How to Land a Job in a New City

Landing a job is never easy. In today's market, it constantly seems like most jobs require endless previous experience, yet there is no way to get that experience. Combine that with attempting to relocate from wherever you are, and the job process becomes even more daunting. The process is long, frustrating, and time consuming -- it often feels like a full-time job to find a new job, which is exhausting (and nearly unfeasible) when you already have a full-time job. But, with perseverance, it can be done; I can prove it. 

I had been looking to leave Miami, but it wasn't easy to stand out when applying to non-Miami jobs in top U.S. cities. Why would employers glance at my resume when there were millions of local qualified candidates? In January, after 6 months of searching for the right fit, I moved to NYC to start my new role. Every day is exciting, and exploring my new city is quite an adventure. 

Here are my best tips on how to land a job in a new city:

1. Resume: do not lie about your location, and do not lie about your address. But, you need to make it extremely clear to recruiters, employers, and network connections that you are looking to relocate. This can vary depending on your resume, but consider replacing your address with "seeking to relocate" or "relocating to X in 2017."

2. Job Sites: while often frustrating, these sites are an important part of the process. Even if no real leads come of it, it can be helpful to explore job openings in order to give you a sense of what's out there, what interests you, and what the qualifications are. Particularly when seeking jobs in other cities, online platforms are the best way to do location-specific searches. At this point, I've tried them all. Here are my reviews of the top four sites you should look into:

  • LinkedIn Jobslow response rate, low-medium quality responses, high ease of use
  • AngelListmedium response rate, medium quality responses, high ease of use
  • Hiredlow response rate, high quality responses, high ease of use (passive)
  • ZipRecruiterhigh response rate, low quality responses, medium ease of use

3. Professional Networks: when looking for a job remotely, digital and real-life professional networking platforms can be some of the best places to start. They're a great way to utilize your network (and your extended network) from afar. Here are a few of the tools I used, and how to make the most of them:

  • LinkedIn
    • Search: use the highly filterable search functionality to look for network connections at companies you're interested in or applying to. Message them for advice and/or a recommendation to support your application.
    • Messaging: find a handful of network connections in the cities you're interested in to speak with. Message them to ask for advice -- you'll be surprised who is willing to give you their time. 
    • Recruiters: enable your profile to be searchable to recruiters. Every once in a while a good opportunity will show up in your inbox. Connect with recruiters in the cities / industries you're interested in.
  • Ivy: Ivy is a hybrid between a professional network and a social network, as well as a hybrid between and digital network and a real-life network.
    • Opportunities: scan the opportunities board for jobs in the places you are looking, and directly message the members who have posted specific jobs of interest. Ivy members are always open to helping other community members.
    • Events: attend local events in the industries that are relevant to you. Many community members will have connections in other cities and will be willing to make introductions on your behalf.

4. Social Networks: it's 2017, and it is officially acceptable to leverage both digital and real-life social networks in your job search. Your friends know you best and can speak most positively on your behalf. Do not underestimate their ability or willingness to help you land a gig that will make you happy. Craft an email to your closest family/friends network to let them know you are looking for jobs, and give them a brief descriptions of what you are looking for that they can easily forward on to or discuss with their own network. Message a friend on Facebook if you see that they're involved with a company that is of interest to you. The worst that can happen is that they do not respond, or are unwilling to help.

Ultimately, the job that was the right fit for me came through a social network connection from college. I am extremely grateful to everyone who helped me along the way (there were lots of you), and am ready to pay it forward to the next hungry kid looking to make the move to the big city! Feel free to reach out to me, and I look forward to hearing how you land your amazing job offers (in the comments below!).