How To Land A Remote Job
The pandemic and COVID-19 sucked. There is no denying it, and I'm happy it is over. But the one benefit was the surge of remote work and employers accommodating remote work.
Everyone loves working at home in their pajamas, rolling out of bed, and jumping onto their computer with zero commute. In truth, the list of benefits seems endless. Wouldn't it be nice to work in London, Toronto, Hamilton, or Kitchener-Waterloo but live on the lake? Or if you worked in a massive city like New York or L.A. but lived in a small town in Oregon?
But is it all it is cracked out to be? Let's check a few ways how to land remote work and why it's good or bad for you.
Will You Enjoy It?
I don't want to discuss the how-to before jumping into the why. The decision to work remotely isn't as easy as it appears, and while the pros seem to outweigh the cons on the surface, there are a lot of nuances to break down. For example, I was generally more productive at work and in my personal life when I worked a 9 to 5. This is in part of having a well-oiled routine but also not being as prone to checking my email or computer at home after five or before nine.
I have also had clients who thrive working in person and being around other, and clients who have had trouble adjusting to remote life and the impact it has on them and their families.
It's not always as idyllic as some what make it seem. But there are still a lot of amazing benefits!
Here are Some Things to Consider
The benefits of remote work:
Schedule: Depending on your role, you can often work on your schedule or at least realize more flexibility. Are you tired of work mornings? This could be your solution.
Work Where You Want: Do you want to start up your laptop from bed? Have a home office? Live in a different town or city or country, even? Then remote work it is.
Note: Many employers want you to stay within your country or state/province for tax reasons.
Commute: Unless you go to a co-work or café, no more driving to work.
Money: Save on gas, make your coffee, make your food, no after-work drinks, etc.
Family and Pets: You can see your children, dog, cat, spouse, pinball machine, whatever, more often. This doesn't mean they can invade your work, but it can lead to more time spent with your loved ones and hobbies.
Avoid Office Nonsense: No more getting a migraine because Danny in finance wears too much cologne or Jay always brings Thai Fish Garlic Curry for lunch. Plus, you miss the office drama, politics, and spending time with people you don't always like, but are forced to be around.
The downfalls of remote work:
Loneliness: This can be crushing for people, especially if you're a more sociable person. Working already consumes so much of your life, and being alone at home for extended periods can be extremely unhealthy. Especially, if you're not investing in getting out more often.
Schedule Length and Working Too Much: Can you turn off your work brain? If you get an email at 9 PM while you're getting ready for bed, will you jump on your computer to check it? Burnout happens fast when you can't separate work from home.
Extended Hours: This can be described as underworking, distractions, etc. The idea is your productivity can drop if you don't have the in-office motivation or have too much freedom, which inevitably prolongs your workday. You spend more time catching up, or you end up not being able to handle the workload. Trust me, I installed Freedom to prevent my wandering eyes from drifting to YouTube.
Social Activity: If you like being around people, have friends at work, enjoy going out for lunch, or like an after-work happy hour, this can be significantly dampened by remote work.
Office Nonsense: It is sometimes easier to walk over to someone's desk and ask them a question or chat over lunch. The politics or drama may be your thing.
I love working remotely but would also be willing to work in-office under the right circumstances. I have pondered this enough and experienced both worlds to have the privilege of this understanding. But I highly recommend that you consider some of these points before you jump into remote work.
"Remote" is Not a Job
You've made the plunge. You've committed to finding remote work. The only issue is you're in the trades, and your job is 100% hands-on. Damn.
The reality is just because you want a remote role doesn't mean you can get one. Additionally, solely looking for remote positions is not a career path. It is a recipe for failure. That said, your job search should start with understanding your qualifications and searching for roles that match or are close to them.
If you make an adjacent move to a different industry, a horizontal position, or even work in a slightly different role, the move shouldn't be too painful. But if you're trying to do something completely different than your current experiences lend to, chances are, this process will be a long one or an unsuccessful one.
However, I will add I have helped individuals in trades and fully in-person hands-on roles land remote roles. I can assure you it can be, but it requires strategy. As an example, a client who was a high-voltage electrician now does remote technical sales for a company that sells H.V. equipment.
But that is neither here nor there. You can't expect to land interviews if you apply to roles you are not qualified for: Please don't do this. I can assure you that, barring some divine intervention, you will not be hired for a role that you're not qualified for.
A study showed that interest in candidates begins when they meet at least 30% of the qualifications. It continues to say that meeting 50%+ of the qualifications is an ideal standard for applying. I agree with this for the most part, but it depends on the job and posting. Generally, apply to jobs you are at least 50% qualified for. The best resume in the world will not make up for lack of fundamental skills, qualifications, and experiences. Streamline your job search as much as possible. Consider this graphic in your search:
But here are a few steps you can take to specifically add remote-related qualities after your resume is already on point:
Technology: Staying up to date in tech is crucial in remote roles. It doesn't necessarily mean you need to be a software engineer, but knowledge of Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack, Discord, and the like can be helpful. So, like the technologies and software's you're familiar with.
Cover Letter: This isn't necessarily your resume, and while I'm not a huge advocate for employers asking for cover letters, I think they can help express, in more nuanced detail, how your experience can relate to a certain role.
Location: Simply because a remote job is remote, it doesn't mean they will hire outside the country or even state/province. That said, ensure you're including your location on your resume and save yourself the time of being contacted only to learn they can't legally or don't want to hire you. If you are willing or want to relocate, do this:
Toronto, ON (Relocating to Vancouver, BC) or
Toronto, ON (Willing to Relocate)
Include a link to your LinkedIn: Although LinkedIn is a static profile and not as dynamic or easy to change as your resume, you can go into more specific details about your desired career or interests. It is also a great place to look for roles and a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate you are attuned to the social media landscape. As believe it or not, LinkedIn is not simply for looking for jobs.
Business Communication: The first impression a recruiter/hiring manager has of you is your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile. And as communication is crucial to digitally dispersed teams, they must be written well and accessible to the audience. I.E., the role you're applying for.
Projects/Responsibilities: Discuss or incorporate every project you have worked on with a geographically dispersed team. Even if it was simply calling a person at a different store to resolve an issue, it demonstrates you can communicate effectively when not in person.
However, beyond this, your resume needs to demonstrate what you have done and how you have done it well. Think impact, metrics, KPIs, achievements, and goals. If you have difficulty creating an accomplishment-driven resume, take a look at our services.
Where to Search for Remote Jobs?
Most job sites have a remote filter.
Well, that was easy.
In truth, most sites can be used to find remote work. However, there are a few that stand out that are specifically for remote jobs and can help you sift through the in-person roles and hybrid ones. As an aside, be sure to get clarification either in the posting or from the employer about whether their remote posting means hybrid or that it is 100% remote. Nothing is worse than hitting the offer stage and realizing that your remote role requires you to come into the office twice a week.
Here are some sites that can help you with your search:
A commonality among these sites, especially when it comes to remote work, is the surplus of I.T. jobs. The reality of remote work is that it is almost exclusively done on the computer. As such, it is a fantastic environment for I.T. professionals.
However, I know and have had clients in these roles or fields that work online: customer service reps, sales professionals, career coaches (ahem), website designers, data entry clerks, SEO specialists, language teachers, admin assistants, consultants, recruiters, payroll professionals, H.R. professionals, etc.
As you can see, the list is relatively extensive, but the competition is fierce, so if you can leverage connections, your network, or friends/colleagues, it would be ideal.
Remote work isn't for everyone, but it can be enriching for those it works for. If you want further professional help or want us to land you a remote role, check out our reverse recruitment program.