Job Hunting in a Different City

It can be tough to find a job. But when you are trying to find one in a completely different city from where you live, that is particularly challenging. So what are the strategies to finding a job in a new city, even before you get there? We spoke with Frank Siano of Vault for some insights.

Step one: Research! Research! Research! Find out what companies have openings in your career field, find out who is hiring, and find out about their reputations. Vault is a great place to start. Research companies to learn more about the company culture, the quality of life, and interview tips and questions. You can also use Vault to research locations and cost of living. Other sites to visit for additional research include Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and UMUC’s CareerQuest.

Keep in mind that UMUC has alumni all over the world. You can reach out to one of UMUC’s mentors for a “speed mentoring” session, which is similar to a 30-minute informational interview. Usually, informational interviews are about someone’s profession or about the company where they work, but you can also reach out to mentors to find out more about the city where you plan to move. They can tell you a little bit more about cost of living, how competitive the job market is, and possibly be able to introduce you to some of their network to help you with your professional goals.

Step two: Identify career opportunities. Visit the online job board in UMUC’s CareerQuest for positions located throughout the country. Other job posting sites include: Indeed.com, USAjobs (for federal opportunities), state government job boards, and Idealist.org (for nonprofit jobs). Perhaps one of the best strategies to find opportunities is networking. Again, use the mentors that you connect with through UMUC’s CareerQuest and network with even more UMUC alumni through the UMUC Alumni LinkedIn group. Make sure your profile is current and up-to-date on both of these platforms.

Step three: Apply. Do not forget all the terrific resume and interviewing tools housed in CareerQuest. If you have never created a resume before, start with CareerQuest’s resume builder. Use Resunate to tailor your resume to each job you are applying to, and then use VMock for the final polish.

Before you interview, you will want to try Quinncia to practice your interview skills. Upload a PDF of your resume and the tool will ask you questions based on your specific resume, and will give you feedback on the content of your answers, facial expressions, body language, and tone. Make sure you utilize these tools so your application and interviews are as strong as possible.

Step four: Pay it forward. Once you move to your new city and get your new job, know that there are other folks in the same boat as you. So make yourself available as a mentor, get involved with the UMUC Alumni LinkedIn group, and most importantly, post open positions from your current and previous employers on CareerQuest—it is a great way to share opportunities with your community and a great way to find talent!

While it can be tough to find a position in another city or state, the nature of work is changing and employers realize that their top candidates might not be local. By targeting the right positions and putting in the extra effort to network and prepare, you’ll be packing your bags and settling into your new job in no time!

UMUC’s Office of Career Services is available to help you in every stage of your career. Contact Career Services at 240-684-2720 or careerservices@umuc.edu, or visit CareerQuest.

Francine Blume is the Assistant Vice President for Career Services at UMUC. She is passionate about connecting the UMUC community to their dream jobs.

I’ve Got My Diploma Now What?

Congratulations on your well-deserved success! As a recent college graduate, you have good reason to be excited and optimistic about your future, and many of you may be launching your job search and may need advice on landing a job. Consider the following strategies to help you be successful in your job search.

Understand what employers want
When you begin to apply for jobs, it is important to first understand what it is employers are looking for. For example, employers tend to seek candidates who are self-directed, which means they know what they want and they are willing to go after it. Candidates who are self-motivated and can problem solve and think on their feet are valued. In addition, candidates who have both a solid reputation and display trustworthy character are candidates employers seek to potentially enhance an organization’s brand. In fact, the top 6 most in-demand soft skills for 2017 are communication skills, analytical thinking, teamwork and collaboration, initiative and drive, ability to adapt to change, and personal accountability.  

Don’t limit your search strategies
Using only one job search method can prolong your job search by months at a time. For example, do not only use one job finding website to search for job postings. Instead, find a variety of job posting websites to check regularly and sign up for alerts for roles that satisfy a specific criteria. Also, always be on the lookout for networking opportunities. You never know when you might meet someone valuable to your career. In fact, in a MonsterCollege survey, 78 percent of college job-seeker respondents said networking was a factor in their job search. Using more than one job search method such as networking and responding to job announcements online may increase the likelihood of your job-seeking efforts being successful.

Follow four essential steps when searching for a job
The job search process involves four essential steps:

  1. Self-assessment – Explore and discover your strengths, skills, values, uniqueness, and where you might potentially fit in an organization. Before you can begin your job search, you must understand who you are and effectively communicate that in your resume and cover letters.
  2. Knowledge of employment options – Determine the kind of work you want to do, your preferred work setting, your long-term career goals, your ideal occupational titles, and the types of companies that employ workers in your career field. This step will help you narrow your search and provide direction when seeking opportunities.
  3. Multiple job hunting methods – Savvy jobseekers use a variety of methods to contact prospective employers, rather than limiting themselves to one method. Effective job search strategies like networking, recruitment events, job fairs, job search web sites, state employment offices, volunteering, internships, and temporary agencies can increase your chances of landing a job. Studies show fewer than 5 percent of openings are filled by employment agencies, only 15 percent of available jobs are filled by “job ads,” and 80 percent are filled through recommendations of friends already employed by the organization.
  4. Job search tools – Online job tools can be essential in helping you find your next opportunity. For example, online tools can assist with tailoring resumes and cover letters targeted to a specific employment goal, job opportunity, or company. By developing a custom resume or cover letter for specific jobs, you demonstrate to employers that you have a clear understanding of what you want to do and you effectively relate your skills to those required for the job. There are also online career tools that can help jobseekers prepare for an interview. Interview preparation tools such as InterviewStream and Quinncia prepare jobseekers by tailoring interview questions to the skills and experience included on their resume, and they record user’s responses to be played back and reviewed. These online interview tools help job applicants more clearly articulate their qualifications as well as identify any interview strengths or weaknesses through video.

Breaking into the workforce takes focus, determination, and a great deal of patience. As you look for jobs and navigate the hiring process, remember to stay positive. Keep in mind that UMUC Career Services is available to help you in every stage of your career. Click here to set up an appointment with a UMUC Career Advising Specialist.

Rhoda Smackum is a career services advisor at University of Maryland University College. She in an associate certified career coach and global career development facilitator. Her areas of expertise include career coaching, career transition, career exploration, working with special populations, job search strategizing, and supervision.

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