I have been working as an Administrative Assistant for more than a year in another province. Right now, I try to relocate to Toronto. But I would like to find a job first before I move. I submitted quite a lot of resumes online, but have not received any interviews. I believe that there’s a hidden market. I know from my previous job search, that networking is very important. I do not know anyone in Toronto.
I am wondering if you could give me some suggestions on expanding my networking or which websites would be good for me to find jobs?
Thank you very much.
I consulted with our JVS Toronto employment staff, who often receive requests from job seekers living out-of-town who want to relocate if they secure solid employment. As recommended by my fellow job developers, here are some strategies to engage in for a meaningful and successful remote job search:
1. If possible, establish yourself as a local resident.
Many companies prefer to hire locally, to avoid transportation and relocation expenses as well as the risks involved in hiring someone who may decide not to move after all. Try to line up as many job interviews as you can on the same day, just like a sales rep might do. Hiring managers and recruiters will be turned off if you tell them that you will move once you get the job. The process doesn’t work that way.
If you can get access a local address from a family or friend in Toronto, or at least a local cell phone line, that would be helpful. When you engage in your remote job search, you cannot show any hesitation with relocating in your interviews or with your networking activities. You need to be ready to move and show it.
2. Prepare a targeted cover letter.
Some people are uncomfortable with my first suggestion. If this is the case, then, in your cover letter, explain your desire and reasons for relocating. Address the potential concerns of the hiring manager professional, who is reading your application, that you are committed to relocating and serious about moving.
3. Target your top 10 companies.
As with researching the job market in your field, do the same for your remote job search. You can conduct this research online. Find out what these companies are doing in your field, industry and their area of expertise. Do your homework. Refer to our list of recommended job boards for good places to find local work.
4. Conduct Information Interviews.
Learn as much as you can about the targeted companies. Then identify and contact potential decision-makers, hiring managers or relevant employees for an information interviews. This is a great networking opportunity as well. You will probably need to have to visit Toronto before you relocate for these meetings. Try to arrange these information sessions in one day and schedule them around a relevant networking event from your industry. You need to meet people at the companies to learn about the organization and what it might take to earn a position there.
In an information interview, you can let the targeted professionals know that you are relocating and just looking to prepare yourself professionally for a successful job search. Join virtual local groups, which you might find via LinkedIn Groups, Meetup.com and through local chapters of professional associations in your industry.
5. Use Social Media.
Social Media has become a basic tool of a successful job search. Use social media platforms to introduce yourself: research profiles of employees working in your targeted companies, review their resumes, find groups that they belong to, as well as associations and other unique features of their activities. Be careful with connecting with strangers; I suggest that you join LinkedIn groups or create a new one that doesn’t exist. Follow companies on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Engage in online tweets and conversations on topics of interest to the company and its professionals.
6. Set up face-to-face meetings.
If you can attend any of these association and networking activities and events, try to secure in-person meetings with people who work for the companies that you have targeted. Again, try to schedule as many of these as possible. As in all types of networking, the more people you meet face-to-face, the bigger and better your professional network that can lead to employment will be.
7. Plan a trip to your target city for the job search.
Setting up a week to visit Toornto, or at least a few business days before your move date, will give you a reason to say, “I’ll be in your area that week and was hoping to meet with you.” Plus, it will motivate you to get in gear and try to fill the visit with as many networking meetings as you can.
Best of luck with your job search and move!
To submit your questions for this column in confidence, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joanna Samuels B.Ed. (Adult Education), M.Ed., CMF, CTDP, RRP is a certified Life Skills Coach, and certified Personality Dimensions Facilitator who works at JVS Toronto as a Job Developer/Job Coach/Workshop Facilitator. Also, Joanna is a part-time instructor of employment counselling with people with disabilities at George Brown College.