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Old 08-04-2009, 06:21 PM
 
25 posts, read 79,103 times
Reputation: 21

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I got about a thousand questions, so I'll try to limit the list to just this one for starters.

Which is the more advisable route, getting a job first, or getting an apartment?

It seems like to get a job, I have to have a Madison address first. At the same time, to get an apartment, it seems like I have to have a Madison area job first.

I realize that's a pretty general question, but any information would help. I would be moving from the Des Moines, IA area. What do you think?
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
1,735 posts, read 4,743,544 times
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Unless you've got a whole lot of savings I would say job first. I have a friend who moved to Portland without a job and it took her over a year to find something that doesn't pay as well as the job she left here.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:31 PM
 
Location: looking at -charlotte, nc
75 posts, read 218,900 times
Reputation: 45
Agreed. I've been out of college a couple years, have work experience as well as related coursework, and have had trouble finding a job. My friend just found a job today, so that's hopeful, but its in DC, where the jobs in her field (paralegal) are always more plentiful than in the rest of the company. I know of Real Estate Agents who havent had work in a year or so, and of small business owners who have laid off the majority of their crew. It's a terrible economy (thanks Bushie)
sadly.

Some employers pay relocation stipends, you can always ask, once you're offered the job (not during the interview !)

good luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by SD83 View Post
I got about a thousand questions, so I'll try to limit the list to just this one for starters.

Which is the more advisable route, getting a job first, or getting an apartment?

It seems like to get a job, I have to have a Madison address first. At the same time, to get an apartment, it seems like I have to have a Madison area job first.

I realize that's a pretty general question, but any information would help. I would be moving from the Des Moines, IA area. What do you think?
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:05 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,260,590 times
Reputation: 29451
We've received feedback here from others suggesting that many local employers simply will not respond to resumes with non-local contact information, so in that regard you're not the first. If you've got a pile of savings to draw on and you don't mind drawing on it, you might consider moving first and job-hunting after you get into town. Landlords leery of renting to someone who isn't already employed might change their minds if you can put several months of rent up front.

There used to be a time when there were jobs in Madison for anyone who wanted one. I don't think that's the case right now, but the city is still in better economic shape than most. Best of luck to you.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Pkwy (da Bronx)
966 posts, read 2,104,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
We've received feedback here from others suggesting that many local employers simply will not respond to resumes with non-local contact information, so in that regard you're not the first. If you've got a pile of savings to draw on and you don't mind drawing on it, you might consider moving first and job-hunting after you get into town. Landlords leery of renting to someone who isn't already employed might change their minds if you can put several months of rent up front.

There used to be a time when there were jobs in Madison for anyone who wanted one. I don't think that's the case right now, but the city is still in better economic shape than most. Best of luck to you.
Drover, you make some great points here. This is very helpful--affirming. I have three degrees and a ridiculous amount of teaching and literary/performing arts experience, but I have been getting the run-around from potential employers in Madison. Thankfully, I was advised last year to save up, take a chance, and move to Madison, so that I can complete my job search in person. OP, this is good advice. In the end, I think job searching in person makes sense for both the potential employer and the potential employee.

As for the apartment situation, I have decided to try my best to nail down an apartment by or before August 15th (the beginning of the lease period for most property owners, realtors, etc.). I will pay the security deposit and at least two months' rent up front.

In the worst case scenario, I will get a hotel room for my first week in Madison and search for an apartment immediately. Thank God Madison is not like NYC, where it takes anywhere from three weeks to a month to nail down an apartment.

Thanks, Drover. You rock.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,260,590 times
Reputation: 29451
Glad I could help. Hope things work out for the both of you. I did the same thing some 15 years ago, namely moved to Madison first and found a job later. Back then there wasn't as much risk involved though; the city's unemployment rate was 1.5%. It also helped that I was in my early 20s and required a very modest standard of living. I guess the point is, sometimes you just need to decide on something and then do it.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado
129 posts, read 503,473 times
Reputation: 68
I usually go job first, because I prefer to live very close to work, so I want to know where my office is before I rent a place.

That being said, it does help to be local to get a job. If you have friends who will let you use their address that might help.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:32 PM
 
25 posts, read 79,103 times
Reputation: 21
Thank you Drover, let me direct my gratitude in your direction! That is precisely the type of information I was looking for.

If I can pose this follow-up question -- is an Extended Stay or other long-term hotels a viable possibility, to use as a place to apply to jobs from? My original thought was something like staying there for 3 weeks, give or take, all while applying to jobs around the city. Is this intuitive or ignorant?

Thanks again for the input, I greatly appreciate it!
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,260,590 times
Reputation: 29451
My first thought is that 3 weeks likely won't be long enough to lock down a job. However, I think it still be a good idea to come to town for a couple weeks anyway. It will give you a chance to check out the town, scope out possible neighborhoods to settle into once you make a permanent move, and see how many bites you can get from employers while you're in town and have a "local" address they can reach you at. I worry though that your cell phone area code might still give away that you're from out of town.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:51 PM
 
5,683 posts, read 9,136,908 times
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In at least some cases, landlords in Madison will be more interested in your credit rating than your employment status. You might ask when you fill out a rental application whether or not they do a credit search; if so, and assuming that your credit is reasonably good, the fact that you're not yet employed in Madison may not be as much of a barrier as you'd think.

I do think there is much to be said for being able to list a local address on the resume or job application. Speaking as a hiring manager, if I have a choice between two qualified candidates, one of whom is currently living 400 miles away and still needs a month or two to find a place to live, move, etc, plus may ask for relocation funds, and the other of whom is local and can start in two weeks' time, chances are excellent that the local candidate will get the offer.

Just in driving around the near east side, I still see plenty of "for rent, available August" signs up in a lot of neighborhoods, so I'd say that the chances of finding something relatively easily are good. The prime locations in the fancy expensive new high-rises close to campus are long gone at this point, of course, but the places that are available are by no means slums.

Good luck to you, and I hope you land both an apartment and a job that you love!
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