How to leverage your network to get a job in another city
Job searching is hard. It’s especially hard when you are trying to find a new job in a different city, or even a different country. I recently advised a client who was living in Indonesia but wanted to find a product management role in Europe or the Middle East. She kept applying through job portals, but she wasn’t able to lock down any interviews. This isn’t surprising, considering that 85% of jobs are filled via networking - sometimes before the job is even posted online! I personally faced this problem when I was living in NYC, but wanted to move to Silicon Valley for personal reasons. I realized that not being in the same location as my potential employers was a severe limitation, so I developed a system for my job search to overcome this challenge. Here’s how to get started.
Target companies that show signs of growth
It’s important to make a list of target companies that are high growth. There are several ways to do this. I’ve found that the most effective way is to look at the percentage growth statistic on Linkedin. Here’s a screenshot of Google as an example. Their growth has been a little over 10% each year over the last two years. Given that they have over ninety thousand employees that 10% is very significant.
Look for people who would know the inside scoop
Because 85% of hiring takes place by networking, it’s very important to know what the company’s needs are, who has decision making power, and what departments are expanding and hiring. The easiest way to do this is to make connections with people who actually work at the company. Linkedin can be leveraged to make these connections, but I also like to use Facebook. Sometimes your friends know people at companies from church or their kids’ school, and don’t necessarily connect on Linkedin. Once you have identified which of your friends and connections you need to connect, draft an email asking for an introduction. If you need a template email, I’ve created one for you - just sign up below to access it.
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Plan a scout trip to your potential new home, or simulate one online
The best way to network your way into a new job is to be in the same geographic location. A good way to make up for being in a different city is to spend a few days visiting. Once you are in touch with the right connections at your target companies, try to schedule your meetings with them in the same week. Then plan a trip around those meetings.
If you are unable to travel (which can be financially prohibitive when you are searching for a job), try to schedule meetings virtually. To keep up momentum in your job search, plan all your phone or video calls within a week. You’ll find that your energy and excitement for your job search builds as you meet with people who are willing to help you.
With each meeting, always ask for three more people your contact thinks you should meet. They’re answer will usually include an explanation of whether they feel comfortable introducing you. If they don’t mention an introduction, it’s most likely ok to gently ask if they would be willing. This gives you an opportunity to expand your network even while you may live hundreds of miles away.