Keeping up with life after graduating can be worrisome, for some directionless. So many owned senses of responsibility with little or no stream of income. Amidst the questioning thoughts that creeps in are the— “How? when? And what?” the common words that often begin every question.
Favorably, the pandemic seems to have been a wake-up call for everyone in this modern day in embracing revamped approaches to achieve results! Even though the pandemic is far from the only reason to work from home, it made us even realize how evolved the world is. And how we do not necessarily need to be physically present in a structured place to be productive, perform and deliver.
In this article we will be discussing;
What is a remote job?
Remote job/work is a working style that allows professionals to work outside of a typical office environment. It is based on the concept that work does not require a specific place to be successfully executed. And when there’s a need for disseminating information and holding communications with— supervisors and other team members, this can be done via phone calls, video calls or chat messaging systems.
Remote jobs can either be employee based jobs or freelanced based jobs.
7 benefits of working remotely
Spending long hours in major traffic delays, side distractions here-and-there, and the list of other dissatisfying events goes on— are all cancelled. As a full-time remote writer (and banker) myself, I am presently enjoying most of these benefits.
Amongst the many advantageous benefit in working remotely is that;
- You will be able to maintain a better work-life balance.
- You’ll be focused or less distracted which leads to Increase in productivity and performance.
- It is less stressful.
- Saves you cost.
- There is more freedom and flexibility in lifestyle.
- You will grow a renewed passion for your job.
- You will have a happier healthier work life and wellness.
What jobs can I do remotely?
In a remote role, the majority of employees’ tasks and projects are completed using a computer. Which is the reason a lot of remote positions mostly exist in fields like marketing, web design or data analysis, they all require regular usage of technology. The common types of remote jobs include:
- Web designer
- Social media manager
- Visual assistant
- Graphic designer
- Copy editor
- Data analyst
- Project manager
- Software engineer
How to get a remote job as a fresh graduate
Panic and uncertainty that often arises when it comes to employment prospects as a fresh graduate, especially when— aspiring to maintain the babygirl/boy life without having to leave the comfort of your home, yet productive with a pay. Wanting to put your skills to use without having to change location. Or when outlooking for suitable companies that might need your skills, are totally understandable and relatable.
Being a fresh graduate anywhere in the world can be derailing when it comes to building a career, and it’s not any different for the Nigerians living in Nigeria.
If you’re still in doubt of what happens next or in great fear of which decision can lead you to the right track in your life.
Have you rather considered being in a business full-time for yourself which comes with more risks, higher costs, and the ever-present potential for down time? (The young entrepreneurs will have a better touching story to tell on this). Or prolly have a job which could be meters away from home, yet you are expected to resume at the office at an allocated time.
And on the other hand, imagine landing a remote job you’ll enjoy… Wouldn’t it instead be a very happy medium between the two extremes of self-employment and spending 9 hours of each day in an office?
Morealso, getting a remote job is a great way to test your abilities into self-employment— studying how well you can manage your time, your strength at staying motivated and productive working from home or anywhere. Countless people are landing remote jobs for reasons like these and others.
If your desires survive through the doubt and fear state of your mind and you’re all-ready to figure out how to get a remote job, which is an easily achievable goal in 2021. The following are easy steps in getting a remote job as a fresh graduate:
1. Be Sure if Getting a Remote Job is What is Right for You
The advantages and benefits of working remotely can make anyone want to jump on it, because “who no like better thing?” So to say “who does not like good things?” I personally know of people whose job style was never remote but had solicited for a change, since their roles don’t necessitate physical presence at the office. That is why I advise that before diving into landing a remote job, you need to understand if remote is specifically right for you. To get through this, research and moments of self-introspection, I mean, some level of self-awareness will help you discover what works for you and what rocks your boat.
- Are you an introverted person or even extroverted yet also find comfort in not having so many people around?
- Do you enjoy talking to people? Especially in the case where a lot of in-person or face-face communication is required. And it’s majorly done on the phone or via video chat.
- Do you have problems focusing when alone?
To be sure whether or not a remote job is right for you it is very important you weigh out the pros and cons. Ask yourself if the pros outweigh the cons for you or for your kind of person.
2. Build Your Online Presence
Though the pandemic may have been the catalyst for remote work for many millions of employees around the world, it’s far from the beginning of work-from-home. The remote trend began way back 2005. According to some analysis, the number of people working remotely globally rose in March 2020, which is the highest number ever recorded. Yet the number is increasingly growing. “By 2025 an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely”, explained Forbes.
Considering the increasing interest in remote work, it has become highly competitive. To make yourself marketable, saleable and also exercise a competitive advantage you have to build your online presence.
To achieve this, you should consider:
- Thinking like an employer would. What would you want in a new employee to make them a good fit for the team?
- Tailoring your experiences and work history to meet the needs of the employers.
- Brushing up your social media, make it more professional, build your portfolio and network with people in the Industry you want to work with.
3. Take Online Courses (Interested or Related Professional Courses)
Many universities also conduct online classes and programs, even before the pandemic. To sharpen your skills and increase your hireability chances to potential employers, take related courses that interest you! Upskilling yourself does not only give you an edge to land a good job but also boosts your relevancy, pay value, enhances your ability and makes you familiar with your job style. Taking online classes as a fresh graduate will result in strengthening your abilities to work with deadlines, interact and work with others. And also help you learn how to properly manage projects.
4. Demonstrate Tech-Savviness
Fortunately, Generation Z are born into new technology, and they integrate this technology into every aspect of their daily lives. This generation is known to have advanced knowledge in technology over most of the older generations.
The problem with most fresh graduates is that they do not efficiently use technology to improve their professionalism as they do in their personal lives.
Whether you’re a generation Z, or a millennial, as a fresh graduate and as a job candidate you should master the latest programs to learn how to do basic job tasks. Such as;
- Microsoft Office or Google Docs
- Excel or Google Sheets
- Basic Graphic Design
- Basic Photo and Video Editing
- Basic Marketing Tool (e.g Social Media)
To develop and be proficient in the right set of tech-skills that employers covet rather than the set of skills stereotyped to your generation.
5. Ascertain What Really Motivates You at Work
When working remotely the only motivator you’ve is “you”. No one can push nor be on your neck to work except you find your own motivators. The performance you have at the office will most likely be lower when at home if you don’t analyze what drives you to work. That’s why it’s advisable for you to do what you love or love what you do. When you do, the motivation will be intrinsic and it’s easier for you to work out an action plan for yourself to boost your productivity. Before sourcing a remote job, it is important to find out what fits you in finding your motivations to work.
6. How to Find and Land Your Dream Remote Job
If you want to get a remote job as a fresh graduate, you’ll first need to know where to look. From understanding the remote community to knowing the best sites for finding great remote jobs and the sites that will give you the least result.
The following are the steps provided to help you find and land your dream remote job;
- Understanding the Remote Community
- Knowing the Right Job Site or Platform
- Follow Remote Companies’ Blogs and Social Media
- Knowing the Key Players Who Hire Remote Employees
1. Understanding the Remote Community
The major step in understanding the remote community is knowing differences between fully and partially distributed companies.
Distributed is just a word describing companies that don’t have an office. Thus, a fully distributed company is where everyone in the company works remotely. Some people might share a workspace if they live in the same city. But ordinarily, everyone works from different places.
Partially distributed companies are any company with 1 or more remote workers. These companies might describe themselves as “remote friendly” or “remote flexible”.
As an applicant, it doesn’t matter if the company is fully or partially distributed, as long as the position is remote.
So, does it matter if everyone else works in an office? Actually, in a way, it really does matter.
Partially distributed companies sometimes struggle with transitioning from a centralized workforce, to a remote workforce. “Sometimes” is an operative word though, because there are many partially distributed companies that have successfully integrated a remote workforce. Although, this further shifts the drift towards fully distributed companies than to partially distributed, it’s still no reason to say, “fully distributed companies are better than partially distributed companies”. Most remote companies will offer incredible onboarding and work experience, regardless of whether or not they are fully or partially distributed.
But in cases when you land jobs majorly in partially distributed companies, you should always ask about remote onboarding in the interview process. If the company indicates that their remote onboarding process is air-tight, perfect! You’re good to go.
Asking about how dedicated a company is to remote work, the systems they’ve set up for remote workers and also doing some homework on remote work culture, is a good way to gain more understanding about the remote community.
2. Knowing the Right Job Site or Platform
Knowing the right job site is one of the most important parts of finding and landing a dream job. But, before diving into the best sites on the list, you’ve to understand the different categories of operating job sites. Which are;
- Sites that take a cut from your pay: These sites are not ideal when looking towards a part time or full time remote job. But, it’s a great way to test freelancing work. Examples are; upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr. Also these sites own the entire relationship with your clients and anyone can put up a job without any real filters built into it.
- Job Aggregators: These are sites where you’ll find a list of different remote postings. This means you have to weed out a lot of unrelated jobs. These sites are likely to have lots of competition because it’s a free way to find a remote job, so it’s open to all. If you make it through sorting the relevant and irrelevant, then apply for many jobs in the same vein, and beat competition along the way, you have great chances you’ll land your dream job!
- Remote jobs that come at a price: Maybe you can’t deal with the stress of the above point and you’d rather just have the list of best remote jobs, to make the haunting experience easy and time saving for you. These sites have handpicked remote jobs and don’t include job listings from other sites. They don’t take a cut of your pay either, but charge a little fee instead which in turn minimizes competition. And if it ever happens you have a problem, you can even talk to a real human.
The Best Remote Job Sites to Find Your Dream Remote Job
FlexJobs offers jobs from entry level to executive and management level with most of them being remote and flexible. All of the job postings are organized into industry categories, part-time, full-time and freelance opportunities. Job postings are absolutely free for companies while candidates will have to pay a little fee to have access to the job opportunities on the platform. Apart from the paid service, they also have other free resources for remote job seekers. Plus their job postings are not limited to certain industries, they offer job postings from a wide variety of industries.
I know it may be somewhat discouraging for you to think you still have to pay when the main purpose of searching for a job is to make that money. But Flexjobs is worth the cost of their service. And this cost is justifiable considering;
- How promising the site is. It’s scams and ads free.
- Timely new job posts, and the swift response from the posters as soon as you apply.
- Low competition.
- Other few perks you get as a job seeker, such as the opportunity to create your resume within the website and the available skills tests you could take to measure your strengths. The results are reflected on your profile, and might just help you land that dream job you’ve always wanted.
And If you’re still not impressed with the value you get for your money, you have the option of a refund with the 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
WeWorkRemotely is almost a job board, and a great job board for remote jobs. If you’re looking for a free Flexjobs alternative, WeWorkRemotely is one of them. There is no application fee needed, the site is really easy to navigate and free from online scams and surveys. Most of the jobs are focused on software engineering/ design and programming. Also this platform connects its users with positions in companies and startups from all over the world. To land potential jobs, it is Ideal that applicants have required remote work skills and expertise.
Note that, WeWorkRemotely doesn’t handle the applications directly. It only provides a link directly to the employer so you can send your CV, portfolio, and cover letter and you go through the recruitment process yourself.
In spite of the downside of slower application response (which I don’t clearly know the reason). This site is definitely good for daily checks if you are on a remote job hunt!
Signing up with JustRemote is free. Also, JustRemote has built a powerful categorized remote job search platform to help you find full-time or/and part-time remote positions across a wide range of functionalities. These include;
- Customer service
- Project management
- Social media and more.
This platform is specifically built for people to discover the best remote job opportunities from around the world, without focusing on a particular location or region.
With their recently launched “paid” job search product called PowerSearch you can subscribe to their latest remote job listings (based on your preferences) and also find the top remote jobs across the internet that don’t usually get advertised, yet still actively get recruited for. If you’re interested in high quality remote job listings, this is worth that tiny investment you need to make!
RemoteOk is a remote job board with a strong tech focus. It connects employers with flexible job seekers. RemoteOk considers their platform as the number-1 digital nomad jobs board across the internet.
They grant access to a large global community of remote workers. Their site reaches more than 800,000 remote workers per month and yes, they even provide live traffic statistics to back this up.
Job posts listed on their site are also sent out via email or through their live job feeds on Twitter and Facebook.
For job seekers, signing up and searching for jobs is easy. You can filter your searches by recruiters, position level (junior or senior), tech or non-tech, and type of industry such as Design, Marketing, and Management, among others.
Signing up with AngelList is also free and new job postings are updated daily. Unlike the other sites on this list, this site is specifically geared towards start-ups. So, being a fresh graduate if you want to work at an early stage startup, this is the place for you.
All you need to do is make a profile which will be your resume. This means that no resume needed nor cover letter. For this reason, you should make sure it’s outstanding because it further puts you at the best advantage in landing a great job.
On AngelList website, you get interviews simply by clicking “yes, I’m interested” and by leaving a small note for the hiring manager. If the company likes your profile, they will set up a meeting with you.
In addition, here, job posting shows you when the job poster was last “active”. This way you know the posters to ignore from by the status of their activeness.
Just as the name suggests, ProBloggerJobBoard is a simple Job board that offers content writing jobs to freelancers, and hires content writers to produce quality material for diverse companies.
ProBlogger has been the home for bloggers wanting to create and grow their blogs, and then go professional to make money blogging. This site has over 8,000 posts with blogging advice, tips, and in-depth tutorials alongside the latest blogging trends.
Writing jobs listed can be filtered as per position level, type and industry, and length or duration of work or contract. Its clients range from large companies in need of copywriting services, to freelance writers maintaining their own blogs and websites and hiring other freelancers to supply them with written content based on their requirements.
The majority of those advertising on ProBlogger Jobs would request for relevant sample work to gauge your potential for employment and to make sure trusting your services is worth it. Also, most of these employers’ requirements mainly fit experienced or atleast intermediate level writers.
Unlike other freelance websites, HubstaffTalent offers a completely free service for both business owners and freelancers alike; there are no markups, middlemen, or any hidden fees. On HubstaffTalent platform, you have the option of searching for remote jobs that are full-time, fixed price or even an hourly freelance contract.
Hubstaff Talent is a website that helps workers and employers find each other. Freelancers and agencies can list their skills on their profile and qualifications, and apply to open jobs. While employers post jobs and invite workers directly to apply to them.
This platform is distinctly great if you’re looking to take on freelance work to supplement your income. With their hundreds of open roles from various industries, there’s definitely something for every target audience on this remote job platform.
Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is one of the most popular remote job websites globally. Upwork is a global freelancing marketplace that connects businesses to independent professionals to produce work and collaborate remotely.
Upwork is one of the most prominent remote job sites that features work in a huge suite of categories. They’ve range of various jobs available on this site.
After signing up for Upwork (which is free), each month, as a freelancer, you are provided with 60 connections. For every proposal or job application you make, at least 2 connections are collected from you. After the end of each month, Upwork replenishes your connections and you are back with 60 connections to use with your applications.
Upwork also offers freelancers to take Proficiency Tests to measure their skills and get noticed, the results of which clients can also make use to filter the most qualified candidates.
There are also a lot of low pay offers, so you might need to take your time and dig deep to find the golden deals.
Social media are interactive technologies that allow the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
There are only a few companies offering remote positions, relative to the overall job market. You need to be able to find those positions and get to them fast. Social Media such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook are other good ways to learn about postings quickly.
I’ve personally gotten jobs from this platform, in fact the jobs I’m managing right now are from Social Media. And I know a few people who have also landed positions through this medium.
One of the recommended remote job boards might be more beneficial or helpful than the other, depending on your skill set and industry experience. For me in particular, Socialmedia (Twitter) has specifically been resourceful so far. I’ve landed gigs and jobs through this medium, especially as a writer.
Ofcourse, there are several other remote job sites, as a matter of fact the list can go on. But no matter the industry or job function you’re looking for, those 9 sites aforementioned are the best places to start your search.
3. Follow Remote Companies’ Blogs and Social Media
A good way of getting your dream job is to get insight into remote work culture by following remote companies’ blogs and social media. This will help you learn various companies’ work style or strategy, the set of skills required in your field of work, the areas to develop to fit as an employee. And also know where and when to apply because these remote companies constantly drop job postings on social media too. And they usually produce tons of content around remote work, sometimes with great blog headlines designed to help remote workers.
4. Knowing the Key Players Who Hire Remote Employees
As soon as you start poking around the remote job sites, you’ll begin to get familiar with some specific company’s names and top leaders within remote work. At a point you should be able to weigh the companies to identify and note the key players who hire remote employees in your field. This will help you focus your target on that dream job!
7. Know What Remote Employers are Looking for
Half the battle to landing a remote job is knowing where to look, and knowing the community of remote companies, but that’s still not going to land you a job. Remote companies are very careful about who they hire, and they always have specific attributes they’re looking for.
What the majority of remote employers look for are mainly three;
- Reliable People
- Those Who Love What They Do (or Their Work)
- Problem Solver
1. Reliable People
The urge for excessive control and supervision will kill any company. Remote employers need to be able to trust that each team member will do their job, and be highly productive.
As a fresh graduate, when you land your first remote interview, don’t be surprised if your interviewer is keen on getting you to talk about you nor should you be afraid to be yourself— Talk about your experiences and you really don’t need to hold information back. Being (in speaking and acting) yourself and being authentic makes you more trustworthy in any interview. Personally, it has come to my notice that a lot of remote workers ( hiring managers) seem to have higher emotional intelligence than usual. So, If you’re being real, they’ll be able to tell.
2. Those Who Love What They Do (or Their Work)
Like I’d stated earlier on self-introspection and self-awareness in the first step. This is where its role and impact will reflect in you.
Apart from companies wanting to hire trustable people, remote companies want to hire those who are passionate about what they do, because that is the ultimate drive towards productivity.
If you are getting a remote job just because you hate your field of work, and you’re hoping that working from home will possibly help. Sadly, it won’t. Working from home will most likely make it even worse, considering the number of swaying distractions at home that can sometimes get irresistible, plus the absence of supervision. This may sound screeching, but it’s easier to feel relaxed, lazy and nonchalant when there is no intrinsic motivation.
In any interview as a fresh graduate, be genuine and show your passion to work.
3. Problem Solver
Remote companies are looking for people with problem solving skills. This might come in the form of start-up experience, entrepreneurial experience, internally innovative people (intrapreneurs), or just other remote work experience.
Why do you need this skill? It may happen that a little difficulty arises in the company or in your team where collective or individual suggestions will help solve the puzzle. Or it could be you who need to fix some problems in your work, the company may not be available all the time to help you even though there are means of communication. So, remote employers need people who are versatile, and capable to solve at least their own problems that may arise in their work (autonomous worker).
In any interview process, be ready to speak about your autonomous work experience. Maybe as a fresh graduate you think you don’t have that autonomous work experience required, relax! Nobody really does at your stage except those who’d worked remotely or had a personal business before.
I’d started writing to educate people time-to-time on my platform (for pleasure) as a side job, even before I started landing gigs. Therefore, you have all the time to venture into creativity while still job hunting.
8. Show Collaborative Skills
As a fresh graduate, you probably must have done group projects in school and the majority of your group projects may also likely be online, great! That makes you a top candidate for remote positions in the remote job market. Even if you were saddled with a group that made you complete a bulk of the work, you still had to collaborate to some degree to present a final project for review.
Action aid: If you have a project you’re particularly proud of. Or made top grades in a course that was principally online group projects. You can post those projects on a free website. Although you will not get much organic traffic. But, this site will act as a portfolio of how you collaborate with others. This further makes you an ideal team player in the online world.
9. Attempt to find a remote internship
Although In-person internship may be really few and hard to get due to COVID-19 pandemic. Remote internships are available on many websites, including Internships.com. This platform is free to use and doesn’t require you to sign up. Internship.com helps you search for remote and in-person opportunities, just by telling them the type of internship you’re looking for, drop in your zip code to see what internships are available near you. And You can even filter to see which internships are paid versus unpaid.
Even if this isn’t what you envisioned upon your graduation, these jobs will give you worthy work experience for your resume and cover letter. Plus, these are perk points if you’ve freelanced through your own networking and hard-shell. The perseverance and assertiveness are highly coveted soft skills that not even all mid-level applicants possess.
10. Write your resume for a remote job application
Experience matters in getting a desired job. But tailoring your experiences to fit the employers’ requirements goes a long way in landing an interview.
Your resume needs to be tailored to what remote companies’ needs and narrowed to your field of work and that of your dream company’s needs.
Here are a few things to put on your resume to make it outstanding to remote employers;
- Popular Remote Tools
Due to the work style of remote companies, the use of software has been a major effective means of communication. Hence, it’s suggested you include all software tools you know how to use in your resume. Such as Slack, Google meet, Zoom, Skype, Telegram and many more.
- Autonomy in Work History/ Experiences
Maybe there has been a time when you were a bootstrapper or worked on deliverables with low or no supervision. All these are valuable experiences to further boost your hireability. To work autonomously is huge, and you don’t need to have direct remote experience to work remotely.
- Competence and Results
If you have any significant numbers associated with your job, put those on the resume too. For example, if you have marketing skills and you doubled traffic in X period of time, due to X reasons, that’ll be good resume information.
If there are any professional certificates you’ve acquired through training or learning, including your school Certificate, add all these information to your resume too.
Tip: To learn more on building an impressing resume, here is one extremely useful resume builder to check out
Unlike unremote jobs where you’ve to resume at a particular hour to work for a certain number of hours and close at a specific time. Remote work is focused on execution, not the number of hours you spend sitting at your desk.
Most remote companies won’t monitor the hours you work, what they’re concerned about is mainly your deliverables.
If you’re a genuine person, you love what you do, tailor your experiences to meet the employers’ requirements. You’re absolutely ready-made for your dream job!
11. Follow up on your application!
It can be quite irresistibly compelling to follow up with a recruiter after an application process without any response. You may want to evaluate if this follow up May possibly help or bruise your chances.
You may feel inclined to contact employers or hiring managers for one of these following reasons;
Common Reasons for Follow Up
- To find out more information, such as salary or resumption date.
- As a formality and to implement job search best practices.
- To confirm that human resources received your application.
- To check your application status, especially when weeks pass without a response.
How to Follow Up
Many sources suggest waiting one to two weeks before following up. But for remote jobs applications, I agree with four days wait after application before sending a follow-up email. If you still don’t get a reply, you can send another a few days later. But stop at two follow-up emails, and direct your attention to other job opportunities. If employers will contact you, they will and If they don’t, move on to others.
Generally, email is the most officially acceptable method for follow-up communication. Phone calls are sometimes welcome, depending on the existing means of communication. But customarily, recruiters and hiring managers may find them intrusive and awkward. So, emails are still more favorable over phone calls because employers can easily respond at any time. And at the same time leaves a track of history from both parties that can be referenced in the future.
If you have an existing form of communication before submitting your resume, then go with whatever method initiated the application. Although, if a recruiter found you on social media, opt for an email as your planned follow-up. For phone follow-ups, make sure you call only during the recruiter’s local business hours and keep it brief.
For online application submissions, look for contact information on the confirmation webpage or in the receipt notification. If you don’t find an email address or phone number, consider browsing the company’s website for human resources department contact. It might even be the company’s general line where an operator or receptionist is probably the handler. However, you can easily be connected to the appropriate personnel.
Most importantly, avoid stalking hiring managers. Though hunting down names and phone numbers may show eagerness, recruiters may also find it creepy and invasive. Respect people’s space and privacy and most importantly know when to stop!
Oh! Do you still have skepticism about working remotely? Remote work is said to be the digital nomad way forward!
Remote work has been immensely beneficial for me in particular. I love what I do, it fits with my working style, and there’s nothing as fulfilling as writing this article from the comfort of my cushions on a chilly morning.
Even If you’ve been told getting a remote job is quite daunting, this article has been carefully put together to provide resourceful information to make your job hunting experience short, almost stress-free and successful. By the end of this article be sure to call yourself, “the job-market hacker”, because now you’re.
I wish you goodluck!
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