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Occupational hazards of the long-distance job search: how to beat the locals

Applying for a new position is, for anyone, at the very least a daunting prospect

It is understandable then, that the thought of a long-distance application can be off-putting, before the process even begins.

It can be difficult to know where to start when seeking employment in a different location, but one way to look at it could be to walk in the employer’s shoes in the first instance. For example, whilst an organisation will most definitely understand that an applicant could essentially be taking a huge risk by relocating for employment purposes, they will also look at the risk they are taking themselves.

Therefore, it is extremely important that the applicant can provide valid reasons for selecting both the employer in question and also the location. In addition to all the usual research that is required when applying for employment, in this situation it would be wise to spend some extra time and effort to research not only the organisation but also the location, to help give valid reasons for the move. Your covering letter will seem far more attractive to an employer if you can demonstrate that you have done your homework.

In addition to this, an employer would want to be sure that they weren’t wasting their time should they go to the trouble of laying out expenses for an interview, although unless being headhunted, an applicant should expect to cover such costs themselves. If an applicant is sure of a location, and has adequate savings in place, it may also be advisable to make the move first if convenient, and then seek employment. This, coupled with researching the area, will also show an employer that the applicant will be more focused on the job at hand and won’t waste time once employed by looking for somewhere to stay.

In terms of relocation packages, these can differ depending on both the position being applied for and the employer. Some employers will offer some form of basic relocation package to graduates, whereas executive employers might offer something a bit more luxurious that could include some form of rental whilst the applicant seeks a place to live. Again, it would be a wise choice to research this issue prior to applying, to save any awkward conversations further down the line.

In summary, when looking for employment in a different location, the most important thing to remember is research, research, research. It takes more effort to sell yourself to a long-distance employer than a local one. Ensure that you give the employer strong and valid reasons to employ you, and show that you have researched the location, or that you are in the process of moving there. The employer must be reassured that you are convinced of your decision to relocate, before they can make their own decision about your suitability.

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