How to Find a Remote Job: Everything You Need to Know

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Rachel Off Duty: How to Find a Remote Job

Despite all the recent buzz around remote work, does it feel like finding a remote job is harder than ever? Are you wondering how to find a remote job and navigate today’s hiring landscape in an increasingly distributed workforce? 

You’ve come to the right place. 

Remote job interest has reached an all-time high, with 10% of job seekers specifically seeking out remote jobs and hybrid jobs since 2022. Despite this surge of interest, the amount of listings for jobs where you can work remotely has slowed. Some companies are simply pushing for a return to in-person work, while others are slowing down on hiring due to larger economic factors.

But the question remains – if you are in the market for a remote job right now, what should you do? 

I’ve been working 100% remotely since the pandemic and have been a loud proponent of working from home for years long before anyone ever heard the word “COVID-19.” When I’m in Los Angeles, where my job is based, I make an effort to spend time with coworkers, see my clients, and collaborate at coffee shops in person.

But I spend several months each year working remotely from other cities and countries, and that’s also worked out just fine (in fact, my work impact has only grown since I’ve been remote!). I fully believe in the power of remote work as an employee and see it as a major asset for companies looking to hire for talent, not geographic location.

Whether you’ve been dying to figure out how to find a remote job ASAP, are still on the fence as to whether a remote job is for you, or are even just wondering if you can apply to a remote job with zero experience, I’ll walk you through it all.

In this guide, we’ll go through how to find a remote job step by step, from exploring the different kinds of remote jobs you can apply for, to uncovering ways to increase your chances of breaking through the noise to get hired, and everything in between. 

Let’s dive in!

First, What Is a Remote Job?

Rachel Off Duty: How to Find a Remote Job

The term “remote job” is an umbrella phrase for any job that is not required to be done onsite or in a traditional office setting. Remote jobs can range from 100% remote to partially or optionally remote, with or without location requirements, and span all kinds of industries from finance to engineering to healthcare.

According to Indeed, even though remote job listings have plateaued in recent months, anywhere from 8 – 10% of job listings continue to advertise some degree of remote or hybrid flexibility. Beyond this, the demand for remote jobs remains high with nearly 1 in 10 job seekers actively looking for remote roles. 

With job listings plateauing and demand for remote work remaining consistently high, it’s easy to feel daunted by these statistics. But don’t worry – there are tons of remote jobs out there to suit any location, lifestyle, or skill set as long as you know where and how to look!

What Kinds of Remote Work Jobs are Out There, Anyway?

The most common remote jobs are fully or 100% remote jobs, remote-first jobs, hybrid jobs, and remote-friendly or ‘option for remote’ jobs. All of these variations can offer an increasingly flexible work schedule versus traditional in-person roles, allowing you to pursue freedom and structure to varying degrees.

Here’s a high-level snapshot of what you can expect across the remote job spectrum!

Fully Remote / 100% Remote / Fully Distributed Jobs 

Fully remote work is when you work solely from home and don’t go into an office at all. With this type of work, you can either expect to work set business hours (such as a standard 9 to 5 in your respective company’s time zone) or asynchronous hours depending on the structure of your team.

Regardless of the schedule, the perk of 100% remote jobs is that you can do it all from the comfort of your work setting of choice.

Remote-First Jobs

Remote-first work typically refers to roles that offer remote flexibility while still possibly maintaining a physical workplace of some kind, to give employees the option of choosing a work setting that best fits their needs.

Companies that are remote-first can also be distributed, like fully remote companies, with employees spanning several locations and time zones. The key distinguishing factor of a remote-first job however is ultimately that in this scenario, remote work is celebrated and strongly encouraged, generally speaking.

This is the category my work situation falls into – I work remotely 100% of the time, but we have satellite coworking offices and memberships we can use if and when we want to.

Like fully remote jobs, being remote is a core quality and asset of the company’s culture.

Hybrid Jobs

Unlike fully remote and remote-first jobs, hybrid jobs tend to be only partially remote, with a schedule that requires at least some in-person time each week or month. You might work remotely 1 or 2 days a week and spend the rest of the time in an office, or commute into an office 1 week out of every month, for example.

Remote-Friendly / Option-For-Remote Jobs

In a remote-friendly job, unlike a fully remote or remote-first job, you might find that remote work is allowed as an option, but it isn’t something baked into the core identity or culture of the company. However, remote-friendly roles do typically tend to still give employees the best of both worlds. You get to build interpersonal relationships with your colleagues through in-person interactions while enjoying the flexibility and independence offered by a remote job.

Things to Consider When Searching for a Remote Job

Why Do You Want a Remote Job?

Before diving headfirst into the search for a remote-friendly job, it’s important to understand why you are looking for one in the first place! 

  • What is driving my desire for a remote work schedule? Is it the flexibility, reduced commute, better work-life balance, or the ability to work in a more comfortable environment?
  • What do you stand to gain with remote work? Are you seeking to save money? Travel more? Spend more time with family? Focus on your health? 
  • How do I work best? Think about your productivity levels. Will you be able to work from home without distraction? Do you need a handful of in-office days each week to connect with your clients or your projects? 
  • What value do I place on social interaction at work? Remote-friendly jobs can often mean less face-to-face time with colleagues. How important is this aspect of work to you?

Understanding your stance on these questions will help you better articulate what you want in a remote job. You’ll be able to filter out roles that do not align with your personal and professional ideal scenario, and communicate effectively with potential employers in the interview process to ensure you’re a good match for their remote work policies.

When Should You Apply for a Remote Job? 

You might be wondering when the right time to apply for a remote job might be. Some of you might be hoping to bypass office culture altogether and dive straight into remote work right out of college. Some might be dying to make the switch to remote work after years of commuting for hours each day. 

And, while there’s no better time than the present to find the ideal work situation that suits your needs, there are some things you should take into consideration when timing your remote job search! 

  • Can you apply to a remote job as an entry-level job seeker? Yes, you absolutely can. Even fully remote companies have entry-level needs, after all! When looking for jobs, be sure to filter for entry-level roles, or seek out positions with common entry-level title keywords, like ‘coordinator,’ ‘paid internship,’ or ‘assistant.’ Even at entry level, it does often pay to have some experience working remotely if you can swing it. Consider if you might already have examples of virtual work, such as a side hustle or a freelancer role you might’ve taken on in the past. 
  • Do you need prior remote work experience before you start sending applications? Not necessarily, but it will give you an edge. With the demand for remote work and the relatively smaller supply of remote jobs, recruiters are skimming for any reason to filter applicants in or out, so my personal POV is to not give them a reason to rule you out before you’ve been given a fair shot! Consider whether you’ve taken on any remote work throughout your career – even a remote project or freelance gig can serve as an example. If not, is there an opportunity to do some remote work within your current company? Even one work-from-home day each week or month can serve as exposure you can reference when interviewing for your new role. 
  • Can you apply for a remote job if you don’t meet the job listing’s location restrictions (yet)? Even though remote jobs are designed to be done outside of an office, you will probably find that many of the listings you come across will have a geographic requirement. This could be a state, city, or country requirement and is often listed for tax requirements, licensing laws, an existing client base, or the headquarters location where in-person gatherings, parties, and / or meetings may occur. It’s not a deal-breaker if you don’t live in the place your dream job listing is located in… but you should be asking questions about this requirement upfront at the bare minimum, and be prepared to relocate if it comes down to it. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t any “one size fits all” approach when it comes to remote work. But because there is such a wide spectrum of remote opportunities on the job market these days, odds are, there is something out there for you!

Are You Prepared for a Remote Job? 

Sure, we all are familiar with checking our inbox from the comfort of our bed, but are you ready to make the switch to 100% remote work? Home office setup aside, working remotely takes a lot of self-motivation and discipline. Contrary to the belief of many, remote work is NOT the easy way out!

You’ll need to do a bit of level-setting with your material and mental preparedness before you plunge head-first into the remote job search. 

  • What is your remote work setting going to be? Would you work from home? If yes, do you have reliable WiFi and a quiet and professional-looking work environment? If not, will you be using a coworking space or working remotely while traveling? 
  • Do you have the tools needed to successfully work remotely? In addition to WiFi, your job might require other necessary tools ranging from laptops and tech to specialized software. Do you already have these things? Depending on their size and the industry you’re in, companies with remote policies often provide necessary resources, such as laptops or allowances for home-office setups, to ensure you can work effectively from home. They also may employ digital tools for collaboration and communication, enabling remote workers to stay connected and engaged with their teams. Read my guide to remote work tools next to ensure you’re set up for success.
  • Are you comfortable and capable of working alone for extended periods? The answer to this will differ for everyone, but ultimately, only you will be able to realistically judge your ability to work well in a remote environment! If you thrive being surrounded by people but don’t want to commute to an office, perhaps a coworking space or coffee shop is the right move for you.
Rachel Off Duty: How to Find a Remote Job
Rachel Off Duty: How to Find a Remote Job

Preparing For Your Remote Job Search

Getting Your Resume Remote-Ready 

Don’t worry – your remote job resume doesn’t necessarily need to be different from whatever you’re already working with. But, there are some tweaks you can make to better highlight your abilities to thrive in a remote world! 

Here are some things to keep in mind when sharpening your resume to apply for a remote job:

  • Tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying to.
    • Use keywords as seen in the job description. Always make sure you have the experience and skills – don’t try to make these up or regurgitate words simply because they’re in the listing.
    • Spotlight relevant experience and use examples, whether related to the role itself or to your ability to be successful at executing a project or deliverable in a virtual environment. 
  • Highlight soft skills that are directly related to your ability to thrive in a remote setting.
    • Self-motivation and discipline rank high here, as remote work demands a high level of independence.
    • Effective communication is also vital, as much of your interaction will be via written or digital communication tools.
    • Time management and organizational skills are also crucial, helping you stay on top of tasks and meet deadlines without the structure of a traditional office environment.
  • Consider getting certified in a related skill to give your resume an added edge. Many of these online certifications are free or incredibly cheap and demonstrate not only your concrete skills but your ability to be self-motivated.
    • Google’s Digital Garage offers free online courses on various digital topics, from the basics of online marketing to data and tech. This is a great place to start exploring what interests you and what you’re good at.
    • Likewise, LinkedIn Learning provides numerous courses on project management, time management, and specific software tools.
    • There are all kinds of certifications available depending on the industry you work in. Perusing what others in your line of work might be learning or listing on their LinkedIn profiles is a great way to assess the climate and see what gaps you can fill. 

Leveraging Your Personal Network 

Building and leveraging connections digitally is a crucial aspect of finding a remote job. In fact, referrals are one of the most effective ways to break through the noise of today’s saturated virtual job seeker space and land an interview. Because of this, leveraging your personal network is where I recommend anyone begin their remote job search before moving to job boards and listings.

Before the Job Search Begins:

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Instagram are great tools to connect with people in your industry. Joining virtual groups or online forums centered around your industry is a suitable way to network and start building relationships long before you even begin looking for a new job. Whenever possible, always try to attend in-person and virtual events, mixers, and networking events to forge connections and rub elbows with others in your space. 

During the Job Search:

During the job search, it’s time to start getting creative. Start by seeing whether you have any connections in your LinkedIn network that already work for the company you’re pursuing. If you do and you’re on friendly terms, reach out to express your interest and ask if they might be willing to answer some preliminary questions about the company (this is where I love asking about the remote work culture & their satisfaction with working there!).

If you’re not close but are connected in a more distant way (maybe you attended the same university or met at a networking event a few years back), it still doesn’t hurt to send a quick note reintroducing yourself and asking for an informational interview or an introduction. In either situation, odds are if they work for the company you’re pursuing, they’d be happy to refer you or point you in the right direction. 

It could also be a good touch to start engaging more regularly with your target company’s social media as well as any insightful posts from current employees within reason. Information gleaned from these kinds of posts can also be brought up in your interviews as a way of demonstrating you’ve done your homework on the company’s current events and culture.

How & Where to Search for Remote Jobs Online

LinkedIn is just one of the many ways you can find a remote job these days, so your next step will be to head straight to the job boards! 

Social networks like LinkedIn and other more traditionally skewed job listing sites are increasingly amenable to hunting for remote positions. In addition to LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Indeed can also be used to find remote positions these days.

Use the ‘remote’ filter when running your search, but don’t stop there. Follow these tips to uncover additional remote-friendly jobs.

Finding Remote-Friendly Job Titles:

  • Make a list of relevant skills, titles, and / or levels of seniority. This can help you narrow down or open up your search. 
  • Next, search on job listing sites using these skills as keywords. This will yield job titles that align with your skillset. 
  • Look at several job descriptions to understand what employers are looking for.
    • For example, if you have experience in writing and social media, you might search for “remote content writer” or “remote social media manager.”
    • Alternatively, if you have a background in teaching, “remote online tutor” or “remote e-learning specialist” could be suitable roles.

This method can help you uncover remote-friendly job titles that you may be qualified for, and it also gives you a sense of the remote job market in your area of expertise.

You can also refer to remote job boards like SolidGigs, UpWork, FlexJobs, PeoplePerHour, Fiverr, Remote Woman, Remotey, Bidvine, Remote OK, We Work Remotely, Remote, Hubstaff Talent, Jobspresso, and Working Nomads. Some of these are gig job-specific, while others offer full-time position openings as well. These are just some of the many communities that have emerged to make finding a remote career and network easier than ever. 

While you search for your remote job, keep in mind that some industries are more inclined towards remote work than others. The tech industry is renowned for its remote-friendly nature, especially roles like software development, IT, and data analysis. Other sectors that often have remote opportunities include digital marketing, customer support, healthcare, and education and training. However – don’t let this stop you! You might be surprised by what you find in your area of expertise!

Nailing the Remote Job Interview

Rachel Off Duty: How to Find a Remote Job

Preparing for your remote job interview is just like preparing for any other interview, except there’s a good chance you’ll be interviewing remotely! If you find that you are being asked to hop on a virtual interview, prepare accordingly.

Check your WiFi and your surroundings to ensure the most professional first impression (but have some grace – everyone has accepted that the occasional car alarm and laundry machine beep can’t be helped!). Dress well from the waist up, demonstrate engaging nonverbal communication, and be prepared with questions to ask your interviewer before the conversation ends. Once you’re done, always follow up with a thank you email as quickly as possible to seal the deal! 

For more guidance on how to nail the virtual interview, be sure to queue up my virtual interview guide next.

What to Do Once You’ve Landed the Remote Job

You made it, you nabbed the remote job! Once you accept your remote job offer, a whole world of opportunity opens up. Increased flexibility, new work-life balance, more travel, and the ability to find a work setting that helps you thrive are just some of the many positive aspects of working remotely that make this career choice so attractive. 

Take some time to ease into the new routine and find the best remote working style for you. Once you’ve found your rhythm, and if it’s okay with your company, you can start to explore working from different settings, like your favorite coffee shop or even from a new country you’ve been dying to visit. The sky (and the WiFi) is the limit! 

What’s your motivation for seeking a remote job, and what other questions do you have that I might not have answered above? Let me know in the comments below!

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Rachel Off Duty: How to Find a Remote Job
Rachel Off Duty: How to Find a Remote Job

Hey there! I’m Rachel, a travel writer and a full-time advertising / marketing expert. In 2019, I traveled more than 25 times while working 9 to 5, and since then I’ve committed myself to living a more adventurous life, even if it means bringing my laptop along for the ride.

Are you hungry to travel more, but overwhelmed with how to juggle work and play? You’ve come to the right place!

Recent Adventures:
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