For All You Out-Of-State Job Seekers

Posted: 9/25/2013

By: Elias Cobb, Quantix Recruiting Manager

Well, the IT job market is picking up. Yes, it is. And as such, we have clients who are now willing to consider out-of-state candidates for many of their positions. However, in talking with some of these candidates and trying to coordinate the interview process, some issues have arisen. Here are some tips for anyone looking for a job in another state.

1) This is probably most important: BE READY FOR THE PROCESS!! If a client says that they are willing to do an interview via Skype and a webcam, figure out how you can do this!! Webcams are cheap and Skype is free. If you're looking for a job out-of-state, buy a webcam!! It's a very small investment in your new job search.

2) If you are willing to cover all your own interview costs, be ready to do so. If you make that claim up front, then balk when the client asks you to fly into town, I think your chances at that job are dead. If you're not willing to cover these expenses, make sure everyone knows that at the beginning of the process.

3) Figure out your timeline. Saying you can be here for an interview with two days of notice, only to need two weeks to get here is a bad impression to make on an employer. Similarly, make sure the client has an accurate picture of how long it will take you to get here to start a new position.

4) If you are moving to a new city and have these plans already in place, make THAT very, very clear in a cover letter, initial interview, email to the recruiter, etc. That makes you the most attractive of out-of-state candidates because you are coming here with or without the job and the client will feel comfortable with your commitment to the new city.

5) Lower your expectations. Yes, you, the out-of-state candidate, are going to be at the bottom of the list for pretty much any job. You have to hope that there are very few in-state candidates or that you are an overwhelmingly good fit for the position.

To expand on that last point a little: you probably won't hear back from most recruiters or HR departments. That's just the way it is. For many positions, I have 50 to 100 in-state candidates to call first. Even if you're willing to cover your own costs, clients know there will be timing issues throughout the interview process and a longer wait for you to start, if you live out of state. Frankly, your best bet (though I know it's generally unrealistic) is to move to the new city before you start looking for that new job.

My recommendation? Make a phone call to the recruiter or HR person. If you leave a voicemail, explain your situation - you're in the process of moving, you will pay your own expenses if necessary, etc. - leaving a message with your out-of-state phone number isn't going to net many replies, unless you possess a very unique skill set.

Bottom line, have patience and keep trying. You may end up finding the perfect match for you and your background and get that job in the new city. It will probably take more effort than it would to find a job in
your current city, but it can be done.