Long-distance job search takes special planning

Looking for a job in another city or state presents some obvious logistical problems, not the least of which is the added expense of travel and phone calls. But if your field of interest isn't in much demand locally, you may want to pursue an out-of-town campaign. Some of the following suggestions may be of some help.

Get a copy of the Yellow Pages from the cities in which you are interested. There are several ways to do this. Ask a friend or relative to ship a copy, contact the local Yellow Pages for assistance or go to the library and use its copy. The Yellow Pages, with its rich listing of local placement agencies, companies and professional organizations, will be your key to the city.

The local newspapers will also be listed, and I suggest subscribing to them. Call or write the papers in the areas in which you are interested and ask them to send you the Sunday editions with the want ads included. (Sometimes papers shipped out of state will not include local want ads.)

Look in the papers and Yellow Pages for the significant agencies and recruiters in each area and send them a letter outlining what you're looking for and your background. Include your resume and tell them you will be following up in one week with a phone call. The phone call establishes that personal connection that is so important.

If the agency you speak to says it has nothing for you, be sure to ask for names of other contacts to pursue.

Write to the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, asking for the printed information about the area. You can get the director's name from your local Chamber of Commerce. Often this free information is a gold mine. Frequently, industrial directories are also available at a low cost.

The local library has many national directories to provide you with the tools to identify organizations and names of people who have the power to hire.

For example: "Contacts influential: Commerce and Industry Directory," "Fortune's Plant and Product Directory," "Dunn and Bradstreet's Million Dollar Directory," "Encyclopedia of Business information Sources," "Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives," and "Who's Who in Finance and Industry."

Call or write to professional organizations with chapters in the area. You can find these organizations by checking the national membership directories of local organizations.

Another way is to consult the "Career Guide to Professional Associations" to find these organizations to find the headquarters to which you can write for chapter locations. Call fellow members in the target area and plug in to their circle of business contacts. Their chapter may even have a placement service.

If you don't know where to begin, consult Klein's "Guide to American Directories" or Gale Research's Co.'s "Directory of Directories." If all these seem a bit overwhelming, just ask the reference librarian.

Sometimes companies are hesitant to pursue job candidates from out of town because of the additional expense and inconvenience of paying for travel and possibly relocation expenses. One way to get around this is to obtain a mail drop in their city. Most telephone answering service will provide you with a local mailing address and will even forward mail to you.

I strongly suggest that you plan a trip to the area in which you are seeking employment. The ideal trip would be a visit two or more weeks long, scheduled three months in advance.

In your letters and phone conversations mention that you will be visiting the area and request a personal meeting. 

Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616, mailto:info@joanlloyd.com, or www.JoanLloyd.com 
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