How to Find a Job in a New City Before Moving

Catrina Cowart
Jul 29, 2022
Icon Time To Read5 min read

At a glance

If you’re planning to move to a new city but want to switch careers or find a new job before you do, you need to prepare in advance. Even before researching housing options and movers in the area, it’s important to freshen up your resume and get your feelers out by applying for jobs and networking.

Whether you’ve been planning to move for months or just want a new career in a community you fit in with, it’s not a bad idea to start looking for work now.

We’ve put together several helpful tips to help you find work before or soon after you move to your new location.

The whole picture

Moving when you don’t have a job might not be the best idea, so it makes sense to want to find a job first. With a few tips and tricks, you can find work or, at the very least, have your resume tailored and optimized for the jobs you want in your new location as you go through the moving process.

Prepare to search for a job

Before getting a job, you must prepare yourself for the hunt. How long has it been since you updated your resume? Do you have a cover letter ready or a template you can use to make a unique cover letter for each prospective employer?

Since you’re not in the same city as the prospective employer, it’s important for you to include a resume and cover letter that indicate not only that you are willing to move but also that you are moving. Committing to the move by a certain date may help win over some recruiters or hiring managers who would otherwise question if you understood the job’s location.

Heads Up
Write a strong cover letter

Let the company recruiter or hiring manager know you’re ready or going to move as soon as possible. After formally introducing yourself, explain that you’re moving to the area and are interested in making connections. A possible line you could use is, “I am moving to the area of (location) on (date), and I am interested in the opportunities that your company has to offer.”

Doing this at the beginning of the letter captures attention and will also weed out employers who aren’t interested in hiring someone who isn’t living in the area yet.

After you put together your resume and cover letter, gather a series of job opportunities and apply. If you do this, you may get multiple interviews, which will help as you look for a new job.

Compare the cost of living

The next thing you should do is compare the cost of living where you are now to where you’d like to go. Will you need to ask for a higher wage? What is the standard wage in the area you’re looking to work for your particular industry?

For example, if you’re making $65,000 in Ohio, the chances are that you’re living pretty well. $65,000 in California won’t be nearly enough in most cities, so that’s something to remember as you look for work.

Ask about relocation assistance

If you do have an interview with a company before you move, ask about relocation assistance. Some companies are happy to help you relocate because you have skills that they want. Others may offer relocation assistance to sweeten the deal if they cannot meet your exact salary expectations.

It’s possible that relocating could costs thousands of dollars (especially if you move far away), so it’s definitely worth asking about reimbursement or assistance.

Can’t find work? Move anyway

It may be the case that you apply for many jobs but just don’t hear anything back right away. Sometimes, it helps to be in the area where you’re looking for work, so you can network with locals and start making in-person visits to companies you’d like to apply to.

Move anyway! Even if you can’t find work right away, just prepare for the downtime. Set aside savings and move to the area with the jobs you’re interested in. As soon as you have a new address, add it to your resume and update your cover letter to reflect that you’re a local.

Looking for a job from afar is more difficult than getting one when you’re in the local area, so moving may help you find a job sooner. If that won’t work for you, consider looking for remote work or side gigs to help you until you can afford to move and apply to new positions locally.

The takeaway

If you’re ready to find a new job and want to move, applying for positions now could help you have leads before you get to your destination. Even if you don’t get a job before you leave, you’ll be in a better position to start your search once you arrive.

If you landed a job, congrats! That’s one of the hardest parts of moving to a new city. For more moving preparation, read about our best moving companies of the year.


What is the fastest way to get a job in a new city?

The fastest way to get a new job in a new city is to give yourself plenty of time to look for a position. If you can find remote opportunities, you’ll be able to move and settle in before looking locally.

Put together a strong resume and cover letter for any job you’re applying to. Explain that you will be moving shortly or that you’ve just moved into the area and are looking to work with a company like theirs.

If you have connections in a new city, reach out to them. They may be able to help you with leads or introductions to get you a new job.

How do I get a job in a different city before moving?

To get a job in a different city before moving, you need to start networking and applying to roles. You may want to reach out to recruiters in the new area and explain your situation to see if they have roles that may match your experience.

When applying to a new job, remove your location from your resume and include a relocation plan in your cover letter, so the recruiter or hiring manager knows exactly what’s happening and why you’re coming into the area to look for work. A clear explanation may help them make the decision to hire you over someone who is local if your experience is a better fit for a role.

How do I get a job in a new city with no connections?

If you have no connections in a new city and want to get a job, you need to start forming them. Consider signing up for LinkedIn and messaging recruiters or businesses in the new area to see if you can start building connections. Ask current connections in your local area if they know anyone in the area where you’re planning to move. Even a single connection could be a lifeline as you try to move to a new region of the country.

If you really have no connections, you’ll need a strong resume and cover letter. You’ll also want to look at jobs that fit closely with your experience or that are offered as remote, so the company is open to workers from far away.

Which city is the easiest to find a job in?

According WalletHub, best place to start a career is Salt Lake City, Utah. There, the state has a low unemployment rate of around 2%. There is a healthy, service-oriented local economy, including jobs in the agricultural and mining, manufacturing, finance, transportation, and tourism.

Another option is Boston, Massachusetts. In 2018, Glassdoor reported that there were 211,602 open jobs in a population of 4,836,531. Some of the local job providers include Getaround, Bank of America, Green Mountain Energy, and PwC.

Catrina Cowart
Written by
Catrina Cowart
Catrina Cowart has been writing full-time since 2009. Since starting as a writer and editor, she has worked with small business owners, retailers and others to produce marketable, SEO-ready content to boost their businesses. In her spare time, Catrina enjoys writing and illustrating children's books, traveling, and playing with her two small dogs.