[Fox Business] Relocating for a job or career change? Consider these essential tips first

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If you want a fresh career start or a change of scenery — or just want to venture to a new city to explore your employment options — it’s wise to have a plan in place regarding a job move. 

Career experts weighed in on how to put a plan in place so that you can implement your agenda successfully and land a dream job in a new city.

Here are tips to consider.

When you’re looking to relocate, consider tapping into your social and professional circles to gain leads and learn key information.

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“The first step in preparing for a move is tapping into existing connections,” said Erin Lau, director of service operations with Insperity, an HR firm, in New York.

If you feel comfortable going public with your plans, you might “announce the move on social media and LinkedIn so that friends and colleagues can share the news with their own networks,” she suggested.

This tactic may pique the interest of someone who can help, she said.

“It’s impossible to know if a former co-worker has also moved or if a family member’s employer has offices in a new city and could offer a referral, which remains one of the best ways to attract an employer’s interest,” she said.

If your networking efforts don’t generate any viable leads, research the job markets that interest you, said Lau, so that you can identify potential employers.

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“And begin networking via LinkedIn as soon as possible to make the job hunt easier,” Lau said. 

“Set up informational interviews with professionals in the same industry to make connections and meet friends,” she said.

Better yet, schedule virtual interviews with employers in the new city before the move to expedite the hiring process after moving, she said.

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Also, when scoping out new locations for work, it’s wise to look up open positions online, said Lau — and ideally, send out a few applications to gauge the competitiveness of the job market

“Even if these exploratory applications do not lead to interviews, seek an understanding of what employers are looking for in a new city by learning about the backgrounds of current employees and job requirements,” Lau explained.

During your interviews, be sure to tell prospective companies you will relocate if offered a role.

“During the interview process, reference excitement about the move or reasons why the new city holds appeal,” said Lau.

“Be sure to note if the move means being closer to family or friends, which increases the likelihood that a candidate will choose to relocate.”

To further demonstrate your strong interest, you can also emphasize a willingness to travel to the new city for an in-person, final round of interviews, said Lau.

After arriving in a new city, stay open to opportunities, both professional and social, Lau suggested.

“Go online to identify networking events and professional groups in the area,” she added.

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“Even if these groups do not target a specific industry, take the opportunity to find new connections.” 

And, to solidify these new connections, be sure to follow up afterward with a LinkedIn invitation, which will keep building and expanding your network. 

“Even if networking events are few and far between, stay creative about finding connections,” Lau told FOX Business.

Moving to a new city without securing a job first could create more uncertainty, but every situation is different. 

“While candidates may feel as though they have the upper hand in today’s job market, every city offers a different mix of industry and opportunities,” she said.

Keep in mind that living arrangements pose another element of uncertainty for candidates who relocate without a job offer. 

“If possible, consider living with a family member or finding a short-term lease until a job offer has been signed to avoid the risk of an infeasible commute or lower-than-anticipated salary,” Lau said.

“Consider as well that, before signing a lease, landlords may require proof of employment or even several months’ worth of paystubs.”

However, not everyone has the flexibility of postponing a move until after a job offer, she noted. For candidates with partners or family obligations, moving may need to come first.

Some companies use incentives to lure qualified candidates.

“Planning your move and the logistics of getting hired first or moving first is entirely dependent on your situation,” said Sarah Doody, career strategist and founder of the Career Strategy Lab in Salt Lake City, Utah.

If you get hired first, Doody said companies might have resources available to offer you temporary housing or at least pay for you to go on a house or apartment hunting trip.

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“The benefit of getting a job first is they might offer to pay for part of your relocation expenses, so make sure you ask about that when you’re further along in the interview process,” Doody said.

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Even so, be sure to tread carefully when it comes to inquiring about relocation incentives.

“Asking about relocation expenses early on could feel like you’re only in it for a move and that you might be treating the job as a stepping stone,” Doody said.

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