Law Absolute - Recruitment specialists

Tips for a long-distance job search

29th November 2019

Working on a laptop

Looking for your perfect job can be difficult, especially if you’re conducting a long-distance job search. Although there is help available for finding your dream role, such as from a legal recruitment agency in London, there are other ways you can ensure success for your long-distance job hunting. In this guide, we reveal the top tips you should follow, from how to explain your relocation to how to interview.

Ask for a skype interview

Woman wearing a head set

If you’re going to be applying for positions that are hundreds of miles from your current location, it is unlikely you’re going to be able to repeatedly travel the distance for first interviews, as it’s not cost or time-efficient. Make sure when you’re offered a first interview that you request it to be via skype or phone, as you may quickly realise the job isn’t suitable and be glad you didn’t waste a journey for yourself.

We spoke to Laura from Thrifty Londoner for her top tips: “My best tips for someone doing a long-distance job search would be to make sure that you are the first to offer a skype interview if the job is so far away that you couldn't feasibly get there for an interview. It shows initiative and that you are keen and interested in the role.”

You’ll likely discover most employers offer initial phone interviews before you even put in the request. Remember it’s still just as important to impress on the phone than it is face-to-face, so be sure to follow some top tips for phone interview success.

Make sure you know the location

Save yourself time and effort by making doubly sure you can picture yourself living in the location of the job. Try visiting the location before you start applying for jobs in the local area, but if it’s not possible, do some extensive online research to learn more about the community, local restaurants, amenities and transport links.

Laura from Thrifty Londoner continues: “You must know the new location well enough to be able to see yourself living there. It must be a location where you could feel comfortable, happy and safe. If you don't research this initially, and then end up getting the job, you could end up disappointed and unhappy.”

We also spoke to Sophie Clyde-Smith, a career coach, for her advice: “Share what you enjoyed most about the local area when you visited, what you connected with and what area you could see yourself living in. As well as sharing why you are applying to that specific company and job, I would also recommend sharing why you like that city/country and culture.

“I do appreciate that there will be some people out there who won’t have the opportunity to visit a faraway place before they get a job there. For these individuals, as you are effectively a higher risk for employers to invest their time and energy into, you need to prove your commitment.”

How to explain your job relocation

dog in a moving box

Once you have learnt about the location and decided it is a suitable place for you to work and live, you will need to explain the reasons for your relocation in your application or cover letter. If you want to keep it simple, you could even add “Desired location: [Name of town]” onto your CV.

Andrea, from career blog King and Stars, offers some helpful tips: “There are differences in doing a long-distance job search and a local one. Explaining why you have chosen your destination city or region is essential and a big difference. You definitely must tell in your cover letter why you’re moving to their area, so that’s the reason why they should consider you.”

Laura from Thrifty Londoner agrees: “I would emphasise that part of the reason you are leaving your current job, is that you want to move to the new area. After I got my current job in London, the hiring manager said to me that when I was interviewing she was concerned about me wanting to move back to my hometown, and not staying in London. This was despite me mentioning several times that I really wanted to move to London and live with my boyfriend.”

Sophie Clyde-Smith adds: “This may sound obvious but if you’re applying to a long-distance job then it really is going to help if you have already visited the location. I would highly recommend highlighting this in your cover letter/cover email and during the interview process itself.”

Some of the reasons that you can mention are that you want to move closer to family or friends, live somewhere more urban/rural or you have visited the location in the past and have always wanted to move there.

Give a time frame for your move

If you are successful in your long-distance search, you don’t want to be caught off-guard or be in a mad rush to hand in your notice, find an area to live, and tie up any things to do in your current location. Although it’s not always possible to move to a location before you’ve secured yourself a job, there are some things you can do in preparation.

Andrea from King and Stars suggests: “It’s important that you know when you’re available for your new job. It’s not easy to move and organise it all, so you have to figure out a time frame”

Browse the properties available in the new area so that you’re aware of the price range and the number of places currently up for rent. You may also want to start sorting through your belongings and decluttering so that you don’t have an overwhelming amount of tasks to do within working your notice period. After all, the last thing you want is to be offered a role and have to ask your new employers for extra time to move.

Tailor your application to your job role

Writing in a notebook

You must tailor your application and cover letter to suit each job and company you are applying to. If you bulk-apply to jobs all over the country with the same application, you’re unlikely to hear back from employers, as they often ignore generic cover letters. This is another tip from Sophie, who explains: “Take the time to tailor your application to the organization you’re applying it to; what initiatives and projects have they been involved in that you connect with? Which of the company’s values resonates with you and why? What specific experience do you have as a unique individual that makes you stand out?

“From a technical and experience standpoint, your background could be in high demand and of

high value to the company and team you’re looking to join. Be sure to include any extra-curricular experience that demonstrates your drive and commitment too - this information can be the one thing that helps you stand out and get noticed. Understand your value, recognise your worth and believe that you can make this exciting move happen!”

If you need advice on how to find your dream job role, make sure to get in touch with our helpful team today and learn about our current job opportunities in the legal sector.