If you're on the hunt to find a remote job in your field, you're not the only one. In recent years, more people are choosing to ditch their 9-to-5's in favor of working from home.
A study by Harvard Business Review found that working from home boosts productivity by eliminating distractions. On top of that, it saves money on a commute, gives you more time to spend with loved ones, and creates a better work-life balance, among other things. However, finding the right remote opportunity is a different story. If you don’t know what to look for or how to search properly, it'll be difficult to land the job you want. Around 36% of employees prefer flexibility over a pay raise, proving these types of jobs highly sought after.
When searching for a remote postion, you have to
- Decide if the lifestyle is right for you
- Tailor each resume to the job listing
- Consolidate a portfolio that highlights your skills
- Search in the right places
Here are more details on each item to help ensure you land a remote position that is a good fit.
1. Assess if remote work is right for you
Working from home sounds like a dream, but when put into practice, it becomes clear it's not for everyone. Some people perform with more efficiency if they have a structure put in place by someone else. Others work better when they complete tasks on their own terms without anyone telling them to. It depends on what works best for you personally.
Before beginning your remote job search lay out the pros and cons. If this is something you've done before, this step isn't as necessary. However, if this is your first endeavor into the telecommuting world, it's best to assess if the change is right for you.
Common pros of working remotely include
Setting your own hours
Better work-life balance
No office drama, chatter, or distractions
The cons of remote working normally include:
- Increased burnout
- Lack of routine
- Fewer social interactions
You need to hone the proper skillset to successfully work from home. If you don't have self-discipline, motivation or time management, it's going to be challenging to meet deadlines and keep up with the workload.
2. Customize each resume
Recruiters don't spend an awful lot of time reading each line of your resume to determine if you're the right fit or not. At best, they scan them for 15 to 30 seconds and come to speedy conclusions. For larger companies that receive hundreds of applications, it’s nearly impossible to analyze every detail of an application. That's why your CV needs to stand out.
You should create a separate, custom resume for every position you apply for. Although it may be time-consuming and even frustrating, it's essential to tailor each resume you submit. It shows you paid attention to the listing, have the qualities the company is looking for and aren't a cookie-cutter employee.
Go the extra mile to create custom CVs for every position you apply for. Highlight your experience with the types of tools remote workers typically rely on. Employers look for specific keywords and skills that match their job posting, and if yours doesn't match, it shows you aren't qualified.
3. Consolidate your portfolio
A huge part of your resume is building an online portfolio where you gather projects that demonstrate your skills and expertise. Portfolios are a great way to show off what you know and prove to potential employers you have what it takes to succeed.
An online portfolio typically has these elements:
- The services you offer
- A short pitch explaining what you specialize in
- Title, summary and result of each project
- Testimonials from clients
If you're new in your industry, it's difficult to gather pieces and projects to put in your portfolio. However, that doesn't mean you don't stand a chance against those with prior experience. You can create mock projects similar to those you'd have at the company you're applying for. For example, if you're searching for a writing position in digital marketing, you can create blog posts and articles in your niche and add them to your collection.
If you have self-directed projects you completed in your industry, make them the star of your portfolio. Explain the process so recruiters understand how you operate and what kind of projects you have experience working on. If your work helped the company reach a milestone or received positive feedback, include that information.
It's crucial to demonstrate how you solve pain points and how your work produces results. Your portfolio shouldn't be a collection of every project you've ever worked on. Instead, you need to pick the best pieces to show recruiters. Update your portfolio regularly to ensure you feature only the best pieces.
4. Know where to search
For most job sites, remote options are limited. This type of work is still up-and-coming, and although it's growing in popularity, that means finding opportunities takes more work. However, don't let this deter you from finding a telecommuting job, as there are still many options to choose from.
Make your job search easier by looking in the right places. It's tedious enough to fill out job application after job application, but when you're applying for a position that excites you, it makes the experience less irritating.
Remote-friendly job boards are your best bet for finding opportunities that let you work from home. It's even better if they're built specifically for remote openings so you know every posting is a possibility.
The most popular remote job boards include but are not limited to
FlexJobs: FlexJobs offers positions in multiple industries so you can search within your niche. You can also sign up for their newsletter to receive new listings, search tips and more.
WeWorkRemotely: They list thousands of new postings per day in several industries, so if you’re looking for a wide breadth of opportunities, this is the job board for you.
Jobspresso: Before a listing is published, it's first reviewed by the Jobspresso team to ensure it's worth applying for. It's easier to find quality work when the job board approves it beforehand.
Remote.co: Remote.co wants to encourage more employees and companies to embrace flexibility by providing expert insight and support to users.
Remote Work Hub: This job board only posts long-term or permanent positions so those looking for something more stable can find an opportunity.
Other than job boards, you can also use social media to find remote opportunities. More employers are taking to social platforms to express their need for employees because it's a receptive tool that garners responses. You can use remote job-seeking hashtags such as #RemoteJobSearch or #RemoteWorkerForHire to gain attention.
Telecommuting isn't for everyone, but it could be the right fit for you. Take the time to assess if remote work is something you're genuinely interested in doing. Some people start the search convinced it's what they want only to realize they aren't cut out for the lifestyle after all.
For any job hunt, it's crucial to optimize your resume and portfolio for the best results. On top of that, spend time deciding where to search for remote opportunities and tailoring your resumes so recruiters take you seriously. If you’re serious about finding the next work-from-home opportunity, you need to put in the work first.