Looking for a Boston area job while living elsewhere

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Q: I live outside of New England, and not driving distance.  I would like to relocate to New England, hopefully Boston.  Could you tell me how to go about finding employment in the Boston area when you live outside of the area?  I would also look at jobs in Providence, Hartford, Nashua, etc. 

A: Finding a new job from outside of a geographic region can be a challenge.  It has become less of a challenge with remote roles.  Remote roles often offer the most flexibility with respect to where an employee works.  Onsite training, onboarding, meetings and conferences may require some travel.  Here are some steps which may help.

  1. Connect with any area Boston contacts that you may have including friends, family or other professionals.  LinkedIn is a great way to jumpstart these connections.  Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and includes a photo and recommendations.  Add new contacts daily. On LinkedIn, you can join Boston-area groups which are related to your profession.
  2. Most of the job boards allow you to fine-tune your search by geographic area.  This will be especially helpful to you since you are focused on a Boston-area search.
  3. Find out if your college or university has networking events in the Boston area.
  4. Research professional associations in the Boston area.
  5. On your resume, include your name and your cell phone number.  If asked, clearly communicate that you expect to relocate at your own expense.  Sometimes hiring professionals notice an out-of-state address and assume that a costly relocation may be required.
  6. Consider securing a phone number with a local area code.
  7. If possible, consider planning a trip to the Boston area and plan several face-to-face meetings during these visits.  These meetings may include a coffee with a former cousin, breakfast with a former college roommate or attending a networking event.
  8. Don’t rule out temporary or contract roles.  Often these roles lead to full-time employment opportunities.
  9. Be responsive to emails and phone calls.  You should try to respond to all of these inquiries within 24 hours.
  10. Never say no to an introduction.  When you are introduced to a new contact, you are also introduced to that individual’s entire network of contacts.

Finally, write a quick thank-you note (by email or mail) to anyone who has been helpful to you during your search.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.