Just because you’re searching remotely doesn’t give you an excuse to be out of touch.
I’ve worked with job seekers all across the country. Some know exactly the job they want, and most know exactly the place they want it. But a minority of job seekers, especially in the executive ranks, are willing to work wherever the job takes them. They look for the right job at the right company and consider location secondary.
Simple math dictates that a nationwide job search offers many more opportunities than a geographically focused one. But it also presents new challenges, like networking from afar and understanding new markets.
Here are three elements candidates need to succeed on a national search:
You need an ally to help develop a strategy to find and penetrate companies in new locations. One tactic is to call the HR department of a company for which you’d like to work and ask who they use to fill their open positions.
You can then call that recruiter and sell your value proposition to him. You want him to be your advocate for open positions in the area and an advisor on tactics to secure them.
Working with a recruiter for your mutual benefit is an effective way to learn about the local business climate. Be sure to engage with a recruiter focused on the market in which you’re interested; quiz him on his industry knowledge and awareness while working with him to identify target companies.
You want a recruiter who has fruitful relationships with your target companies in his area. That means he understands each company’s corporate philosophy, management trends, and organizational goals and objectives. Ideally, he will have relationships with people of influence in those companies; those ins will help you when you need to increase your visibility on the inside.
Stay in regular touch with these “partners” so you remain top of mind as new opportunities cross their desks.
Get connected! Network nationally with people outside your comfort zone. Join groups and associations that have a nationwide presence, and leverage personal relationships in other towns; these people can get your foot in the door at your target opportunities.
Be sure to toot your own horn! Share your background with the world to market and brand your skills and capabilities and enhance your value proposition. An online presence is, by nature, nationwide; consider creating a personal Web site or blog to demonstrate your communication skills and passion for the industry or the specific job.
An online presence also creates an opportunity to post your resume, publish your achievements and list case studies while sharing fact-based comments on industry philosophies and trends.
Remember, stepping outside your comfort zone is sure to define you as someone who can be an effective and flexible leader while building a sustainable and thriving organization.
Go get ’em!