of business and professional contacts who may let you know of job openings in their area or even offer you a referral.  But how do you break into the hidden job market in a long-distance job search?

Solution:  A career coach can help you identify potential networking opportunities- even in a long-distance job search.  By developing and using a networking strategy, you will be able to make meaningful contacts in your chosen city.  And knowing someone in the right company or industry can make the difference between wanting the job and getting the job.

Challenge #2:  Reluctance of employers to choose outside talent

When an employer can choose among many qualified candidates who are already local, why should he choose you?  Outside talent actually represents a greater risk to employers for a number of reasons.  Reimbursing relocation costs and ensuring a good fit for the employee in both the job and the region can be costly.  And what if the employee moves, then doesn't like the area?  How do you get an employer to take a chance on you?

Solution:  A professional resume can help showcase how you are actually adding value for the employer above and beyond the local candidates.  A professionally written resume will:

  • Demonstrate your superior industry knowledge
  • Highlight your strong transferable skills
  • Show proof of value through accomplishments with real bottom-line results   

Investing in the services of a resume writer will help you craft a targeted marketing message that gets you noticed as a top candidate by employers, no matter how many local people apply. 

Challenge #3:  Long-distance interviews

There are a lot of downsides to long-distance interviews, both for you and for your potential employer.  Someone has to pay the cost of travel.  You have to maintain confidentiality without arousing your current employer's suspicions as you take time off for the interview.  And the time involved is much different than just taking a long lunch.  Is it worth it for you to use up your valuable personal leave for a gamble that might not pay off?

Solution:  There are many interview strategies that can actually help you maintain the confidentiality of your job search and use the travel/interview time to maximum efficiency.  Hiring a career coach to tailor these strategies to your particular job search situation can make your job search shorter and more effective.  With the guidance of a career coach, you can minimize your risk while improving your job search skills.

While no one enjoys embarking on a long-distance job search, there are many ways to make it easier on yourself.  Investing in career coaching sessions and a professional resume can make your job search easier by providing you with a road map to get you exactly where you want to be.   With this valuable tool in your back pocket, you'll travel the career roads with ease, no matter which city or job you choose.  And that type of guidance is always worthwhile.


About the Author:

Deborah Walker, President of Alpha Advantage, Inc., is a nationally respected career coach with extensive experience as a former headhunter and corporate recruiter.  Her clients include top executives at Pepsi, Ford, Motorola, Target, Sun Microsystems and AT&T. Read more resume and job-search tips at 




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