Words from Catherine Scallen, a Remote Year Admissions Officer.
Sweet. Welcome to the revolution! You’re on the front lines of a cultural shift, so the whole job search process is gonna look a little different, and we know first-hand just how overwhelming it can be. First, know that you are smart, you are capable, you are a badass. Ok, let’s do this.
A. Start with getting your employer on board
By far and away, we’ve seen the most success when our applicants go this route. Should you be accepted to Remote Year (woo woo!) we’ll walk through this process with you. Our Admissions Team has helped hundreds of people successfully convince their employers to let them take their current position remote. Don’t take our word for it though — check out remote Casey’s experience on convincing her company:
[Special shout out to fellow remote, Charles Du, who is creating a whole course around becoming a digital nomad — Check it out!]
Worst thing that can happen is they say no, right? And in that case…
B. Time for a new job!
Below, you’ll find some of the biggest remote work job boards (psst, spoiler alert, they’re the ones we link to on our website.) We’re not officially partnered with any of them, but they are a great place to get your feet wet and start seeing the variety of remote positions out there. For these boards, we’re big fans of the backward search.
- Start by making a giant list (woo, lists!) of any roles and companies that catch your eye.
- From there, search each company from your list on LinkedIn. It’s estimated that 70–80% of open positions are never publicly posted. Don’t wait to see your dream job pop up — reach out to those companies from Step #1 directly.
- Check through LinkedIn to see if you’ve got mutual connections to someone at the company you want to get in touch with— if you do, high five! Reach out to them, and see if they can connect you to HR, the hiring manager for the role or really, anyone at the company that would be willing to pass along your resume or give you some helpful hints on how to make yours stand out.
- If you don’t have a connection, fret not. Find the hiring manager, someone in HR, or someone on the team that’s hiring and send them a cold message introducing yourself. If you can’t find their email address on the website, message them on LinkedIn. This will exponentially increase your chances of at least getting your foot in the door — find a way to get in touch. I get these messages all the time, but I only respond to ones that are direct, clear in their ask, and above all — polite. Example:
Hi, Catherine! I came across your profile while applying for the Enterprise Admissions Officer position at Remote Year. I love the company and the idea behind it — would you have a free ten minutes this week to connect at your convenience to tell me what you love about working for Remote Year? Let me know what works for you — my schedule is flexible. Thanks, Sarah
People are busy, so be prompt and polite in your messages and follow-ups — always adjust your schedule to fit when they have an opening to speak with you.
Applying cold off a job board has a pretty low — though not impossible — conversion rate, so start with the backward search and always try to get connected before applying directly from the job board.
Finally, a big DON’T: never say “I’ll do anything remote!” This reads as wishy washy, looks like you don’t believe in your skills and your talents, and is just all around a sure fire way to get your email deleted. Instead, look for companies that you’re a culture fit for (rather than just ones with open roles)— then sell who you are and what skills you have that would add value to their team.
Industries Typically Featured: Medical & Health, Sales, Computer & IT, Education & Training, Software Development, Account Management, Project Management, Customer Service, Marketing, Programming
C. Ugh, I can’t go remote, I’m not a tech bro.
Feel that! Me either. Think it doesn’t exist? Think again — we’ve seen remote lawyers, pharmacists, therapists, and virtual assistants — just to name a few. If you look hard enough and get creative enough — you can find it. But where to start? Remotes CupofTJ and The Remote Nomad to the rescue:
D. Hop on the ‘ole Google, and start searching ‘fully distributed companies’.
What’s that you say? Yes! These are companies that are, by their very nature, already fully remote. You don’t have to sell the benefits of a remote role — they already know. Check out a few of our favorites — they’ve usually got a wide variety of positions available:
Ok thanks so much but I’m still feeling pretty overwhelmed. Got any other resources?
Sure do! Trust us, it may take awhile, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
First up, sit yourself down for a good old fashioned brainstorm session.
Down the remote work search rabbit hole we go…