How to Position Yourself for a Remote Job: 3 Tips to Get Remote Work
We’re hearing from lots of clients they’re interested in transitioning to remote work, whether that’s continuing to work for their current company, or seeking new opportunities altogether. That’s consistent with what’s happening around the country. In June 2022, McKinsey & Company reported:
- When people have the opportunity to work remotely, 87% of them take it.
- Currently, at least 58% of U.S. job holders can work remotely at least part of the time.
- Currently, at least 35% of U.S. job holders can work from home full-time.
The benefits of being able to work remotely are vast. You have more control over the start and end times of your workday. You can work while traveling away from home, including on an airplane. You can build your work schedule around other obligations, like taking a sick child to the doctor, or exercising to break up your day.
The good news is, companies are increasingly offering remote work, even for workers whose initial job offer wasn’t fully remote. If you want to work remotely, here are some things to consider.
1. Research Your Current Employer’s Capabilities
If you love your role, your work and your employer, it’s worth talking with your manager about what options you have available. According to a February 2023 report by CNBC, the number of remote job opportunities decreased from a high of 20% of all job postings in March 2020 to 14% in November 2022. However, what’s interesting is that the number of people working primarily remotely has increased, to 28%.
What may be explaining the gap is that people are negotiating for flexibility after applying, or they’re establishing a system to take their jobs remote after they’ve begun working.
If you’re happy at your job, your employer likely wants to retain you. Employee turnover is expensive, costing at least one-third of a worker’s annual earnings, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. If the ability to work remotely is a career deal breaker for you, your employer may work to accommodate that rather than risk losing you.
Have an open conversation with your manager about why you want to work remotely. Prepare for your meeting by coming up with a plan for how to take your duties to a remote work environment. This may require extra research for technology and tools that can help you transition from a physical office to a remote environment.
If your current position doesn’t translate to remote work, there may be other positions at your company that you qualify for that are remote. Your company may even be willing to create a new position for you that’s remote.
The bottom line: if you want to remain with your employer, it’s worth having a conversation so they can try to meet your needs first.
2. Learn In-Demand Skills
Determine whether or not you currently have the skills needed for a fully remote position. Working remotely may require you to change industries and learn new skills that can make you eligible for remote work.
According to Indeed, these were the top skills needed for work-from-home jobs.
- Written communication
- Time management
- Emotional intelligence
Once you’ve developed these, they’re great to highlight on a resume and in a cover letter when you’re applying for remote work.
Also, proficiency with technology is a top skill. It can be helpful to research remote positions that interest you and learn what technology tools are used in those positions. Then, take an online class to develop your knowledge.
If you do want to change industries, like become a computer programmer or copywriter, for example, there are lots of free online courses available that can train you. Look at sites like Coursera and edX to see classes available.
You can also develop your skills by taking on remote work part-time, in an assistant position, so you can learn from an expert. Freelancing on the side also gives you the opportunity to build a digital portfolio for jobs that require one. There may also be remote work-based experiences available that can help you cultivate your remote work skills and knowledge.
3. Be Open About What You Want
With a strong skillset, you can start applying for remote positions in your field. Use keywords like “remote work” on your LinkedIn profile and resume, so it’s clear to hirers and recruiters that’s what you’re looking for.
Reach out to your network to connect with remote workers in your professional sphere. Talk to them about how they began their remote careers. Ask them for advice and guidance. Let them know you’d be grateful for any leads and referrals for work you’re qualified for.
Once you start applying for jobs and sending out applications, look for positions that are completely remote. If you work with a recruiter, tell them you’re only interested in remote job opportunities. In your resume summary statement, you can add “seeking remote work” to make it clear to employers that’s what you want to do.
You can also look for jobs on remote job board sites, like FlexJobs and JustRemote. You can post updates on your LinkedIn page and even on personal social networks that you’re looking for remote work. Make sure your resume and at-home work setup are ready to get started so you can move quickly when great opportunities arise.
Need Extra Help? Connect with a Career Coach
Applying for remote work has many similarities and several key differences compared to job searches for in-person work. Sometimes, a little extra guidance and objective advice can help you position yourself in a way that shows you’re an ideal candidate for remote positions.
A career coach can help you:
- Determine if remote work truly fits your skillset and work strengths
- Edit your resume and write a cover letter that showcases your remote work talent
- Find relevant job opportunities that align with your career goals and offer remote work
Whether you want to refresh your resume, get tips for remote job interviews, or simply find work that fulfills you more, HiConsulting Services can help. Contact us for a free consultation on what we can offer for your unique career