Dear Super Recruiter,
Hi there. I’m a senior technology infrastructure manager from New York. I’m looking to relocate to the Metro DC or Philadelphia areas. What’s the best way to go about getting connected with local recruiters in those cities? Applying to online job postings hasn’t generated any replies from recruiters. Any insight into this dilemma would be much appreciated — thanks! — Adam, NYC
Sorry to hear you’re leaving our area! I’m also sorry your online resume submissions have gone unanswered, but the sad reality is it’s harder to get your foot in the door when applying from hundreds of miles away. The recruiter on the other end is thinking:
- “Will they be available to travel for several rounds of interviews?”
- “Are they going to demand relocation expenses?”
- “Are they really serious about moving?”
In this job market, and especially when considering a relocation, it’s important to develop relationships, make phone calls, send personalized emails, etc. In a word: Network. Reaching out to the right recruiters is a great way to get your name out there and get the ball rolling. Here are my top 5 tips for connecting with a good local IT staffing firm in your target areas (emphasis on the “good” part).
1. Search LinkedIn. As Recruiters, we love to build up our networking presence by interacting with as many people as possible. LinkedIn is the ultimate platform for connecting with professionals. Try using its Search feature, filtered by location, to look for profiles that include terms like “IT Staffing” and “Technical Recruiter.”
To determine quality, look for recruiters who have recommendations from satisfied job seekers. Depending on the recruiters’ personal settings, you may not be able to see their complete profile, including recommendations, before connecting. If this is the case, try joining relevant groups (the Philadelphia Technology Group could be a good one for you) to increase your connection levels and potentially see more information.
Before reaching out to anyone via LinkedIn, make sure you beef up your own profile with recommendations and as much information as possible on your background and goals (see Attracting IT Recruiters to Your LinkedIn Profile for some helpful tips).
2. Check out the TechServe Alliance. TechServe is a collaboration of IT services firms that agree to maintain professional standards and adhere to a strict ethical code of conduct, so it’s a great way to help differentiate between reputable and sketchy recruiting firms. To find a TechServe member in your new hometown, check out the handy search tool on their website.
3. Google! Not sure if you’ve tried this yet, but a simple Google search is sometimes the best way to find reputable recruiters. Searching with a focus on the locations you are targeting (“IT Staffing firms in Philadelphia”) should yield a list of recruiters that can serve as a good starting point. You could even do this list first, and then pick a handful to research on LinkedIn. To get started, check out HubSpot’s great blog post on How to Search Google Like an Expert.
4. Ask for referrals. Are you moving to be closer to family or friends? If you know anyone in these new areas, even if they aren’t in IT, reach out for referrals. Maybe your cousin is a community theater puppet master, but her best friend could be a Linux Systems Engineer who’s worked with several local recruiters.
5. Let people know you’re looking. Depending on your situation with your employer, you may need to keep your search confidential. If mentioning your relocation plans doesn’t jeopardize your current role, then do everything short of shouting your plans from the rooftops of Fifth Avenue (even that might not be a terrible idea!). Change your LinkedIn headline to read, “Looking for IT Infrastructure opportunities in the D.C./Philadelphia areas.” Slip your desire to move into conversations with friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Networking is a numbers game, where your odds of success go up with each new contact.
Good luck with your move, and please keep in touch and let us know how you make out!