Q: I’m looking to move to Boston in the near future. What are your tips in finding a good job for a young professional with a Bachelor’s degree and how to go about marketing yourself? Are employers willing to deal with a potential employee not in the area yet?
A: Welcome to Boston (almost)! You can do some job hunting from afar. Some recommendations:
1. Get on Linkedin and start connecting with colleagues, friends, neighbors, alums, etc. Join some groups on Linkedin. When joining groups, look for Boston area groups. Also try to join groups that are geared to your profession. There are also quite a few groups for young professionals on Linkedin. Look for an alumni group in the Boston area on Linkedin.
2. Find out if your college has alumni networking events in the Boston area.
3. Connect or re-connect with any Boston-area contacts that you may have.
4. Search the job boards. Many job boards allow you to restrict your search to a certain geographic area.
5. When you write your resume and cover letter, you should explicitly state that you plan to re-locate at your own expense. Often times when a recruiter reads a resume with an out-of-state address, there is a question of whether this candidate would need relocation assistance.
6. Consider buying a Boston-based cell phone now and listing this number on your resume.
Although you can do some job hunting from afar, in-person networking should also be part of your job hunting plan. Linkedin is a short cut but it does not replace having a cup of coffee with a former colleague or meeting a fellow alum for a bagel.
If possible, plan a trip or two to the Boston area. Try to schedule several face-to-face meetings during these trips. Check out www.meetup.com. This website lists gatherings, of all types.
Lastly, send a thank you note or email to everyone who is helpful to you during your search. Don’t burn any bridges. Be persistent without stalking.