INSIDE: Learn where to find a remote part-time job, see which skills you need, and get tips on applying for a remote job.
Whether you have been out of work for some time or are simply looking for a change of scenery, remote work may be the answer you are looking for. As a job seeker, you will find that remote work opportunities offer a lot of variety in both scope of work and scheduling. Perhaps you will finally get the work life-balance you have been seeking!
That being said, finding a remote part-time job can be a struggle for many. You likely have a lot of questions before you even start your job search. In today’s post, we’ll try to answer a few of those questions for you to better prepare yourself as a new remote job seeker.
What Skills Do You Need to Work Remotely?
In addition to needing a reliable internet connection and an up-to-date computer, there are a few common personality traits and job skills required to work successfully from home.
Basic Computer Skills. Most companies will want assurance that you know your way around a computer. Your resume should include even those simple skills like Microsoft Office, email, Google Docs, etc.
Typing Skills. Typing speed requirements run the gamut from 35 WPM or over 65 WPM depending on the job. Luckily, there are plenty of free online typing tests and practice resources available online.
Good Communication. Being able to quickly and easily relay information is key when working from home. You may not only need to communicate with your supervisor and coworkers, but you also may need to communicate with clients or customers.
Problem Solving. You can’t simply hop up from your desk and walk a few steps to ask a coworker or supervisor for help when working from home. It’s imperative that you have some confidence in your critical thinking and ability to solve problems that may arise.
Time Management. There can be a lot of distractions when you work remotely. You may be tempted to do a load of laundry, run to the store, take a quick nap. It’s so important that you learn to manage your time and meet deadlines.
Ability to Work Independently. Along those same lines, you won’t have coworkers around to keep you motivated.
Willingness to Learn. Technology is constantly changing. Not only do you need to be open to learning new things, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to seek out learning opportunities on your own. There are so many online resources available to strengthen your skill set.
What Challenges May You Face as a Remote Worker?
Working remotely isn’t all sunshine and roses. There are a few struggles you are likely to face.
Isolation. Working from home can be lonely at times. This is especially a problem for the social butterflies among us. Make it a priority to get out in public regularly. Stop using texting for all of your communication and get on the phone with family and friends if you can’t meet in person. Ask your remote company if there are opportunities available to connect with other remote workers. Volunteer locally. Join a social organization in your community.
Tech troubles. You are your own IT department when you work remotely. You may not know how to fix everything, but you should know to start with turning off/on your computer and clearing your cache as a first step. If that doesn’t work, Google or YouTube it. If it is truly a trouble with the company’s software, know how to submit a help desk ticket or get in touch with a supervisor.
Where to Find Remote Work Opportunities
Your next obvious question is where to find a remote part-time job. There are a lot of great remote job boards and resources available.
Indeed – This is a job board you are likely familiar with as they include both local and remote jobs. You will want to use keywords like “work from home” or “home-based” in your search terms.
Craigslist – You can find legit remote jobs on Craigslist, but you need to be careful. The site is also riddled with scams and business opportunities. As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If they don’t mention the name of the company, don’t provide a website or contact information, or are using a free email service like Gmail for submitting your remote job application, tread carefully. You should also watch for grammatical errors and use of websites with terms like “profit” or “wealth.” Those are big red flags.
FlexJobs – If you are looking for job opportunities that have been fully vetted and researched for you, FlexJobs is the place for you. This site does require a paid membership, but it is very affordable for the services and benefits they provide.
Remote.co – This remote job site was founded by Sara Sutton, the same person who founded FlexJobs. You will find remote jobs listed on this site as well. No membership is required but don’t expect as many job postings, search functionality or job seeker perks as FlexJobs.
Glassdoor – This is a great site for researching companies. It allows current and former remote workers to leave reviews. Be careful not to use these reviews as an excuse not to continue your job search. Everyone’s experience is different. What doesn’t work out for one person may be just what will work out for you. What you really want to look for are red flags like non-payment or no one having anything good to say.
Tips for Applying for a Remote Job
There are a few things you will want to keep in mind as you are applying for a remote role.
- Do your research. What does the job entail? Also research the company you are applying to. Where are they located. What do current and former employees have to say about them on sites like Glassdoor or Indeed?
- Customize each application. You will likely have a general resume and cover letter, but take a few minutes to tweak them to each job you send. There is almost always specific verbiage mentioned in remote job listings. If it applies to your skill set, make sure that verbiage is verbatim in your resume or cover letter. Ex. If the employer’s listed qualifications include calendar management and Google Docs and you don’t currently have those listed on your resume, you most certainly want to add them. Provided they are part of your skill set, of course.
- Read the directions. Many remote companies use a few tricks to quickly narrow down their applicant pool. One of those ways is to include a few directives in their job listings. For example, an employer may say to use a specific subject line when emailing. Or, tell you to include specific words or fonts in your cover letter. Failure to do one of these things may mean automatic disqualification no matter how perfect you think you would be for the job. If you can’t follow directions or pay attention to detail in their eyes, you’re not going to get the job.
How Do You Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Remotely?”
This is a common question during the remote interview process and one that slips many people up. You need to tread carefully, especially if your main reason for wanting to work from home is something that could also be misconstrued as you might not take your remote job seriously.
- You don’t get along with your current employer.
- You don’t want to pay for babysitting anymore.
- You are looking for an easy job.
- You want more time off.
Construct answers that emphasize your strengths and will benefit the potential employer.
Now that you have a general idea of what to expect when you hit the remote job board and from a potential remote company, don’t forget your patience. The work-at-home job search, application and hiring process can be lengthy. Keep plugging away and make applying a priority. Eventually, the perfect remote work opportunity will come along.