How to find a remote job?
01 July 2018
This article goes through the pros and cons of the typical channels for finding a remote job.
Job boards are probably the first thing that comes to your mind as a way to find a remote job. As more and more people are interested to find a remote job, the number of remote work job boards keeps growing. The good thing about the job boards is that you can start applying right away. Also, if you send enough tailored applications, you should be successful at finding a remote job. It's definitely a numbers game with the job boards.
Even though most people search for remote jobs through job boards – it's the least effective approach. You have to be prepared that typically it takes about 25 tailored applications to get 1 interview. This makes sense when you consider that the average job post receives about 100 candidates and about 4 of them get invited for an interview. Another disadvantage of the job boards is that the companies leave the heavy work to you: you are the one who has to write the cover letter and prove that you are the perfect candidate for the position.
The most effective way to find a remote job is through your network. If you know someone who already works at a remote-friendly company, that's your best bet. Nothing beats the credibility that a personal relation brings. However, if you don't have that network already – building the network takes months (if not years). Some people try to be visible in the remote space by being part of the remote communities, building their personal brand – and that's a good start. There are Slack and LinkedIn communities dedicated to remote work. Most people working remotely are passionate about remote work, so you can easily start a conversation about the topic even with people that you don't know yet.
Hate them or love them, recruiters are an integral part of the job market. Recruiting agencies typically work as headhunters for companies – but they would be interested to talk with you as a candidate. If you want to use a recruiter – try to find a recruiter who specializes in remote work. Otherwise, it's likely that the recruiting agency doesn't have contacts of remote-friendly companies. The main benefit of the recruiting agencies is that they would do the heavy work for you and it's completely free. Typically, a recruiter works with a couple of companies at a given time, so it's unlikely that they would have the right position for you. But in any case, given the low amount of effort on your end, it's a good idea to contact recruiting agencies focused on remote work.
75% of the hiring does not happen through announced job openings. This makes unsolicited applications one of the most effective ways to find a remote job. If you haven't applied unsolicited yet – the best way is to compile a list of companies with a certain profile, and then contacting them with a resume/cv plus cover letter, which explains that you're looking for opportunities that match your profile. The best part of the unsolicited applications is that you don't have to wait for the right job opening to be announced. The negative side is that you don't know if the company needs someone with your competences, so it could easily take hundreds of applications.
If you want to the unsolicited way, our friends at Remotive have compiled a list of 600 remote-friendly companies.
Self-employed contractual work
You can start a company, delivering projects to other companies. Finding contractual work is possible for many professions and it will give you the possibility to work from anywhere. For many people, it's possible to find customers, but you have to be prepared that finding one customer typically takes more than 100 cold calls. You would need to be literally the whole company: sales calls, accounting etc. If you choose this option, keep in mind that finding your first customer often takes months. On the positive side, you have unlimited upside ahead of you.
Finding a remote job is exciting. But there is no magic bullet – each job search channel has its advantages and disadvantages. Some channels are faster but take more work. Others take time, but they require less work on your end. Therefore, your remote job hunt strategy should be in line with your own preferences. Whatever you choose, I hope you will find your next remote job faster than you think!
Do you want to work remotely?
There are a couple of things that can accelerate your remote job hunt. Download our newest ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Remote Job.