Job Search Tips for People Who Want to (Keep On) Working Remotely

By Robert Half on November 11, 2021 at 6:00am

If the pandemic comes with a silver lining, it’s got to be making companies aware that their employees can work remotely and still be productive — and in many cases — more productive.

For their part, workers remain jazzed about the prospect. Many professionals have decided that remote work is their preferred full-time option and have adjusted their job search strategies accordingly. In a survey we conducted for the Salary Guide From Robert Half, 75% of respondents said they want to work remotely at least part of the time.

If remote work is on your radar, here are some tips for finding the right position.

Refining your remote work job search

First, decide what your ideal work schedule looks like. Do you want or need to work from home full time, or would a hybrid arrangement combining office and remote days meet your requirements?

Then consider your deal breakers and potential compromises. Let’s say you’re looking for a fully remote position and see your dream job advertised as hybrid only. Would you consider it? Conversely, could you settle for a non-dream position that offered other kinds of flexibility, such as flextime and windowed work?

Once you’ve settled on your priorities, you’re ready to start your job search. Visit online job boards, but keep in mind that not all sites are optimized for remote opportunities. You may have to do some creative filtering in your search. You can look for things like “100% remote” or “remote companies” to start with, then narrow your search by your area of expertise. If a job posting doesn’t mention remote work at all, the firm probably doesn’t offer it.

These aren’t normal times, though, and you may need to dig deeper than the usual job boards. Good sources include FlexJobs, AngelList and Remotive, which focus on jobs that can be done remotely.

Remember that a company could have a top-notch remote-work policy that meets all your needs and still be the wrong choice for you. Organizational culture permeates an entire workforce, on-site, hybrid or remote, so you still need to do your background research to assess whether a company’s values and principles align with your own.

Tips for applying

Once you’ve found a role that’s right for you, it’s time to start drafting your application. Highlight the skills (both technical and soft) that have made you successful in remote or hybrid situations in the past, plus any previous experience working as part of a dispersed team.

Warning: Don’t emphasize your remote working prowess at the expense of skills the employer is most interested in. If the job post lists advanced Excel and experience with cloud-based tools as the must-have skills, lead with those.

What if the job isn’t remote?

What if you find the perfect position, but it isn’t remote? Should you apply and then ask the company to tweak the job spec to meet your needs?

The truth is, this is probably a waste of your time and the employer’s. If the job posting clearly states that the position is office only, asking the firm to bend to your preferences may simply convey to them that you didn’t read the job posting. However, if the company advertises flexibility in the listing or touts flexible work as an employee benefit, feel free to start a conversation.

If you’re looking for a position that lets you work remotely, your timing is good. There are plenty of remote jobs out there, and more and more organizations are embracing remote and hybrid policies.

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