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Job Hunting Problems When You Are Not Local

Updated on June 22, 2012

In today's lousy job market, where the average job opening has 6-10 applicants or more and employers want the most and best in skills, many they really never will use (but they are good to have), unemployed persons have looked outside of their local area.

What is that?

Most employers would agree that being a local candidate is one who is not more than 45 min. away from the job location, this does vary. Some think local is not more than 30 min. from the location. The problems facing one trying to secure a job outside their local area are numerous. While an unemployed person is willing to commute 1.5 hrs one way or relocate at their own expense, employers will first try to fill the position with a local candidate to avoid problems. Most of the problems come from those with families about personal issues that could impact a person's work product. Employers know someone who is commuting 1.5 hrs. each way to work adds 3 to 3.5 hrs. to their work day. The cost of commuting begins to bother them. The time away from home begins to bother them. Fatigue erodes their edge and errors occur or job performance lacks. The employers worst fear is they hire this person, he stays and suddenly quits for a job only 30 min. from his home. No one can blame them, yet it forces the employer to start all over again. Employers are leery of these job candidates, despite the skills they have and unless they are unable to find similar skills local, they will pass.

A similar issue arises from relocating. Job candidates, despite their eagerness to pick up and leave, is a red flag to employers. In theory, it should not be an issue, but it is ALWAYS an issue, especially if the candidate leaves his family in another state where there "home" is. Most of these gigs are either short term contracts or permanent. If the latter, eventually moving the remaining family out takes time and money. Employers always fear the worse that the employee will continue to look for jobs locally in order to avoid a move, despite what the employee claims. If it is a short term contract, it is different because there is an end and at the end the employee goes home.

The other issue is sending out your resume to a potential job. Should you not disclose where you are? Just list a phone number? Maybe, rent a postal box in a the area where jobs are to give the illusion you are local. Many jobs clearly state, "local candidates only". The trouble is every land line or cell phone uses an area code, if you are out of your assigned area. They only have to look up the area code. So, how does one pretend to be local to an area?Assuming that is no issue, the interview issue is. Many will first do a phone interview, if they like you, they'll request a in person interview. Most companies will not pay for it, so it can be a hefty expense to drive or fly out of your area. I am thinking hundreds of miles away or out of state. Are you REALLY willing to do it? Spend hundreds of dollars for a 30-45 min. interview?

It is a huge gamble. Employers will still look for local candidates even after you have spent hundreds. So, there is no easy or good way to search for jobs outside your local area, say within 100 miles one way. The locals in that location have the big advantage and you have one strike against you.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      One job looker told me about searching for jobs out of your local radius is to appear that you are local, so that hurdle does not become a roadblock. In the past, I have commuted 200 miles to and from work daily. One does begin to hate it. it does become a factor . Employers can sense it. While many firms say relocation is not a factor - it is except for those in high level exec jobs. to them, it makes sense to find someone local rather than to deal with a qualified person that must relocate.

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 5 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      I think you are absolutely correct. There are a lot of unspecified filters HR departments apply to applicants and this would be one in many cases-- along with others that would be totally illegal if mentioned.

    • Johnkadu123 profile image

      Johnkadu123 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Great hub. I would say that job-seekers need to factor in the reality of the internet. In the future 'local jobs for local people' will be a slogan of the past. Outsourcing started on a locality level then it moved to the states and now it is an international phenomenon. I think that unemployed people need to think about opportunities outside their current community if they are going to be successful. Sometimes you may even have to migrate for your dream job.