Are you interested in being in a certain location for your summer internship or job after graduation? There are many reasons to choose where you work – commitments to family, partner or friends; budget concerns, and/or a desire to live in a particular city, state or region. While it may seem as if it would be limiting, it can actually make your search easier to have a focus. Being open to anything can lead to feeling overwhelmed by everything when conducting an internship or job search. Here are some strategies and resources for improving your chances of landing where you want to be.
6 Strategies for Searching for Internships and Jobs by Location
- Research the area in which you want to live and work. Use resources such as the Visitor’s Bureau, local realtors and rental agencies, Chamber of Commerce, and the CCA subscription resources (My Career Center on your myBucknell dashboard) of Goinglobal U.S. City Guides and International Country Guides and Philadelphia Business Journal (which gives you access to business journals of many cities across the country) to find information such as:
- Industries that are in demand and growing
- Professional Associations and Corporate/Trade Groups
- Opportunities and Limitations with: transportation options, cost of housing, entertainment options, recreation, civic engagement
- Talk to people who live or have lived in the area. Reach out to friends, family and connections you know and ask if they know others you can speak with. Look up alumni by location in the LinkedIn Bucknell University page and BucknellConnect alumni directory and reach out to ask for an opportunity to talk and learn more about their experience living and working in their area. If a Bucknell Regional Club exists in the area, reach out to the point person to ask about resources.
- Research employers of interest and make a list of your top choices to research and contact. Use the resources listed above in #1, as well as Handshake, LinkedIn, and professional associations to find and research employers. Look at their profiles, websites and related media and articles. Follow the ones you like and find a hiring manager or recruiter to contact and ask about their opportunities. Find alumni who work for the organization (with the resources listed in #2) and reach out and ask them about their experiences at the organization and for advice.
- Apply to advertised openings in your location of interest. Use Handshake and LinkedIn and search by location, using the radius feature to find opportunities that are within your realistic range of where you will live. Do the same with industry-related internship/job websites, as well as location-based websites. The CCA can help you find these, but you can start with sites found in the job search resources on Goinglobal city/country guides, State Job Banks, and employment agencies.
- Search for REMOTE advertised opportunities. Due to the pandemic, there are more remote opportunities than ever. You can take advantage of this new trend to open up your search beyond your location. Some opportunities may not stay remote in the long term, so be sure to understand the terms of the positions you are considering if you don’t have flexibility to work elsewhere. You can often search for these opportunities using filters within the site or entering “remote” in the keyword search feature. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of working remote by reading the many articles that have been posted about this over the last year, including this one.
- Move to the area in which you want to live. While many of these search strategies can be done at a distance, you will likely be more effective at making connections and finding resources when you are actually living in the area. Determine how you will fund your living expenses until you get a position, whether that be saving up money, taking a job that pay the bills and allows some flexibility, such as in a restaurant, retail or with a temporary employment agency, and living with friends or relatives in exchange for sharing household duties and/or paying modest rent. If that won’t be possible, plan for periodic trips to the area that allow for visits with employers, networking contacts and other relevant organizations on multiple weekdays.
Last piece of advice for a location-based search: Keep at it! These strategies work but will take persistence and the willingness to engage all of them regularly. Follow up with networking contacts, employers and hiring managers. Stay organized, using a resource such as this Job Search Radar google sheet or a resource such as the Job Application template on Notion, which is free for students to use. Talk to career coaches in the CCA, advisors, faculty, family, friends and mentors to help you stay motivated and creative.