So, you’ve seen all the unique ways a remote job can impact your life, and you’re ready to take the plunge. But there is a small problem: you have no experience outside of a traditional office. Are you worried that recruiters will forget about you before you even have the chance to have an interview?
If you’ve read that not having remote experience will keep you from landing a job, think again! After all, everyone had to have their first remote job at some point. It proves, there are many ways to position yourself as a qualified remote candidate with only practice experience in your past.
Land your first role remotely
There are ways to showcase the skills and experience you have in a way that will make you a competitive candidate for remote work. While you may not have years of experience working remotely, by being creative you can demonstrate that you have what it takes to be a successful remote worker.
Consider an unofficial remote experience
Remote work experience isn’t just relegated to full-time, work-from-home jobs. If you are seeking to highlight the experience, think outside the box.
Perhaps you haven’t held a traditional full-time remote position, but have done work outside of an office environment? For example, you can mention how you worked from home on sick days or when a major storm prevented you and your team from getting to the office. And don’t forget that indie gigs count too, so be sure to include them.
What about the educational courses you have attended? Remember that employers aren’t looking exclusively for full-time work experiences. They want to know if you are independent enough to manage your time when there is no one in the same room as you.
Highlight in-demand remote skills
Working remotely is not the same as working in an office where you can walk down the aisle to chat with a colleague. Recruiters want to see that you have excellent communication skills that can replace frequent face-to-face conversations. You will also need to show your ability to be independent and to manage your time effectively.
Chances are you already have some of these skills, even if you’ve never held a remote job before. So be sure to highlight these coveted soft skills, both in the skills section of your resume and in your cover letter. Use effective bullet points and adapt your application materials, citing examples of when you have used them in previous jobs.
Make sure you support your resume throughout your job search profile. Update your LinkedIn profile and focus your networking efforts to ensure recruiters get the same message when they compare it to your resume.
Show your preparation
One of the main reasons an employer might be reluctant to hire a remote worker without prior experience is that they might not be ready to handle self-managing the job. Show that you are ready to dive straight into the role (i.e. if you are offered the job) mentioning in your cover letter that you already have your home office ready to go.
You can declare that you have the necessary equipment and programs to be successful in telecommuting. Emphasizing that you’re taking the steps up front to get your home office up and running shows you’re serious about the job, which can be a major selling point!
Make a strong impression
You may never have had a remote job before, but sometimes persistence trumps past work experience. You can position yourself in front of other qualified candidates who might have the desired expertise by being the best possible candidate. How?
Write a unique and attractive cover letter and CV tailored to the position. Be sure to showcase your research and your commitment to the company and position. Then, after submitting your application, be sure to follow up with the hiring manager, highlight your interest in the job and what makes you a strong candidate for the job.
This is a great opportunity to showcase some of the skills that make you a great candidate. Believe it or not, these minor details can have a significant impact and impress a potential employer, perhaps overcoming your lack of remote experience.
Consider going freelance and volunteering
If a lack of remote work experience is keeping you from landing a remote job, take steps to acquire some during your job search.
You may want to take on a volunteer project, such as donating a few hours for your child’s school or doing a home project for your community. You could even take on a short-term freelance project that can give you new skills, as well as new remote work experience for your resume.
Adding remote experience to your portfolio gives you more information to add to your resumegiving you the right to say that, yes, you worked remotely, even if it wasn’t in a formal capacity.
Get creative to land your first remote role
While it can be daunting trying to land your first remote job, there are ways to showcase your skills and experience without formal job titles. By showcasing your technical abilities and time management skills, as well as any freelance or volunteer work you may have done, you can create a stronger resume that stands out to potential employers.
This article originally appeared on FlexJobs and is reproduced with permission.