Thursday, February 4, 2010

Getting Your First Job: "Will They Relocate Me?" (Part 5 of 7)

At the request of one of my loyal fans, I'm spending this week tackling the subject of how to get your first job. It's also occurred to me that some of these getting-your-first-job posts are relevant to everyone, but then it also occurred to me that most fresh college grads haven't experienced these basic things, either.

I live in San Francisco. If I wanted to become a snow truck driver, you know where a bad place to live is? San Francisco. What do you think the odds are of me getting an interview to be a snow truck driver are if I apply to jobs in Michigan while I'm living in San Francisco? Nil.

After grad school, I knew I wanted to make it big in business. I lived in the 909, a ginormous calling area east of Los Angeles with no big industries that I could think of, unless you count warehouses and building track homes. There's nothing wrong with the 909, but it's not a hub of any real clout when it comes to business. Silicon Valley has tech startups, Napa has wine, Vegas has gambling, and Boston has a wannabe knock off community of tech startups (Silicon Valley RULEZ baby!) In the 909 I tried raising snakes, selling insurance, and getting jobs in customer support - all paths to anything but the big time. Eventually I just got my head out of the clouds and decided to move to the big city.

When I first started applying for jobs in San Francisco, I didn't get any call backs. It's hard enough to get a job when you live in the area, and trying from far away wasn't working. So here's what I did...

  • Called a company's sales department (it's always easy to reach sales), told the sales guy I really wanted to come work for his company, and asked if he could transfer me to HR (which he did)

  • I told the HR rep that I'd drive myself to San Francisco if I got a job interview, which I did and I did.

  • I interviewed, got the job, and moved everything at my own expense.


I highly recommend visiting the place you want to live on your own time. There are certain companies that MIGHT fly you to an area if you a very specific skill they need really bad, but this is more the exception to the rule. Over the past 5 years I've been in recruiting, I have hired a lot of people (hundreds?), I've relocated exactly two of them, and those people did not get any relocation expenses because they wanted to move to San Francisco anyway.

SPECIAL TIP: Put the city you WANT to live in on your resume, not the city you currently live in, even if you are halfway around the planet. Also, remove the city from specific jobs on your resume. If you apply to a job in City X, and the location listed on your resume is City X, it'll appear as if you live there. It's a little sneaky, but I don't really see the big deal here. Just be honest if someone asks, say you're moving to City X at your own expense; I'm pretty sure they'll understand.

1 comment:

  1. Excuse me! did u degrade Boston ?! well, Boston rocks.

    In fact we got snow rocks here(now i digress) :D :p.

    ReplyDelete