Job Hunting 101 | Geography matters


Job hunting took longer than I’d prefer. And I’ve learned a few things in the process.  Since contacts keep calling me for advice, I’m posting some of those lessons here.

Location, location, location. It’s long been repeated that Human Resources departments don’t look at applications from out-of-town candidates. Let me confirm that for you.

A co-worker, relocating cross-country because her spouse got a great new job, applied for a position that matched her current role. Crickets. A month or so later, a friend sends her a link to the same job description – and offers to connect her to a third party already at that company (more on networking later). Co-worker lands several interviews and is made an offer. Woo!

At her on-site interview she mentions to the Human Resources rep that she had applied online but hadn’t heard anything initially. He noted that for the first round of screening, it is practice to eliminate anyone more than 100 miles from the office.

It is short sighted that corporations are literally throwing talent by the wayside by only searching locally. But when budgets are tight it’s cheaper to hire and train locally than find the absolute best candidate for a role.

Find a local address that you can slap on your application because it matters. Use the address of a friend, a college roommate, a distant cousin, your boyfriend’s crazy Aunt Sue. It’s not exactly a lie because if you get the job — guess who you’ll be crashing with while you apartment hunt should relocation assistance not be provided?