Long Distance Search

It is an exciting prospect to live and work in a new location. A long-distance search simply means that you are not in the geographic location in which you are seeking a job.  This could be searching for work in another city in your home country or looking for a position in a different country.

The long-distance job search is first and foremost a job search like any other.  Whether the target location is local or distant, all job seekers must:

Factors Unique to a Long-distance Job Search

Time

A job search from a distance can take more time than you anticipate.

  • Crossing time zones can delay communication.
  • In an international search, individuals may need time to respond to you as they explore the possibilities of having a foreign employee or intern, consider special legal/visa arrangements, or simply find out more about you.
  • See the steps below for other examples of elements that may take additional time.

The bottom line: Plan far ahead and allocate extra time for your long-distance search.

Knowledge of the Location

Learn as much as you can about the new location, including:

  • Cost of living, economic outlook and average salaries
  • Neighborhoods and transportation
  • Language(s) spoken
  • Political issues
  • Local employers
  • Places positions are posted

Hiatt’s Career Resource Index has suggested resources for popular U.S. cities and international locations are available through Going Global (accessible via B.hired > Resources).

Networking

You may have few personal contacts in your target city or country.

Visits

If you are planning to move to a new place for an extended period, it is advisable to visit at least once before committing yourself to the move.

  • During your visit get a sense of the culture, neighborhoods, and expenses
  • Research potential employers
  • Maximize the efficiency of your visit by setting up appointments with multiple people and organizations
  • If you are unable to visit your target location initially to get a feel for the area, networking [link: networking] is all the more important.

Certification and License Restrictions

If you hold a certification or licensure from a state or national organization, check to see if it is recognized or transferable in your location of choice.  For example, a MA secondary teaching license is often recognized internationally, and transferable within the US, but each state and country has its own regulations.  In RI, it would be accepted after a bit of official paperwork, but in CA you would also have to take and pass CSET.

Language Skills

Assess your level of ability to speak the language(s) of your target location, especially related to the type of work you want to do, in order to maximize the strength of your candidacy.

Work Restrictions

You may have to obtain visas or other types of documents to work in another country – whether your work is paid or unpaid – from your employer or internship sponsor.  These processes can take many months to complete.  Research the requirements and time frame for the process.  Do not under any circumstances engage in work without these legal documents.

Creating a Compelling Long-Distance Application

Be regionally/culturally aware

Meeting local expectations for resumes, background experience, language skills, and knowledge of the geographical region is a way to let potential employers know that you are fully engaged in the prospect of living and working in the area and completely prepared to contribute to their work.

Identify and reflect on the reasons why you want to work in the new location

Workers are extremely mobile in the 21st century marketplace; it is not unusual to seek experience anywhere in the world.  Let the potential employer know why this is a great next step for you and your related experience that you bring.  You might note, for example, the region’s dynamic potential in your field; the opportunity to contribute your skills and grow professionally by working in the new environment; language skills and cross-cultural understanding that position you as a strong candidate.