How To Get A Job In A New City

By Amanda Covaleski and Experts
Nov. 27, 2022

Find a Job You Really Want In

Moving is a big life change, and oftentimes, a job change comes with it. Whether you choose to find a job before or after you move to a new city, it can be a challenge to find the right job for you when you aren’t familiar with the area.

But, just because you don’t have the lay of the land yet doesn’t mean you can’t land your dream job. If you know you’re going to be moving, it’s a good idea to get your job search started ahead of time. Getting a job before you move can help you figure out where you want to live, how much you can afford to spend on rent, and a whole host of other determining factors.

In this guide, we’ll give you our best tips for finding a job before you make your big move. We’ll cover why it’s a good idea to score a job offer before moving, how to conduct a remote job search, and some of our best tips.

Key Takeaways:

  • Make sure you research and see what opportunities are in the city you want to move to before you start your job search.

  • Use your network and connections to help you get any leads about jobs.

  • It’s important that you explain your plans on relocating in your cover letter and be honest about it.

  • Start your search early to give you plenty of time to find a job before the move or find a temporary or remote job if you have to move before finding a job.

How To Get A Job In A New City

How to Get a Job Before You Move

Everyone’s job search looks different, but these simple steps are a great way to start your search. It’s important to be patient with the process, especially when you’re looking for a job in a place you’re not familiar with.

It can pose unique challenges, but this method can help guide you through a successful search:

  1. Do your homework. Before you even start applying to jobs, try to understand where you want to move and what opportunities are out there. If you can decide where you move, look into which cities are hotspots for your industry or have many companies you’re interested in.

    It’s also a good idea to look into the cost of living and average salaries in the cities you’re considering. You want to make sure wherever you decide to move to have a good balance of things across your personal and professional wishlists. Find a place to call home that you’ll enjoy living in, but you’ll also have luck with finding a job.

  2. Start networking. Thanks to sites like LinkedIn, it’s easier than ever to connect with professionals across the world. Take advantage of networking sites and your contact list to start building a network in whatever city you decide to move to.

    You might get lucky and find a great connection in your existing network or meet someone new who can give you pointers. Networking is a great way to really understand the job market in a new city, so don’t be shy at this stage.

  3. Clean up your resume. As you would with any other job search, make sure you update your resume before you start sending it out. This is especially important when you want to relocate since many people include their location on their resume.

    Either remove your location or replace it with the city you’re moving to so you can better your chances of getting a call. When you’re going over your resume, make sure it has all of your latest work history and skills relevant to the jobs you’re targeting.

  4. Mention relocation in your cover letter. Since you have more space to explain who you are and your professional qualifications in a cover letter, you should mention your plan to relocate. This way, a recruiter won’t be caught off guard if they ask you to come in for an interview, and you can schedule a phone interview instead.

    Employers like to know that you have solid plans, so mention your move but don’t go too in-depth. You still want your cover letter to be about you and your professional qualifications.

  5. Send out your resume. Once you’ve done your research and you’ve tidied up your resume and cover letter, it’s time to apply for jobs. Luckily, most job applications are submitted online, and you can limit your search to any city you choose, so it won’t be much different from a search you would do for your current city.

    Be sure to use large job boards and industry-specific boards or even local boards that post jobs for the city you’re moving to. Sometimes you need to get creative when looking from a different city, but you’ll find something that meets your requirements and experience with time and patience.

  6. Explain your move. When you get an interview offer, the topic of your move might come up if you mentioned it on your resume or your cover letter. It’s a good idea to prepare a response to questions about your relocation before an interview. You just need to reassure the hiring manager that you plan to relocate and give them a timeline for your move.

  7. Set a time for in-person meetings. If you are going to be in the city you are moving to let your potential employer know so they can meet you in-person. Let them know the dates that you will be there and if there is a time to meet up.

    Potential employers will most likely want to meet with you and talk face-to-face before making a decision to hire you, so meeting them before you move will be beneficial.

Benefits of Finding a Job Before You Move

When you know you’re going to move, you should start (and ideally finish) your job search before you start packing up your things.

While there’s a lot to be stressed about when you’re planning a move, you might be more stressed when you arrive in a new place that you need to get familiar with and find a job at the same time.

Here are a few reasons why you should find a job before you move:

  • Find the right neighborhood. Depending on where you’re living, being close to your office might be a huge requirement in your apartment search. If the city you’re moving to doesn’t have reliable public transportation or you want to drive instead of a walk from your office, it’s good to know where to center your house hunt.

    When you know where your office is ahead of time, it makes it easier to narrow down your future apartment locations.

  • Have proof of employment. Sometimes landlords or rental communities will require some kind of proof of employment, so they know that you’re a reliable tenant. If you secure a job offer before you sign a lease, you’ll be able to prove that you have a job and you can afford to rent an apartment.

  • Cut costs. If you can find a job before you move, you can avoid dipping into your savings. When you arrive in a new house, you’ll have to spend money on furniture, housewares, and other costs.

    Without a job, you might have to dip into your savings while searching for a new job, but if you can secure a job before you move, you can save some money.

  • Focus on one thing. It can be stressful to worry about a big move while you’re trying to find a job or even settling into a new place while job hunting. Ease some of the stress by finding a job before you move and focusing on one big thing at a time. A job search is time-consuming, and you want to give it your best effort, so don’t distract yourself with other stressors.

Tips for Finding a Job Before You Move

  • Start early. The best thing to do when looking for a job is to get a head start. There are always unforeseen challenges that pop up, or the interview process takes longer than you expect it to, so plan ahead and get started early.

  • Be honest. Make sure you are honest about your location on your resume or your cover letter. If a hiring manager or recruiter asks where you are currently living and why you are moving, it’s best to be honest and sincere about your answer. A hiring manager won’t like if you lie about your location before you are hired.

  • Find target companies. Check out who has headquarters or office locations in your target city, then make a list of your top few companies you want to work for. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with who’s in the area and figure out who you really want to work for out of all the companies in your new city.

  • Use a recruiter. Sometimes using a recruiter or a staffing agency is a great way to find a job when you don’t know the city too well. They know the job market best, and they can guide you to the right companies and get your resume in front of the right people.

    This is a great option if you need some help juggling the job search and planning for a move at the same time.

  • Check-in with your company. Before you go making big changes, it’s worth talking to your current company about relocating. Maybe you’ve made yourself so essential to your team that they’ll let you work remotely from your new city, or they might have openings in other branches if you need a change of scenery.

    It’s worth asking around before you quit your job and have to start the whole job search process in a new city.

  • Look into temporary work. If you want to move immediately, temporary jobs or seasonal jobs are a great option to make some money while you work to find a full-time position. You can find some short-term work that will allow you to earn a living and get to know your new home while you settle in and look for a long-term position.

  • Use job alerts. When you look for a new job with online job boards, many have a job alert function. This allows you to get email or text alerts when new jobs are posted that match your search criteria. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in your new city since you might not have the network or ability to keep informed yet.

    These alerts can also help you stay on top of the applicant pool by applying early when the job has just been posted.

  • Find LinkedIn groups. There are tons of virtual groups on LinkedIn for all kinds of industries, roles, or locations. Try searching for a group of job seekers in your target city so you can get advice from other people looking in the same city as you.

  • Get ready to travel. If you make it to the interview process’s final stages, companies might want you to visit their office for an interview and meet the rest of the team. Sometimes potential employers will cover this cost, but most times, they won’t, so you’ll want to have the budget set aside just in case.

    Visiting a company before getting a job offer is a great way to double-check that it’s a company you really want to work for, and if your schedule isn’t too tight, you can use the opportunity to get to know your future home.

How to Get a Job in a New City FAQ

  1. Is it worth relocating for a job?

    Depending on the industry that you are in, moving to a new city might open up new opportunities for immediate or potential growth. If you are living in a location that does not have many opportunities for you in your career, moving will help with that. Research the best cities for your industry and look into relocating to help you find a job.

  2. How much salary increase should you move for?

    If you are looking to move for a job, it should have a 10-20% salary increase. Do your research on what a professional with your skill set, education, and experience should expect to earn to help you determine a new salary. You should also determine a new cost of living into the salary to help determine what to ask for.

    It’s important to note that you will likely end up negotiating for less than you initially asked for, but started with a higher figure will allow for some room to negotiate.

  3. What is the fastest way to get a job in a new city?

    The fastest way to get a job in a new city is to start early and give yourself plenty of time to look. Look for any remote positions or temporary work so you are able to move and settle before looking locally. Use your network and connections you have to help you with any leads. Use networking website such as LinkedIn to help you network with others in the area.

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Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.


Amanda Covaleski

Amanda is a writer with experience in various industries, including travel, real estate, and career advice. After taking on internships and entry-level jobs, she is familiar with the job search process and landing that crucial first job. Included in her experience is work at an employer/intern matching startup where she marketed an intern database to employers and supported college interns looking for work experience.


Matt Warzel, CPRW, CIR

Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.

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