Job search is already hard enough. Spending free time applying to jobs and praying employers will contact you is a real test of confidence. The waiting and rejection aren't for the faint of heart. And, when you want to find a job in another city or state, the added layer of complexity makes it even more challenging. The fact is, you've got extra forces working against you that make it hard to even get a hiring manager to consider you. Here are three reasons why you can't get a job interview in another location:
1. You aren't showing up in recruiter searches on LinkedIn.
Recruiters use LinkedIn daily to search for candidates that match certain skill set criteria. They narrow the search by location. If your profile doesn't list the city they put in, you don't show in the search. Now, you might be tempted to change your profile so that you do show up in searches, but I don't advise it. Why? When a recruiter contacts you and says, "Can you come in for an interview tomorrow?" you'll have to admit you don't live there. Getting caught in a lie is the kiss of death. Recruiters don't like being lied to and will eliminate you from consideration AND may even mark it in your file so you can't get jobs there in the future.
2. Hiring someone from out-of-town is extra work.
Recruiters feel intense pressure to quickly find good candidates that meet all the hiring manager's criteria. After all, it's their job! Presenting a candidate who lives out-of-town makes it look like they are incapable of sourcing quality candidates in their own backyard. It also creates more work for the recruiter. Why waste time talking to someone who can't easily come in for an interview? They'd rather source locally to make the hiring process easier.
3. Employers don't want to pay relocation fees for someone that may not work out.
Moving isn't cheap. Employers avoid footing the bill for relocation as much as possible. It's usually only done for key positions where the right person for the job is extremely difficult to locate (i.e. c-suite, specialty roles). Even then, the fear is the person may not work out and it will be a wasted expense. Thus, unless you're at the executive level, it's likely you won't get your move paid for by an employer. Seeing you'd need to move for the job immediately makes you more expensive to hire - and that gets you in the "no" pile.
So, what can you do to overcome these roadblocks?
Use the "Interview Bucket List" approach to focus your job search.
Identifying a list of 10-20 employers who can hire for your skill set in the location you wish to move is the goal of your Interview Bucket List. First, you use your network to connect with people who already work there. Next, you let them know you are planning to relocate to the area. It's even better if you can tell them you'll be there by a certain month so they know you mean it. Lastly, explain why they're a company you aspire to work for when you get there. Ask if they can introduce you to a recruiter or hiring manager so you can learn what it would take to eventually earn a position there. You'd be amazed at how many people will be open to chatting with you. In my experience, there's a "welcome wagon" effect that occurs. It's in our nature to be nice to people new to the neighborhood. This can set the foundation for ongoing communication that can lead to a job interview.
P.S. - Setting up a target visit date boosts the effects.
In working with many remote job seekers, I've found those who plan a trip to where they want to relocate to can be a great way to schedule in-person informational interviews with people who work at the companies on your bucket list. Being able to say, "I'll be in the area the week of __, would be available for me to stop in and say "Hi" for a few minutes so I can meet you in person?" It's simple gesture that doesn't put pressure on them but can lead to things like an office tour or a an improptu interview. By meeting you in person, they'll be able to vouch for you at a later date when you apply for a job and can't easily get there for an in-person interview.