According to Global Workplace Analytics, over 4.7 million employees in the US alone work remotely for at least half of the working week. With more and more companies recognizing a remote working structure as an efficient way to conduct business, career opportunities for those interested in working from home are growing every day. With the right technology fueling the trend (project management tools, messengers, time tracking apps, and more), finding a telecommuting job is quite feasible.
With that, if you are just considering making the transition, navigating the remote work marketplace may seem intimidating at first. This is why we have summed up 8 quick tips on finding remote work that can make your first job hunt easier.
Tip 1: Specify What You Are Looking for
Before you dive in headfirst into the exciting process of searching for that perfect remote position, you need to narrow down what exactly you are looking for. The more specific details you have in mind, the better and quicker your results will be. So, it is a good idea to answer a few questions for yourself before starting to send out resumes so that you don’t end up in a situation that you do not feel comfortable in. For instance, it’s a good idea to have the answers to these questions ready:
- Are you looking for a 100% remote position or are you open to a flexible schedule where you may need to come into work several days a week or month?
- Would you prefer to have a full-time remote position working for one company or to work on different projects as a freelancer?
- What are your requirements in terms of salary, benefits, schedule, etc.?
Tip 2: Find an Industry that Is Geared for Remote Work
With the way technology is developing, we are sure to see remote working opportunities appearing in a wide range of fields. We can already get legal advice on Skype, attend a therapy session via Zoom, hire a remote personal assistant — and the list just keeps getting longer.
However, for the time being, some industries are substantially more geared for welcoming remote workers than others. According to Traqq, a time tracking software company, top jobs for remote work currently lie in the technical and creative fields and include occupations like a developer, tech support specialist, digital marketing specialist, designer, and online teacher, among others. Thus, if you want to make the transition to working remotely in the near future, knowing which industries are already open to this structure will be very useful.
Tip 3: Get Relevant Training
If you feel that you are still lacking certain skills for the remote position you want, taking a training course in that particular field can help you gain both knowledge and confidence. There are lots of free courses available online that can help you learn the desired skills.
Websites like Codeacademy can teach you how to write code for free and online learning marketplaces like Udemy have whole collections of materials organized by subject and difficulty. What’s more, a lot of reputed universities now offer parts of their programs online, which can allow you to get a certificate or a diploma while studying remotely.
Tip 4: Craft a Personalized Resume for Each Position
After narrowing down your options and securing the requirements for the job, you need to make sure that your resume fits your desired position to a T. It’s best if your CV includes all industry related experience, certification, degrees, references, etc. In fact, if you plan to apply for positions in different fields, it’s generally recommended that you create a customized version of your resume for each of these positions.
It will help to do the same with your cover letter — and most recruiters recommend that applicants make their cover and introduction letters as personalized as possible. In the letter, you may also mention why you are drawn to a remote working position, this specific company, etc.
Tip 5: Network to Find the Right Job
If you are new to the industry where you would like to get a position, it may be helpful to get in touch with people from the right communities. Doing so will allow you to ask for guidance and relevant job openings. You can try browsing your Linkedin connections for professionals from the right field or the right company. Moreover, you can check your email contact list, alumni group, and social media, among other channels.
If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to individuals, you may feel more confident about joining a community of like-minded individuals. There are lots of professional groups you can find online that are generally supportive of new members. Plus, there are specialized communities for those who prefer to work remotely. You may get lots of useful prospects by joining a digital nomad group, freelance forum, and other similar online groups.
Tip 6: Join Freelance Job Websites
If you are looking for a remote position, placing your CV on a specialized platform for remote workers will get you better results. There are lots of job market platforms out there that cater specifically to companies and professionals looking for freelance opportunities.
Websites like WeWorkRemotely, Remote.co, Pangian, and others are great for job search and networking. These sites can also give you an idea of what skills and qualifications are in demand in the industry that you are interested in.
Tip 7: Try Cold Emailing/Messaging Prospective Employers/Clients
Cold emailing may not be the most pleasant part of a job search — but it can yield good results. The best way to go about it is to email or message specifically the companies that you consider a good match for your skillset and requirements.
For instance, if you are a blog writer, you can reach out to companies that have just started blogging or the ones that are interested in creating posts in the field that you are knowledgeable in. You can also create highly customized pitches highlighting how your skills and experience may be beneficial to a specific company or team and emphasize your enthusiasm for working for them.
Tip 8: Create an Online Portfolio with Your Work and Credentials
This may take some time to arrange, but having a website or even a well-crafted social media profile that includes your qualifications, experience, and, most importantly, examples of your work and references can be a true game-changer. When you have a quick link that you can send to prospective employers or clients, this can make you stand out amongst other PDF resumes and. Aside from that, your online portfolio makes it easier to find.
Thus, even if you don’t get the job the first time around, you will stand a better chance of getting it later when your potential employer needs similar services again. Plus, having a personalized space where you can describe your skills will give you a chance to show your creative side that can appeal to the person reading your resume.
By using a balanced combination of the tips above, you will be able to get a head start on your first job hunt and maybe even lock down a freelance project or a full-time remote position. Remember that the key is to persevere and work smart to land that work-from-home job you want.