Moving to a new city is a really big decision. You need to save up whatever you can, learn a new city, and meet new people. You essentially have to start over. One of the challenges you’ll face (that you may have not considered) is what moving will mean for your personal brand.
In a new city, you won’t know as many people; you may not even have a job right away. It’s important to keep these things in mind when you move because you’ll need to re-brand yourself a little bit. Take care of your brand before you make the big move — here’s how:
Update all of your bios
Whether your plan is to start job hunting before you get there or you want to wait to adjust to the new city, start by updating the location associated with your name.
Large companies set aside millions of dollars each year to relocate employees — and nearly 40 percent are new hires. If a large company sees you as a valuable asset, they may decide you’re worth the cost of relocation.
Smaller companies, on the other hand, would rather hire locally than spend the money it takes to relocate you. When applying to these companies, explain your excitement for relocation in your cover letter, and that you’re planning to make the move anyway.
Edit your profile on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your own website, and any other social media to list your new city as your location. Change the location on your resume, and if you’ve started applying to jobs, make note of your plans to relocate in your cover letter.
Identifying your new city is an essential piece of updating your brand. By the time you hit the road, everyone in your current network should be fully aware of your move.
Redirect your networking tactics
With a new city comes a whole new world in which you need to start networking. You need to reach out to any connections you already have in your new location, whether they’re in your industry or not. They can be really helpful in expanding your network and providing insider tips for your new city.
More specifically, see if you have any connections in a company where you’d like to work. Reach out to these people for a personal referral; 40 percent of job seekers landed their current job through a referral.
Once you’ve exhausted your list of current contacts, it’s time to start making new ones. Reach out to people in your industry on social media. LinkedIn is great for this. Set up informational interviews with people you meet. They can help you build strong professional relationships in your new city. Plus, they’ll remember you if you decide to apply for a job in their company.
Another great way to meet people in your new city is to get involved in causes and organizations. Think about the things you’re passionate about and find places in your city where you can spend your time. Whether you volunteer for animal rescues, a special charity, an important cause, or join a professional organization, all of these places can help you make connections (and maybe even friends!).
Fill the holes you created
The final step you need to take to secure your brand is to make sure you fill in the gaps created by the move. If you didn’t land a job before you moved, chances are there will be an employment gap on your resume while you’re looking.
Volunteering with an organization can solve this. You can also take a class, apply for temporary work, or even start a blog. Whatever you do, just don’t waste your time. Employers will understand the gaps if you’re honest and have filled your time with worthwhile activities.
Moving to a new city can be both exciting and overwhelming. Make your relocation a little less stressful by taking the time to manage your brand. You’ll make your job search much easier, and hopefully much more successful.
What are some other important things to keep in mind when relocating to a new city?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.