Let's say I live somewhere in Pennsylvania. If I want to move to California, I want to find a job there first.
Do companies in other locations generally respond to resumes coming from elsewhere in the US?
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There is nothing special about "companies in California". If you're willing to relocate to your job site, most companies across the US won't care where you currently reside.
There will always be some exceptions: small companies may only be interested in hiring locally, some positions may have a preference for those with local knowledge, etc. In the case of my team, we recently had an opening for a short-term (6 months) contract position, and we only looked for local candidates because our company offers relocation assistance, and my manager didn't want to shoulder that cost for an intern position.
But in general, with large corporations in particular, where you currently live is far less important that where you will be living when you're on the job.
Do companies in California generally respond to resumes coming from elsewhere in the US?
What this means is that if you are a software engineer, applying for a job in CA is almost assuredly easier than someone looking to work in a grocery store there.
What you're asking is if a company hires people who do not live in the immediate area. The answer is it depends and it's not particular to just California. Is the position accepting remote workers? Are you relocating? Etc, etc.
Most companies would like to hire people who are actually in the driving range. If you do apply be sure to indicate when you are moving in and whether or not you want relocation help. Most companies, from my experience, would pass on fear you're asking for relocation cost. It's best to move there and find a job than move there with a job.