Landing Remote Jobs

You’ve got the right background, stellar credentials, and a resume that screams “Hire me!” You’d be a catch for any company. The twist is that you really want to work from home, and none of the companies advertising a remote job are calling you back.

Here’s why: You’re probably making some basic mistakes that matter a lot more when you’re applying for virtual positions. The good news is that there are quick fixes you can put into place to turn your search around for the better. So, read on for four common issues (and four easy solutions).

 

1. You’re a Ghost

By ghost, I mean you have zero web presence. Aside from your email address and its account avatar (if you have one), there are few other clues as to who you are and what you’ve done. Your LinkedIn profile is out of date and your personal website is just a domain name. Employers get a faint sense of what you’re about, but not much else.

“But I sent my resume, isn’t that enough?”

Not if you want to quickly establish trust. Think about it: These companies have expansive websites, social profiles, and web presences that go on for days. That’s because they want you to understand them. Failure to return in kind makes it difficult for them to see why you’re awesome.

 

The Quick Fix

I point to LinkedIn here because it’s free, relatively easy to set up, and it’s a social profile, blog, and personal website rolled into single platform.

My bite-sized advice is to populate your profile’s sections (especially the summary) with a least three to five lines of information each, and then share a status update once a day. It can be an article or a feel-good motivational quote—anything goes. Oh, and a solid profile picture is a must.

You’ll have a warm, fleshy profile out in the world that’ll rank highly in your search results, instead of a bag of bones.

 

2. Your Emails Are “Meh”

Super long emails. Stuffy, overly formal emails. Emails with generic cover letters in them. Emails that don’t really say anything. Typos galore. Emails you leave unanswered for days.

“Meh” covers so many things in this case.

At the end of the day, the problem is that your communication style doesn’t match that of the company or remote teams in general. People like working with people. Not robots. Not dinosaurs. Certainly not the guy delivering a 300-page dissertation on how goal-oriented he is.

To engage your readers via email and show that you “get it,” you’ve got to be concise, authentic, and snappy (read: fast!).

 

The Quick Fix

Be a copycat. Consider the tone of the job ad you’re responding to, in addition to the voice used on the company’s site. Scan the LinkedIn profile of its founder. Read the blog posts. Match the organization’s pace and vibe.

Is it business casual? Is it serious? Maybe it’s somewhere in between the two. Then, kind of like how you’d dress for an interview, be half-a-step more formal. That way, you’re balancing a message of “I’d totally fit in here” with “I still get it’s a first impression.”

Finally, match the tone in your communication with everyone you meet on the team. And if you’re volleying emails with someone from the company, pay attention to the way he or she writes, and echo the style—because maybe the hiring manager and your potential boss communicate differently. Most importantly keep your message short, because—who’s really got the time for all that jazz?