Landing remote work is more complicated than you think. It will take you a really long time and a large number of applications before you get a single response, and even more to finally get hired.
Even with telecommuting on a rising trend, there are still not enough positions for everyone who are opting for a home-based career so competition is quite high. Not to mention some companies are only partly virtual so it’s easy to mistake their listings to be office-based.
In a sense, seeking online work positions is much like looking for buried treasure—laborious.
The good news is that, by changing the way you search and applying the following strategies, you will increase your chances of discovering remote roles perfect for you.
Strategy #1: Keep It Organised
The process is daunting enough; you don’t need a messy checklist to add to your stress levels. It’s highly recommended that you tackle everything step by step so you will not get lost along the way.
How to stay organised
- Look at free project management tools you can use.
- Break it into smaller tasks so you won’t be overwhelmed.
- Note the details of every step to ensure nothing is missed.
- Keep each item on the list as updated as possible.
- Set regular reminders for all that you need to do per day or week.
When you treat it as a project, you will better manage the time you have. Doing so will also minimise the amount of time you spend figuring out which task to prioritise every time. Meaning, you’ll be able to keep the process as efficient as possible.
Strategy #2: Tap Your Network
The theory of six degrees of separation suggests that you are six introductions away from any other person on the planet. Following this line of thought, it may be said that you’re six people away from landing that ideal gig. It’s important to be connected to the right individuals for this purpose though.
Who to contact
As a general rule, stick to those whom you are comfortable with outside your family. Counted are those you have exchanged emails, casually conversed, or chatted with several times prior.
Who NOT to contact
It’s going to be a waste of time and effort to contact individuals who have little idea who you are. They’re likely going to ignore your messages. You’ll leave them a negative impression too.
Where to find contacts
In addition to LinkedIn, your email contact list is a good place to start. Browse through your Slack channels, Twitter connections, and Facebook friends for people worth strengthening a professional relationship with.
How to contact
Customise your message according to your contact’s organization and position. If they’re an entrepreneur, ask them about their business and their projects.
Remember to always show them respect. Be polite in all your interactions.
If you’re nervous about reaching out to them, remember that it’s just business. You are helping them fill a vacancy while searching for a position to fill yourself. It’s an equivalent exchange that you shouldn’t be embarrassed about.
Strategy #3: Find Hidden Positions
Many vacancies these days aren’t even posted on the web. Some of them are filled internally through promotions while others are handled through applicant tracking systems like Zoho Recruit.
This is a problem for you as a job seeker because you will not be aware of them unless you are part of their existing candidate pool.
Fortunately for you, Google has a search function that allows you to look up these secret opportunities. It goes like this:
site:website.com (position, industry, remote)
For example: site:zoho.com content
Twitter also has an advanced search feature that may be used for the same purpose.
Use both functions above for every talent acquisition system that you’ve heard of. Next, filter the results to show only the most recent results, preferably those posted within the last month.
Strategy #4: Be The First
Sometimes, recruiters can’t be bothered to check beyond the first few applicants. What this means is that your application may not even be seen if you’re late in sending your resume.
Employers might consider several more but only if they weren’t fully convinced by any of the earlier candidates that they’ve looked at. You won’t want to bet your chances they’ll do this.
Basically, you need to be quick in getting that cover letter into their inbox all the while assuring them that you’re fit for the role.
How to convince them early on
- Show that you put in the effort in crafting your application by ensuring it is relevant and concise.
- Express your interest in the position and let them know you’d consider it an honor if you get hired.
- Be prompt in responding to emails and in asking for follow-ups if they don’t get back to you.
- Tell them how you’ll be an asset to the team and how you’ll bring results and meet expectations.
- Check their website for areas where you may offer your services for (e.g. their blog if you’re a writer).
- Include links to your profiles or portfolio, if you have one, so it’s easier for them to look you up.
Stay on top of any new opportunities they may post in the future by setting up alerts as well. In doing this, you’ll increase your chances of being among the first to contact them about the jobs.
Strategy #5: Do Some Outreach
This is what most people call “cold emailing”. Don’t worry; it’s not as scary or embarrassing as you think it is. You are simply sending out your resume to those who may be interested in hiring you.
Who to target
Identify the industries wherein your skills would be most suitable and where you may gather good working experience. Ask who needs your services the most and who you would most enjoy working with.
Where to search
In contrast to when tapping your network, go on platforms like OnlineJobs.ph and JobStreet where you’ll find individuals who you likely have no connection to but who are actively looking for remote workers like you.
How to pitch
Refer to the tips shared previously under the How to contact section of the first strategy as well as the How to convince them early on section of the fourth strategy. Short, personal and convincing is what you’re going for.
Be sure to keep track who you’ve already sent an email to, if they’ve responded or not, and what their response is. An online spreadsheet would be particularly useful in this case.
If they ask you to stop sending them emails, mark them on your spreadsheet, and avoid contacting them again. Don’t insist unless you’re willing to risk getting banned in their industry or among their peers.
Additional Tips For Effective Searching
- Bookmark any positions you’re unable to immediately apply for then go back to them later on.
- Build your personal brand on LinkedIn by updating your profile, growing your network and more.
- Save your answers to any creative questions so you can refer to them if they come up again.
- Visit the websites of companies that you’re particularly interested in and check for a careers page.
- Create accounts on remote job sites like Hubstaff Talent, Fiverr, Upwork, or OnlineJobs.ph.
Get Help from Remote Workmate
This is actually the last of our additional tips to effectively find remote work.
We understand that, even with the tips we’ve shared, finding a position you would be a good fit for is still a challenge. Tapping your network, finding hidden opportunities, creating pitches, and sending cold emails is going to be a huge amount of work.
We provide an easy solution for you here at Remote Workmate.
Being an agency that specializes in building trusted relationships among international clients and virtual professionals, we keep a job board that’s regularly updated so you won’t have to look for openings anywhere else.
Even if you don’t get hired for the position you initially applied for, we may keep you in our pool of candidates so you’ll be among the first to be informed of any new vacancies that you may be fit for.
Check our job board today and send in an application.