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How to Conduct a Job Search When Relocating

By Delmon Smith

In today's workforce, individuals are constantly switching employers for both personal and professional reasons. For example, what's one to do when an opportunity that matches so perfectly with his or her resume is a thousand miles away? What's the solution when one's fiance finally lands that government dream job, but it's in Arlington, Virginia?

The answer is ''relocating,'' and many attorneys embark upon this journey during their careers. There are, however, a few factors one should consider before moving to a new region of the country. The following will briefly discuss the two most important considerations: the resume and cover letter and the interview.

Firstly, one should always attempt to include a local address. Frequently overlooked, the physical address plays a huge role in the hiring process as many employers are reluctant to consider out-of-state candidates. Statistics show that local candidates are much more likely to receive requests for interviews.

The solution? Include a local address on the resume and cover letter. It shows that you have close ties to the area and gives the employer a bit of confidence in the fact that you will be available to interview. However, you should only do this if you do indeed have a physical address in the area. Thus, if you have secured a place to reside, you may list your current address as temporary and the local address as permanent. On the contrary, if you are planning to stay with friends or family until you’re settled in, it’s best to list their address as a temporary address.

Another important factor is the formatting of the resume and cover letter. This is critical during the hiring phase. After all, your resume and cover letter create the first impression that the employer will have of you. They should always fully reflect your work experience and paint a clear and concise picture of who you are professionally.

Any direct relation to the current position and community should be accented. So, for example, if you’re applying for a litigation position, highlight your actual in court experience. You should specifically discuss how you have impacted particular cases during the trial phase. In short, attempt to convey to the employer the reason they should choose you over the next candidate. Moreover, if you spent the summer or have family ties in the area, include that in the cover letter. This personalizes your profile and shows that you’re committed to the area.

As for the process of interviewing, out-of-state meetings can be tiresome and get quite expensive, depending on how many interview requests one is planning to accept. Therefore, timing is everything! To avoid potential conflicts with your current employer, it is best to schedule interviews on a Monday or Friday. This will provide you with an opportunity to relax and get more familiar with the area without the pressure of having to immediately get back to your job.

It’s much easier to obtain a three-day weekend as opposed to being forced to request three consecutive days off because you chose to interview on a Wednesday and will need additional travel days. Moreover, a weekend excursion will allow you to visit the area and experience what the community is like socially. One should take advantage of the opportunity to mix pleasure and business.

Hopefully, this has inspired you to chase your dreams...regardless of the distance. Good luck!

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