17 Tips for Finding a Job out of State

Finding a new job can be stressful. But finding a job that is out of state can seem even more daunting. Getting creative with your resources and doing sufficient prep work can make it a more manageable and fruitful task.

What are the best tips for finding a job out of state? In your search, you should consider several resources to help you along the way. Here is a concise list of the best tips to try.

  1. Network Online
  2. Visit and Attend Events
  3. Don’t Include Your out of State Address
  4. Target Employers, Rather Than Cities
  5. Connect With Friends or Family
  6. Research the Job Market in That City
  7. Research the Cost of Living in That City
  8. Utilize a Variety of Resume Posting Sites
  9. Utilize Your References’ Possible Connections
  10. Find Meetup Events
  11. Join Your Alumni Association
  12. Have a Rigid Organization System
  13. Complete State-Wide Searches
  14. State Your Imminent Move
  15. Network Within Your Company
  16. Offer Dates You Will Be in Town
  17. Mention Specific Neighborhoods You May Move To

Researching new job opportunities and choosing places to live can feel both overwhelming and exhilarating. So, here’s our bonus tip: make it an adventure!

Network Online

With the wide variety of networking options online, there is no excuse for you not to utilize as many options as we can.

By networking online, you can reach out to industry professionals that may either specialize in your specific area of interest or who simply live in the area you are interested in moving to. Connecting with them and striking up a conversation can open up many opportunities from actual jobs to referrals to general advice.

Some of those networking sites you’ve probably heard of, like LinkedIn.  Other sites, such as Ryze and Ning, are specialized sites that many have never heard about.  You can check those and other networking sites through this Mashable article.

Visit and Attend Events

If you have the opportunity to visit the city you are looking for a job in, do your best to get out and attend as many events as you can. When you plan to visit that city, you should look for the following types of events.

  • Conventions
  • Job Fairs
  • Networking Events
  • Speeches Delivered by Industry Professionals at Universities or Local Events

Small business conventions can be especially helpful. A convention center filled with eager representatives from a variety of businesses hoping to chat and network with others is a prime place to make connections.  You can also find a list of job fairs in different cities at jobsfairsin.

Don’t Include Your out of State Address

Using your current address can be detrimental very early in the process. If a recruiter is going over hundreds of resumes with tired, glazed over eyes, their attention tends to zero in on specifics that will help them qualify people in or out. Seeing an out of state address can be enough for it to get tossed in the trash right away.

Or, if the company doesn’t want to deal with the logistics of the process with someone out of state, they may also push you to the side. Force them to look at your qualifications before they learn this information.

If you impress them with a killer resume and a dazzling cover letter, they will be able to say, “Okay, let’s give them a shot.” But when you’re just the name at the top of a resume and an address that is miles and miles away, your chances decrease dramatically.

Target Employers, Rather Than Cities

This can be an effective technique when you are simply looking for an opportunity rather than living in a new city. A lot of times, job searchers will get too bogged down looking for a change of scenery rather than looking for the right job.

This can also help you find more opportunities. If you limit yourself to a few cities because you know you like them, you won’t find as many opportunities. But if you search for a specific job or a specific industry and begin narrowing it down from there, you will be exposed to many more options.

This way of searching will expand your horizons, feed you more opportunities, and can help you discover a new city for a fresh start.

Connect With Friends or Family

This should be a given. Always reach out to any connections you have in a city you’re thinking of moving to. This can also apply to any city. Maybe you’re not sure where you want to move, but you have family in Colorado and a bunch of friends in Southern California. Check-in with them.

They may have some friends or connections who can help, or maybe they can provide some advice or tips on where to start.

They will also be a helpful asset once you begin an interviewing process by asking if you could stay with them while you are in town for an interview or looking at places to live.

Research the Job Market in That City

Using sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed are huge time savers when doing this type of research. You should research a variety of factors. We have spent a great deal of time putting together helpful information on these resources here!  You should research a variety of factors.

  • How many jobs are available in your field?
  • What is the average salary in that region?
  • What industries thrive there?
  • Are there differences in their minimum requirements for education or certifications?

You should feel as if you are too thorough. Ask all the questions you can think of that will help you get a grasp on what the market looks like in that area and what your chances are. This will typically be a broad, bird’s eye view of industry statistics. But once you have that bird’s eye view, you can focus in and get more granular to understand better what types of jobs can flourish in that area.

Research the Cost of Living in That City

Once you have an idea of salary ranges and you have realistic expectations, you should also consider the cost of living. You may find that the salary you will most likely be receiving may not cover the cost of living or the type of lifestyle you hope for.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Rent / mortgage
  • Average grocery costs
  • Gym memberships or other costs related to hobbies important to you
  • The average cost of a night out for dinner
  • Gas prices
  • State and city taxes
  • If you have a pet, investigate pet policies at apartments in the city
  • Parking 
  • Car insurance rates
  • Health Insurance (if your company doesn’t cover it, there may be variances in costs depending on the zip code. Even if they do cover it, but you pay a portion, it could affect it)

Don’t make the mistake of only looking at housing. They may seem like smaller, insignificant items, but they add up. Something as simple as that vodka soda you’ve been ordering in your small hometown for $4 that is now $13 in downtown Los Angeles can make a difference.

Track the dollars and cents and get as close as you can to a monthly estimate for all living expenses – whether it is something you need like rent or car insurance, or that occasional vodka soda.

Utilize a Variety of Resume Posting Sites

We all find sites that we prefer over others. It may have to do with the simple interface, or you notice better results from one over another. But when you are looking out of state, you shouldn’t be limiting yourself.

Still, go ahead and prioritize using your favorite sites for your searches but expand your horizons and get your name out there on every platform you can.  Maybe you prefer Indeed, but your future employer might prefer checking ZipRecruiter.

When employers search for candidates, they typically will also have their favorite sites, just like you. They will also typically put more of their recruitment budget into one site over another. But unless you know what site that is, you should increase your chances by using as many as possible.

Utilize Your References’ Possible Connections

Your references can be used for more than a glowing review of you. If they are willing to put their name on the line to refer you, they will also be willing to see how else they can help. Maybe you remember that one of them is originally from Miami, and you have been searching for opportunities there. 

If you get to an interview, a reference who can vouch for you and has a hometown connection to create rapport with the person interviewing you, can go a long way.

Find Meetup Events

The conventions and networking events that are solely based around an industry or a career field can be extremely helpful. But normal meetups to meet peers on a personal level can also be a huge boost. 

MeetUp is a cool site where you can find activities and social events around a city. When you look for meetups, you don’t necessarily even have to have your career in mind. If you find something that directly correlates to your chosen field, then that’s great.

But even if it has nothing to do with your career, but more just an activity that interests you, it can still be helpful. When you visit that city, try to sign up for something like this. Or maybe take a class or head to a coffee shop with local writers giving readings. Be social.

Organic conversations you have with peers can lead to connections that open doors for professional reasons as well. And if this is truly the city you want to work in, it’s never too early to start making new friends.

Join Your Alumni Association

If you are not already part of your alumni association from college, this can be a great opportunity creator. If you are, make sure you are utilizing all the tools and resources they offer.

While friends and family can help, sometimes you may feel a little awkward asking someone who you’re not as close with anymore. The nice thing about an alumni association is that common bond and history.

There is something about being part of an alumni that feels like you are part of a pack. Whether you remember a person or not from your graduating class, or it is someone who graduated 40 years before you, there is an unspoken bond. Which is another great thing about alumni associations – it’s not just your class. The pool of people in these organizations is enormous.

Have a Rigid Organization System

An excel sheet is going to become your best friend. Utilize the tabs for different cities, states, or industries you are looking in. You will be able to best decide how to utilize the sheets and what your specific system looks like.

But the importance of having that system is paramount. This will help you refer to places you have already applied, cities you have searched for a job in, and any number of things you need to be tracking.

Pro Tip: Aside from the organizational sheet, keep notes that will help you remember everything. Maybe you note down a mistake that could have cost you a job, or that you didn’t think you could afford a certain city. Anything like that will be helpful to notate.

Complete State-Wide Searches

Even if you know the specific city you want to work in, a state-wide search can be useful. Don’t limit yourself when you do these searches. This can be especially helpful if you are looking at jobs with larger companies.

Here’s an example:

You’re searching for a job in San Diego, CA, but you don’t see any openings. If it is a larger company though, they may have locations in cities across the state. It might just be that the city doesn’t have the opening at that moment. But doing a statewide search for CA, you can see where that position is available. From there, you can reach out to the recruitment team and learn more about possible upcoming opportunities in San Diego.

The moral of the story here being, don’t limit yourself.

State Your Imminent Move

In your cover letter or an interview, you want to be bold and confident in your commitment to move.

Stay away from phrases like

“I hope to be moving…”

“I plan to move…”

“I think I’d like the area…”

Instead, be confident with phrases like

“I will be moving on _________.”

“I’ve already spoken with apartments and have a deposit ready to put down.”

“I’m already a part of a few networking groups in the area and have been making some great connections for once I move.”

The last thing an employer wants is someone who flakes at the last minute because they decide against a move. Be clear and direct so that they have no doubts you are serious about moving.

Network Within Your Company

If you are currently employed and looking to move, you may be able to relocate with your current company. This could lead to the same position, a new role that is lateral, or even a promotion.

If you are looking to fully step away from this company, it can still be helpful to move with them for a new role and get settled into the new area before searching for something new.

Offer Dates You Will Be in Town

As soon as you hear back from a company that wants to speak with you further, be forthcoming, and offer dates that you can meet them. Many times, an employer will be okay with a video conference for a first interview if you are out of state. But afterward, they will want to meet in person.

Always be ready to travel. That way, you can end that interview by saying, “I would love to meet you and the team in person. I will be in the area looking at apartments in a couple of weeks, so let me know if that would work for you.”

This not only shows initiative and excitement for the role, but it makes it easier for them. One reason getting a job out of state is tricky is because employers hate the logistics of it all. Make it as easy as possible for them.

Mention Specific Neighborhoods You May Move To

Confidence is key. While you talk with your future employer, you should know about the area. This will show your interest in moving there and your commitment to it. Even if you are interviewing with three companies in three different states. Look up the city and things to do.

This will give you great talking points in your interview and make it more conversational. They will see your excitement to move to that city and appreciate your commitment to it. Interviews don’t have to be the same, boring small talk. After you dazzle them with your capabilities, strike up a conversation about the area and how excited you are to move there. Speak in certainties, not hopes and dreams.


When you organize properly, plan strategically, and do everything you can to put yourself out there, this whole process becomes much easier. Don’t take any resources for granted and utilize everything you can to help you get where you want to go.