Remote work is here to stay: after being forced to work from home in 2020, it seems we’ve sort of realized it’s actually fine to skip the commute and join the company meeting from the comfort of your sofa. Or is it? While remote work certainly sounds easy and laid-back, it’s not just about remembering to unmute yourself on the Zoom call: remote brings its own challenges, and if you’re aiming to get hired for a remote or hybrid role, you have to get comfortable with it, and show you’re capable of giving your best in an online environment and aligning with the company and with your coworkers.
While some companies are pushing back for a return to the physical office, the trend is clear: in the last two years, the number of U.S. companies that offer a remote option has multiplied by eleven. Remote work offers higher flexibility for everyone involved, a more efficient workflow, a better work-life balance, and better job opportunities for everyone.
Ready to show employers and recruiters how ready you are to work remotely? Read on to find out how!
Build Your Online Portfolio
For most (if not all) jobs in Tech, especially those that involve coding and design, a portfolio is becoming a must. Now that university degrees aren’t the norm in the industry, and newcomers learn to code through shorter, more agile and non-traditional means (such as bootcamps!) employers aren’t looking at your qualifications as much. They want to directly evaluate your skill set, your growth, and the way you solve problems, to name but a few, and they want to see your work: in other words, your portfolio.
An online portfolio shouldn’t be just a dump for everything you’ve ever done. Consider it a gallery, a well-framed and contextualized selection of your best projects. It must be relevant to the jobs you apply for, but it should also give insight into what you’re capable of doing beyond that. If you can frame your work to highlight specific skills (especially those that are original, and transversal across industries!), then more power to you!
As Sarah Doody explains in this Ironhack Podcast episode, you must tell a story that tells prospective employers why you are unique and why they’d be missing out if they don’t hire you on the spot!
And if you don’t have enough projects to showcase, there’s two more things you can do. If you have previous experience in another field, it’s guaranteed that you will have something to talk about in your portfolio in a way that will display your transferable skills in past successes and achievements.
And if you don’t have previous work experience: get started! You don’t need a job to begin your own projects, and self-initiative will be a huge plus when applying for remote jobs.
Optimize Your Remote Resume
Want to work from home? From start to bottom, your resume can and should speak of how well-adapted you are to the remote work environment. Experience in other remote roles, or remote education, will be a huge plus, but there are more ways for employers to read the right message between the lines of your resume.
Showing awareness that remote work isn’t exactly the same as office work (but in your pajamas) is a great way to tell employers that you know what you’re getting yourself into, and that you’re great and managing your own responsibilities, too. Soft skills such as time management and communication are unskippable assets for an online work environment, because without them you will have trouble syncing with your team and getting things done.
Knowledge of remote work tools, such as Slack and Miro, will also come in handy. How are you going to know what is expected of you in the job, if you can’t jump in the huddle with your boss, schedule a meeting on Google Calendar, or correctly handle your tickets on Jira or Clickup? Are you educated in cybersecurity and able to keep your company data safe from hackers?
Do your research on time management and organization tools that are used in remote workplaces, watch videos, ask questions during the interview and mention them in your resume. Show that you’re down with the lingo and the tech!
Are you enjoying this article? Check out this awesome episode from Ironhack Podcast, helping you figure out whether remote and part-time learning are right for you.
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Explore Outside of Your Timezone
One of the biggest advantages of working remotely is that you’re no longer restricted to finding work in your area. This is particularly relevant for skilled workers who live in smaller cities and towns, or countries with a smaller technological industry. But don’t stick to just your country, either! Many countries are adapting their laws to ease remote work internationally: neither borders nor timezones are an excuse now!
Workers are now able to apply to jobs all over: as long as you can connect to the internet, you can show up! For example, the European Union and its free trade laws make it easy for a, for example, Spanish web developer, to apply and work for a German company. English is usually the workplace language, and borders only matter when it comes to work regulations and taxation (be sure to check your options depending on where you live!).
Not even timezones are a hard pass, though: asynchronous work is catching on. Even in workplaces that aren’t fully async (that is, those where people don’t have to be online at the same time, as long as the work gets delivered), usually an overlap of part of the day is enough for the few necessary meetings and live communication. It really depends on the job, but the options are endless: ask and negotiate!
Often, tech companies are spread out across continents, and European workers can greet their American counterparts and have afternoon/morning meetings that fit everyone’s schedule. Anything is possible!
Optimize Your LinkedIn For Remote Job Hunting
LinkedIn being the social network of work, with over 600 million members, your LinkedIn profile is your professional face; some recruiters will even look at your LinkedIn first and only open your resume if they like what they see. Just adding a good profile picture will massively increase your views and the number of messages you get from recruiters. Therefore, it’s important to know how to use it, keep it updated, and let it speak to your skills and achievements.
Through LinkedIn, you can do much more than just list your education, work experience and skills. If you can exploit its features to the most, it becomes an unparalleled display, at a glimpse, of what makes you a special, skillful, and apt person for the job. Having a filled profile and a fine-tuned headline and description will do wonders to differentiate you from other candidates: the LinkedIn algorithm rewards profiles with valuable content, appropriate keywords and frequent activity, showing you first in search results: you will definitely be seen!
You can also carry out great networking with other professionals on LinkedIn, and engage with content relevant to your field (or even create content about your own projects!); sharing valuable comments and input gives you visibility and credibility.
LinkedIn is your landing page: the place where you ‘sell yourself’ as a professional. Julianna Rabbi shares this and many more insights and tips in the Ironhack workshop ‘LinkedIn as a Tool to Land Your Dream Job’, so be sure to check it out!