I just read an article on Yahoo Finance where you provided advice. You said only answering ads and sending out blind resumes was a serious error as a search strategy. As an accountant searching for a better job in a tough regional market, I generally agree with this statement. I want to relocate to a different part of the country, and cannot figure out how to expedite a long-distance search. Needless to say, my full time presence where I currently live makes it difficult to network in the area where I want to move. I've met several high-level folks here and there, but none that have honestly been able to help. I'm at the end of my rope here and am desperate to move forward in my career. I have often heard that having an out-of-area address is often an automatic trip to the "No" stack.
Yup, it's a tough move. But you're going about it in some low probability ways. Your frustration is creating a problem all by itself, as I've seen from your letter (edited here), and is not helping you see things clearly. You want this whole thing to end fast, and end NOW. Sorry, but it's still going to be a process, when you do it right. It's a heavy lift.
The following four points will begin to help.
The Out-of-State Address
First, let's get rid of that address problem. You're right; adding the possible relocation expense might be a problem for a prospective employer. Many of the people I've worked with have, as a matter of course, dropped addresses from resumes. It seems to be a trend among younger members of the job force. An email address seems to be enough. A telephone number with an out-of-state area code doesn't seem to be a problem anymore; people take their cell numbers with them everywhere they move. So . . . no home address necessary.
Second, you need to fully understand what networking is. It is not just asking everyone you know if they know of openings or jobs. That's a sure-fire way of scaring them off, because people feel guilty when they have to say, "No, not at this moment." And that means you've burned through a contact, making it difficult to stay in touch. Networking is all about maintaining relationships over a period of time, a form of indirect marketing. The point is to build business relationships, keep them by staying in touch, so that when your contacts hear of appropriate situations, they think of you. That's how the vast majority of people find jobs, either by accident or by design.
The Long Distance Search
Third, the long distance search. Since you can't be constantly traveling to your intended destination, you set up phone meetings instead of in-person meetings. They may be a little less effective than personally meeting others, but if you cultivate the relationships through following up regularly, you can make that relationship work. In addition, if you find some of your targeted people are amenable, you might say to several that you will be in the area during the week of ____________, and hope that you could meet them in person. Believe it or not, this works better, most of the time, than asking someone in your home area for a more open-ended time slot.
Building Networks in a New Area - Using LinkedIn
Fourth, for building networks in an area where you don't know many in your profession -- try LinkedIn groups. Assuming your profile is up-to-date and promotes your skill set well (and you do seem to have an excellent one), look under "Interests" on the top of the home page. There is a subset called "Groups." Then, look for affinity groups. Punch in "Accountants," and see what comes up. Maybe a professional group you’ve already joined. Maybe 10 others that are related. Maybe one in your intended geographical area. Join. Get involved in the online conversations. If someone sounds interesting and knowledgeable, try to link in (with a personal invitation, not the LinkedIn template). If he/she responds, then perhaps you write a skillful introductory (brief) email requesting a short conversation because you're researching the market in their area and want to learn more about it.
Technique, Discipline and Consistency
This is just a beginning. Clearly, there's much more you can do. I can think of a recently published book (mine!) you might read which will thoroughly take you through the process -- In Search of the Fun-Forever Job: Career Strategies That Work, on Amazon. Your task is eminently doable, even with the tough market conditions. Great search technique, coupled with discipline and consistency, will usually trump the difficult market
To find answers to your questions on job search and career transition, get your copy of In Search of the Fun-Forever Job: Career Strategies that Work