Monday, April 2, 2012

Tips for a long-distance job search

Bobby Sisk

         We learned this past week that from 2000 to 2010, the Charlotte region’s population surged nearly 65 percent. Even with unemployment above the national average, people are still moving here now. Executive recruiter Jeff Kornegay of Colony Search Group sees it every day.

Kornegay specializes in placement of accounting and finance professionals. He estimates 25 percent of his applicants live elsewhere but have their sights set on Charlotte.

“I’ve placed hundreds of people moving to Charlotte from places like upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and northern New Jersey,” he said of his recruitment through the years.

My first question for him had to do with using your address on your resume. “If you’re dealing with me as a recruiter, put your address so I know where you are,” he said. “I have had applicants put on their resume next to the address in parentheses that they are relocating to Charlotte in spring of 2012.”

You can also include the information in your cover letter and explain your connection, he said. Indicate, for example, that you have family or friends here and when you plan to relocate if a date is set. This will show the recruiter or hiring manager you’re conducting a targeted search and not just blasting out resumes.

You may also indicate in your short, concise cover letter that you’d like relocation assistance, but that it is not required. But before you do that, make sure you can carry the burden if a potential employer won’t pay. “Have you ever relocated before? You may want to get a moving estimate,” he explained.

Kornegay also encourages his candidates to do a cost of living and salary comparison. Basically, do your homework so you’re well prepared if an offer comes in. Be flexible. If you get a call back for a phone or video interview, play by their schedule. For both types, dress professionally. Even by phone, Kornegay says you’ll feel more confident. And if it’s by Skype, for example, he says, suit up as if the meeting were in person.

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