Seeking the perfect job may seem like a daunting task, especially if it means moving away from your current home. So it is not a decision to make without considerable preparation.
Your first step should be to find the companies that are hiring in your field. If you are just graduating with your degree, professional societies or associations and business journals like Fortune often post "best of" lists that could give you a good start for your research. Search company webpages and LinkedIn company pages for openings. Many company websites offer a job listing and human resources contact, so take the time to look at those. Be sure to add company locations to your list of preferred companies.
Check LinkedIn for the names of professionals you know in your selected field and for the people who work for companies from your lists. If you have any connections with current or previous employees, contact them to find out what working at the company is like. Some people may not be willing or able to speak to you about the company depending on individual policies.
While you are on LinkedIn, check out special interest groups for activities and concentrations that are important to you. See what professions members have and what companies they work for. Put a star next to companies that are on both your preferred companies and special interest groups lists. Work should not be the only focus in your life and having the opportunity to participate in the things that interest you will help you relax and refresh.
Next, check WalletHub, ZipRecruiter and ManpowerGroup; they have all published lists of the top employment cities for 2018. Interestingly, only one city appeared on more than one list -- Des Moines, Iowa. A few of the other popular sites include cities in Wisconsin, California and Arizona. The lists were compiled using data that included job availability, income, commuting times, potential growth and housing opportunities. Note which companies are located in or near these top employment cities. Attend any career fairs in your field.
At this point, it is wise to consider what's so in your life such as current employment, family obligations, social needs and preferences, and even your age. Why are you leaving your current job, and is it a known fact to your current employers? If you are currently employed, then are you bound by confidentiality rules or are there restrictions on working for competitors? Even if you are not currently employed, check the noncompete clauses on any contracts you might have signed at previous employers. There might be a time limit. Keep these in mind before you send out resumes or make any drastic decisions about moving.
If you have a spouse, have children or older parents you are responsible for, or are close to retiring yourself, ask yourself these questions: Will your spouse be able to find work in the new location? What are the schools like? What is available for senior housing, opportunities and medical care? Look up official city/town websites and note information about building plans, residential areas, civic or religious institutions, and local services. Check online cost-of-living calculators and Department of Labor demographic information to make sure your potential plans are financially feasible.
Finally, if at all possible, visit the area for a few days and try to see any companies to which you're applying in person. Plan your visit before you make any major changes, such as giving up your lease or selling your current home, or investing in a new residence. And while you are there, watch for how well the workers interact with each other, if their outfits seem stiff or boilerplate, and what conveniences are available on-site or nearby. These insights will help you understand the atmosphere and whether you will feel comfortable working there.