8 Tips for Mastering the Remote Job Application Process
These days we could all use tips for mastering the remote job application process.
If you’re applying for a job or internship right now, it’s very likely you’ll complete most (if not all) of the process online. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, the experience is probably an unfamiliar one. Throughout the course of the pandemic, and as many industries move in the direction of a remote workforce, companies have developed technologies and processes to ensure a smooth hiring system.
That being said, even the most seamless of interview processes will be an adjustment. If you’re on the job hunt, be prepared for phone and video calls, remote on-site visits, and above all, a competitive process. With many people around the world out of work due to repercussions of the pandemic, and so many internships and educational programs canceled, you’ll likely be up against a larger pool of competition.
Recognize that Mastering the Remote Job Application has many moving parts.
With that in mind, assess your own skill set , passion, and experience and determine where you would be the most competitive. Identifying those areas where your skills are likely to be in greatest demand will help you to conduct a targeted job hunt. Once you have a list of companies, industries, or roles, it’s time to prepare your application materials. With such a large number of applicants and completely virtual interview processes, it’s important to do everything you can to distinguish yourself.
Here are 8 tips for mastering the remote job application process:
Ask for help
Too many job seekers try to do everything on their own. Don’t be afraid to lean on your network, which is your most valuable asset during a job search. Studies conducted on LinkedIn and elsewhere indicate that more than 85% of jobs are filled through networking. Other studies indicate that a large percentage of roles are never posted online, and are filled internally, or through networking. Regardless of the industry you’re looking to enter, don’t discount the impact of a referral. Reaching out strategically to friends and professional connections will simplify your job hunt, and could give you a leg up when you do submit an application. Given the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, many potential employers will be overwhelmed by the number of applications they receive, and a reference can go a long way towards keeping your application out of the (digital) trash can.
Be prepared to do what’s necessary in Mastering the Remote Job Application
It might go without saying, but in a virtual application process it’s essential to get your materials in top shape. Be fully prepared for each application you submit – cater your cover letter and resume to the company and the role, and utilize a reference if you can. Don’t send out hundreds of generic resumes – nothing will tank the efficacy of your job hunt like an impersonal application. When it comes time, prepare for the screening call with the recruiter, and for the interviews that will follow. Applying for jobs can be a full-time role for exactly this reason – each application takes time, energy, and focus. But preparation often means the difference between a stand-out interview and an average one, and in the competitive world of remote work, standing out is essential.
Many job postings today will receive hundreds, if not thousands of applications. Hiring managers and recruiters are likely to stop searching through pages and pages of resumes after they’ve identified several excellent candidates. That means it’s important to get your application in as soon as possible – the earlier the better. Don’t discount jobs that have been posted for a while, but make a concerted effort to apply right away for jobs posted more recently. Of course, getting your application in first won’t guarantee you get an interview, but it can’t hurt to get eyes on your resume before the floodgates open. This is important to keep in mind for full-time jobs, contract and freelance roles, and internships.
When it comes to selling yourself to a company virtually, specificity is key. At all stages of the remote application process, including your resume, cover letter, and interviews, be as specific as possible when discussing what you’ll bring to the table. Data is your best friend here – break down your experience into concrete success metrics, which could include customer satisfaction ratings, sales numbers, or traffic growth. Highlight your past successes using concrete results whenever possible, and draw connections between those successes and the goals of the new role. If you’re a student applying for an internship, or a recent graduate applying for your first full-time role, you can still draw on your previous experience. Consider relevant coursework, volunteer experience, and more.
Make a connection
Making a personal connection with your interviewer or hiring manager is perhaps one of the most difficult elements of the interview process to transfer online. However, that doesn’t make it less important. To build these essential connections virtually, always opt for video calls over phone calls – it helps to see people’s faces, and to increase the personal nature of the meeting. Prepare for your meetings by doing a bit of research about the people you’ll be speaking with. Look for connections that already exist – maybe you both used to live in the same city, maybe you both spend your free time camping, or even attended the same university. Limit yourself to information you can find on their LinkedIn page or public Twitter feed, but there’s likely to be plenty of content there for you to get to know a bit about them before sitting down to talk about the role.
Whether you’re applying for your dream job, your first internship, or are feeling pressured to get any role you can after a pandemic-related layoff, don’t forget to keep your passions and interests at the forefront of your mind. Motivated, dedicated, and passionate candidates do better at all stages of the hiring process, and while showing your excitement might seem tricky over the phone, it’s not impossible. Demonstrate your passion by being extra prepared. Get to know the company, its challenges and goals, its mission and values. This is particularly important if you don’t quite meet all of the required qualifications for the role. Passion, purpose, and a strong connection to the company can frequently help make up for the skills or experience you lack.
Show interest and engagement, even virtually, by asking thoughtful, relevant questions. This is a great way to learn about how your future team is operating during the pandemic, what their collaboration style is, and how the company is keeping employees healthy and safe. Questions also offer you the opportunity to take control of the interview’s direction, and find out whether the role meets your needs. Consider phrasing questions as “I’m really looking for a role that XXXX. How do your team’s plans for this year align with XXX?”
Show your remote work capabilities
Your remote work skills are probably coming in pretty handy as you progress through the remote application process. Whether you’re applying for a fully remote position, or your future team is working from home during the pandemic, it’s important to show employers that you’re prepared to be an effective, valuable teammate, even from your sofa. If you’ve worked remotely before, great. If not, don’t sweat it. Most students and professionals have several skills and experiences that can be easily related to successful remote work. Identify the key skills that denote a successful remote employee, and show how you’ve demonstrated those skills. Consider honing in on your virtual communication skills – maybe you make sales calls, collaborate with distributed teammates on important projects, or even worked from home in the beginning of the pandemic. Of course, the classic transferable skills, such as self-motivation and time management are also great to bring up (using specific examples, of course!)
This guest post is from Maeve who blogs about career advice for The Intern Group. We match applicants of all backgrounds with professional internships.
Tags: 12st Century, Career, Interns, Mastering the Remote Job Application, Remote job application