Workwrite Resumes

The Long Distance Job Search: What makes long distance job searches difficult?

Regardless of the reason for your move, a long-distance job search is challenging.

Regardless of the reason for your move, a long-distance job search is challenging.

Maybe you need to be closer to family; maybe you need to move to a place that has more jobs in your industry; maybe you just have always wanted to live in San Francisco. Whatever your reason for moving, you need a job, and you know it’s not going to be easy.

Looking for a job isn’t a real picnic even when it’s just down the street where everything and everybody are familiar. A long distance search is even more difficult, time-consuming, and costly. You’ll be networking in an unfamiliar market, so you’ll need to do more research than a local search requires. Many firms now rely on electronic interviewing for long-distance hires, so you may not even meet your colleagues and supervisors in person until your first day on the job. Financial reimbursement for your moving expenses is less common than it used to be, so you may be footing the entire bill for you move. If you have a family, it means your partner is also looking for a job, and the kids must acclimate to a new neighborhood, school, and friends.

Employer preference

On top of that, employers often prefer hiring locals if for no other reason than they don’t require gargantuan logistical miracles to get them into the office for an interview. Many employers want a staff member who already knows the local geography. Some feel hometown loyalty to the local workforce. Others have had experiences with long-distance candidates who want to be reimbursed for relocation expenses, change their mind at the last minute, or worse, return to their home state six months after they’ve been hired.

The BIG reason

Finally, the biggest reason, the one that keeps the most people from doing the most things, the one that looms large even when you’ve figured out the money, time, and logistics: Fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of failure. Chances are one or more of these will be your constant companion during this marathon.

So, why would anyone in their right mind ever embark on a long-distance job search?

  • Opportunity: If you’ve reached the top of your local field, or the person whose job you would love simply refuses to retire, you will need to move to leverage an opportunity. Sometimes, that opportunity is a long way away.
  • Financial Gain: Along with an opportunity can come the promise of financial success that is unattainable where you are.
  • Family: Perhaps you moved here from there. Now, your parents are aging, and you’d like to be closer to them.
  • It’s an adventure: For every 500 people who stay at the same job with the same company in the same town, there is one who says, “I wonder if …”

There are as many reasons for a long-distance job search as there are jobs. Just be sure to know yours before you start.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your long-distance job search, contact me right away. I offer Job Search Strategy coaching calls that are customized to solve the problems you encounter, no matter where in the country your search is taking you. 


Image courtesy of bulldogza at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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