The remote jobs that most applicants are missing
3 min read

The remote jobs that most applicants are missing

For today, let me tell about the two biggest mistakes I see in applicants to remote jobs. And how you can fix them for better chances of success.


I'm Sergio Pereira, and this is the Remote Work newsletter 👋

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Last week I told you about the recent success of Cristian, a member of the Remote Jobs Braintrust who went from zero interviews, to having 3 remote offers on the table in just a few weeks.

Cristian joined me for a fireside chat yesterday, where he shared the job search aha moments that accounted for his success. This was just a few days ahead of kicking off Cohort #3 next Monday. You can still grab your seat here, and join this community of 80+ people from 29 countries

For today, let me tell about the two biggest mistakes I see in applicants to remote jobs. And how you can fix them for better chances of success:

1/ Applicants who always gets rejected/ghosted

This sucks. You apply to 50 remote jobs, and you get ghosted on those 50 jobs. Very frustrating.

This is the common case for juniors, freshers and bootcampers, who lack significant job experience and consistently get behind other applicants.

Surprisingly, this is also the case with many seniors. They apply only to the top remote companies they see in the news, and those roles are just too competitive. Some applicants might be even more senior, or simply have worked in a similar company before, or other such differentiator.

In the Remote Jobs Braintrust I introduce this concept of the Jobs Pyramid, with 3 tiers. These folks are only applying to the top level of the pyramid, and that's too competitive.

Remote Jobs: Applications Pyramid

The solution for these people is to try applying to less ambitious roles. Jobs that get fewer applicants, or candidates more attainable to compete with.

A good heuristic to find such jobs is simply to apply to jobs with a lower salary range, to which such stronger applicants wouldn't want to apply.

2/ Candidates who get offers, but are stuck with local salaries

Many people I know here in Portugal are in this category. They apply only to local companies, and they get a very high conversion from interview to offer. They are at the top of the local market.

However, the obvious caveat is that if they live in a country with low local salaries, the top of the local market isn't that great of place to be.

In many cases, these candidates don't know how to apply to remote roles, or are simply insecure about their capabilities or the competition, or just the prospect of going through an interview process in English. 

They never test themselves against international remote roles and higher salary ranges. Back to the pyramid concept, they are stuck with dominating the bottom level of the pyramid:

Remote Jobs: Applications Pyramid

The solution for these folks is quite obvious, they should test themselves in the bigger pool. They should apply to international roles with higher salary ranges, learn from some rejection until they get some of those offers on the table. 

In fact, for both these groups, the pathway to a fulfilling remote job resides in the middle level of the Jobs Pyramid:

Remote Jobs: Applications Pyramid

These are jobs that usually pay above local market rates, for countries with low cost of living, but that are still attainable to get for candidates with reasonable experience with in-demand skills.

A couple heuristics to find those jobs:

• US/UK startups - Lower budget than the top remote companies, but higher than local market.

• US/UK outsourcing companies - These will sell your work with a markup, but can be a great stepping stone.


I expand on these topics in the live sessions of the Remote Jobs Braintrust . You can join us until Monday and still get the Black Friday discount of 50% for the last seats of Cohort #3. I look forward to seeing you on the live sessions and on Slack.

Thanks for reading this newsletter until the end. You can read all past editions here. Make sure to share the link with your friends and colleagues so they can read it too.

See you next Friday,

Sergio Pereira, 
Startup CTO & Remote Work Lover

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