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This is how you land a remote job offer

In middle school, I tried making a bit of extra money by selling bootlegged CDs to kids in school.

I told a few kids that I had some of the songs from an upcoming album of a big name rapper. I put all the tracks on a CD. They got super excited at the idea of hearing the songs first before anyone else, so and they all wanted to buy one. I charged them $5 each.

But then the actual album came out a couple of months later, and none of the songs I had were on there.

Then those same kids found out and asked for their money back. I had to issue $15 in refunds.

That was my very first experience starting a business.

Other people have had it much tougher. Check out this article by Ali Mese. He talks about how he quit his 80-hour-a-week management consulting job to start his own company to have “freedom”, only to find out that it was way more stressful.

Starting a company is a weird experience.

People think you’re a failure if you’re not making a million dollars in your first week. Nobody really “gets” what you’re doing, even after you develop a good income stream. A successful venture capitalist once told me that his mom still can’t understand what he does.

It’s not easy. It’s not for everyone.

Yet, many of us are convinced that the only way to build the lifestyle we want is by starting our own thing. Some of us think that our dream job doesn’t actually exist.

But the truth is, with a growing number companies that are building distributed teams, it possible to combine a flexible lifestyle with a secure income.

Not by starting your own business, but by getting a remote job.

Remote workers have the freedom of location independence, and they can structure their day however they want — bearing the stress that comes with running a business or finding new clients.

They can hit the gym at 2pm when no one’s there. They can slap the snooze button and sleep in for an extra half hour if they feel like it. They can skip the commute, and work from wherever they want. They don’t have to deal with all the distractions that come with open offices.

A while ago, I got a remote job offer via AngelList doing content marketing for a marketing agency based in LA.

I was able to work while traveling across places like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macau, and Australia. The only requirements: get all my work done, and be online a few times a week for video calls.

Today, I’ll show you exactly how I found that job, how I reached out to the company, and how I got the offer — right down to the email scripts.

Let’s break it down.

Step 1: Get specific on the type of jobs you want

Most people think of AngelList as a tool that startups use to get funding. But a lot of them don’t realize that it’s also one of the best job search sites out there today.

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to finding remote work is actually figuring out what distributed companies are hiring for the type of position you’re looking for. You might have other considerations, like a certain level of pay that you need, or a certain type of company you want to work for.

That’s why I love AngelList — you can get super granular in your filtering.

You can narrow your choices down based on criteria like role, location, job type, compensation, and more.

For example, you can target companies that are hiring for remote marketing positions, and were active in the last 15 days (so you know that they’re still looking).

You can get even more specific by targeting sub-roles like “marketing manager”, “growth hacker”, etc. Or define your ideal compensation range.

When I used AngelList, I just used the “Content Creator”, “Remote OK”, “Active in the Last 15 Days” filters.

No matter what field you’re in, you’ll be able to find something for you. People think that remote jobs are only for web developers, designers, or marketers, but the reality is that hundreds of companies out there hiring remote positions people in fields like finance / accounting, mechanical engineering, and even HR just to name a few.

Just set your “Job Type” filter to “Remote OK” and you can see what remote jobs are out there in your field.

Once you’ve set your filters, move on to step 2.

Step 2: Target 3–5 jobs you’re interested in

What you DON’T want to do is mass-apply to tons of jobs at the same time.

One of the biggest frustrations of employers is all the generic cover letters and resumes they get from people who don’t even seem like they read the job description.

You’ll be different. You’ll pick just a handful of companies to apply to, and crush them all.

Once you pick your 3–5 companies, move on to step 3.

Step 3: Set yourself apart from everybody else

When I applied for that content marketing position, I didn’t just shoot off a generic cover letter.

I knew that there would probably be hundreds of other people applying for the job, and they would all be doing the same thing.

When hundreds of people are sending out resumes and cover letters, the way to compete with them isn’t by writing a better cover letter or resume. It’s by being proactive and going the resume — and proving to employers that you can help them solve their problems.

So after applying online, I sent an email to the CEO with specific ideas about how they could improve their content marketing strategy.

I got an email back pretty quickly to schedule an interview.

This strategy works super well for companies that are listed on AngelList because most of them are startups. And startup founders LOVE people who are proactive.

For example, if you’re a software developer, you could create a program that proves that you have some key skills that they’re looking for. If you’re a designer, you could run a usability test on their product and come up with some design suggestions like I did for Airbnb.

You can also just list a few suggestions of how the company can improve in the area you’re applying for, like I did.

Or you can create a 30–60–90 day plan for what you’d do if you get hired. Noah Kagan did this for Mint.com and got a job as their Director of Marketing.

If you feel like none of those things will work for you, you could just create a case study write up of how you helped a company in the past in a role similar to what you’re applying for.

Here’s an email script you can use to send your project over to your company:

In my experience, it’s best to send this over to the CEO or someone from the founding team if you’re applying for a startup. Or the director of the department you’re applying for.

This approach gets you noticed, and helps you make the great first impression “on paper” so that they like you before they ever even talk to you.

The “hidden benefit” of this approach is that it helps drive the conversation during your interviews, because you’ll get to talk about the project you sent over.

When I did this, I ended up going from application to offer in a matter of days.

And I bought a one way ticket to Bangkok a few weeks later.

Conclusion

Landing a remote work position isn’t as hard as people make it out to be. You just have to find the right source for jobs, but AngelList makes that part pretty easy.

What you with your newfound flexibility is up to you.

Maybe you don’t want to travel the world — maybe you just want to be able to have the freedom to take some extra time for yourself every morning. Maybe you want to stop community to the office. Maybe you want to actually focus on your work instead of getting distracted every fifteen seconds in an office.

A remote job can be your “shortcut” to that lifestyle.

Call to Action

If you’re an ambitious person who wants to take your career to the next level, sign up here to get my 4 Step Checklist to Landing Your Dream Job — even if you’re not sure what you want to do yet, ever if you feel “underqualified.”

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