27 Jul 5 Steps to Landing Your Next Job – Remotely
Maybe you’ve been furloughed or laid off during the current COVID job climate—or maybe you’re just ready to take the next step in your career. Wherever you are in your professional life and whatever sparked your job search, you are navigating new hiring processes and a quick, hard shift to a digital workplace. That means the path to landing your next gig is going to be different.
So, it’s O.K., and understandable, to be overwhelmed. With all the current life-changers already in the mix, adding a career change is well, a lot.
But don’t give up. It isn’t impossible.
There are a lot of industries and employers experiencing bold demand and growth right now fueled by the disruption.
Because our new normal—virtual, remote, constantly-connected way of life—creates new business challenges and opportunities. Telecom and collaboration technologies are in higher demand than ever. Telehealth spending will break $250 billion this year, and other sectors like grocery retail and supply chain are facing changing consumer expectations and needs.
Take a deep breath and read on for some steps to help frame your remote job search:
1. Go with it.
Everything from first and final interviews to new-hire onboarding is probably going to be remote. While some of us find it more challenging to make an impression and a professional connection virtually, there are some sweet caveats.
There are the time and cost savings—ditching the printed resumes and drives or Uber rides to an office across town. No more arguing with Apple maps when you’re rerouted for the third time trying to find a parking garage nearby.
And if you’re thinking you can’t make that powerful impression face-to-face on video instead of in-person, you’re wrong. Get comfortable with video interviews, and remember, the interviews will still be the same format.
Dress for the job, smile, pick a bright corner without light behind you, and allow for natural pauses the way you would during an onsite interview. Talk with your hands and let your professional style come across. Overtime these awkward actions will become everyday and organic patterns that you’ll take with you to your next position.
And remember, you’re human, employers know that. Try to prepare as much as you can and test your camera and internet connection, but don’t agonize if your interview isn’t flawless.
The reality is that we’re all working under new conditions. The random barking or delivery truck in the background can be a breaking to relate, commiserate, and bring some humor to an otherwise formal interview.
2. Brace yourself for more.
Because—let’s face it—people are more comfortable hiring someone they’ve met in-person. So, you can expect more questions, more interviewers, and yes, more rounds of interviews.
Stay positive, because the more they’re asking for the more they’re interested in you as a candidate.
Be prepared for employers to ask you to complete a test-run project or test, or even to prepare a presentation. In the current competitive and fast-changing job market, taking these extra steps can build your case for hire while showing your commitment.
3. Stay open-minded.
Because let’s face it, hiring remotely is new to employers also. Many organizations are making remote hires for the first time—human resources and operations teams are learning new collaboration platforms and technologies and experiencing some serious Zoom fatigue.
While you’re facing some daunting, unchartered territories, keep in mind that employers are also.
So, if you don’t hear back from recruiters or hiring managers right away, don’t sweat it. Expect delays and evolving timeframes. Processes can stop and start again. And if there’s too much back-and-forth, you can still decide to move forward with other employers.
Keep the lines of communication clear and open, and keep recruiters up-to-date on your availability and where you are in your remote job search. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it.
4. Focus on communication.
Communication and collaboration are mission-critical. In these unpredictable times, you have the opportunity to show employers that you are consistent and can balance new challenges. Make an effort to learn about the team, their goals, and their culture. Then you can actively integrate yourself—even virtually—from day one.
Understand the company mission and values and be prepared to share how they align with your professional foundations. Show them why you’re the perfect culture fit—that can go even farther than experience.
Keep a regular rhythm of communication, no matter how many phone and video interviews there are. Email your thankyou to every interviewer—every time—including examples of your work that you referenced during your dialogue whenever possible.
5. Don’t forget your network.
Leveraging your network is always a positive, but know that the ask is evolving amidst the pandemic. There isn’t anyone who hasn’t been impacted by COVID-19—your network is going through a lot right now.
Keep your outreach messages caring and empathetic. Be authentic, and exercise patience without a rapid-fire follow-up email the following week if she doesn’t respond right away. Also, make your asks specific—let your connections know how they can help and what your ultimate goal is.
Start with small asks like an intro to someone in their network or even just test the waters to see if they may know someone who would benefit from your skillset.
And show your gratitude. Email them a thank you and maybe even a Starbucks gift card when they make an effort to help.
Let us help you with your remote job search.
At Staffing Strong, we are here to help you find the perfect position—in any job market. Drop us a line and submit your resume.
Meet the Author
Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!