Moving to a new city or country? Five tips to help you find a job

Are you moving to a new country, city or area? Read five tips to help you hit the ground running and find a job you love. 

With Brexit and other recent global developments, you might feel like a change of scenery and be planning a move somewhere new. And a new move often also leads to a new job.

But if you find yourself in a new city or country, with no professional network and no understanding of how the local job market works, it can be tough to know where – and how – to start looking for a new role.

Five tips to help you find job in your new area

To help you, here are five tips for job hunting in a new area.

1) Check your visa

If you’ve moved to a new country, the first thing you need to do is to check what work restrictions may or may not come with your visa. Make sure you know the ins and outs, as I can guarantee that not a lot of employers will. And the easier you can make it for them by knowing what you’re allowed to do, the better set you’ll be.

You want to be able to reassure an employer in an interview that you are able to work legally, and not leave them with any worry they may be breaking the law if they hire you.

This includes how many hours you can work a week (some student visas are very strict on this) and how long you can work for any one employer for. This knowledge will also help when you start job searching, as you can tailor your searches to match your work rights.

2) Start building a network

Finding work is a lot easier when you have a strong network you can refer to – and not just friends, family and ex-colleagues.

To grow your network, look for companies or organisations that can offer the type of work you’re interested in, and connect with them on social media. And join professional networking groups, start volunteering and go to social meet ups.

With a strong professional network you’ll be first to hear of any current opportunities, and be front of mind for future roles. It can also help you start to build a picture of the current job market in your new city or town.

You don’t necessarily have to wait until you move to get started on this either. Begin researching before you go so you’ll have a good head start when you’re there of where best to start looking.

3) Tap into recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies aren’t everyone’s favourite way of looking for work, but when you’re starting out in a new place, they can be useful resource. Even if it’s just to find temporary work for your CV.

Find out who the main agencies are in your area, and their industry specialisms. Then contact them directly to arrange a meeting to discuss work options. Be proactive and let them know what you can and can’t do.

Don’t assume that once you’ve met with a recruiter your work there is done. Make sure you keep in contact with them regularly, by email or phone, and keep checking in on any new roles that come in. Stay front of mind with them and they’ll remember you when suitable placements come on board.

They can also be a useful resource for checking your CV and giving help on the expectations for the area. Which leads me on to my next tip…

4) Check your CV

There is no ‘perfect’ CV, and the preference for a ‘good’ CV changes depending on who’s looking at it. But, that said, it doesn’t mean there aren’t some key dos and don’ts when it comes to writing your CV.

Different cities and countries can have their own preferred view of a ‘good’ CV, so it’s wise to get yours checked by people you know in the area for tips on any changes you might need to make.

Friends can help you with this, but so can recruitment agents. Another good source is your local careers hub if you’re a student, or asking for any feedback from employers when you’re looking for work.

It all helps to make sure you’re fitting in with the local recruitment etiquettes and to help your CV stay in the ‘yes’ pile, rather than in the bin.

5) Get your references in order

This fits in with knowing local recruitment practices. As I found out recently, in the UK we don’t ask for or contact references before offering a candidate the position. But this isn’t the case in Australia, where they contact references first as a way of helping them make a decision about who to offer the role to.

Make sure you have three references – usually, one will be your most recent employer, one a previous employer and I would also make sure you have a character referee as well.

Let your referees know you will be using them as references (and check that they’re happy for you to!) and make sure you have all their correct contact information. This way you’ll be organised and prepared, as will your referees when you need them – which makes for a much better impression and smoother process.

Finding a new job takes time, patience and commitment

As always, there are no ‘quick wins’ when it comes to finding a new job. It takes time, patience and commitment. So make sure you stay proactive and seek feedback where you can. Keep your CV and written applications tailored, and get someone else to proof read them before submitting.

And remember: if you’re not hearing back, review and refresh your CV, cover letter, and job requirements. If it’s not working – change it!

Elaine Mead is a passionate education and careers consultant, and is particularly interested in empowering young women to be their professional best. You can follow her on Twitter and read more of her articles on medium.