According to a study by the SmallBizGenius community, the number of people who work remotely has increased by 140% since 2005. These statistics prove that more and more specialists strive to fulfill their potential outside the office by choosing a location and working hours independently, and modern employers are increasingly willing to meet these needs, thus reducing office maintenance costs.
A great demand, in turn, creates great competition, and getting an online job becomes a challenge in the modern labor market. Given today’s realities, however, remote work becomes almost the only way for employees and companies to stay the course and maintain productivity.
This guide is designed to equip you with a search strategy and help determine what you are actually looking for.
Is a work from home job right for you?
A remote position is often perceived as a perfect chance to earn money without sacrificing your focus on your life and leisure. Therefore, some candidates still do not realize the full responsibility of this type of employment, instead picturing how a deck chair near the pool will replace an office for them. Such erroneous expectations often become an obstacle when searching for remote jobs since your first potential employer will bring you down to earth. Before you begin your hunt, it is crucial to understand what you will have to face as a remote worker.
What should a remote worker expect?
- Your employer will still want the best
Employers will still desire good performance and first-class results. Unlike working in an office environment, no one will tell you how to work or determine the time of your lunch break. On the one hand, it provides you with great freedom and unlimited opportunities, but, in fact, it is a challenge for your organization, time management, and prioritization skills. If you get rid of the 9 to 5 schedule, then now you must predict the required time for the task independently and distribute it up to the deadline correctly. Undoubtedly, your boss will not begrudge you for spending an extra hour near the pool, but don’t count on long-term remote cooperation if it negatively impacts your productivity.
- Communication becomes one of your core skills.
One of your main tasks is to stay in touch. The lack of constant monitoring does not mean that your interaction with the employer will be reduced only to receiving assignments and sending results. No project is immune to unplanned changes that require additional instructions or even brainstorming with the team. Be prepared that the company will employ a set of digital communication tools; make sure that you are ready to master each of them.
You’ll no longer receive a personal invitation to the meeting, but only a notification of its beginning. Low technological awareness will not be excused. Therefore, when getting a job online, your laptop or smartphone is your default companion. Neglect of this rule leads to poor execution and reduced employer trust.
These points are designed to save you from disappointment and bring the picture closer to reality. So, if after these warnings, the question of how to get a work at home position is still relevant, then you are on the right track.
How do you determine which job is right for you?
Before puzzling over how to find remote work, it is essential to define your ultimate goal and criteria of your search. It will significantly save your time and protect from hasty job applications.
You’ll want to keep these things in mind when searching for remote positions:
- You can work from anywhere in the world, but time zones can have a negative impact on your work.
- You’ll need to choose the type of employment that’s right for you.
- The job may not be as flexible as you think, so make sure to clarify the situation with your recruiter.
Time differences can be a challenge.
One of the main advantages of remote employment is the ability to work from anywhere in the world. However, if the companies’ location does not matter, then the difference in time zones directly affects your cooperation. For example, if you start working at 10 a.m. in Thailand, then your employer has already finished his business day in Washington.
Such a time difference may prevent you from being in touch for timely clarifications and meetings. Therefore, try to revise your schedule. Maybe you can work at night without productivity loss, which will help you adapt to a particular time zone. Or maybe you can be open to online conferences during your off-hours. If such schedule flexibility is not for you, then reduce your search list to countries within your slice of the globe.
Contract? Part-time? Full-time?
Remote employment, as well as on-site work, include a variety of schedule options. There are short-term contracts, part-time jobs, and even full-time work. Therefore, determine how many hours per week you will devote to your work. Try to take an unbiased look at your capabilities. For example, if you are a student, then your academic program will require engagement on an equal footing with your job. In this case, it is better to focus on part-time employment than show poor results when working full-time.
Remote work is flexible, right?
There are many different definitions of remote work. Some are more flexible than others. Some employers expect that you will visit the office to discuss further strategies or receive wages. In contrast, others build trust with all team members exclusively in the online space. Your task is to understand which option is best for you and keep it in mind when considering available vacancies. If the job description does not specify the conditions for remote cooperation, then clarify all the details during the first conversation with the recruiter.
Learn how to get a remote job using application tools.
Some companies are still wary of remote employment since they must give carte blanche to the specialists without a single personal meeting. Employers who nevertheless decide on such cooperation evaluate each candidate carefully. They search for both a qualified employee and a person who is motivated by exciting tasks and not by constant control of their superiors. Your mission, in this case, is to become a perfect applicant even before an interview using the following tools.
- Customize your resume and attach it to your email. Each part of this document should prove you are the right person for a remote job:
- When writing a work history, you should mention every experience you’ve had with being in charge, or working under your own initiative, and demonstrate results you achieved in a particular company or project.
- Focus on the list of your qualifications and emphasize skills that help you succeed in working from home, whether it’s time management, the ability to prioritize, self-organization, and so on.
- Indicate your proficiency in online communication software such as Skype, Trello, or Zoom. This trick will demonstrate that your location is not an obstacle to interaction and productivity.
- Create a cover letter and put it in the email body.
Given that a remote position involves competition with a large number of applicants from around the world, your resume may not be enough to hit the target. Unlike it, the cover letter does not have a single requirement for structure and content. It allows you to add any information about yourself, your activities, and motivation that can tip the scales.
When it comes to your type of employment, focus not only on qualifications but also on personal qualities, since your hiring directly depends on a credit of trust. For example, a data analyst cover letter highlights a specialist’s perseverance and attentiveness before their skills in mathematics and computer science. Due to this fact, the employer sees not the next applicant, but individuality, which increases the chances of feedback.
A cover letter is an indispensable tool if you want to get a remote job with no experience. In this case, focus on what you can offer instead of achievements from previous posts. Pay particular attention to soft skills, commitment to your profession, and motivation to benefit a specific company.
Where should you look for remote work?
Each candidate should have several employment options in stock, so get ready for active searches on different platforms.
Traditional job boards can still be useful to you, but with the right search criteria. Start by choosing the location of potential employers based on time zones and your preferred working hours. Use the search keywords by adding “remote work”, “work from home” after your profession. If your first attempts come up blank, set up notifications of such vacancies to your mail. This function is available on almost every job search site.
Monitor platforms that specialize in remote employment. First, you don’t need to configure search filters since all available vacancies already meet your needs. Second, although the list of best careers for remote work includes mainly IT, customer service, finance, and accounting, such platforms offer a wide range of professions, including healthcare and education. It increases your chances of getting into the desired industry.
Explore the local and worldwide companies that are most loyal to autonomous cooperation. It will allow you to identify the key players in your industry and monitor their career offers on job boards, websites, and social networks.
Modern employers tend to use LinkedIn, Facebook, or even Twitter to find valuable talents for remote collaboration. It gives you every chance of catching available vacancies before they appear on job boards. Therefore, make sure that your profiles prove you are a qualified specialist and proactive job seeker and follow the accounts of the desired companies. To expand useful networking, find groups and communities that are relevant to your industry, position, or professional interests.
The question of how to land a remote job is especially acute in the modern labor market, as many specialists have already understood all its advantages amid the current world situation. However, evaluate the real picture and all the pitfalls before breaking into the competition for work from home. Remember, your informed choice and strong motivation are the main components of a job-winning self-presentation. Nevertheless, do not miss the chance to strengthen it with a customized resume and an effective cover letter. These tools, together with your perseverance, will help you exchange an office for any place on the map.