Embarking on a new career search can always be a bit cumbersome.
Between searching for ideal job openings, typing up cover letters, updating your resume, meeting hiring parties for interviews, and negotiating on-boarding details, looking for a new career opportunity is an exhaustive process. If you’re looking for a new opportunity out of state, it often proves even more so.
There are many reasons why you may be interested in applying for a non-local position. You could be relocating in the near future and are trying to find secure employment before you make the big transition. Perhaps your current location doesn’t have any relevant job openings at the moment. Maybe you’re in an area that doesn’t have much of any demand for your skill set.
Whatever your situation is, there are plenty of valid reasons to consider relocating for work. The common belief about doing so, which does have a degree of truth to it, is that executive recruiters and other hiring parties will favor in-state applicants. The reason for this is that there’s generally less of a risk pursuing a candidate who is local than there is taking the time and possible expenses to arrange working with someone who is far away.
That being said, it’s far from impossible, as people get hired and relocate for work every day. Hiring out of state candidates is far more common when trying to fill executive-level positions rather than entry-level ones because the expected skill set is more clearly defined and specialized. As a result, there’s a slimmer candidate pool to choose from.
It’s also helpful to consider both the industry and the location as a whole. For industries and locations that are over-saturated with qualified talent, there’s no real reason why a recruiter would think to seek non-local applicants. In the construction industry, however, there is a well-known labor shortage at the moment. Because there is a high demand to fill construction positions all across the board, companies will be much more likely to consider applicants from other areas.
Regardless, it’s always a bit confusing figuring out how to impress recruiters from a distance. If you’re relocating soon and are in the market for a new position in the construction industry, here are a few tips to help you with your long-distance job search:
Knowing the right people always helps when pursuing a new career opportunity. If you know of any construction executive search firms or individual recruiters in your network, or any who made contact with you in the past, reach out and see if they know of any open positions in the city you’re moving to.
If you don’t personally know of any, search online for some search firms specializing in the construction industry. Many have their own job boards highlighting construction openings, and chances are if a job listing is still up on their site, they haven’t filled the position yet. They may be looking for someone with exactly your skill set, so get in touch and send in your resume.
Additionally, put out feelers to any of your contacts in the industry, especially if they’re a professional working where you will be relocating. You never know how far striking up a simple conversation can take you.
One of the trickiest parts about sending your resume off when applying to out-of-state positions is figuring out how to list your address in a manner that won’t throw off recruiters.
If you list your current address, it will obviously be a bit confusing to any hiring party. To work around this obstacle, you have a few options.
The more you can prove your certainty about relocating, the more realistically you’ll be considered.
Executive recruiters work tirelessly to satisfy their clients’ hiring needs. This often means they need to fill a position quickly with someone who is qualified and who will stick around long-term.
One of the fears that goes along with considering out-of-state job seekers is that they’ll go along with the hiring process only to change their minds about moving at the last minute.
To combat this concern, use your cover letter to explicitly state your reason for moving. If your reason is something vague, such as that you are tired of your current city or you are looking for a new opportunity, it doesn’t help to alleviate worry that you aren’t fully committed to relocating.
Instead, try to explain your situation in way that relays you have every intention of moving to that location. Maybe your partner is starting a new position, which is why you’re making the transition, or it could be that you have family there who you’re excited to be close to. The point is to assert that you’ve made up your mind about moving and that you’ll be a resident there soon.
You may have a specific position and a set salary range in mind, but if you’re trying to secure employment before a move, you may need to be a little flexible with expectations. You can always move up in a company, and you can also apply for your ideal role when an opening comes along.
For instance, if your experience is being a construction project manager and there are many job openings for positions slightly underneath that, it may be worthwhile to take a small pay cut in favor of securing employment and getting your foot in the door somewhere.
One of the perks of hiring in-state candidates is being able to interview them quickly, so to further minimize the inconvenience of your status as a non-local candidate, establish early on that you’re willing to accommodate their interview schedule.
Ideally, the recruiter will be able to work with a virtual interview, but depending on personal preferences of the search firm and the hiring company, they may put quite a bit of stock in the in-person meeting.
If this is the case and your budget allows, make it clear that you’re able to travel for an interview and that you’re willing to cover the travel costs yourself. When the hiring party doesn’t have to make any special arrangements, you’ll help demonstrate that there’s not any significant disadvantage when it comes to considering you right alongside other applicants.
When it comes to executive positions, it’s not rare for a company to offer financial assistance when a new hire is relocating to join the company. Considering that the construction industry currently has a deficit of talent (90% of contractors reported being concerned about this shortage during Q2 of 2018), it’s even more reasonable to expect that companies will be willing to go the extra mile in order to acquire the top talent they need to overcome this issue.
That being said, if you’re applying for your dream job in your dream city, it may be worth it to state that if the choice is between you and a local candidate, you would be willing to pay for your relocation costs. This would help narrow any competitive edge a fellow applicant has solely because they are in-state.
This is, naturally, only a move you should make if you can afford it. Of course, finding the right company could ensure that you’ll be well on your way to affording much more than just relocating to a different city.
Hopefully these tips give you an idea of how you can better apply for non-local positions and win the interest of executive recruiters from afar. It all boils down to showing you have the skills and qualifications for the position, as well as the surefire intention to actually relocate. As long as you can prove you are the right person for the job while downplaying concerns over your out-of-state status, you should be able to contend with any local applicant.
S.R. Clarke Consulting Services, Inc. has been helping companies find and hire top talent in the construction industry and job seekers navigate exciting construction career opportunities for over 41 years.
With thousands of successful placements, our track record shows we’re one of the best construction industry search firms operating today.
If we can help with any of your own hiring needs, get in touch today!