Smiling remote worker happy with her new remote job

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Love the experience of remote or flexible work?

So many people have fallen in love with newfound flexibility over the last two years. The prospect of trudging back into the office five days a week feels less like a return to normal than a serious disruption to a new and improved lifestyle.

If you would rather continue to live the remote work life, you’re not alone. 

The workforce has changed forever. Workers are demanding more flexible work options, including asynchronous work, and companies are listening. Most employers plan to increase remote work options for their teams this year. Estimates project more than half of global knowledge workers will work remotely by the end of 2021.

Kevin Kirkpatrick, CEO of WeWorkRemotely, a top remote job board, says his company saw double the number of jobs posted on their site from previous years. “A few years ago, remote work was seen as an amazing perk. Now, it's the norm.” 

If you’re worried about retaining flexibility at work, don’t panic — it’s never been easier to work remotely! And Remote is here to help. The first step is to make a case for yourself by sharing the benefits of flexible work with your employer, both for you and for your company.

Our Choose Remote Toolkit walks you through 10 practical steps to manage this conversation with your boss. We’ve pulled expert insights from remote work leaders and others who have successfully advocated for themselves to find a more flexible work option. 

If your employer insists on office work or you just want to explore your options, this article will help you fast-track your journey to landing your dream position. We’ve collected six helpful tactics to help you stand out and land the work-from-anywhere role that’s right for you.

1. Find the limits of your network.

The first place to start with any job search is your network. You may not think you have a large one, but if you start looking at second-degree connections, you may have more options than you think.

Companies still find talent through applications, but some roles are filled by hiring managers before ever being posted. “Don't be afraid to reach out to family, friends, colleagues, teachers, ex-coworkers, anyone that can help!” says Kirkpatrick.

If your existing network isn’t providing you with the job leads you desire, there are a few other tactics you can use to tap into the remote work community: 

  • Use social media platforms like Twitter to connect with remote-first leaders, founders, hiring managers, and other remote workers in your industry. Ideally, you should be cultivating relationships with these people before you start looking for jobs, but there’s no time like the present to start making new connections. 
  • Reach out to industry professionals you admire and see if you can start an online conversation (or even hop on a video call!) to ask them about their own path to a remote or flexible role. You never know who will say yes and give you expert guidance or a valuable job lead.
  • Connect on Linkedin with hiring managers from companies you know are fully-remote, offering remote roles, or using a hybrid model. Introduce yourself through a private message. Make your message relevant and customize your approach to prove your genuine interest and explain your passion for the business. Don’t compromise your first impression with a generic copy/paste template.
  • Give as much as you take from your network and connect others with opportunities whenever you can. Respond and engage with as many online conversations about remote work as you can. Your enthusiasm and support will help you build stronger connections and might even spark some interest from potential employers.

2. Share your expertise and build a personal brand. 

Creativity and unique thinking will help you generate interest and stand out from the crowd. When it comes to remote work, standing out is far more important than conforming to outdated notions of what a “good employee” looks like. 

Pedro Homero, a recruiter at Remote, says that when evaluating candidates he looks for a strong personal brand and narrative. 

“A fully remote company needs workers who have great hard skills, but they also need employees who are able to communicate and share their story in an engaging way. A slightly quirky narrative will make a candidate stand out in the application process.”

The way you share your expertise, your story, and your passion will be critical in communicating your value. Spend some time building a cover letter that you can refine for each new job application. Craft your personal mission statement to clearly and concisely express what you can deliver and what drives you to succeed. Tie your professional “why” into your personal story and emphasize your unique skills or interests. 

3. Show your passion for remote work in your cover letter.

Boring cover letters are a thing of the past. This part of the application process is another opportunity to show off your creativity. 

Ionut Smeu, a sales support specialist at Remote, took a unique approach with his cover letter when applying for his role. “I saw that one of the job requirements was to work in a tool called Notion. So I created my CV in Notion!” he shared.

It’s also important to keep your cover letter simple, as Sara Almeida, a senior recruiter at Remote, explains: 

“It doesn't have to be long, and you shouldn't spend much too much time on it. The most important things to answer are:

  1. Why do you want to join this company? 
  2. What makes you passionate about it and its vision? 
  3. How can you add value to the organization? 

That's all we as hiring managers need to know at that stage.” 

4. Customize your resume for each remote job application.

Even though some hiring norms have changed, having a differentiated resume is still a vital part of the process. 

In the digital age, your resume should be role-specific, which means customizing it for each job you apply to. If you don’t, you might get filtered out by applicant tracking systems (ATS) before your resume even reaches a real person, as Kirkpatrick explains: 

“An ATS will weed out your application if it doesn't include enough of the right keywords. Comb through the job listing, identify the keywords that you should highlight on your resume, and tailor your application to each specific job. You can even use a tool like JobScan to help.”

Beyond relevant keywords, what should (or shouldn’t) you include on your resume?

Anastasia Pshegodskaya, a senior recruiter at Remote, has some sage advice for anyone looking to make it to interview stage: 

“Your resume is just the start of the conversation. Keep it short and clear, showcase your achievements, and focus on measurable results.”

“Your resume is just the start of the conversation. Keep it short and clear, showcase your achievements, and focus on measurable results.”

Focus on the impact you made, not just what your duties were. Yasmine Gray, a talent sourcer at Remote, shares her experience assessing resumes for competitive roles:

“Most companies, even if they list certifications or degrees as requirements, actually just care about impact. Did you keep a high number of customers happy, or leads coming through, or sales signed, or candidates hired? Did you totally transform a process or dramatically reduce costs on a key project? Find ways to succinctly highlight the real-world difference you made and share any important data points around your performance.”

Keep in mind that biases do exist. Almeida advises to avoid including your picture, address, nationality, or anything else that can create bias. 

“Hiring managers should want you for your experience and value alignment, not because of what you look like or where you come from.”

5. Show your connection to the company’s mission and values.

Companies want to hire people who are invested in their mission, which is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the company and what they stand for before submitting an application. Scan their website, read their company blog, and work through their social media profiles. Remote makes our employee handbook completely public, which has plenty of examples of what it’s like to work for a remote-first company.

When you reach out or speak to a recruiter, explain why the company mission and values resonate with you personally. If you’ve had previous remote experience, you could share how remote work changed your life or helped you find opportunities that aren’t available in your local job market. If not, you can express how important flexible work is for you and your family.

Secure your dream remote job

Even though it may feel overwhelming, remember that the remote or flexible job that you have been searching for is within your reach. The future of work is remote, and that future is only getting brighter.

Now is a great time to be on the job market and land a great new role. Follow the expert advice above to give yourself the best chance of landing a position that perfectly suits the work-life balance you’re looking for. Remember to check out our Choose Remote Toolkit for a list of remote job boards and companies that are hiring remotely right now!