Land the Job

Don't make these 3 mistakes when applying for a remote job, says career coach

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If you're hoping to start or continue working from home full-time, you're in luck: the number of remote positions has surged over the past year, and today's competitive job market is teeming with opportunities. 

Even though the number of job openings is near an all-time high, landing a remote position requires different strategies than the traditional application process that, if missed, could stall your remote job search. 

"The number of applicants we're seeing for each remote job that's posted lately has skyrocketed," FlexJobs career coach Toni Frana tells CNBC Make It. "If you don't tailor your application accordingly, you're not going to stand out." 

Below, Frana shares the three biggest mistakes to avoid during your remote job search — and how to catch a recruiter's eye instead: 

Applying for remote jobs outside your region 

About 95% of all remote job listings have a geographic requirement, whether it's a specific state, city or country, according to FlexJobs. Companies include such a requirement to meet tax and licensing laws or an existing client base, among other reasons.

Not meeting a company's location requirement can quickly land your application in the rejection pile — so make sure you're filtering out jobs on search boards that aren't available based on where you live and double-checking the location requirements on a remote job description.

Forgetting to include remote-specific skills on your resume 

Employers are looking for candidates who can learn fast and manage themselves in a remote environment. Highlight remote-specific skills such as time management, communication, organization and your technological prowess on your resume to impress hiring managers.

If you don't have remote work experience, Frana recommends explaining how you've used problem-solving skills to succeed in your most recent role or mentioning your ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment on your application. Both skills "show an employer that you have what it takes to be a successful remote employee," she explains. 

Your remote experience doesn't need to come from a formal work setting either. If you've communicated with friends over Zoom or helped someone navigate Microsoft Teams for a virtual work or school meeting, Frana says you can refer to those examples during an interview or list the online platforms you're familiar with under your resume's "skills" section.

Casting too wide of a net 

If you're eager to find a remote job, chances are you're spending hours each week scanning job boards and submitting the same resume – and while sending in 30 applications might feel productive, it's hurting your chances of getting an offer. 

It's a common mistake that a lot of job-seekers fall victim to, Frana notes. But remote job-seekers are especially vulnerable to this misstep because online jobs can feel more casual. 

"It takes time to edit each resume to match the job description, but the more thoughtful your application is, the better results you're going to have versus relying on the number of applications you're submitting," Frana says.

She suggests focusing on open roles at no more than five companies that align with your personal mission and career goals. "It's important to think about what else you want in your next role, besides flexibility," Frana says. 

When you start your job search, ask yourself these questions:

  • What kind of team do I want to be on?
  • What impact do I want my work to have?

"You need to know these answers to truly find the right remote job for you," Frana says.

Check out:

The top 20 companies on a hiring spree for remote workers this year

The 10 best U.S. jobs of 2022, according to Glassdoor—they all pay over $100,000

Landing a remote job is getting competitive — here's how to stand out as an applicant

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