Successfully Compete for Jobs in a Crowded Remote Work Talent Pool

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The remote workforce is growing every single day. If you’re interested in the increased flexibility and balance that a remote job offers, the competitive nature of the remote job market could pose an obstacle to landing the right position. With more and more people applying for remote positions, how can you stand out among the massive stacks of applications?

Here are 6 strategies for effectively competing for remote jobs with large pools of talent:

1. Network

Building and maintaining a professional network can quickly set you apart from other remote job applicants. If someone in your network is able and willing to refer you to a position, that can get you noticed by employers who are reviewing hundreds of faceless applications. Network referrals can give you a personal connection and stamp of approval that just might take you to the next level.

Start with cultivating an effective LinkedIn presence and prioritizing authentic conversations with professionals in your field. Ask people in your network if they know of anyone hiring for remote positions. They might even know of positions that aren’t listed on job boards with smaller applicant pools!

2. Highlight Remote Work Skills

Make it clear to employers that you have the skills it takes to work remotely by highlighting those skills on your application materials and in interview settings. Focus on showcasing your ability to communicate with teams, manage projects and deadlines, and work independently. In addition, incorporate technology as much as possible to demonstrate your fluency with the tools you may be using in a remote job. 

3. Tailor Your Application Materials

To remain competitive in large talent pools and stand out among the masses, tailor your resume and cover letter to each position you apply for. Incorporate as many keywords from a job description as you can to improve your success with applicant tracking systems (ATS) and show employers that you have exactly what they’re looking for. Even including words like “remote” and “virtual” can be helpful when you’re applying for work-from-home positions.

You can also tailor your application materials by including language that aligns with the company goals, mission and culture. Tailoring your resume and cover letter will communicate to the employer that you are truly interested in the position and not just applying for any job opening you can get your hands on.

4. Practice Virtual Interviews

If you’re applying for remote positions, chances are you’ll need to complete a virtual interview. It’s extremely important to nail this portion of the hiring process because this will show employers how you might communicate with clients, customers and team members in a virtual format if they decide to hire you. Virtual interviews are also your chance to connect with the employer on a personal level, which is crucial for positions that are not in-person.

To practice for virtual interviews, test the equipment you will be using, rehearse responses to common interview questions and prepare a quiet location and professional outfit. It might be helpful to record a practice interview with a colleague or friend so you can get some feedback, review your nonverbal behaviors, response content and overall virtual presence, and make any necessary adjustments.   

5. Secure Stellar References

References help employers confirm that you are a reliable, proficient and effective employee who would be successful at their company. Securing references who will speak highly of your character and strengths can help employers notice your application and abilities in a large pool of talent. Try asking a few former colleagues or supervisors if they would write a short letter to employers to bump your application to the top of the pile!

6. Add Freelance Remote Work to Your Portfolio

If you think your resume is lacking examples of remote work, you could consider completing some freelance virtual work in your field to add to your resume. Doing this will show employers that you’re committed to the field and successful in a remote working environment. Expanding your remote work portfolio will also give you excellent content to showcase in interviews and increased confidence during the competitive job search process.

Competing in the current remote job market is like competing in a professional sport; practicing, preparing and cultivating a team of support are the keys to success. Start working on these 6 steps today to get noticed by employers in the ever-expanding remote work talent pools! 

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