How to find a remote job in 2021

Competition for remote jobs was intense even before the pandemic.

Just before the pandemic hit, I wrote about how Doist hired 18 people out of 13,730 remote job applicants.

That's 763 other people applying for the same position as you. So yes, competition for remote jobs is intense, because people can apply from all over the world.

But most people looking for a remote job are using the same old process. While building Remote Hunt, I've talked to managers from hunderds of remote companies, and found out that there's a better way to get a remote job.

This is how I would personally find a remote job in 2021, after the pandemic made it harder than it has ever been. See if this process resonates with you too.

Step 0: Attitude

Remember when I just said that it's almost impossible to get a remote job with the intense competition where you have to be better and more visible than the other 1,000+ candidates?

Now, just forget about it. Really. Because with that attitude, you won't get the job. But when you change your attitude to "oh it's so easy and fun, not only do I get a remote job super quickly, I also find a remote team that I really really like."

You feel the difference? And this feeling reflects on everything you do when you start hunting for a remote job. How you put together your portfolio of projects or how you write emails.

I would say that this is the number one important thing. Your attitude. Fun, light, "I will get my dream remote job exactly when it's the best time for me to get it" attitude.

But now, the process itself. This is a process that very few use and by using it you'll be with the TOP candidates right away. I'm not kidding.

Step 1: Find a remote company

What usually happens when someone is looking for a remote job:

They go to a remote job board and apply for the latest jobs.

But don't do that. It's not the best time to send your application. Because then you have a lot of candidates to compete with. Hundreds, possibly thousands.

Remote companies are not hiring only when they post to a remote job board. They're doing this to sometimes boost their traffic, but they are usually hiring all the time.

And even when they don't have a position listed anywhere, there's still a good chance they'd be happy to have another team member.

You want a job that you really like

And so, when you think about it, you don't just want a random remote job anyways. Your job is such a big part of your life. You want to enjoy what you're doing.

So wouldn't it make sense to approach this the other way around:

Find a company where you'd be happy, and see if they're currently hiring.

When you browse these few latest remote jobs, they are most likely not the best fit for you. They are just the ones that are boosting their traffic to gather a lot of applicants at this moment. So just statistically speaking, there's a very low chance that the right job is among the latest job posts.

Find a remote company you resonate with

So it would rather make sense to pick out some companies you resonate with. Remote teams that fit your personality, and where you'd be happy.

Maybe you enjoy async communication. And flexible working hours. It's important to have a good health insurance. You want them to pay for your home office.

This is exactly why I'm building a list of remote companies where you can use filters like these. To find a remote team that fits your personality.

Step 2: Approach a remote company

Now that you've made a list of remote companies that seem like a great place to work, you want to talk to them about it.

But don't send your CV. Everyone does that. You want to be different. You want them to remember you. You want to stand out.

But how?

Do your research

You want to learn about the remote company as much as you can. Not just to show them you've done your research, but mostly because you want to know if you'd really like to work with them.

Be personal

There's no point to send the same general email to every company in your list. They can feel it's just a mass-email.

You want them to see that you specifically like their company and would see yourself working in their team and providing value for them.

And you want to talk to them about it openly and honestly.

You want to show them what you've done

When applying for a front-end developer job, this could be a website you've made.

For writing jobs, you'll send some pieces you're written (and even better if they're published).

For a marketing position, it could be a description of a marketing campaign you came up with.

You want to show them that you're good at what you're doing.

And if you currently don't have anything to show, you can create it. You can build a website, write a blog post or even create an imaginary marketing campaign.

Include one specific example

Include one specific example of how you could be useful for their remote company.

Let's say you'd see yourself as a front-end developer in their team. You'd look around on their website or in their product, and come up with a nice front-end improvement.

Describe this to them. Or even better, already do it if possible. Copy their website's source code, and write the code.

Step 3: Follow up

Like with almost any cold email you send, you need to follow up.

You're a complete stranger for them. And people generally get a lot of email. They get emails from people they know very well from their own company that they don't have time to answer. So they may see your email and put it aside. And people forget emails that are put aside.

You need to remind them that you exist. And do it politely. Multiple times, if necessary.

Until you get an answer. Any answer.

They could say "no", and that's OK

Keep in mind that there's a good chance they say "no". Maybe because they're not currently hiring. Maybe because you don't have this one particular skill they're really looking for. Maybe they just need some more time.

But don't be rude with them, obviously. See it from their point of view and say: "cool, maybe we'll talk in the future, who knows".

And who knows. Maybe you will. Now you've made a personal connection with someone from a remote company you like. And this is worth a lot.

Step 4: I ask for a feedback

But when you hear a "no", ask why. What could you do differently? Do you miss some skills that you could work on?

Good luck with your job hunt!