Home Before Your Move How to Get a Job In Another State

How to Get a Job In Another State

by Ali Wenzke
How to Get a Job in Another State. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Jess and her husband want to move from New Jersey to North Carolina. There’s one problem, though. Jess needs to find a job before she moves. But, how is she supposed to find a job in North Carolina if she lives 500 miles away? With advice from employment experts, here are thirteen tips on how to get a job in another state.

  1. To begin your job search, use LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor

With sites like LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor, you can start your job search from the comfort of your couch. Jessica Vargas, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Horizon Pharma, recommends updating your LinkedIn profile “to ensure that your experiences accurately reflect the opportunities you are seeking.”

LinkedIn provides a way for you to research companies, and it enables companies to find you. According to Maureen Albright, Managing Director of Interim Legal Talent, recruiters use LinkedIn to send messages through “inmail.” Albright explains, “It’s a non-invasive way for recruiters to reach people about job opportunities.”

  1. When applying for jobs, mimic the wording used in the job posting

Search engines will scan your resume, so you want to make your resume a good “match” for your employer. In the book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans recommend that you write your resume using the exact same words as the Internet posting when specific skills are required. You want to focus on what the employer wants.[1]

How to Get a Job in Another State. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Use the exact wording used in the online job posting.

  1. Remember that hiring is selfish

“Companies don’t hire you to help you,” explains Nicki Perchik, CEO and Founder of The NLP Group.  “They hire you based on what you can and will do for them. Thus, all communications need to focus on what’s in it for them.” Instead of stating what you are looking for, highlight what you can provide to the company.

  1. Figure out your value

It can be intimidating to start writing your resume because, as Perchik says, “far too many people don’t know their value proposition.” Start brainstorming your accomplishments and write them down. Then, begin to quantify your results. To help you quantify your value, Perchik recommends answering these questions.

  • If you implemented a process, what was the result?
  • Did you save the company money? If yes, how much?
  • Did you increase productivity?  How much?
  • Generate revenue?  How much?
  1. State that you are open to remote possibilities 

“Make sure your LinkedIn profile indicates that you are open to opportunities in another state,” says Vargas. “You can do this by editing your location preferences on LinkedIn.” If you are feeling adventurous, mention that you are flexible and open to a nationwide or international relocation.  If you have a specific location in mind, you can write: “Relocating to Raleigh, NC, in January 2020.” It’s better to be honest with potential employers so you don’t waste anyone’s time.

How to Get a Job in Another State. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Feeling adventurous? Let companies know you’re flexible about location.

  1. Caveat to #5: Don’t put anything online that you wouldn’t want your current employer to see

Many clients I work with can’t talk about their move openly. They worry about retaliation from their current employer or maybe they haven’t told the family yet. If you share these concerns, don’t include your relocation desires in your online profile. Nevertheless, you should share this information during the interview process or if you work with a recruiter.

  1. If you don’t expect the company to pay for your relocation, then say so.

“Many companies will fear you expect them to relocate you,” says Perchik. “So if you’re moving on your own, make it crystal clear when you’ll be in your new city and that you’re not looking for a company to help pay for the move. If they sense any gray areas on this front, they may not start conversations and they’ll opt for local candidates.”

  1. Attend networking events to make connections

“Finding a job is a fulltime job,” says Albright. “The only way you are going to find your next role is by getting yourself out there and promoting yourself to others.” Albright recommends attending social and business networking events that happen near you, even if you are looking for opportunities out of state. Introduce yourself and start asking questions. “Ask them about their network and if they know anyone with a similar professional background as yours,” says Albright. “I’ll guarantee they will make an introduction. Once they do – reach out and connect!”

  1. Forget any preconceived notions you have about networking

The word “networking” gets a bad rap. Don’t think of it as a slimy activity. Think of it as connecting with someone – not because you want a job – but because you are genuinely interested in what the other person has to say. Burnett and Evans recommend that you reframe the situation. Look at networking as if you were asking for directions (151). No one gets upset when you ask for directions. People want to help you find your way.

How to Get a Job in Another State. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Networking just means connecting.

  1. Recognize that finding a job is an insider’s game

According to Burnett and Evans, only 20% of all jobs available in the U.S. are posted on the internet (146). That can be frustrating when you are 500 miles away and trying to get a job in another state. So, how do you find out about the other 80% of job opportunities? Personal connections. A human network of professional relationships. That’s why it’s important to start talking with people in your area of interest to learn what else is out there.

  1. Tell everyone you know that you want to get a job in another state

I recommend being vocal about your move to help you make friends, but it can also help you get a job in another state. Someone will know someone who knows someone who lives in Raleigh, NC. Ask family and friends for recommendations about good companies to work for in your new city. People are generous and they want to help you.

  1. Find recruiters who specialize in your space

To help you get a job in another state, you might want to speak with a recruiter at a staffing agency. However, Perchik says it’s important to understand how recruiters work and to have realistic expectations. “Recruiters do not job search for individuals. Rather, they’re paid by the company to help find the right professionals for a specific job,” says Perchik. Therefore, the recruiter will only reach out to you if you are a good fit for a certain position. “Ideally, getting into a recruiter’s database will produce some opportunities,” says Perchik. “Just know the recruiters don’t work for you.”

Here are some questions Albright says you should be prepared to answer when working with a recruiter:

  • Why are you looking for a new job?
  • Why did you leave your last position?
  • What is your current salary, balance, or rate?
  • Are you open to contract work or project work?
  • Are you willing to go into a satellite office? 
  1. Don’t let the job search bring you down

Trying to get a job in another state is a lot of work, and rejection is part of the process. “It can be difficult emotionally,” says Perchik. “You need to know it isn’t personal. Job searches are hard, which is why people don’t look forward to them. Rejection doesn’t define who you are or what you’ve accomplished. Often there are things going on behind the scenes you are not privy to. Keep a positive attitude and good things will happen.”

How to Get a Job in Another State. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

If you recently made a long-distance move, how did you get a job in another state? Did you have a job lined up before you moved or did you find one once you arrived? Please comment below to help others trying to get a job in another state.

[1] Burnett, Bill and Dave Evans. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. p.138.


You may also like


Elizabeth A February 14, 2019 - 10:41 pm

Hi Ali, we meet at the Wilmette library at the end of the summer 2018. It was very nice to meet you and see other families with the same situation about being the new kid on the block, looking for new schools, new neighborhood, friends, places, etc. In this moment I am looking for a job after being out of work for couple of years, it is a challenging process. I think companies should hire more moms no one is more dedicated, responsible, hard working than a mom. Here I am in my new adventure of finding a job :). Congratulations on your new book.

Ali Wenzke February 15, 2019 - 10:07 am

Hi, Elizabeth! It was very nice to meet you, too. I agree with you about hiring moms. I often think that our school PTO has more talent than most major corporations. Have you considered looking into a board member position with a local non-profit? That can be a good first step into re-entering the work force because you will meet other dedicated, hard-working people who often have other contacts in various fields. Good luck on your job search!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.