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Ask James Caan 28th March 2011

James Caan RecruitmentThis week, James explores the factors associated with relocating for a job and how online recruitment has helped candidates looking to work in a different location.

Dear Member,

I’m glad to see the useful comments shared in response to the CV workshop last week. It just goes to show that there are a number of ways to craft a CV, everyone has their own approach and we’re continually learning.

This week I’d like to discuss the implications of relocating for a new job and what effect online recruitment has had in regards to geography – thanks to an email from Michael.

He writes:

‘I am an experienced IT Project Manager and am looking for work in the UK as we are moving to East Anglia from Dublin, Ireland.

‘I have been looking online and also through direct contact with recruitment agencies. I have not had much luck so far with the agencies, and have been a bit disappointed with some of the larger ones!

‘Do you think location plays much of a factor in job hunting, or as some say, has the online recruitment explosion torn down any geographical boundaries? I am hoping it may be easier when I am actually living in the area as it will be easier for me to network in my chosen search area’.

Michael, relocation is not a decision to be taken lightly, but it can do wonders for your personal development. Whether you’re moving for work or to be closer to family and friends, the move can provide a platform to really think about what you want from a job.

When it comes to searching for a new job that is far away, your first step should be carrying out as much research beforehand as possible. What is the job situation like there? Are your skills sought after as much as they were in Dublin?

Location used to be a major factor in job hunting, but not so much today. The internet has allowed jobseekers to extend their reach: skill sets don’t necessarily dictate what job they have to go for.

In the past when interviewing candidates, you’d tend to look at people living within a short commuting distance of the office to help speed the process along. Nowadays, employers can be more selective, and if the candidates presented to them don’t meet their exact criteria, they can look further afield.

So in many respects, online recruitment has helped the recruitment process: it’s sped up the recruitment cycle by allowing businesses to identify talent much sooner.

From a candidate’s perspective, it’s opened up a world of opportunities. Before, if you were looking to move to a new area, you’d have to buy a couple of local newspapers or sign up to an agency to see what was available. Today, using the internet to find a new job has revolutionised this process, enabling candidates to search for roles virtually anywhere in the world. The boundaries have disappeared, but the opportunities have increased tenfold.

You’re absolutely right to be putting the ground work in before you make the big move. Fortunately, you operate in an industry that was the first to embrace online recruitment, so you may find more opportunities in IT than say looking in the newspapers.

I see you’re already using LinkedIn for networking opportunities – this is a good example of taking a pro-active approach. Making contact with senior decision makers is a good way to get your name out there, as long as you deal with it in the right way. Bombarding them with your CV may put some people off, so ensure to send an introductory message to build dialogue.

Rather than targeting the MDs of companies you’d like to explore, why not join groups serving project managers, the IT crowd or businesses in East Anglia to see what that leads to? Take part in discussions to see what is going on in the area and if there are any hubs of knowledge you can tap into.

Good luck,

James Caan

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