How to find a remote job as a software developer . . .
How to find a remote job as a Software Developer. Do you want to work remotely? First thing’s first: you are not alone.
Over the last few years, remote working has sky-rocketed in popularity, and with good reason. Remote working allows workers more flexibility in their work—workers can dictate their own schedules and work around other commitments—and has been proven to boost productivity. In fact, an experiment by Nicholas Bloom found that remote workers were 13% more productive than their office-bound counterparts.
The lure of remote work is so strong that 98% of remote workers reported that they would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers according to Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2020 study. However, actually finding a job as a remote worker is a different story.
This article will explore some of the approaches you can use to find and land a remote job as a software developer. If your idea of a dream job involves working remotely, then this is the guide for you!
Think About What Remote Job is Best for You
Before you start looking for a job as a remote software developer, you should take some time to evaluate what you are looking for in a remote job. Indeed, not all remote jobs are created the same, and it is important to know what you are looking for before you start your job search.
First, ask yourself: when do you want to be working? If you are working in an office, it is usually expected that you will work between 9 am and 5 pm. However, one of the major advantages of remote working is that you may be able to operate on a more flexible schedule. Do you want to work between 9 am and 5 pm? Or do you want to be able to take a long afternoon break to have coffee with your friends every few days?
In addition, you should think about what kind of remote culture you want to experience. After all, every company implements remote working policies differently—some companies support fully-remote working, whereas others only support part-time remote work, for example.
So, before you start looking for a job, you should consider what you’re expecting from an employer in terms of their attitudes toward remote work. Do you want to work for a company with annual remote workers retreat? Does your ideal employer offer a stipend for remote workers? The clearer you are on your expectations up front, the easier it will be for you to filter out opportunities and focus your attention on the ones that meet your needs.
Update Your Resume
As soon as you know what you’re looking for in a job as a remote software developer, you’re ready to start polishing your technical resume.
Of course, you should try to keep these documents up to date all the time, but if you are just starting a job search, you may notice that you have some work to do. If you want to land a job as a remote worker, you need to have a strong resume. After all, remote jobs are scarce, and companies are looking for the best workers who they can trust to do a good job to fill these positions. However, there are a few things you can do to make your resume stand out to prospective employers.
First, make sure that you mention the most impressive projects you have worked on in both your resume. Write about the main things you learned from each project, and mention any relevant statistics which quantify the impact you have had on a project. The more you can do to show your skills, the better.
Second, you should update your resume to reflect your remote working skills. If you have worked remotely before, be sure to mention that on your resume. But even if you are looking for your first job as a remote developer, there are still things you can do to make yourself stand out for a remote job.
You should mention your strong communication skills and your ability to meet expectations on-time. You could also discuss your experience with tools like Slack, Trello, or Zoom if you have used them in the past. These points will tell an employer that you will be able to quickly adjust to the remote working environment, which will make it easier for the company when they onboard an employee for the position.
Build a Strong Portfolio
Often, remote working positions are offered to people with more experience in a field. But don’t let that hold you back. If you want your first job as a software engineer to be remote, it is still possible to find a great remote job. However, in order to set yourself apart from other candidates, you’ll need to have a strong portfolio that demonstrates your skills to prospective employers.
As a software engineer, your portfolio should consist of a few projects on which you have worked in the past, accompanied by a description of those projects. Ideally, you should also discuss your main learnings from a particular project, and draw links between your past experience and your current skills. The more detailed your portfolio is, the easier it will be for a company to hire remote workers to see that you have the skills you need to do the job.
Look at Remote-Friendly Job Boards
Job boards are one of the first places to check when you’re looking for a job online. However, if you are looking for a remote job, there are a few specific places you should look for that feature jobs exclusively for aspiring remote workers. While LinkedIn and Glassdoor can have a few gems, the sites are not optimized for remote working and so it can be difficult to find the right position for you on these platforms.
Here are a few of the remote-friendly job sites you should frequent on your job search:
- We Work Remotely features thousands of remote jobs in fields ranging from web design to programming; it’s a great place to start your remote job search.
- Remote.co has built a hand-curated list of remote jobs in fields such as sales, HR, and software engineering.
- FlexJobs has over 50 categories dedicated to remote working, which include part-time working, full-time working, and other arrangements. The site has thousands of work-at-home job postings for which you can apply.
- AngelList is a job search site for positions in tech and has a number of filters that can be used to find remote jobs.
Network with Other Developers and Remote Workers
Remote working jobs can be more difficult to find than in-person software developer jobs. This is because, as we have discussed, jobs that support remote working are scarce, and there are usually a number of talented people who apply for remote jobs. With that in mind, it’s crucial that you use every tool in your job-search toolkit to find the right opportunity for you.
Networking is a great way to discover opportunities as a software developer, and if you’re looking for a remote job, you’ll want to focus on networking with people interested in remote work. For instance, during your job search, you may decide to spend a few weeks getting to know other remote workers, or going to your local co-working space and making connections.
Be proactive in reaching out to people, and be sure to present a professional appearance—remote working opportunities don’t come to people who sit back and wait for them. The more people you meet who are interested in remote working, the more likely you are to find a lead for a good remote job. The one person you meet at your local co-working space may be hiring, for example, and because you have already spoken with them, you may have an inside edge if you decide to apply for the job.
Similarly, you should make use of tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter to network with other developers and remote workers. These tools allow you to connect with a wide range of people, from recruiters and hiring managers to business owners and other remote workers, who may be able to assist you as you continue your job search.
Learn About Remote Working
Many job applications for remote positions ask candidates to discuss their knowledge of remote working, and if you advance to an interview, it’s almost certain that you’ll be asked questions about best practices as a remote worker.
Before you apply for positions, spend some time learning about what it means to be a remote worker. How do remote workers balance their time? How do remote workers check-in with their bosses? Being able to answer these questions will give you a stronger insight into what you can expect when talking with a business that supports remote working, and will also give you some relevant context if you are asked questions about working remotely.
In addition, you should familiarize yourself with technologies commonly used in remote working. For instance, you may want to spend some time with Trello, Asana, Slack, Stride, Jira, and similar remote working tools.
This will allow you to learn more about the technologies you could be using on the job and will give you an example of a remote technology you have used which you can cite in a job interview. Also, your interview will likely be conducted remotely, and to make the best impression you will want to be familiar with the technologies you will be using.
Apply to the Right Remote Jobs
Now that you’ve polished your resume and portfolio and have started to look for jobs, you’re ready to get started and apply to the right remote jobs for you.
Spend some time searching through the aforementioned job search sites, and use techniques such as networking to uncover additional opportunities for which you may be eligible to apply. When you find an interesting position, be sure to compare the job description with the characteristics of your dream remote job that we discussed earlier. Does the position offer full-time remote work? What timezone do you need to be in?
Then, once you find a job that is interesting, you can submit an application.
Pitch Yourself as a Remote Worker
After you have applied for a remote job as a software developer, you should start to prepare your pitch as a remote worker.
Consider the question: what are the top qualities the hiring manager will want for someone in the role for which you have applied? If you are applying for a remote position, you can expect strong communication skills, trustworthiness, and someone who can use technologies like Zoom and Slack to be at the top of a hiring manager’s list of ideal qualities in a candidate.
Once you have considered the qualities a hiring manager will be expecting, you should figure out how to articulate your experience and skills in a way that matches their expectations. A hiring manager looking for a remote worker will likely want to hire someone who is self-motivated, so you may want to talk about how you have remained motivated during a difficult project in the past, for example.
Remote Work is on the Rise
Remote working arrangements are becoming increasingly popular in the tech industry. In fact, there are many tech companies that hire remote workers. If you have the right technical skills—and are willing to go the extra mile to learn about remote working—you’ll have no trouble finding a remote job that meets your unique needs.
As companies continue to realize the benefits of remote working on productivity and employee morale, it is expected opportunities to work remotely will only become more plentiful. With the advice you have read in this article, you’re ready to start your job search on "How to find a remote job as a Software Developer."