With the summer here, you may be planning a fun vacation. That vacation to a faraway, relaxing location might leave you dreaming of moving to a new place altogether. The further along you are in your career, the trickier moving can feel. At times, it's hard to know where to even begin.
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If you're part of a unique profession where companies struggle to find candidates, you're one of the lucky ones. Headhunters and company recruiters from all over will seek you out. Companies will court you and offer to pay to move you and your entire family to the location of their headquarters.
But if you are not one of this select group, you may be struggling to figure out how to make a move. Organizations often want to recruit local talent first. Someone local doesn't require relocation. They can often start sooner, and the recruiter can get references from other employers in the city about their work.
What can you do? First, don't just apply online. I harp on this topic, but relying entirely on the company website will rarely land you a job offer. This is especially true if that job is in another city.
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Plan a trip to your target city. The trip could last anywhere from a few days to a week, but be sure to go during the workweek, when business offices are open. Stay away from big holiday weekends when many employees are out of town.
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Before you go, reach out to as many people as possible to set up meetings. Start with your existing network, including friends, family, and former colleagues. Then, contact local recruiters in your target city. Last, reach out to potential hiring managers at companies you're interested in. You can find these people through websites like LinkedIn. When you reach out, mention that you will be in town only for a short time, but that you'd love the opportunity to take the person to coffee or lunch.
Break each day into three parts: morning, midday, and evening. Try to schedule a coffee meeting in the morning and a lunch meeting midday for each day you visit. In the evenings, look for networking events to attend.
A great place to look for networking events is Meetup.com. You can search the website by the type of event you're looking for in a particular location. You can also search the local chamber of commerce website and other professional organizations that you may already be a member of.
For every meeting and event you attend, be sure to bring extra business cards and resumes. You never know when you might meet someone who's looking to hire you. And bring at least one suit, just in case you land an interview while you're there.
This approach is much more in-depth than applying online, and it is also much more effective. When hiring managers and recruiters meet you in person, you become more than just a resume, and you show potential employers that you're serious about your move.
A version of this article originally appeared on The Memphis Daily News.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.