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How To Get An Industry Job In A New Location

A major hurdle to getting an industry job in a new country is that many companies will only interview local candidates. Many job seekers think that if they are willing to pay to move themselves, this ceases to be a hurdle but, unfortunately, this is not true.

Even if you are willing to pay their own way to attend interviews and are ready to move as soon as an offer letter is in hand, you can often be disqualified immediately.  The address on your resume may be eliminating you from consideration before anyone has bothered to review your skill set. In this job market, it can be very difficult to get companies to agree to meet with you if you live elsewhere, even if you are willing to bear the burden yourself.

What do to

It is critically important that you never lie on your resume as this can be grounds for dismissal and is generally unethical. However, just as with your experience, it is best to highlight the attributes that make you more appealing. Therefore, if you are open to moving yourself to anywhere you might apply, consider removing your address from your resume. Everyone has cell phone numbers that follow them around, and recruiters/hiring managers won’t think anything of a non-local area code. If you are targeting a specific metropolitan market – somewhere you know you will move as soon as you get a job offer – consider using a friend’s address or getting a mailing address in that area. While this will not eliminate the hurdles associated with relocation (you’ll have to get yourself to the interview, etc.), it will help ensure your background is reviewed instead of being screened out due to the address line on your resume.

Once you are past the first hurdle, how you handle this in a phone screen or interview is crucial. Tell the employer that you are definitely relocating yourself to the area; you are just looking for the right position, and you do not expect any relocation assistance. This is not as good as already living in the area, but it is darn close. If you can stay with a friend in the area if the company wants you to start ASAP, let the hiring manager know this.

Get the hiring manager to review your background and after they have developed an interest, you can discuss hurdles. If the hurdles are the first thing they see, the hiring manager will likely opt for an easier route and call other candidates.

2 Comments

  1. Suzanne on January 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Paul,
    It really is dependent on the company. Not all companies have funds to relocate all employees (or are willing to relocate all positions). In some companies, only the top level get the relocation packages-like VPs and Directors. For the bench scientists, the relocation packages are usually minimal.
    For many small companies, there are no relocation benefits.
    When the economy was good, it was different.

    There are a lot of out of work scientists and biotech people right now and anything you can do to increase your chances of getting an interview is good. Relocation can be discussed after.

    As for your comment about the pool of scientists in the USA being poor, wow- what a huge generalization you just made. An entire country of people, working in biotech hotspots like Boston, Maryland, San Diego, and San Francisco, and all a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities, and our talent pool is so bad you have to hire from overseas?

    You might want to have left that comment out of your post.

  2. Paul Nelson on January 22, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Nonsense. I work here in the USA, and got the job whilst living overseas. We regularly hire people from overseas (or even just from up in Canada) because the pool of scientists here in the USA is so poor. When we are going through resumes, the location of someone’s residence is a secondary consideration. The important things are qualifications and experience. Location of residence only becomes an issue when telephone or face to face interviewing the person,and not because they have to pay to move (the company pays travel expenses no problem), but because of the housing prices here – a scientist with a family may choose not to come here because they can’t afford a home – a very real problem we encounter all the time. Nothing to do with us not wanting the person or being unwilling to pay their travel expenses, but exactly the opposite. The article is very misleading.

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