12 Must-Have Tips to Find Remote Work
The workplace is being redefined before our eyes. Workers and employers are realizing you don’t need to come into the office to do your job well.
With more and more people trying to find remote work, you need to perfect your job-hunting abilities to lock in the right job.
Follow this guide to easily find remote work that fits your experience and professional goals.
1. Choose Between Full-Time or Freelance Positions
Full-time remote opportunities will give you security like a salary and benefits, while you get to be part of a remote team. (That’s why they’re so popular with job seekers).
Freelance jobs lets you choose your own projects. You can hop from project to project, or you can take on long-term contracts that can last for months or even years. On the other hand, you always have to look for your next project.
Decide whether you want a full-time or freelance position. Your job hunt will look really different depending on which you choose — we’ll cover this below.
Image credit: Buffer
Think of what salary and benefits you want before you start applying for jobs.
You don’t want to waste your time by applying for jobs that are way below your expected pay grade or experience.
3. Choose a Specific Job Title
Narrow your job search by choosing a specific job title. This will help cut through the noise of the thousands of job listings.
Here are a few job titles that are often open to remote work:
- Growth marketer
- Full stack engineer
- UI/UX designer
- Social media strategist
- Content marketer
- Product manager
Keep an eye out for jobs that perform the same duties under different titles. For example, someone with data science experience could search for the titles “Data Scientist”, “Data Analyst”, or “Data Strategist” — all of these mean similar things.
Image credit: Coursera
Get any extra training you need before applying. At the very least, you can do refresher courses in areas where you’re rusty.
Certifications will help pad your resume and set yourself apart from other applicants. Here are some platforms where you’ll find some of the most popular online courses and certifications:
5. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
One of the first steps of finding remote work should be updating your LinkedIn profile. Make sure it reflects the type of roles you’re looking for.
For example, a UX designer could update their LinkedIn profile headline to read something like, “I help SaaS companies create beautiful user experiences.”
Then, visit other LinkedIn profiles of business owners, recruiters, and hiring managers. If they’re paying attention, they’ll see you’re interested in their company.
You can even connect and send them a message telling them about your experience and why you’re interested in their company.
6. Customize Your Resume
You need to customize your resume and cover letter for each job you apply for. This may sound like a lot of work (and it is). But, it’ll show employers you put in the extra effort to tailor your application to their company.
To make your life easier, make a resume and cover letter template so you can copy and paste information that suits each job you apply for.
7. Stay Organized
Create a spreadsheet of every job you’re interested in. Include key details like:
- Company name
- Job title
- Link to application or job posting
- Did you apply? (Y/N)
- Date you applied
- Contact name
This will keep information from each position top-of-mind and make it easy to see the status of each application.
Make a bookmark folder in your browser that includes remote job boards and specific Google searches. This speeds up the search process for your daily job hunt. You won’t waste time typing in the same searches or trying to keep track of the various remote job boards.
8. Be the First to Apply
Hiring managers and recruiters wade through a pool of applicants — many of which are qualified to do the job. It’s not uncommon to choose one of the first applicants to speed up the process.
9. Save Application Answers
Keep an ongoing document with all of your application answers. You can reuse them on other job openings that have similar questions.
For example, many remote companies will ask applicants something like “Have you worked in a fully remote work environment, and if so, what was your biggest challenge?” Or, “What is the biggest challenge you faced at work, and how did you react?”
10. Go Directly to the Source
Not all work-from-home jobs are posted on remote job boards.
Companies don’t post every opening for many reasons — maybe job boards require a fee or companies would rather hire internally first.
Visit company websites that offer remote positions and look through their job opportunities. You’ll likely find postings that aren’t anywhere else online.
Image credit: We Work Remotely
There are plenty of job boards where remote companies actively promote open positions.
Popular remote job sites like We Work Remotely and Working Nomads have simple designs, which makes it a breeze to search for jobs. They also have nearly every type of remote job, regardless of your skillset.
Other job boards specialize in certain areas, like AngelList. AngelList connects people with startups, and many postings are remote. It also offers transparent salary information. Some startups offer the option to get an ownership stake if you join their team.
Keep an eye out, because some job boards — like AngelList and FlexJobs — offer in-person and remote positions. Select “remote jobs” in your search filters to avoid these listings.
Here are some of the most popular remote job boards to find remote work:
Image credit: Toptal
Freelance websites don’t work the same way as remote job boards. You create a profile, submit proposals for freelance work, message clients, and get paid through the platform.
There are two ways you can find remote work on freelance sites:
- You find clients: Clients advertise projects and freelance opportunities. You search for freelance gigs that fit your criteria and submit a proposal.
- Clients find you: Create a profile with your bio and areas of expertise, and post it to the job boards. When clients are in need of freelancers, they sift through remote worker profiles and contact freelancers who fit the job description.
Not all freelance job sites are made the same. Some may have plenty of opportunities but lower pay than you want. Others pay well but are picky about which freelancers they allow on the platform.
If you prefer freelancing, explore the following options:
- Upwork: Upwork has clients and jobs for all skill sets. The platform charges 20% commission for your first $500, then 10% up until $10,000, and only 5% after that.
- Fiverr: Fiverr is known as an affordable way for clients to find high-quality talent. However, the pay is often slightly lower, and you pay a flat fee of 20% for all payment transactions.
- Toptal: Toptal focuses on the top 3% of talent and only takes the most qualified candidates. This means there’s a lengthy application process that includes questionnaires, an interview, and references from previous employers. Also note that it’s geared towards web developers, designers, project managers, product managers, and finance experts. The nice part is that you won’t be charged any fees for your work — the clients pay for these.
Go Fully Remote
Whether you’re an SEO expert, web designer, or customer support specialist — there are plenty of remote opportunities to choose from.
Take advantage of some of these hacks and you’ll have no problem finding a remote job quickly. Browse through some of the remote jobs boards listed above — you might be surprised by how many jobs you’d be perfect for.
Find something you like? Apply, land a job, and get comfortable in your new remote office. Then, you can set up your own virtual office or hold a virtual happy hour to get to know your new coworkers with a platform like Gather.