Thinking of Applying for a Job Out-of-State? Here Are Some Things to Consider


Want to know one of the most exciting parts about graduating from college?

The world is your oyster!

You’re young, ready to start the next phase of your life, and there’s nothing to tie you down.

Some recent graduates want to stay close to school, some want to stay close to home, and some aren’t sure where they want to go. That’s understandable. That’s why we’ve included cities and states as a part of Explore on AfterCollege. When you’re scrolling through career opportunities, you can also be scouting different locations as well.

But what happens when a job shows up in your stream and it piques your interest but it’s located in a city across the country from you?

Should you apply? Will any hiring manager take you seriously?

The truth is, though it’s possible to get a job in a different location, it’s not easy.

Ask a Manager’s post, “Applying for Job Out of State,” talks about the biases against out-of-state applicants. Though Alison does have suggestions for how to work around those biases, there’s definitely no guarantee.

You’ll see from the comments left on the post that the opinions of HR reps differ and some companies will be more open to the idea of hiring out-of-state workers than others.

Look for job postings that mention ‘relocation bonuses’ or ‘relocation assistance.’ These are the types of companies that shouldn’t have any problem considering out-of-state applicants. But if you don’t find any of those types of positions that appeal to you, here are a few other pointers for applying to and getting jobs out-of-state.

1. Apply for an internship

Employers are much more willing to hire an out-of-state intern rather than a full-time employee. Since many internships are targeted toward students, employers are more understanding about the fact that they don’t have a “permanent” address in the area.

I was still in Hawaii when I got my internship with AfterCollege in San Francisco. I was already planning on moving to San Francisco (I’d saved up enough money over the past year, working and living at home, to give it a try). Since it was an internship, my manager had a much more open mind about hiring me.

Internships are a good way to open doors. By working hard, showing that you would be an asset to the team, and maintaining the relationships you make during your internship, you may be able to find a permanent position. Mari Kam was working in Portland when the Halekulani corporation (her former employer as an intern) contacted her to come work for them back in Hawaii.

2. Don’t put your address on your résumé

By no means am I saying that you should lie on your résumé. That is a no. But, if you truly are dedicated to getting a job in a different state, you can leave your current address off of your résumé.

That being said, you must make sure you have all of the logistics taken care of. If the employer contacts you, do you have a plan of where you’re going to stay during the interview process? Any leads on where you could live or at least stay for the first few weeks if you got offered the job? Have you saved up enough to be able to afford the trip(s)?

3. Make it clear that you don’t expect the company to pay for you.

That leads us directly into the next point. If part of the application process requires you to give your address, don’t lie. Just make sure that the employer knows that you won’t be costing them anything.

Unless you’re the one being contacted for the job, don’t expect an employer to pay for any relocation expenses. This includes any flights that might be necessary for an interview.

“If you’re going to be a good hire, you should be able to figure out how to get to an interview and make a start date and that shouldn’t be the employer’s problem,” says Matt Baum, Director – Talent Solutions Group here at AfterCollege.

Make it very clear why you’re interested in that job and why it won’t be a problem for you to get there—you’re planning to move anyway, have enough money saved up to look for jobs in that area, have a family member who lives in the area, etc.

Cienna, who moved to San Francisco from Hawaii, would explain her situation over the phone.

“I wouldn’t put my address on my résumés or in my cover letters. If an employer contacted me and asked if I was living in the city (because my phone number is an “808” number), I would explain that I was moving to the city in the near future and that since my mom worked for Hawaiian airlines, I was ready to catch a flight for an interview at any time.”

Hiring managers and employers are biased against out-of-state applicants and sometimes there’s no way that you can change their minds. But, if there’s a position on Explore that you think you’d be perfect for and it’s in a place you can really see yourself living (do some research on this), then try out these techniques.

Homework time! Don’t feel like moving home or staying in your college town after college? Check out Melissa Nguyen’s “5 Great Cities for Recent Graduates.” Then start doing some research on other places you’d be interested in moving to. Explore jobs and give feedback about these places to increase their appearance in your job feed.


5 Responses to “Thinking of Applying for a Job Out-of-State? Here Are Some Things to Consider”

  1. Dan

    This is ridiculous tips for college graduates. This is ridiculous tips for anyone looking got a job out of state for that matter. Here’s the only advice you need; negotiate relocation. If you do well on the phone screening they will want to see you. If you do extremely well and have a diverse and honest experience beyond a text book (I.e. volunteer work, programs you lead, teams you lead) they will be willing to pay to see you. They should pay for your hotel room the night before and after the interview they should take you out to lunch. Lunch isn’t intended to be informal, you are still being interviewed. I knew a hiring manager that wouldn’t hire anyone who put salt or pepper on their food prior to tasting first. He claimed that the individual may make unjust and uneducated decisions in the workplace. After I graduated I made $20k more a year and got $5k to relocate 4 hours away. These tips are obviously outdated.

    • Melissa Suzuno

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with us. There is a lot of variation in the candidate experience depending on the type of company and industry. Some companies regularly recruit people from different cities and states, and they would be more willing to pay for candidates to fly out for interviews as you suggest. But many smaller companies don’t have the resources to do this and they’ll prioritize local candidates, or candidates who are willing to travel to the interview at their own expense.

  2. Andrea

    I got a job opportunity out of my home state of Texas and I landed a job in Ohio. I was applying all over and it was hard to get a phone call. However, Ohio was interested. Since we live in a age of technology, SKYPE or FACE TIME goes a long way. That’s all Ohio needed. I had 2 Skype interviews and after that I got the job. So I would suggest this option. Many employers don’t even think about that option but if you explain how great and easy it is, they are willing to give it a try so that thy can see you. MUCH Cheaper than flying in. I’m looking to move out of state again, this time I’m trying California. I got a bite from one employer in Cali- the manager had no troubles with doing a skype interview if needed. However, I didn’t get to the next level of interview. 🙁 So I’m still looking.


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