Reader Question: Is it too early to start job searching?

Moving to New York City can seem daunting. You will have a ton of questions. And sometimes the best person to answer those questions is someone who has already made the move. That’s why I created a space on the City Ambition sidebar for readers to ask questions. Write in your questions about moving to New York or life in the big city, and I’ll answer them on the blog.

This week’s question is from Karlie. Karlie asks:

“First of all, I would like to say that I love your blog! I’m planning on moving to NYC in September. Is it too early to start job searching? It worries me to leave job searching/applications for last minute in case nothing comes of it. Any advice? Thanks!”

Hi Karlie,

Let me be clear. It is never too early to start job searching. While it’s possible to move to New York without a job, your life will be much easier if you have one lined up, or at least have some applications in the pipeline.

Based on my experience and what I’ve seen of other job seekers, it takes about three months from the time you submit an application to the time you get an offer, and possibly even later until you actually start the job.

It sounds like you have about five months until you move here. You can definitely start applying for jobs. What’s the worst that can happen? You are offered a position and have to move earlier. Or you are offered one and have the luxury of turning it down to wait for something better.

Go ahead and start applying. Many organizations are comfortable conducting interviews over Skype, which means you wouldn’t even have to travel unless you’re a finalist.

Also, keep in mind, your job hunt happens long before you put in your first application. Here are a few things that you can do remotely to increase your chances of getting the job before you actually apply:

  • Build your portfolio. I’ve mentioned before, NYC employers want to see results. If you can’t bring portfolio items to your interview, it’s time to start building them before you move. This might mean doing some freelance work, or even free work, to increase your skills.
  • Update your resume. If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your resume, now is the time. A quick google search will help guide you with some tips, and my advice is to please keep it to one page. New Yorkers don’t have time to read your life story.
  • Put both your portfolio and resume online. Here’s how to get started.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile. Be sure to have a professional-looking headshot, not a selfie. Have a friend take one of you with your phone, if you can. And remember to clean up any other social media channels you have. Employers look at that.
  • Know and practice your answers to common behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interview questions are often the majority of the questions asked during job interviews, so make sure you’re prepared for them and know how you’d like to respond. Here is a beginner’s guide to behavioral questions and here’s a comprehensive list of the most popular ones. The more you can answer the better, so be sure to write them down and practice.

I hope that helps. Happy job hunting and good luck with your move! – Heidi

PS. If you have anything you’d like to know or ask me, submit your questions here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *