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Best way to find a job in a city where you have no network?


Chris Leonard Cincinnati, OH

I'm an IT professional currently living and working in Atlanta, but my Fiancee has accepted a job in New York City, which means I need to find a job in New York (preferably Manhattan), so I've been applying to about 7 jobs per day, but I feel like I'm just submitting my resume into a black hole. I've looked on the ACP job board as well, but there don't seem to be a lot of IT professional jobs posted here.

Is there a better way to go about doing this? I've been using Glassdoor and Linkedin Jobs to find the roles I've been applying to, and I have zero network to speak of in NY.

12 March 2019 6 replies Career Exploration



Tim Feemster Dallas, TX

Thank you for your service. Both Chad and Chris have given good advise. Make sure you have a business card you can give folks with your connection information on it. You might want to consider getting a Google phone number as you can forward it to any working number if you are going to change locations, cell phones, etc. Also, update our LinkedIn profile as Chris indicated with key words. Make sure you have "short stories" that you can talk about that relate to BUSINESS activities. Many military folks talk in Militarize and your interviewer will not always be able to "connect the dots" to a situation at their firm. For instance if you are in charge of a team that is in charge of getting something "battle ready" you might want to change the words to be "in top quality execution mode" and look to relate it to a civilian activity like a product launch, budget submission deadline, customer proposal due date, business plan presentation, etc. that relates to the type of work you performed and your target company does. They do not have to be the same but you can talk about the process of readiness in the company's terms. Stories relating your job performance to excellent results are critical to relate in an interview. Practice examples of various scenarios prior to a call or face to face meeting. After the meeting, jot down notes that you need to work on as well as business questions you had not prepared that the interviewer asked.

In New York I would look for veteran organizations that you could network into to get contacts as well as professional IT organizations that probably have monthly/quarterly meetings and usually will allow non-members to attend for a slightly higher fee than members. Make sure you use a card scanning software to get your contacts business cards into your database immediately after the event and follow up with responses to questions left open during the event. I always put notes on the business cards I collect to make sure I remember the issues I want to get answers to or expound on in my follow up thank you note. I hope these tips help. You can contact me at if you want.

13 March 2019 Helpful answer


Sam Hoffman Roslyn Heights, NY

Hi Chris.
I live here in New York. Please message me, I would be happy to connect you with some good people.


Mario Rodriquez Tampa, FL

Chris, do you have a security clearance? What role in IT do you have with your IT Professional background. I may be able to assist you if I know more specifics. My email address is: Thank you very much.


Scott Gagnon Winthrop, MA

Here is a fantastic resource managed by my employer - Navisite. It has many resources and job listings for Veterans in every state.

Good luck.


Vicki Morgan Plano, TX

Hi, Chris —

Thank you for your service and congratulations on your engagement. Chad’s response was solid info and I agree. I would also add that when you do spend time in NYC networking, be aware that meeting anyone in any profession at any personal event, church, or otherwise should be considered as an interview. You never know who knows who and many in the city will want to help when they learn of your service and the reason for your relocation. Be prepared in a casual, unscripted way to describe and present yourself in a 30 seconds or less elevator speech when discussing your job search with individuals you meet.

I would also examine your resume track record of IT skills and translate some of those to practical assets to an organization. As an example, I noticed from your profile that you worked in Naval intelligence, which immediately translates to me that you are dependable, confidential and intentional. All of which are intangibles that are in high commodity but you may need to make those connections for others in interviews or when making any new connections.

Additionally, when your fiancé begins her position, she’ll be meeting new colleagues who all have family and friends, so that’s another group to consider in your search.

I think it’s also important to study industry news and NYC business media. Business stories about certain businesses or industries will make you more informed of growth, trends, and from there, you can check websites for openings. It’s just looking at business news from lots of sources in a new way.

Best to you in your search!

Vicki Morgan


Chad Eaves Lake Zurich, IL

Hi Chris,

My wife and I used to live in Atlanta (Marietta to be exact). It's just a little warmer there than here in Chicago.

The best answer is probably one you know and the most difficult. You need to go to New York and network. Your analysis on resume effectiveness is spot on. If you are still working in Atlanta, it might need to be a weekend thing.

Consider looking at groups you enjoy or have a passion which have meetings that fit your schedule. As you build friendships, people will want to help you be with your fiancee.

Consider joining Toastmasters or checking out events on EventBrite. Check out industry groups. All in NYC.

Another path to consider is contacting companies that have veteran hiring programs (Google is one and they are expanding their presence in NYC). Vets also get preference for government jobs. Or, there is the contractor route - look at IT staffing firms.

This is a lot of info. And looking for a job is a job, I know that! Finding work has changed. Just submitting a resume reduces you to a database entry. People need to meet you. If they ask for your resume, the battle is over half won.

I hope that helps, Chris.


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