How to Find Remote Jobs | A 2020 Guide
The world of remote work is surging thanks to COVID-19 and most people didn’t even realize remote work was a possibility. If you are new to the trend then knowing how to find remote jobs will help you to succeed.
Searching for remote jobs compared to physical jobs is a little different. For starters, you probably won’t find remote jobs where you would usually search for physical jobs. You would have to search dedicated remote job websites, such as Remote Jobs Co.
There is also the slight issue of remote jobs that are limited to a certain county or are combined with office travel. This is why I have created a guide to help you find remote jobs in 2020.
How to Find a Remote Job in 10 Easy Steps
- 1: Learn about the lifestyle
- 2: Decide if you have what it takes
- 3: Decide what you want to do
- 4: Enhance your skills
- 5: Optimize your resume
- 6: Learn how to write a killer cover letter
- 7: Know where to search for positions
- 8: Know what to look for in a listing
- 9: Practice your remote interview skills
- 10: Repeat all steps
1: Learn About the Lifestyle
I’ll start by saying this; remote work is not for everyone.
The best thing that you can do when starting out is to research everything you can about remote work. Start by looking into blogs and Facebook groups where people discuss what it is like to work from home. Maybe try and connect with those people and ask them any questions you might have.
You need to figure out if remote work is going to fit around your lifestyle. For example, if you have kids and you need to be at home all the time, it could be perfect. But at the same time, would you be able to concentrate and produce high-quality work?
There are other things to consider such as paying money for a home office, claiming expenses related to remote work on your taxes, saving money on your commute, and having more flexibility in your daily routine.
There are also some negative aspects of remote work which include loneliness, lack of exercise, and low productivity.
The best place to start is to learn about the lifestyle so you don’t jump straight into it and regret your decision.
2: Decide if You Have What it Takes
Another important point, it takes a certain type of person to work from home.
- Do you find yourself sleeping in and are always late for work?
- Struggle to meet deadlines unless a manager pushes you?
- Do you fail to motivate yourself to do things and get distracted easily?
If you answered yes to any of those then you are likely going to struggle with remote work.
When you work from home you will have an element of freedom that you never had before. For example, you wouldn’t turn on Netflix and kick your feet up in the office, would you? But when you are at home, no one can tell you not to and there is no one there to look over your shoulder.
This is where you need to be disciplined and set yourself a routine. Pick a separate office with no distractions and decide if you really can self-motivate.
This is important to consider because I know people that have jumped into remote headfirst and consequently, they lost their job a number of months later. Once you start getting comfortable working at home, you will start to get distracted which is where the downfall begins.
3: Decide What You Want to Do
This might seem irrelevant but unlike normal jobs, you can’t start out with something like bar work until you figure out what you want to do. You will need to have something you are experienced in OR are willing to learn.
Let’s take content writing for example. If you wanted to be a copywriter, you can’t just go and get a remote job out of nowhere. You will likely need to build up your portfolio online. This would be done through freelancing platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork or even running your own personal blog.
At the same time, you build your portfolio, you want to take courses in SEO and keep up to date on all the trends. This way you if you apply for a remote copywriting job, you will have the skills & experience to back it up. No one will hire you if you apply with no experience.
This applies to all industries. You will need some experience or qualifications to succeed in remote work. This doesn’t mean you need to go back to school though. You can learn anything on the internet and even do free gigs in order to boost your experience and portfolio.
By deciding what it is you want to do, you can then start to target different remote job websites and even consider what your career path will look like. For example, going back to the copywriting example, it could flow like this:
- Freelancing – Remote Job – Building an Agency – Running a Business
- Freelancing – Own Clients – Getting a Well Paid Writing Job
I could keep giving possible scenarios but I think you can get the idea.
4: Enhance Your Skills
I can’t stress this enough when it comes to remote work. You should always be looking to be at the top of your game.
Imagine you go up for a remote job interview against one other person. This person has taken every free online course, stays up to date with all the trends, and has focused on every skill the job posting required. Whereas you didn’t do anything.
Who do you think is more likely to get the job?
You should always be looking for ways to improve your knowledge because knowledge is power. I would never recommend paying for online courses unless you are in a position where you can afford to. There is plenty of free content out there to help you become the best you can be.
5: Optimize Your Resume
When was the last time you updated your resume?
This is one thing that people can get really lazy with and it will let you down on your remote job search. If you are learning new skills every day or gain an extra client for example, you need to bolster your resume so you appear as experienced as possible.
You obviously shouldn’t include every little detail in your resume as it should be a rough guide. But if you can make it look better by updating it every month, then you are more likely to succeed.
I used to shortlist and interview candidates. Some resumes I came across hadn’t been updated for over a year. It is easy to tell and soon as that comes across my list, it is an instant rejection.
Spend 10 minutes every month just updating and making sure everything is optimized as much as possible.
6: Learn How to Write a Killer Cover Letter
In my opinion, this is probably the most important part of finding remote jobs.
The cover letter is your chance to really sell yourself and prove to the company why they should hire you. If you are at the stage where you are copy and pasting cover letters then please go back to stage 1 and start again.
Under no circumstance should you be copy & pasting a cover letter for a job you apply for. First of all, it’s laziness and second of all, hiring managers can tell, especially if you have Googled cover letter templates and used one of those.
Each cover letter should be specific to the actual job you are applying for. You should take the time in reading the job description and applying that information into your cover letter to demonstrate why you are the best person for the job.
There are many resources for you to learn about cover letters online, I suggest you do this before beginning your remote job search. Also, if you are wondering why you never hear back and you are not writing a fresh cover letter, you should also do this.
7: Know Where to Search For Positions
Obviously, Remote Jobs Co will be your number one place when it comes to how to find remote jobs but there are hundreds of other websites out there.
I am going to go back to the copywriting example. Did you know that there are websites specifically for writing jobs? They are freelancing sites so I won’t list them but the point is you will find websites out there that are dedicated to industry-specific remote jobs.
If you are spending your time hunting through Facebook for jobs, you are going to be less likely to find something permanent. Do a quick Google search for “remote jobs” and just work your way through the websites. You should have enough jobs there to keep you busy every single day.
I would recommend that you save your favorite sites into bookmarks and then check back every day for new updates. You can also sign up for alerts too so you are notified when a job in your preferred area has become available.
8: Know What to Look For in a Listing
As mentioned at the very beginning, you should know what “flags” you are looking for in every application to save you time.
For example, some jobs are advertised as remote but they are actually only open to those located in the USA. I always start by scanning the application for the USA with control + F (the USA is the most popular but you can do this with any country). Then you can easily move on to the next job rather than wasting your time reading and applying.
As a side note – If the job says the USA only and you live in Hungary for example, don’t apply. You are just wasting everyone’s time.
You should also know what your expectations are. For example, some positions will require certain work hours, some will require office commuting, and some will require certain technical equipment.
Before you start your job search you should make a list of the criteria you are searching for. This will make it easier to weed out potential jobs that you won’t be a fit for.
9: Practice Your Remote Interview Skills
So you have come this far and then messed it all up on the interview?
Practice makes perfect.
Remote job interviews are a little bit different from physical ones because you don’t actually get to feed off of the atmosphere and physical energy. For some, this could be better but it can also work against you.
You should practice with a friend or family member on a video chat. This will allow you to figure out video delays, your background, and configure the settings for your video and microphone.
You want to make sure everything is perfect on your camera because this is basically your first impression. This includes dressing smart. I know people that have had remote interviews and staying in their loungewear. This is a definite no go area!
Research online for the best ways to improve your interview skills and prepare as much as you can by looking into the company.
10: Repeat All Steps
No one is going to be successful on their first try and in this post-COVID world, competition is higher than ever.
Expect to apply for around 30-50 jobs per day depending on your time allocation and commitments. The more work you put into higher quality applications rather than the number of applications, the more you will be successful.
If you are still struggling with how to find remote jobs then feel free to reach out to our Facebook community for advice.