How to find a remote job in 2021
And this may not be a hypothetical question for me – I'm the CTO of a VC-funded startup that runs out of money in the next two months.
So what would I do to get hired for a remote role?
Step 1: Find a remote company
What usually happens when someone is looking for a new remote job:
They go to a remote job board site and apply for the latest jobs.
But I won't do that. It's not the best time to send my application. Because then I have a lot of candidates to compete with. Even hundreds, possibly thousands.
Remote companies are not hiring only when they post a job to job board. They're doing this to sometimes boost their traffic, but they usually hire all the time.
😘 You want a job that you really really 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 job posts on a job board, 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.
🔉 Find a remote company you resonate with
So I would rather pick out some companies I resonate with. Remote teams that fit my personality, and where I'd be happy (probably).
Maybe I mostly enjoy async communication. And flexible working hours. It's important for me to have a good health insurance. And I want them to pay for my home office tech.
This is 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 I've made a list of remote companies that seem like a great place to work, I want to talk to them about it.
And I won't send my CV. Everyone does that. I want to be different. I want them to remember me. I want to stand out.
🧪 I will do my research
I want to learn about the remote company as much as I can. Not just to show them I've done my research, but mostly because I want to know if I'd really really really like to work with them.
🤗 I will be personal
There's no point to send the same general email to every company in my list. They can feel it's just a mass-email.
I want them to see that I specifically like their company and would see myself working in their team and providing value for them.
And I want to talk to them about it openly and honestly.
🛠 I want to show them what I've done
When applying for a front-end developer job, this could be a website I've made.
For writing jobs, I'll send some pieces I've written (and even better if they're published).
For a marketing position, it could be a description of a marketing campaign I came up with.
I want to show them that I'm good at what I'm doing.
And if I currently don't have anything to show, I can create it. I can build a website, write a blog post or even create an imaginary marketing campaign.
🎨 I would include one specific example
I'd include one specific example of how I could be useful for their remote company.
Let's say I'd see myself as a front-end developer in their team. I'd look around on their website or in their product, and come up with a nice front-end improvement.
So I could describe this to them. Or even better, I would already do it if possible. I'd fetch their website, and write the necessary code.
Step 3: Follow up
Like with almost any cold email I send, I know that I most probably need to follow up.
I'm 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. So they may see my email and put it aside. And people forget emails that are put aside.
I need to remind them that I exist. And I'll do it politely. Multiple times, if necessary.
Until I get an answer. Any answer.
🙅♂️ They could say "no", and that's OK
I keep in mind that there's a good chance they say "no" to me. Maybe because they're not currently hiring. Maybe because I don't have this one particular skill they're really looking for. Maybe they just need some more time.
But I won't be rude with them, obviously. I see it from their point of view and say that "cool, maybe we'll talk in the future, who knows".
And who knows. Maybe I will. Now I've made a personal connection with someone from a remote company I like. And this is worth a lot.
Step 4: I ask for a feedback
But when I hear a "no", I want to know why. And I can ask them.
"Why don't you love me?"
But with a slightly different words. I want to know what I can do differently? Do I miss some skills that I could work on? Can I improve my approach?