Job Search Tips

How to Get a Job in Another State

Written by Peter Jones

Maybe your partner or your spouse is being transferred. Maybe you’re just graduating from a far-off college and want to live and work closer to home. Or maybe you just need a change of scenery.

For most people, the most stressful and important part about moving is finding employment in a new city. Unless you work remotely, this can be tricky. Here are 6 ways you can make potential employers confident in hiring you as an out-of-state applicant.

1. Ditch your home address.

At best, your home address is irrelevant to your qualifications for the job. At worst, it could turn off hiring managers who don’t want to pay relocation expenses, or aren’t sure about your commitment or ability to move and start in a timely fashion.

If you absolutely need a home address, you can get yourself a local mailbox that will forward to you through Mailboxes, Etc. If your phone number is holding you back, you can get a Google phone number with the area code of your target state.

2. Do your research.

The more you know about the place you want to go the better. What are the major industries? What does the job market look like? Figure out through the Chambers of Commerce and the state or city’s Office of Economic Development which jobs are hot and therefore easier to land. If you don’t know where exactly you want to move, research instead what states and cities are best for the field you want to work in. Finally, see if it feels like a place where you would really want to live.

Check out the following:

3. Grow your network.

Tap into your existing network to mine for contacts who might be able to help you get your foot in the door somewhere else—particularly your alumni network. Ask for email introductions to local companies or contacts. Visit if you can. No matter what, start building your own network there through social media sites and LinkedIn. Join a local meet-up or LinkedIn group for updates.

4. Take care of your own moving logistics.

To avoid missing out on opportunities with companies that don’t want to pay to help you move, there are ways to let them know you’re willing to handle the move logistics and expenses yourself. A line in your cover letter addressing the issue works. You could always make it clear that you are already living in the city, staying with a friend or subletting, pending your job search.

If you can be there physically, it’s never inappropriate to mention when you’ll be there and available for an interview. Employers will be much more eager to hire you if they don’t have to pay for relocation.

5. Be smart about money.

Figure out the logistics of your financial situation in your new state before you get there. Bone up on the relative cost-of-living, the average salary range for your industry and role, how far your money will go when you live there, and how much you require. Figure out your target state’s tax code to assess your liabilities.

6. Assure them you will be moving.

Remember, no potential employer wants to hear you waffling. Be willing to talk about it—and when you do, be honest. Don’t make promises to interview if you cannot make it. Ask instead for a Skype interview, if possible. But do make sure to make it clear that you are moving, not just that you’re considering it. Make them know you’re as safe a bet as someone already living down the street.

About the author

Peter Jones