Figuring out how to get a remote job can be difficult, but that doesn’t stop people from trying.
In fact, almost nine out of ten Americans say they would take remote jobs if given the chance, and it seems that those that can’t right now are looking for opportunities to do so. By one count, Google searches for remote work spiked by 350-550% this summer, reaching an all-time high.
Remote work is definitely popular, but how do you translate popularity into you finding your ideal remote job? Here are a couple of steps to help expand your search and find a position that suits your needs.
How To Get a Remote Job in 5 Simple Steps
1. Use the right search terms
To have your pick of the remote jobs available, you first need to know how to look for them.
However, not all remote work is described as “remote.” Employers may use several other keywords to indicate that a job is not office based. For your job search to be thorough, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with them first.
Here are some alternative terms that may be used to describe a remote position:
Telework Employees are allowed to work away from the main office site using tools like the internet and project management software. Distance work Work that is done by employees from various locations. This may include working from different offices. Dispersed team Team members are spread out but not necessarily far away from each other. The work could be fully remote, based on different offices and coworking spaces, or fully remote. Distributed work Team members are not based in a central location but could be spread across office spaces, home offices, and coworking spaces. Remote OK/ remote friendly The company is willing to accomodate remote workers but the job can also be performed in-office. Free-range worker Another term for a remote worker. Telecommute Employees can work from a place other than the central office. Work from home Employees work remotely. From from anywhere Employees work remotely and the position is not restricted to a geographic location; the job can be done from anywhere in the world.
You’ll have noticed that some of these terms don’t all mean the same thing.
For example, a remote-friendly position is likely open to remote candidates and candidates who are willing to work in the office. It could also mean that remote employees are expected to be based locally.
You’ll need to give the employer sufficient reason to pick you over an in-office candidate by demonstrating strong remote work skills, such as time management and communication. You’ll also need to check whether the job must be done from a specific region.
Another thing to consider is whether the type of remote work advertised meets your expectations.
A dispersed team might be based across several coworking spaces, which might not be what you want if you’re hoping to work from home.
Lastly, look out for terms that imply some level of in-office work, including:
- blended work week
2. Expand your network
Recruiting sites are great, but sometimes word-of-mouth is the best way to find a great job.
If you’ve freelanced before or worked with freelancers, you likely already have a deep well of information on finding freelance work.
Get in touch with freelance clients to find out if their companies offer remote work opportunities, or ask friends who freelance how they found work.
Remote work communities such as Reddit’s r/digitalnomad or Slack’s Remotely One are great spaces to network and discover remote work opportunities that may not have made it onto the job boards yet.
Instagram and TikTok can be great channels to check out if you’re looking for opportunities in a creative field, but be sure your account reflects your professional image. If you want to keep your personal and professional lives separate, create a work account.
3. Recognize the red flags
The online work community has become much more sophisticated over the past decade. Unfortunately, so have the scams.
Driven by the rising popularity of remote positions, the number of phony work-from-home job ads has shot up over recent years. Eagerness to get a remote job means that many applicants don’t register the warning signs when they encounter them.
Some common signs of a remote job scam include:
- Asking for an upfront investment from the candidate
- Requesting personal financial information (for example, your social security number)
- Obvious grammar or spelling mistakes
- The employer uses a personal email address or one that mimics a well-known brand
- Asking you to pay for training
- Commission is based on how many people you recruit
When vetting job posts, always trust your gut. Keep your distance if an opportunity seems too good to be true or an employer is eager to hire you without seeing your resume first.
4. Market yourself correctly for a remote job
Knowing how to make a resume that showcases your remote work skills is key to the success of your job hunt.
As a remote candidate, you must demonstrate the right skills to do the job well and show that the employer can trust you to work independently.
Demonstrate these qualities by tailoring your resume to the job you are applying for. Scour the job description for skills the employer is looking for (and you offer) and pepper them into your objective, skills, and work experience sections.
Previous experience working remotely is a valuable plus, but don’t worry if you haven’t previously held a fully remote position. Experience freelancing, working across regions, or in hybrid positions can all underline your ability to work efficiently away from a physical office space.
5. Make use of remote job boards
Many of us tend to let our job searches gravitate toward large job networking sites, such as LinkedIn. While these can yield great results, you’ll find more diverse remote opportunities on job boards that cater specifically to remote workers, such as FlexJobs and JustRemote.
Narrow your search by checking out boards that focus on specific roles or industries. Distantjob is great for developers, while The Remote Nurse features work-from-home opportunities for medical professionals.
Even in 2022, remote work opportunities can seem elusive. But even if you’re not sure how to get a remote job, learning the right tools and strategies can help you optimize your search and give you a competitive edge over other job seekers.
It’s important to stay organized throughout the process. Keeping track of all the jobs you apply for and the companies you contact. This will help you stay focused and on track, so you don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged.
Ultimately, it takes time and effort to land remote work that suits your skills, and experience. But with perseverance and a positive attitude, you can find remote work that is a good fit for you and your career goals.