RED has been a remote company since its creation in 2001. At the beginning, we hired people we knew. Over time, we have expanded, and now we recruit new team members via online job boards like We Work Remotely. Hiring remote workers and applying for remote jobs is not quite as straightforward as hiring or applying for a job in person.
We have learned some things about applying for remote jobs.
Here are our top recommendations that you, as the applicant, should do:
- Do read the job description. Do you understand what the job entails? Is it a good fit for you, and are you a good fit for it and for us?
- Do follow the application process described. We had to reject some candidates right out of the gate because they did not answer our application questions, they sent the application to a different email than the one indicated, or they didn’t include the email subject we specified. Attention to detail is important.
- Do proofread! Besides Word, there are tools out there like Grammarly to correct your spelling and grammar. Make sure to re-read your resume and cover letter to catch any homophones the spell-checkers may miss. And please, please, make sure you have got the company name right. Double and triple check.
- Do adapt your cover letter for the job in question. Show or tell us about your skills that make you a good fit for the position. Let us know why you are interested in this job, specifically, and don’t limit that explanation to, “Because it is remote.”
- Do spend some time looking over the company website. Candidates who seem to be interested in the company, its dynamic, its culture, and its values are immediately more appealing to us than those who are interested in any old remote job.
- Do ask good questions that show you’re interested in the company and the position. This is your chance to show the company you are interested in learning more, and are invested in this position.
- Do understand that hiring remote workers is often a multi-step process. When applying for remote jobs, realize that the employer needs to have a high level of trust that the candidate they choose fits the role and is able to work remotely. At RED, we are constantly tweaking our process to help us discern who will be a good remote team member.
- Do limit the amount of personal information that you share during the interview process, as you would during an in-person hiring process. There will be plenty of time to share photos of your dogs and kids with your remote team after you get hired.
- Do have a quiet place for phone interviews, and test your internet and webcam setup for video interviews. For video interviews, make sure your lighting is sufficient to show your face clearly and test your microphone and speakers or headset.
- Do dress up. If you make it to the video interview stage – dress up. When you’ve got the job, dress casual or work in your pajamas if you want, but dressing up makes a good impression on the hiring team, even on a video interview. It shows you are taking the position seriously, and are not in it so you can lie around at home all day.
And the things you should NOT do when applying for remote jobs…
- Don’t make it hard for us to see your resume. We have hundreds of applications to sort through. If you send your resume as a Google Doc, make sure we have the required access to open it. Have a friend test it out, or try it yourself when you aren’t logged into your Google account.
- Don’t send a zip file. For security reasons, we won’t open them. Sending PDF files is best, but a Word document or Open Office document will do in a pinch.
- Don’t be a stalker. Use the email address we ask you to use. Don’t try to circumvent the process by hunting down other email addresses from the website. Don’t contact us on social media if we have not asked you to do so. We understand you are trying to stand out, but please do so within the parameters we’ve provided.
FlexJobs also has some tips you might find useful.
Next: Stay tuned to find out what we’ve learned about hiring remotely.