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As many employers who went fully remote start to dip their toes into the water of attempting to bring their entire workforce back to the office, many are opting for the kind of flexibility a hybrid model gives in the short-term — part-time return, part-time work from home. But late last year, a report showed that nearly two-thirds of employees working remotely in the U.S. would prefer their positions stay work-from-home.
The hybrid model might not be here forever, as more executives and companies get antsy about bringing everyone back for in-person work. So if you want to continue working from home, you might just have to search for (and secure) a job that was designed to be done remotely.
Organically work-from-home jobs can be difficult to find right now, as the COVID-19 pandemic saw many companies converting previously on-site jobs to work-from-home positions (especially in certain industries that can be done from a laptop pretty much anywhere). Even though work-from-home jobs can be difficult to find right now, never fear — there are plenty of companies creating positions that are designated as virtual from day one.
Here’s everything you need to know, from how to find work-from-home job postings, to the best sites for finding work-from-home jobs, and how to avoid scams so you can land the those remote positions with confidence.
1. Utilize Job Boards that Have a Pool of Remote Positions
Searching for the freedom and flexibility to work remotely can be simplified by knowing where to look — not every job search board is going to be flush with remote work opportunities. Sites like FlexJobs and Remote.co are specifically for finding vetted remote and flexible positions, but if you want to cast a wider net, you have a few other options as well.
We like ZipRecruiter because, for a larger job board that has a database of traditional full-time positions, they also feature a section specifically for remote work. You’ll be able to find administrative, contract, part-time listed work, all that you can do from home. Their remote jobs database has over 295,000 positions as of late last year, including virtual teaching and bookkeeping.
2. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Search Terms
When you start your work-from-home job search, if you’re not using the right keywords, you might end up finding contract work when you’re looking for full-time remote positions, or companies that only want you in the office at least part of the time. Make sure you’re using terms like “telecommuting” and “work at/from home” specifically on job search engines and on job board sites.
You can also try experimenting with different keywords, since “work at home” might generate different positions then “remote” or “freelance”. Certain sites will let you filter by keywords, employer, or job title. Sites like ZipRecruiter can let you filter even further by choosing your experience level, desired salary, location, and more. If you have a specific company in mind, and want to see if they have any remote positions, you can explore their Company Page and navigate their “jobs” page for relevant listings.
3. Have Your Resume and Cover Letter Reflect Your Search
When you’re applying for jobs, you should already be customizing your resume with keywords that are relevant to each position, and adjusting the skills you highlight in your cover letter depending for each job. To take it a step forward, you should consider making it transparent in your cover letter that you’re looking for a remote position, and then follow up with qualifications and skills that would make you an ideal candidate for remote work (including any telecommuting software, if you’ve led virtual teams, etc).
You may also want to modify the descriptions of the job’s you’ve held on your resume to emphasize how you managed the transition to remote work, if you’ve been working from home in the past two years. Did you implement any new systems for keeping track of work digitally? Were you the master of the Zoom PowerPoint presentation? Whatever gives you a competitive edge is worth mentioning.
4. Network Online for WFH Positions
Networking is one of the best ways to find a job, and while going to in-person events might be beneficial if you plan on working in a local industry, for remote work you should start by networking online. Even if the person you’re reaching out to isn’t hiring for any work-from-home jobs, they may know a company or a colleague who is.
Using social media and joining industry-specific pages is a great place to start advertising that you’re looking for remote work specifically, and can help you make personal connections that don’t feel so transactional at first. Many people are in the same boat looking for remote jobs, especially with transitions in childcare and healthcare, so you’ll be surprised what opportunities you’ll find just by reaching out.
5. Avoid Common Scam Listings
Unfortunately, positions that don’t require coming in to an in-person workspace can turn out to be scams if you don’t know what to look for within the listings. Use the golden rule: if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Do your research and ignore companies that seem to not have any digital (or physical) footprint or reviews, and want to hire you for a job with little experience or necessary skills.
Common work-from-home scams include assembly jobs, claims processing, multi-level marketing positions, and stuffing envelopes. A lot of these “jobs” will require you to pay money out of your own pocket upfront, and you’ll see very little of an actual salary down the line. Always read the listing carefully, not only to determine if there’s a salary or if you’re paid on commission, but also to learn how “remote” the remote work will actually be.