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If the ability to work remotely is a top priority when looking for a job, you’re not alone.

You’re among the millions of people across the world looking for one benefit to trounce them all: flexible working conditions.

People are quietly revolting against the traditional office jobs because they are tired of long daily commutes, unhealthy workplace environments, and the 9-5 grind.

Most remote work affords you a chance to create a meaningful career and build the life of your dreams.

However, getting one that suits your needs is not a walk in the park.

In a tweet, Doist CEO revealed that the company received more than 13,000 applications for the 18 remote positions they advertised over two years.

The massive volume of applications that recruiters deal with underpins the findings that hiring managers spend an average of 6 seconds per application.

How do you snag that remote job when you’re up against thousands of applicants scattered around the globe for a single role?

While you can do little about the number of applicants for any given remote position, but making your job application stand out gives you a much-needed edge.

Each job application must pass the bar set by recruiting managers to progress past the initial screening phase.

Applications riddled with typos and grammatical mistakes, those sounding too generic, or resumes sent by unqualified applicants get binned at this stage.

Eliminating such obvious mistakes only serves to make your application more appealing to the readers but this still doesn’t guarantee a call from the recruiting manager.

Launching a successful career from your living room will still be a huge challenge unless you eliminate these additional mistakes.

Mistake #1 You’re Not Committed to the Job Search

Mailing your resume to every job opportunity that remotely (pun intended) fits the bill is a terrible job search strategy.

You’ll only succeed in sending out lackluster applications that don’t make it past the initial screening process.

Instead of sacrificing quality for quantity, define what you’re looking for in a remote job while factoring your skills and capabilities.

That will help you to polish your resume, cover letter, and portfolio and send out job applications that will grab the recruiter’s attention instantly.

Naturally, shrinking your net instead of casting it wider when looking for new and exciting career opportunities might seem counterproductive.

However, embracing such a school of thought keeps you stuck in a rut.

Remember, intensely focused attention trounces shallow scattered efforts.

The amount of effort you put into your job search is readily apparent to hiring managers, and they are quick to weed out disengaged applicants.

A concerted job search effort keeps you from applying for multiple roles in the same company.

It lets you apply for roles that fall within your skills and abilities, which increases your chances of making the shortlist.

Applying for a job as a web developer, customer support assistant, data clerk, and IT specialist lowers your chances of getting shortlisted for any of them.

You must demonstrate how your skills, knowledge, and experience make you an asset to the company to get on the shortlist.

Reaching out to a few people who work for your dream company can help you refine this step of your job applications.

You can reach out to them through social media or professional platforms such as LinkedIn.

Show them that you’re genuinely interested in what they do, and wish to be part of their team.

You might glean off some insider knowledge that can put you on the company’s radar during the hiring process.

Mistake #2 Skimping on the Research

Why do you want to work here?

Fumbling through this loaded question ruins any chances of being hired.

It paints you as a disengaged applicant who couldn’t be bothered to research the company.

Therefore, you don’t understand the company’s values, core mission, the origin story, future goals, or the company’s culture.

That’s such a deal-breaker since you can glean all this information from the company’s website and social media accounts.

Reviewing sites such as Glassdoor offers insights into what it feels like to work for the company as they carry reviews from current and former employees.

Dedicated apps such as Blind offer insights into a company’s interviewing and recruiting processes as well as the workplace culture.

Incorporating this information in your remote job applications propels your cover letter and resume to the top of the bunch.

Better yet, it can help you raise questions that demonstrate a deep understanding of the company’s needs and goals.

It helps you demonstrate a deep understanding of the firm’s target market, where its products sit on the market, size, and number of employees, and how long it has operated on that market.

Your application will stand out if you can demonstrate that you’re interested in their products, business models, and company culture.

Recruiting managers are on the lookout for applicants who display such qualities during their job search as it tells them that you’re committed to working for them.

Despite your need to work remotely, you must demonstrate that’s not the only factor that’s enticing you to apply for the job.

Mistake #3 Glossing Over the Cover Letter Requirements

A cover letter explains why you’re applying for the job and what you can do for the company if hired.

It’s your one shot to show off your skills and qualifications and demonstrate how they make you an asset to the hiring company.

Companies with distributed workers scrutinize the reasons behind such applications to ensure that they hire the right people.

In essence, they’re looking to hire trustworthy people who share the company’s values and are committed to achieving the firm’s mission and goals.

A well-crafted cover letter affords you a chance to put your best foot forward and demonstrate that you’re well suited for the role.

A dazzling cover letter shows off your polished communication skills, especially if it matches the tone of the company’s online content and the job description.

A matching tone demonstrates that you’ve researched the company to understand how it communicates with its community and customers.

A missing cover letter squanders this opportunity and makes for an incomplete application, which is a sign of tardiness.

Mistake #4 Using Generic Cover Letters

Having gone through thousands of them in the course of their careers, recruiters recognize generic cover letters at first glance.

Using a boilerplate template is a major turn off for recruiters as it marks you as a lazy and disengaged job seeker.

Recruiting managers are quick to spot and discard such applicants as they’re unlikely to make excellent workers if hired.

Letting your work ethics and methodical nature shine through in your application letter is an incredible way to grab the attention of the hiring manager.

Due to the sheer number of applicants for each position, recruiters spend about six seconds on each application before making a decision.

A custom and laser targeted application letter can almost guarantee you a spot on the shortlist.

A winning cover letter teases out your skills and abilities in the context of the job requirements while showing off your refined communication skills.

Such an approach paints you as a methodical person who takes the time to understand the problem before delving into research to come up with a perfect solution.

Companies are eager to onboard innovative and creative workers with a commitment to excellence.

A polished cover letter lets you demonstrate these sought-after qualities in your job application, which is a step in the right direction.

Mistake #5 Prioritizing Your Needs

It’s no secret that most job seekers value the financial stability and job flexibility that comes with a remote position.

However, this is not what needs to stand out in your job application or during the interview process.

See, companies hire skilled workers to help them meet their business and financial goals.

Instead of focusing on how a remote position lets you lead your dream life, show how telecommuting makes you into a more valuable employee.

You can say, for instance, that working from a serene home environment makes you a more creative, productive, and communicative worker.

Then you need to show how these qualities will manifest themselves in your work, and how they will lead to a better outcome for the prospective employer.

Tone down the personal expectations and amplify how the company stands to benefit from such a working arrangement to let your job application shine.

Recruiters can pick up on such subtleties and often use them to determine which candidates fit the bill.

It’s important to remember that employers aren’t out to help you lead your dream life.

Instead, they’re looking for productive workers who can strike a work-life balance when working remotely and in exchange, they reward them well for their services.

Nail Every Remote Job You Apply For

Eliminating these shortcomings when applying for a job increases your chances of being hired by your dream employer.

However, acing the interview is just the tip of the iceberg, you need razor sharp skills and knowledge to thrive in a remote working environment.

Unlike in the standard office setting, employers are quick to drop remote workers who don’t live up to expectations.

Instead of trying to wing it, you will have greater success by arming yourself with razor-sharp skills when seeking a remote job.

If you’re looking to switch careers or venture into a new field, take the time to learn and polish the necessary skills.

There are numerous resources on the internet to help you with this endeavor.

Have your pick from free resources, open university courses, and paid specialized courses from dedicated companies such as Small Revolution.

Free courses make a great choice if you’re financially hard up, and can’t afford to pay to learn.

Paid courses, on the other hand, lower the learning curve to let you acquire the necessary skills quickly and efficiently.

Many of them are created and run by industry experts and thought leaders who are often on hand to offer assistance and mentorship opportunities.

Check out some of the courses that can help you launch a successful career while working in your pajamas.

Photo courtesy of Freepik by sergeycauselove

Katrina
Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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