A remote jobs search isn’t too different from a traditional one, but we recommend several key changes to your approach to maximize your chances. If your goal is to land a full-time remote job, read on for the ins and outs of searching for one.
When you’re looking for a job that will let you work remotely, you’ll still have the regular protocol of submitting resumes and cover letters, as well as ideally networking and engaging with your connections, and then hopefully interviewing for positions. But there are ways you can customize each step of the process so that it better supports your search for a remote job.
Here are four steps than can help you get a full-time remote job:
1. Research and identify companies that have a remote work track record.
If your goal is to find a fully remote job, focus your search on companies that hire for and support remote jobs regularly.
Of course, you can (and should!) also try searching for remote jobs on FindMyEmployment! The best way to do that is to set the “Remote Work Level” option to “100% Remote Work” unless you’re also open to a hybrid situation where you work remote sometimes and in-office other times is alright with you, and in this case you can also search by “Partial Remote Work” and “Option for Remote Work.”
2. Write your resume with “remote” in mind.
Employers that hire for remote jobs are looking for people who can not only do the actual job, but do it in a remote environment. Your resume needs to tell employers that you have what it takes to be successful working from home.
Here are the basics:
- If you have any previous remote work experience, even occasional, mention that on your resume. Include it in your Summary of Qualifications and write it next to the job titles for any jobs where you worked remotely. For example: “Senior Graphic Designer – Partially Remote Job” or “Accountant – Remote Position.” Some people even create a “Relevant Remote Work Experience” section, if they have more than one strong role that fit.
- Whether you do or don’t have previous remote work experience, be sure to include your best skills for remote work success. The top skills employers seek in remote applicants are: proactive written and verbal communication, the ability to work independently, time and task management, organization, being comfortable with technology, knowledge of remote communication tools, a high level of integrity and ethics, and continuous learning.
Make sure you tweak this information for each application based on what the employer has said that they are looking for in the job description (while also staying honest!).
3. Tell them about your remote experience or remote-friendly skills in your cover letter.
This should be assumed, but let’s state it anyway– you should include a cover letter with every job application, even if it’s not asked for. Now that’s out of the way, what can you write in your cover letter to show an employer you can do the job remotely?
Well, if you’ve had remote work experience, similar to above, be sure to write one to two lines in your letter that discuss your previous remote work experience and/or your best remote work skills. If you’ve worked with people across time zones, in departments in different buildings, or in different countries around the world, that can count as remote experience.
And both if you have and if you haven’t had previous experience, it’s smart to offer up that you understand what’s expected of a good remote worker. Employers want to know that you will handle a remote job professionally and set appropriate boundaries for your work environment. For example, in your cover letter, you can convey that you have a quiet, dedicated work space that will allow you to focus and work without interruptions, or you can explain that you’ve researched “best practices” for remote work and feel confident that you can be professional and successful with those in mind. And also it’s good to highlight your best remote-friendly skills, like communication, time and task management, focus, and tech-savviness.
If you haven’t worked remotely, maybe you’ve worked in a company before that had different locations and you had to work with colleagues in other offices. If so, another angle is to write about how you have worked productively and effectively with people who were not located in the same physical space as you, and to acknowledge that while that’s not technically “remote,” it is “distributed working” and shares some underlying work styles.
4. Prepare for remote job interviews.
Most remote job interviews will take place over the phone, and some companies go further with a video call. Be prepared for both. The most important thing you can do is to test your technology ahead of time, so ask the employer which platform they’ll be using for the interview so you can prepare.
No matter what, make sure you’re in a place with great cell phone reception or use a landline for the interview. If it’s a video interview, test the platform and your computer’s camera and microphone ahead of time, and ideally even practice video calls with a friend or family member if you’re not already comfortable with the technology. A video interview for a great full-time remote job is NOT the time to show your a tech novice!
Finally, good luck! These steps should help you increase your chances to get a full-time remote job, and while it might not happen on the first try, you’re setting yourself up for success.