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How to find a job in a new city: 9 tips before you move

A man sitting on the floor with cardboard boxes around him and looking at a computer

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 

When you’re preparing to move to a new city, the process of finding a new job can be challenging. Trust me, I’ve been there! 

From determining what type of job you want to researching companies and updating your resume, here’s my advice on how to find a job in a new city to help you be better prepared to navigate the local job market. 

How to find a job before moving to a new city 

1. Decide if you want to stay at your current job.

If you enjoy working at your current company, ask your leader if you can transfer to an office in the city you’re moving to or if you can work fully remotely. It never hurts to ask! 

2. Start your job search ASAP.

Finding a job in a new city doesn’t happen overnight. From the beginning of my job search to the end of it, it took about three months until I officially accepted an offer. 

I recommend starting your job search right away, so you allow enough time to find a new job before you move. 

3. Assess your financial situation.

Your financial situation can influence the type of job you want (full-time or part-time) and how quickly you need to find a new job.

Ask yourself:

  • How much time do I have to find a new job?
  • Will I need help with moving expenses?
  • What is the cost of living where I’m moving?
  • What salary range will I be comfortable accepting?
  • Will I need to find a temporary job to hold me over?

4. Decide what work model you want.

Before you begin researching job opportunities and companies in the area you are moving to, consider what work model you’re looking for.

Do you:

  • Thrive in a traditional office environment?
  • Enjoy the flexibility of fully remote work?
  • Prefer a blend of in-person and remote work (often called a hybrid schedule)?

Reflect on your lifestyle and productivity in remote, in-person and hybrid work environments. Once you decide which option is the best for you, you can identify companies that offer your preferred work arrangement.

5. Build your professional network.

Networking is one of the most powerful and effective ways to find a job in a new city.

Reach out to your existing contacts, such as former colleagues, classmates and friends who live or work in the area you’re moving to.

You can also explore some of the virtual networking events in the new city, such as:

  • Industry forums.
  • Meet-and-greets.
  • Professional conferences.

These events can give you a chance to:

  • Meet other professionals in your field.
  • Learn about the local job market.
  • Find some job leads or referrals.

You can also leverage social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, to expand your professional network and join some of the relevant groups and forums related to your field or industry.

6. Research companies in the new city.

Research potential employers to learn more about their reputation, culture, career growth opportunities and job openings.

You can find this information by:

  • Searching job boards, like Indeed and Glassdoor.
  • Talking with recruiters on LinkedIn.
  • Browsing companies’ websites and social media platforms.

This information will help you narrow down your job search and focus on the most promising and relevant opportunities.

7. Sign up for job alerts.

If you find a company that matches your interests but doesn’t have any current openings for the role you’re looking for, I highly recommend signing up for job alerts.

Job alerts can enhance your job search by:

  • Providing immediate access to the latest job openings that align with your criteria, allowing you to apply for the job sooner.
  • Saving you time by delivering opportunities directly to your inbox.
  • Keeping you informed about market trends.

8. Update your resume and cover letter.

As you prepare to apply for jobs in a new city, it’s important to tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific job and company you apply to. 

If you’re applying for an in-person or hybrid role, make it clear in your cover letter that you intend to move to the city where the company is located. That way, potential employers know you’re serious about the job opportunity. 

Pro tip: Update your geographical location on your LinkedIn profile to the new city you’ll be moving to. Hiring managers and recruiters can search for you based on your location. 

9. Apply for jobs.

Once you’ve found a position you’re interested in and polished your resume and cover letter, it’s time to apply. 

Given that you currently live in a different city from the location of the job you’re applying for, I would expect that most of your initial interviews will be conducted either over the phone or via video call.

Be prepared to adjust your schedule as needed to accommodate different time zones or working hours.

Good luck! 

Ace your interview.

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About the author
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Sarah is a marketing professional with more than 10 years of corporate experience. She joined Schneider as a digital marketing analyst in 2021. In her role, Sarah supports recruiting efforts through digital advertising across multiple platforms. In her free time, Sarah loves traveling and spending time with her family.

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