By Zack Halliwell
Great CV, amazing references and plenty of stellar samples accompany every application you submit. Yet, the well of freelance and remote jobs coming your way is suspiciously dry. The problem is probably pretty basic when it comes to finding a job you can work from home, which means there might be an easy-fix lurking out there for you to find.
So, what are you doing wrong and how can you fix these hiccups in order to make your remote career start flying first class?
Okay, so you want to work remotely. Why is that? To ditch the commute, find a little more freedom in life and maybe remove a bit more of the stress. Well, everyone else in that application pile has all the same reasons. Which means that you will find it very hard to stand out when it comes to your competition. This is where it pays to be a little more creative in your application approach.
So you need to stand out, but how do you actually manage it? “Why do you want to work for us?” is a big question, one that does not always benefit from the truth. The employer knows you want money and they understand the lure of remote work, so you need something extra to make them not put your application to the bottom of the pile.
Here is where good old-fashioned company research and enthusiasm for the role come in to play. Employer’s looking to hire remotely want someone eager, who will manage themselves and connect with their goals. All of which you can show yourself to be the perfect candidate for, if only you put enough research and effort into your application as possible.
You should also show that you capable of working from home even with the various distractions (even if you are sitting on your living room sofa, ignoring your TV all day). But, only do this after you have managed to get one foot in the door.
Stop Being a Ghost
No, you don’t dress up in a white sheet and scream, “Boo!” But, by the looks of your social media accounts? You might as well do just that, it might make you more interesting.
It may sound harsh, but looking for a remote role with zero web presence is a tough task. If a potential employer or freelance client can’t work out who you are past your email address (which may or may not have a picture of you attached), then they are not going to be eager to hire you. This is the same if you have a lot of profiles that are barely up to date; employers get a brief outline of who you are, but not the full picture.
Let’s face it, in the modern world a potential employer or client is going to Google you. If nothing comes up? Well, they might assume that you’re not worth their time.
The fix is quite simple. Share articles, make thought-provoking posts and try to be more active in general. Sure, it may take a little bit of effort to build a good profile for yourself, but it will be worth it if your social presence wins you lucrative work! One social update a day isn’t too hard to achieve, so don’t let such a tiny effort get in the way of your remote working dreams.
This is something which those dreaming of remote work, either traditionally employed or freelancing, have a knack for getting wrong in the beginning. And it’s easy to see why. One wrong word in your introductory email and you have blown your chances, it’s a lot of pressure.
Super long, stuffy, overly formal emails land in our inbox every day. Do we like them? Absolutely not. So, why do you think a potential employer or client would like them? The same goes for emails that are too friendly or completely informal. ‘Wazzup bro?’ has yet to form a long lasting business partnership and its chances of ever doing so are slim.
In which case, how do you go about reaching that sacred middle ground? A simple way to get through the gatekeeper of your dream remote job is to just copy them. Tone, style and even the words they use in the job description are indicative of the type of person posting. To get on their good side simply replicate that in your initial email or cover letter to a tee, it should increase your response rate by at least double!
And most importantly: keep it short. People are busy, it’s a fact of modern life. If they see a long and drawn out email in their inbox they are unlikely to open it, let alone respond in a timely fashion. Cut the words and get to the point for a better chance of being considered.
A good reason, interesting web presence and a good email campaign in hand, you should be armed with everything you need to land a remote position. Sure, there will still be some rejection along the way, but it should be a much more productive task than beforehand.
Photo credit: Tattooed freelancer from De Repente/Shutterstock