Here’s What You’ll Need To Do Before Applying for Remote Work
Want a job that lets you work from home, the beach, or anywhere else in the world? Find out how to get hired for the remote job of your dreams today:
Are you ready to ditch your office job for a remote position?
No traffic, the freedom to work your own hours, and the chance to give more attention to your side hustle are all reasons to start looking for a remote job ASAP.
And now that working remotely spans more than just the IT world, you can find a job in almost every employment sector: from customer service to marketing to design and so much more.
Here’s the catch: Landing the remote job of your dreams isn’t the same as applying for a traditional 9–5 in the corporate world.
Today you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to stand out from the tough competition.
But before you get too far along in the process, you should make sure you really know what you’re getting yourself into.
Is a Remote Job Really a Good Fit For You?
Working remotely isn’t like working any other job you’ve had.
To be a perfect fit for a remote job, you must:
- Be a motivated self-starter with loads of discipline to help you stay focused and productive while working on your own and without a supervisor telling you what to do next.
- Have boast-worthy communication skills. Since you can’t run down the hall and chat up your coworkers, you’ll need to keep in contact via messaging apps, email, conference Skype calls, etc.
- Be an adept problem solver because you’ll sometimes have to make tough decisions alone if your team is sleeping in another time zone.
- Know how to balance work and home life. Working on your own can either turn you into a workaholic or zap your productivity. One will lead to burnout while the other may get you fired. Can you find the middle ground?
- Have outside interests, hobbies, and an active social life because it can get lonely working on your own and missing out on those “water cooler” moments at the office.
If you have what it takes, let’s go over a checklist of tasks you’ll need to accomplish before you send out your resume.
4 Steps To Take Before Applying for Remote Work
The chance to work from home and ditch the commute means almost everyone wants a remote job — if they can find one.
You’ll want to be ready when you see an open position that piques your interest. So here’s what you need to do:
#1. Prepare for the Competition
Landing a remote job can be much more of a challenge than getting hired for a traditional 9–5; candidates are required to show off more of their personality instead of being able to blend into the workforce.
Remote employers are looking for different skill sets than those in more conventional roles. So you’ll need to display signs you’re:
- Honest and trustworthy because no one will be watching to see if you’re actually working from your hammock.
- Disciplined, focused, and organized to manage your workload without a supervisor micromanaging your activities.
- Independent, self-sufficient, and proactive because you can’t wait around for your coworkers or teammates to pick up your slack.
- Passionate about your area of expertise. Someone really interested in their work will always produce quality, excite their teammates, and give 110% to their job.
- An interesting person. With the opportunity to hire candidates from all over the world, remote employers have the chance to find genuinely interesting people who don’t necessarily fit the “corporate” mold. So show your quirks and you’ll have a higher chance of landing an interview.
One way you can show off all these skills is by creating your own website.
#2. Create a Personal Marketing Website (Or At Least Have a Digital Portfolio to Show Off)
It doesn’t cost much to create a personal website to market yourself to potential remote employers (or future networking contacts). Sites like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace help you design professional websites even if you lack coding experience.
If you don’t want to spring for a website, you can always create a portfolio of your achievements and make it available for download on your LinkedIn page or other social media platforms.
Having one ready to go also makes it easy when you’re asked for one to complete an application. A portfolio of your best work is the perfect complement to your resume and cover letter.
#3. Update Your Resume and Cover Letter to Reflect What Remote Employers Are Looking For
Remote work or not, you should always tailor your resume and cover letter to show employers you’re the one for the job.
That includes using the same words in your documents as the company uses in their job posting.
Specifically for remote employers, you’ll also want to add your:
- Experience with software and online tools/apps for communication. Since most remote companies stay in contact and discuss their workload via tools like Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Skype, Zapier, and tons of others, it helps to list your experience so they know you can make a seamless entry when you’re hired.
- Side projects or future goals. Telling a remote employer about your interests gives them insight about your personality and work ethic. As long as your side hustle doesn’t compete with the job you want, it’s also a fun talking point about your passions.
- Past results, experience, and skills useful to the position you want. Make sure employers know how your skill set makes you different from your competition. Here’s where you should show off why you’d be an asset with achievements from your professional highlight reel.
#4. Know Where to Look for Remote Jobs
If you’re waiting for the perfect remote job to show up on Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed, or LinkedIn, you’re going to have a bad time because they’re in low supply.
Since most companies don’t advertise a remote workforce, you’ll need to perform a bit of sleuthing to find the best places to work.
Or you could just head over to We Work Remotely and browse open remote positions all over the world.
Now You’re Ready to Go!
Now that you know what it takes to work remotely, your first step is to figure out which of your skills best matches what employers are searching for in their ideal candidate.
Then you’ll want to update your resume and cover letter with words from job postings on sites like We Work Remotely to get yourself through to the next level of the hiring process.
It doesn’t hurt to create a website showing off why you’re the best, most interesting prospect. And you should always be adding to your portfolio to attract work and pass along when you’re networking.
Check off all these tasks and you may be working remotely by your next paycheck!