How to showcase your skills for a remote job
Having the freedom to work from wherever you want, and often whenever you want, is a blessing. Not many people considered this idea far-fetched until a few years ago. The beginning of the pandemic forced employers to roll out remote policies and millions of employees found themselves working from home. We eventually witnessed a massive surge in the growth of remote jobs during the pandemic.
With remote employment opportunities soaring in demand, it increasingly makes sense for knowledge workers to shift from traditional office jobs to remote work. Although working remotely sounds all sweet, it takes a solid strategy to get into the realm of remote employment.
Because remote jobs are a more convenient way of working, the competition might sometimes be very high. But with the right steps, you’ll be able to stand out more and get ahead in the race.
There are best practices to prepare for an interview, tips to get your first remote job, hacks to leverage salary arbitrage to earn and save more, and so on. These are just the things that come along with the core idea of remote jobs. The core part here is, obviously, your skills and how you showcase them to win remote jobs.
Knowing how to showcase your skills beautifully is the most important part of winning remote jobs. Remote companies tend to be much more diligent in validating that you have the technical skills you claim to have. But how you show off your skills is a major concern here.
Your resume is the initial impression whenever you apply for a new job. Consider it as a fishing rod to grab the new remote job you’ve always wanted. So make sure your resume is polished well - something so good that it can hook the employer.
It might be a little bit of work to make the perfect resume, but things will get a lot easier for you from there once it is made. The key tip is to make a default template for your resume and alter it according to the jobs you’re applying to.
Edit the template, add details relevant to the job you’re applying to, and list down some skills that will help you and the employer become effective and efficient with remote work—for example, experience in task management tools, scheduling tools, etc.
Also, make sure that your resume looks neat and simple. Don’t throw in a bunch of stuff and pull the reader(employer) into an ocean of flowing words. Instead, keep things short and sweet, add information that’s only relevant to the job role, mention things that you’re capable of learning and any extra skills that will work together with the job role.
2. Skill-based Tests
2.1 Showcase Your Skills for a Remote Job with Take-Home Tests
A test is the most preferred way for employers to gauge your potential. Your odds of getting a job offer are much higher if you can shine through the test. Showcasing that you have the right skills for a job is very important.
A take-home test is where you’ll be given an overview of the test and a deadline to complete it. The employer will guide you through the scope of work for the test and what's expected from you. All you need to do is follow the guidelines and complete it before the given deadline.
A take-home test is typically more complex and deeper in testing your skills. But the employers will give you adequate time to do the research and complete it. So make sure to learn as much as you can about the test and put in your maximum effort. Also, if you feel the time is short and collides with other commitments you already have, just align expectations with your interviewer and ask for more time.
Most remote workers prefer take-home tests over live tests (read below for more). This way, you get to solve the test at your own pace. Take-home tests are great if you have trouble working under pressure.
2.2 Showcase Your Skills for a Remote Job with Live Tests
A live test is the complete opposite of a take-home test, and it sometimes poses trouble to people that can’t work well under pressure.
This is basically an online meeting, where you’ll be delivered a short and quick test on the post, an overview of the test, and how to complete it. In this case, you’ll be expected to share your screen when you start doing the test and produce a solution on the spot in front of your interviewer.
The challenges posed in live tests are usually much more superficial and less complex. The employers will usually warn you of what you should have prepared for the meeting (e.g., IDE for engineers, design tools for designers, etc.).
Interviewers usually ask you to "think aloud" and tell them about the approach you are trying to accomplish, and the challenges you face during the test. Be a stellar communicator. Even if you get errors, always tell the interviewer what you're trying to accomplish and what's going wrong. Communication and problem-solving skills are sometimes more valued than producing a great solution for the challenge.
This can be a bit nerve-wracking. So the key here is to ask for as much context and information ahead and approach it with optimism and confidence.
2.3 Bonus Tip for Tests
If you’re assigned a test, make sure to gather as much information as you can before starting the test. Go through all the information the employer provided you for the test. Then, create an outline yourself on what and how you’ll do it.
If, at some point, anything looks confusing, ask the employer. They love people with confidence and an eye for detail, so questions asked mean that you’re really paying attention and you have the capacity to learn what you don’t understand.
Even if you have trouble working under pressure, calm yourself down and confidently approach the test. If you’re in a live test, don’t worry about what the employer might think if you do something in a certain way. Who knows, things you do might be a new lesson for the employer.
Most likely, the employers just want to see how well you do the work. They are usually not bothered by the process you follow to get there, and most employers will be willing to teach you if they think you have the potential and room to improve.
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