Navigate the winding road of a long-distance job search

Are you looking to relocate for a new job? Do you want to find a job in a new city? There are many reasons that you may wish to up sticks and move to a new area - or even country. Perhaps you would like to be closer to your family; perhaps your partner needs to move; maybe you simply want to expand your horizons ‒ both physically and metaphorically.

Whatever the reason, finding a job outside of your immediate location comes with its fair share of struggles. Here's how you can combat some of the challenges that you will face in your long-distance job search.

Decide on your availability

Sure, you may be mentally ready to leave, but you shouldn't underestimate this task. Moving home means dealing with a whole host of annoying sub-tasks. For instance, you'll need to give notice to your current employer, leave your rented home (or even sell your house), and find a place in your new location. If you happen to have a family, this job becomes ever greater as you have to find new schools for your children.

With all of the above in mind, before you start your long-distance job search, you should figure out your availability. Be reasonable when setting out dates. When can you feasibly relocate without it causing you too much hassle or drama? Once you're clear on a viable timeline, be sure to apply for roles that suit it and be honest about your plans.

Research your specific industry

Before you fully launch into your long-distance job search, you're going to need to do some research. Since you likely won't know the region all that well, you won't know much about local businesses or organisations. That will make deciding which roles to apply for a struggle. One way to combat this issue is to research the companies in your industry and sector before you apply for any positions. For example, you may want to read staff reviews on Glassdoor or check out their Google Reviews. Going the extra mile when it comes to finding out about your prospective employers is always a savvy move, especially if you are unfamiliar with the opportunities around you.

Say that you are looking to relocate

Don't expect employers and recruiters to be mind-readers ‒ sadly, they are not. While you may think it's obvious that you're hoping to relocate ‒ based on the fact that you're applying for these roles ‒ you have to fully state it in your application.

Recruiters only spend an average of six seconds reviewing each CV. If during that time, they see that you're based in another city or country, you may find that your application ends up in the reject pile. Make sure that it's 100% clear that you are looking to move locations. You might want to highlight this in the opening of your personal statement, for example.

Prepare for long-distance interviews

Should any of your applications be successful, you will have to go to an interview and prove you're worth hiring. However, this part of the process will be trickier for you than it would other candidates. You have to take into consideration how you will physically get to the interview and, of course, how you will take time off from your current role to attend it.

While you may not know about your interviews far in advance, you should try to plan ahead as much as possible. If you think the chances of your being selected for an interview are high, look into possible travel options. You can compare train and flight prices online or, if possible, look into how much it will cost you to drive to the location.

Of course, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you may not have to go for an in-person interview. The employer or recruiter may suggest that you have a video or phone interview rather than travelling so far away. In these cases, it's important to prepare thoroughly for the interview ahead of time, so that you come across well.

Emphasise your experience and skills

Surveys suggest that a massive 85% of all open positions are filled via networking. That leaves you at a strong disadvantage. When you're looking for a role in a place that's alien to you, the chances of you having professional relationships in the area are slim. For that reason, you'll need to change tack during the search process and prove your worth.

Let your experience and skills speak for themselves. When you're filling out applications and, indeed, answering interview questions, focus on what you've achieved throughout your career so far. Prepare your answers and be sure to focus on results-based achievements. If you can quantify your value, it's a major plus.

Learn about the location

During the interview process, the recruiter will likely want to find out if you're serious about relocating. Put their mind at rest by doing your homework ahead of time. Before you attend the interview, take some time to learn about the location. Of course, you can read about it online during your long-distance job search. Another way to get to know the area may be to arrive at your destination early and take a walk around the city.

Not only will this tip help you when it comes to answering interview questions, but it is also essential to your decision. Moving to a brand new place means making huge life changes ‒ it's certainly not to be taken lightly. Exploring the area for yourself will help you to visualise living there. That means that you can make a smart and informed decision.


Starting your long-distance job search? There's no time like the present to begin looking for your next role. Of course, you can boost your chances of success by having a flawless application. That's where a professional CV writer can come in. Start by getting free, objective feedback on your CV.

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