The remote job search: How to stand out and get noticed
We answer a lot of questions on Quora. Below is a modified answer to the question: What are the best ways to shine when applying for a remote-work position?
The remote job search process is competitive. That shouldn’t be surprising. The benefits of remote work are mighty appealing to many who crave a more flexible, forward- thinking work environment. You can’t just throw a resume at a remote job and expect it to stand out among the competition. Instead, you need a remote job search strategy. We teach all of this and more in our online course, How to Get a Remote Job.
Here are a few things you can do right now to make your application stand out.
Level up your Google results: Companies that hire remote workers don’t meet their candidates in person. So they’ll turn to Google to get as much information about you as possible. They’re looking for online profiles, work examples, and websites to see what you’re all about and get an idea of your personality. You’ll stand out in the search if you have a strong online presence. Obviously LinkedIn is a required but you’ll get even more attention with an online portfolio or website. Use Twitter to share articles that relate to the industry that interests you. Go a step further and be proactive: include your website in your cover letter, write a custom blog post about the company (and why it’s an innovative place to work), or post a review of their products/services on your website.
Articulate why you’re qualified: Work from home jobs are competitive. That means you have to bring your A-game. Spell out why you are qualified in your resume and cover letter. Be explicit about your skills. (Here’s a remote job workbook to help with that). Don’t assume the hiring manager or recruiter can figure it out. Be specific about the communication tools and software that you use in your current job, so they know you have the digital skills to work remotely. Highlight examples of collaboration and communication to demonstrate the skills that make you a strong remote worker.
Make a human connection: It’s easy to submit a resume online and wait. That’s the bare minimum you can do in a remote job search. Go further and make a connection with someone from the company. Email the recruiter or hiring manager and ask questions about the role. Look up and chat with someone on the team to learn about their department. It shows you’re doing the research. Most people skip this step so it makes you stand out.
Get to know the company: Scour their social media feeds to understand their company culture. Talk about the company’s products or services in your cover letter. Tell hiring managers why they interest you. During the interview, ask questions about the company’s services and/or products. Ask how they manage remote employees Learn the difference between 100% remote companies and remote-friendly companies so you can ask questions about their management style. These questions show you understand the nuances of remote teams and remote work.
Learn how to interview virtually: In person interviews are awkward. Virtual interviews are even more awkward. Be prepared for your virtual interview. Pick a time with the fewest distractions in your day. Check your equipment level so it doesn’t shake or make you look funny. Use earbuds. Dress up. Sit up. Speak up.