So, you want to become a remote worker? You’re in luck. Remote work is on the rise, and shows no signs of slowing.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, remote work has grown by 159% in just the past 12 years.
And it’s no wonder why both companies and job seekers approve of remote work. A 2-year Stanford University study by Nicholas Bloom indicates remote workers are happier, far more productive, take less sick days, and fewer vacations.
Watch Bloom talk about his report findings in his 2017 Tedx Talk below:
Although remote work is undeniably popular, it still isn’t exactly easy to become a remote worker. As a Certified Professional Career Coach specializing in remote work, I routinely work with clients who want to transition into telecommute roles but have struggled to do so on their own.
Unfortunately, many remote job seekers apply what they’ve been told about traditional job searches to their remote job searches. And, it often yields very little results. Remember, a job search for an aspiring remote worker is a lot different than that of an office job seeker.
The good news is, it’s not impossible to find a remote job. You just have to understand what you’re looking for and where to find it!
What Kind Of Remote Worker Are You?
One of the first questions I ask my career coaching clients is this:
“What type of remote work are you looking for?”
The most common answers I receive are “any” or “I don’t know.”
An ambiguous job search or one with zero clarity is going nowhere — fast. So, the very first thing you should do on your quest to become a remote worker is determine what kind of remote work situation makes sense for you.
Before you launch your remote job search, ask yourself:
How much flexibility vs stability do I seek?
There are a lot of ways to work remotely. You can work full time or part time as an employee for a remote-friendly company. There are opportunities to work on a predetermined project as an independent contractor. You can even offer services to several companies as a freelancer. Employee positions offer greater stability and less flexibility. Contract and freelance roles offer the most flexibility but come with little stability.
Do I value perks like health insurance and paid time off?
Company-sponsored perks are nice to have, but aren’t a guarantee as a remote worker. Employee positions often come with a benefits package like health insurance, 401(k), and vacation time. Freelance and contract positions do not. If you value benefits, employee positions are more suited to you than freelance or contract gigs.
What kind of schedule do I want to keep?
We all have an ideal schedule to keep. Maybe you’re a morning person or considered a night owl. Perhaps a standard 9 to 5 arrangement works best for you so you can have weekends off to attend to family matters. Whatever your schedule preferences, keep them in mind. Employee positions often allow for standard schedules that require weekly commitment. Freelancing allows you to schedule yourself when and where you can to accommodate almost any lifestyle.
What is my ideal work culture?
Company culture should always be considered when on the hunt for a new job. This is especially true for remote workers. Not only do you want your career ideals to align with your employer’s mission and values, but you need to consider how remote work is handled. Some companies are fully distributed — that is 100% of their team is remote. Others have mostly in-person employees with a handful of telecommuters on staff.
Now that you know some of your core career ideals and preferences keep them in mind. You will use them to evaluate remote jobs you come across. Plus, they will come in handy when you get to networking and eventually interviews!
Know Where To Look For Remote Work
Remote work isn’t going to fall into your lap. Instead, you have to find leads and apply to ones that suit your needs.
But, as an aspiring remote work newbie, where do you look?
I always recommend going straight to the source — remote friendly companies!
When you target specific companies, you can more effectively network, create contacts that already work there, find opportunities that match your ideals, and more easily avoid scams.
But, where exactly do you find these remote-friendly companies that may be your next career move?
Remote Worker Job Boards
A good starting point to familiarize yourself with legitimate remote companies is on remote job boards. Here, you can find a variety of leads no matter your background — tech, education, health care, design, customer service and more.
Remote.co is a great resource for aspiring remote workers. There is a Q&A Page where remote companies answer common work-related questions. Plus, you can explore company profiles and see any recent job listings.
Like the idea of working for a startup? Remotive.io is the place for you. You can browse job leads as well as learn more about 2,000+ companies hiring this year.
We Work Remotely
With more than 3,000 companies currently listed on their remote companies page, We Work Remotely is a great resource for job seekers. Explore different companies, learn about hiring trends, and uncover helpful resources.
Turn To Twitter
Are you on Twitter? If not, create an account. It’s free and easy to do. Plus, it gives you a chance to connect with remote companies on a social platform. This keeps you up to date on industry happenings and makes you feel familiar to hiring managers in what can often feel like an impersonal hiring experience.
You can also search for remote jobs using hashtags like #remotework and #remotejobs.
Network On LinkedIn
It’s no secret that LinkedIn is a powerhouse of professional networking. In fact, a 2019 study found that 122 million interviews and 35 million job offers were made through this popular platform.
Needless to say, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re missing out. This can be especially true for remote job seekers. After all, you don’t get a chance to network or meet in person for a remote job that may be in another state or across the globe.
Instead, you’ll rely on social platforms, like LinkedIn, to make connections and reach recruiters.
LinkedIn For Remote Workers
It’s one thing to sign up for a LinkedIn account. It’s another to have a powerful profile that gets noticed.
To make the most of LinkedIn, you need to fill out your profile completely. Start with a professional yet friendly headshot. From there, craft a headline that sums up your experience is a sentence or two. Remember, your profile picture and headline are the first things seen by recruiters searching on LinkedIn.
Next, write a thoughtful summary. It’s a great idea to tell your career story here. Be sure to include where you began, where you are currently, and where you hope to be in the future. This allows hiring managers to get to know you without having to speak with you.
When you’re new to LinkedIn or a remote job search, consider joining remote-friendly LinkedIn Groups. These groups are filled with professionals who telecommute or have an interest in telecommuting. Here, you can create connections, expand your network, and reach professionals that can lead you to your next career move.
I could write an entire blog post on LinkedIn for remote workers (and have!). Be sure to give it a read so you can learn to create a standout LinkedIn profile as an aspiring remote worker. And, once you’re up and running, check out these 3 underused LinkedIn tips that make it easy to find remote work.
When in doubt, hire a pro. A career coach specializing in remote work can audit your LinkedIn profile, offer constructive criticism, and help write (or rewrite) it.
Understand What Employers Want In Remote Workers
As a remote job seeker, you want to show potential employers that you have what it takes to work remotely. Remember, it’s not for everyone. And, companies want to hire individuals that will thrive in a remote environment — not falter.
According to career site, The Muse, the top 7 skills you need (and employers seek) are:
- Tech Savvy
If you have these skills, great! Be sure to highlight them wherever and whenever you can. The perfect place to do so is in your resume.
Resumes For Remote Workers
There’s a lot of debate as to the importance of your resume in today’s job search. As a remote worker, it’s definitely an important career marketing document, but it’s certainly not the only thing that will lead to a job offer.
Your resume is just a small piece of your professional puzzle. As an online job seeker, its main purpose is to get you in front of an actual recruiter.
You see, when you submit your resume online, it’s likely being scanned by software before being sent to a recruiter. The software used is called Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and makes the hiring process easier for hiring pros. The ATS scans your resume for keywords that indicate you’d be a great fit for the job. If your resume has these keywords, then your resume will be forwarded to an actual person. If not, it’s discarded and never seen again.
Optimize Your Resume
As a general rule, you should never submit a cookie-cutter resume. Instead, customize your resume every time. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to write a new resume for every job you’re interested in. But, you should have an easily-adjusted resume you can tailor to the unique job you’re applying to.
Look to the job description to find keywords that are relevant to you. Place them in your resume to show you’re a great fit. Also make sure to highlight sought after skills needed to become a remote worker.
That way, you’ll get past the ATS and pique the interest of a recruiter — win, win!
Become A Remote Worker
Launching a job search is stressful. Remote job searches are even more tedious. To get ahead, start out with a solid plan.
Start with the basics outlined here. And, when in doubt, ask for help. You’ve got this! ??
PS This post may contain affiliate links. Check out my disclosure statement to learn more.