Dear J.T. & Dale: I want to relocate back to my hometown, but I need a job to be able to do so. How do you go about networking when you don’t live in the area? I have family there, but they can do only so much. Although I am planning to pay for my own relocation costs, I’ve applied for several jobs but don’t get any interest. – Joan
J.T.: Remote job search has become easier now that you can do a lot of the work online. Start by being clear on what skill sets you possess, then research all the companies in the town that would need someone with those skills. From there, see if your friends and family can identify people they know who work at these firms.
Your goal is to set up a short phone call – not to ask for a job, but to ask the best way to prepare yourself to be seen as a fit for the company. Next, schedule some visits back home and try to set up in-person informational interviews. That way, when you see a job posting that fits your skills, you’ll have someone you can ask for advice to get yourself considered, and they even may be willing to recommend you for the position.
DALE: Employers have a reason to discard applications from out-of-towners, and it isn’t just a matter of relocation costs. People who have recently moved often get homesick and move back, or have other adjustment problems. That’s not an issue for you, and you need to make it clear that you are not merely relocating – you are coming home.
Given that most people are proud of their hometown, helping you get back will be a pleasure for them, and they likely will help you make connections. I’m predicting that your relatives will soon be putting up a “Welcome Home, Joan” sign.
© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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