I often hear from clients that one of the hardest parts about a job search is finding jobs specific to a given location. They know where they want to live, and, damn it, they’re going to live there no matter what it takes. Do you share that mindset? Maybe you’re dead set on living the New York City life after graduation, or you love windsurfing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter and have to be near somewhere like Hood River, OR to stay sane. There are a wide range of reasons that job seekers have for deciding on a location before they find a job, but the job search tactics and techniques for finding a locations specific job are the same regardless of the reasons.

For some the beauty of an entry-level job search is that there are unlimited options. You have your degree, and nothing is tying you down. You can go anywhere and do almost anything. For others the endless options are paralyzing. If you have no idea what you want to do or where you want to be, most job search sites can’t help you (although we can!). There’s that search box just sitting there with the cursor blinking at you insultingly. You have no idea what to put into it. If you type in “job” or “entry level” results that you get will be way too broad to be useful. You’ll probably get overwhelmed and decide to give up on job searching for the day.

7 Simple Tips to Localize Your Job Search
It seems counterintuitive, but limiting your options can often enhance your creativity. Not only will these tips help you find a job in the city or town where you want to work, but they’ll also help you generate new job search ideas by restricting your options.

  1. Leverage Google

Google is not only a great way to find jobs locally, but it will also be essential to your putting some of the next 6 tips to use. Almost every job search site out there is indexed by Google. If you know how to craft your queries properly, you can find things much more efficiently using the Big G’s search results.

  1. Refine Your Indeed.com Search

Indeed is a great job search tool. They are a job search engine, which means that they pull job listings from major job boards and corporate careers sites. They don’t miss much. They also allow you to refine your search quite specifically. For instance, you can restrict your job search to a single town. If those results don’t satisfy you, then you can use their auto-generated lists of jobs in neighboring towns.

  1. Target Local Companies

Google Maps is making an effort to create a directory of all local businesses across the world, but they still have quite a way to go towards making the product as refined as their web search. Use this query and type in your desired location to find a list of businesses that Google has identified there. This should be a great starting point. You can also narrow down your search to specific types of businesses by adding any relevant keyword.

Google is just one way to find local companies. You can read your local papers or magazines, or even watch local television to get ideas.

  1. Networking

Have friends in the city where you want to live? Visit them and meet their friends. Ask them what they do and whether they like it. This doesn’t need to be hardcore business networking (although it can be). You just need to meet new people who might know which local companies are hiring.
Do some hunting in your local area to find other networking opportunities. For example, I’m in Phoenix, and we have a local group called networkingphoenix.com that has job listings.

  1. Craigslist

Craigslist is local by definition. You may be skeptical about finding a job on the same site that people use to find “casual encounters,” but we have heard nothing but good things from employers who have used Craigslist for their hiring needs. If employers are having success there, then they’ll keep going back to post their jobs.

  1. College Career Services

If you’re staying in the vicinity of the college which you graduated from, your college’ Career Services office and its website should be extremely helpful. Colleges often work with local employers to place graduates in jobs. If you’re moving away from your alma mater, visit the Career Services website of a college that is located where you want to live. You might not get full access to their site, but there’s a good chance that you can find something valuable. Where do you think we come up with jobs day after day?

  1. Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations

Your local Chamber of Commerce is likely to have job postings, and many provide a free job listing service for members–another good source of local job listings.