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I'm currently attempting to locate a job in another state (NYC if that's relevant) and have been for ~6 months. What's further complicating my search is that I'm trying to shift careers at the same time (from engineering to product management which I do have some experience in) and it's not going well - In four months I've only managed to get 3 phone interviews and 1 on-site interview and I'm running out of ideas as to what else to try.

What I've tried so far:

  • Had my resume professionally revised.
  • Had my resume reviewed by Product Management hiring managers.
  • Exhausted all applicable contacts in my network.
  • I had one recruiter send my resume out and they all rejected me. Other recruiters simply said that they'll contact me if they feel I'd be a fit somewhere and nothing.
  • Put NY as my location in all my applications

The planned move is so that I can be with my significant other so I'm fairly set on location and thus staying where I am isn't really an option.

Can anyone suggest other tactics or options for me to try?

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    I'm not based in US, but if you were in Europe I would think your salary expectations may play a role, as engineering tends to be much better paid than product management (depending on many factors of course). – BigMadAndy Oct 1 '18 at 21:01
  • Did you attempt to coordinate with your SO about moving? My thought is you should take a chance and simply move. Hopefully with significant savings to hold you over until you secure a job. It's far better to be in the area rather than out of state. – Dan Oct 2 '18 at 16:08
  • Are you working with any recruiters that focus on that area, geographically? – PoloHoleSet Oct 2 '18 at 16:38
  • How many jobs have you applied to in the ~6 months you've been looking? – Maigen Thomas Oct 2 '18 at 21:51
  • @Dan My worry about this is that I've been putting NY as my location. So if I end up moving, the chances are the same. – Jason Oct 3 '18 at 21:53
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Having done the transition from Engineering to Product Management and back to Engineering, I can tell you the transition isn't easy. While you may have some experience with product management, if you didn't formally hold a product management title or have a business education, company will tend to screen you out. This may have to do with stereotypes about engineers or there are more experienced or more traditional candidates to hire.

My recommendation is to take an engineering position, then transition to product management internally. You could also start building your network in NYC for your next move.

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I don't know what else I could do other than staying at my current company and making a lateral move to PM.

You could work with an agency in your desired locale that specializes in the kind of job you are seeking.

  • Unfortunately haven't had any luck in that realm either. I had one recruiter send my resume out and they all rejected me. Other recruiters simply said that they'll contact me if they feel I'd be a fit somewhere and nothing. – Jason Oct 3 '18 at 22:06
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The planned move is so that I can be with my significant other so I'm fairly set on location and thus staying where I am isn't really an option.

If you've been searching for the last 6 months, then that means you saved a significant amount of money. My advice is to simply move into the area you want, and search for a job. You'll take a risk but with the saved money you should have buffer room to adjust for errors.

It's unclear how many interviews you did. If during the interview be sure to say you're planning to move within the month. However, my thought is you need to be in the area to get hired or interviews depending on the industry.

  • The industry is tech. Also, I've been putting NY as my location in all my applications. Yet, my callback rate I feel is still low. Thus I feel moving won't make a difference. I disagree with saying that I'll be moving in a month during the interview. 1) I risk not getting the position and now I'm jobless in NY having to live off my savings. 2) If I don't move and I'm asked to come for on-site interview, scheduling is going to be difficult and may raise a red flag for lying. – Jason Oct 3 '18 at 22:02
  • @Jason There are always risks vs reward analysis one must make. In my experience, actually being IN the area makes for much better viability with being interviewed and hired. Also, since you are taking it easy with the job hunt, you might not be as strongly interviewing as you should if you had no job. – Dan Oct 4 '18 at 13:51
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Well, it sounds like the issue here is mostly about the "change in gears."

You are going to have to do some homework. What are the core competencies of product management? What are the features and accomplishments one might expect to see in an extremely well-qualified product management professional?

Then you're going to have to take a scalpel to your resume and shed all of your experience and accomplishments that don't track directly to emphasizing those core competencies and accomplishments that you've identified.

Also, in regards to what your resume looks like, if you are in a more strategically-business-assessed field, vs a technical one, then your emphasis is going to change, as well. It might be important to list tasks and technical knowledge and experience for engineering positions. It's more important to show results (though, really, any resume should be emphasizing tangible results).

As it may apply to product management, what key initiatives were you a part of that made money, cut costs or created measurable productivity improvements? ("I was part of the redesign of product line X at my company, where we increased revenues by 40%, cutting costs by 30% and decreased the defect rate to .5%, leading to a $800K profit gain for my company" - stuff like that). Just being on a successful project isn't enough, though. You'll have to be able to tell them why your contributions were important.

Have several bullet points for each position that will grab their attention and be unambiguous in showing your bottom-line value to an employer.

Maybe you've already done this. It's hard to advise on generalities, but, if you haven't done this already, do that. There are also career consultants who are not recruiters who, while costing some money, are focused on the potential job-seeker, and not a client company. You might have to go that route in getting door opened for you and aligning your presentation of yourself in a way that will allow potential employers to look past what you've been doing, and see what you can do.

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