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  1. #1
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    The Job Thread: Looking, Applying, Interviewing, etc.

    I thought I'd start this thread as an extension of the resume writer thread that was on here a couple of weeks ago. I have so many questions, and some of you seem to know the answers. Feel free to ask any questions here that we can all debate and hopefully answer. Here's my first two.

    -The jobs I'm looking for are about 3 hours away from where I live--where I have more family. It's in another state. Would that discourage prospective employers from looking at my qualifications/resume? I could technically list my brother's address, as it's where I want to relocate, but I feel like that would be dishonest.
    -Second, there's the dreaded question on online applications: can we contact your present employer? I always check no because I don't want my current company/manager to know I'm looking for another job. I don't think he would give me a bad review (he's been with us about 3 months where I've been there 2.5 years so he doesn't really know me) but still I don't really want him to know about it.

    Thanks for all the help!

    ETA: If anyone would be willing to look at my resume and give feedback, please send me a private message. I'll take all the people looking at it that I can get. Thanks!
    Last edited by ross_hy; 10-23-2012 at 11:12 PM.

  2. #2

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    Do not lie about something like your current address. Expect a question from the employer about your willingness to move and have a good answer (i.e., "I am looking to move here anyway because I have family in the area and I want to be closer to them."). That should be sufficient.

    I've never encountered a prospective employer demanding that they contact their present employer. I guess it depends on how desperate you are to find a new job, but would you want to work for someone who has no qualms jeopardizing your current employment?

  3. #3
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    I would mention your eagerness to relocate in your cover letter so that's one less thing for a prospective employer to ding you for/worry about.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

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    I don't think employers would think you would apply for a job in another state and then not want to relocate. Why bother applying for the job if you're not willing to move?!

    I also don't think not giving permission for them to contact your current employer is a problem.

  5. #5

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    I'm also jobhunting at the moment (although mine is a bit easier because my current job has nothing to do with my degree and they've always known that after I graduated I was going to be looking elsewhere). There are almost no jobs for my degree in my home city/state, so I've been applying all over Australia. I don't think that puts anyone off. I did apply for a couple of jobs in the States and made sure I wrote in the cover letter what visas I would be eligible for and how I would get there and stuff, but I'll bet they're looking to give Americans jobs before they hire someone from overseas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I don't think employers would think you would apply for a job in another state and then not want to relocate. Why bother applying for the job if you're not willing to move?!
    Well, I have applied for a job when I was unsure if I wanted to move. Until I spoke to the hiring manager, I didn't know if the job would be worth it or not. I have also seen applicants apply for a job who clearly didn't notice where the job was located (the person lived very near our head office, which is in the US, and applied for a job in our Canadian office). And for one position we recently posted, we had two applicants who lived in another city who asked if the position could be done from another location (it couldn't), which could make me wary if I was hiring again. So I agree with MacMadame's advice to mention the desire to relocate in the cover letter. As much as applying for jobs is stressful, it's also stressful on the hiring manager and having one less question mark will make you that more appealing to be hired.

  7. #7

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    I too am job hunting. Oh joy.
    Most people understand about not contacting a current employer.
    I would stress that you are moving to be near family to show a purpose.
    I moved out of state once and during the phone interview, before the in person one, they asked questions to find out I was serious. They asked when do you think you could start since you are out of state. I had a ready answer (2 weeks notice + 1 week to pack up +1 week to drive 1500 miles and get into new apt). That answer and the fact I had family made them realize I was truly serious and not looking for a free trip to the area to visit.
    The headhunters tell me the hiring folks are being very picky. In a way that is good. I have interviewed for a few jobs, and the hiring folks have impressed me in that they read my resume and asking specific questions related to the job and my experience, and not just the canned questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post
    Well, I have applied for a job when I was unsure if I wanted to move. Until I spoke to the hiring manager, I didn't know if the job would be worth it or not.
    Then I would call and ask first. These days it can take a lot of time applying for a job. If you don't want the job, or aren't sure, a phone call can be a lot faster than an actual application. I don't think it hurts to put it in the cover letter, enthusiasm about any aspect of the job, including it's location is important, but I think wanting the job that you apply for (in the location it is based) is important too. I didn't say it was wrong to put it on the cover letter, I don't think it hurts at all, if done well. Though I have seen it down poorly when it comes to relocation, and the applicants (many of them!) show more enthusiasm about the location than about the job/organisation.

    If you, as an applicant, don't look at where it is (as the example you gave), then I would be really wary of hiring you, and annoyed you wasted my time. Asking if the job can be done remotely before applying is great because it saves the time of actually applying. I think everyone should assume jobs can't be done remotely unless specifically stated, but I see nothing wrong with asking. I'm curious as to why would that make you wary of hiring? I would much prefer people ask questions before applying for a job with me/my company. I get so many applications where the person is just completely unsuited in almost every way. I also direct those who ask me questions and then find out it won't work to other places where I think they may find work that suits them.

    misskarne, what field are you in?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    misskarne, what field are you in?
    Journalist/sports journalist. (My degree was actually fancily called "Sports Media" but was effectively a journalism degree with a bunch of sports-themed classes instead of electives.)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    I did apply for a couple of jobs in the States and made sure I wrote in the cover letter what visas I would be eligible for and how I would get there and stuff, but I'll bet they're looking to give Americans jobs before they hire someone from overseas.
    Securing - and keeping - a work visa in the US can be a lot trickier than many people think. Just knowing which ones you might be eligible for doesn't guarantee that you'll get it, or be able to keep it (nor does saying that an immigration lawyer has assured you that you'll get the visa - they all say that). In general, unless the employer has had good experiences hiring people with visas, my bet is that in large pile of applicants you won't make the first cut. Also, being from Australia, there might be a concern that you will want longer holidays, might get called home, etc.

    I don't mean to be discouraging, but keep in mind that when employers have many applicants, they are looking for reasons to make the pile smaller, and not having a secured visa in place is a big, big flag. If you are applying blind, unless you have a really stellar resume or can otherwise intrigue them quickly, it likely won't be seriously considered.

    Just an idea, but you might want to consider working for an English language media outlet in a non-English speaking country where visa requirements are easier. The experience would stand out in future, and the ex-pat lifestyle is a lot easier for someone who's young and not yet tied down. Plus, if you can get in with an organization that is networked with other international outlets, transfers within - job wise and visa wise - are a lot easier than doing it on your own.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post
    ...So I agree with MacMadame's advice to mention the desire to relocate in the cover letter. As much as applying for jobs is stressful, it's also stressful on the hiring manager and having one less question mark will make you that more appealing to be hired.
    Likewise, if you are willing to relo on your own dime, say so. A lot of companies won't interview candidates from out of their region if they know this position will not come with relo assistance. If you tell them you plan to relocate to that region anyway, and will not need relo assistance, that can open you up to more jobs.

    Although obviously, if you need relo, that's not going to work for you.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  12. #12

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    Add me to the list of current jobhunters as well; I finish my 9 month contract assignment next week. I'm having a tough time getting through to any recruiters or getting any responses. ::sigh::

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    I'm also jobhunting at the moment (although mine is a bit easier because my current job has nothing to do with my degree and they've always known that after I graduated I was going to be looking elsewhere). There are almost no jobs for my degree in my home city/state, so I've been applying all over Australia. I don't think that puts anyone off. I did apply for a couple of jobs in the States and made sure I wrote in the cover letter what visas I would be eligible for and how I would get there and stuff, but I'll bet they're looking to give Americans jobs before they hire someone from overseas.
    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    Journalist/sports journalist. (My degree was actually fancily called "Sports Media" but was effectively a journalism degree with a bunch of sports-themed classes instead of electives.)
    As a new journalism grad, you are wasting your time applying to jobs in the US unless you already have permission to work in the US. The field of journalism is glutted in the US - far too many applicants for the few available jobs. US employers will not be able to sponsor the visa of a new graduate. So unless you already have a visa that allows you to work in the US, I wouldn't have you bother applying to such jobs.

    If, however, you are able to go ahead and secure a visa, you could apply, but still, a lot of US employers probably wouldn't even call you unless you moved to the US. And I wouldn't suggest that - too few journalism jobs, especially for recent grads.
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  14. #14
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    Employers are sometimes reluctant to hire people with no obvious connection to the area because of the concern that a person with no ties in a community is less likely to stick around in the long term. So anything you can do to show a commitment to the location can be a positive.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    Employers are sometimes reluctant to hire people with no obvious connection to the area because of the concern that a person with no ties in a community is less likely to stick around in the long term. So anything you can do to show a commitment to the location can be a positive.
    Exactly. I've had the experience of interviewing and offering jobs to people out of the area and a lot of time they end up turning the offer down because, in the end, they aren't really willing to move, not to your town for your job anyway. It makes an employer reluctant to put the time in on a remote candidate when there are plenty of local candidates to chose from.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    I did apply for a couple of jobs in the States and made sure I wrote in the cover letter what visas I would be eligible for and how I would get there and stuff, but I'll bet they're looking to give Americans jobs before they hire someone from overseas.
    I know that US/Australia has special VISA rules, at least you wouldn't go in the H1B pool, but it probably still costs the employer money. I would bet on bigger international firms who already hire foreigners.

    and yeah, getting VISAs is hard. I work for Microsoft, and the company sponsors many, many H1Bs, along with L visas and the Aussie and Canadian ones every year. And it is not for lack of wanting to get US employees, it is simply trying to get the best employees and fill all positions.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post
    Well, I have applied for a job when I was unsure if I wanted to move. Until I spoke to the hiring manager, I didn't know if the job would be worth it or not. I have also seen applicants apply for a job who clearly didn't notice where the job was located (the person lived very near our head office, which is in the US, and applied for a job in our Canadian office). And for one position we recently posted, we had two applicants who lived in another city who asked if the position could be done from another location (it couldn't), which could make me wary if I was hiring again. So I agree with MacMadame's advice to mention the desire to relocate in the cover letter. As much as applying for jobs is stressful, it's also stressful on the hiring manager and having one less question mark will make you that more appealing to be hired.
    I have been in the hiring manager position before and skipped over resumes and applications from people who were out of town. The position was file clerk type work for minimal pay. The general thought around the office was that it was not the type of job that someone would relocate to take.

    When I have applied for a job that was out of my general living area I have done one of two things. 1. I mention that I am moving to that area. This is worded in a way that I am not saying that I am moving for the job but that I was already planning this move. If I am not filling out an application, I have been known to leave my address off of the resume all together. With e-mail these days it is rare for companies to mail rejection letters.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtisticFan View Post
    ...When I have applied for a job that was out of my general living area I have done one of two things. 1. I mention that I am moving to that area. This is worded in a way that I am not saying that I am moving for the job but that I was already planning this move. If I am not filling out an application, I have been known to leave my address off of the resume all together. With e-mail these days it is rare for companies to mail rejection letters.
    Interesting. If someone were to leave their postal address off their resume, I'd consider that a red flag. I'd assume you were out of the area, and trying to hide that fact.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    Employers are sometimes reluctant to hire people with no obvious connection to the area because of the concern that a person with no ties in a community is less likely to stick around in the long term. So anything you can do to show a commitment to the location can be a positive.
    I definitely agree and when I've had the chance to interview for a couple of positions, they've either asked why I'm interested in relocating or I've made it known. My brother has actually suggested that I move first and look for a job later but to me that's a poor financial decision. I could afford to relocate, what I can't afford is an extended job search with no income. Another issue is I don't want to move for just any position; it would have to be for one that advances my career (or is at least a lateral) as well.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    Interesting. If someone were to leave their postal address off their resume, I'd consider that a red flag. I'd assume you were out of the area, and trying to hide that fact.
    That was my original concern too, but some creative design and it has not been an issue. Granted if you are applying for a job out of state or out of the country, the phone number will still be a giveaway.

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