Maybe the breaking point was when you were pushing and shoving your way onto a too-crowded train just to spend the next hour sandwiched between two hygiene-deficient fellow commuters; or maybe it was your micromanaging boss breathing down your neck as you began your workday (again) — in any case, you've decided that you’ve had enough of commuting. You’re not alone: currently one in five workers in the U.S. telecommutes, and you could soon join their ranks.
Ready to ditch your killer commute for good? Here are five ways to find a job at a completely virtual company — and say hello to some sweet work-life balance.
Tips for snagging a telecommuting job
1. Revamp your resume and make it relevant
Like most resumes, yours boasts all of your previous accomplishments and accolades. But in order to land a telecommuting position, you’ll need to showcase the skills and work experiences that highlight your ability to work from home. For example, you’ll want to highlight your ability to work independently, your superior communication skills and your adeptness with the online tools and sharing programs that remote workers frequently use.
2. Be specific in your search
The job listing you just came across looks great — but does it explicitly state that it’s a telecommuting position? Unless a job posting specifically states that it's a remote job, there’s a good chance it's not.
Stay strategic in your job hunt by solely focusing on companies that will allow you to work from home.Stay strategic in your job hunt by solely focusing on companies that will allow you to work from home. Use keywords like "virtual job" or “remote job” to help target your search. But since there are almost 100 job scams for every true work-from-home position, check out the company before sending in your application.
3. Connect with companies online
Once you’ve decided what kind of job you’d like to have, it’s time to start doing a little digging. Look for companies that are completely virtual and also align with what you’d like to do in your career. Then, reach out to them via social media. Follow them on Twitter, connect with them via LinkedIn and like their companies’ Facebook pages as well. Be engaging by participating in online discussions and offering your knowledge and expertise on the topic at hand. This can help you forge a connection with the company before reaching out to a hiring manager to inquire about a position.
4. Be prepared at home
You dream of the day when you can work all day in your PJs and fluffy slippers. Until then, you’ll need to set the stage for success. Create a home office (even an attic, closet or a corner of your bedroom will do, as long as it’s a dedicated workspace) and make sure that your office equipment is in good working order. If you don’t already have it, get the fastest Internet connection possible, as slow Internet speeds can be a telecommuter’s worst nightmare.
5. Be proactive
Let’s say that you’ve been on the job hunt for a while, and, well, nada. It doesn’t hurt to reach out to a targeted number of companies (no more than 10-15) and offer your services. Assess the company’s overall standing and see where you might fit into their workflow. Maybe they are in desperate need of a better public relations person, or a dedicated social media manager. Craft a customized cover letter detailing how much you’d like to work for the organization, and how your skill set, knowledge and experience make you an ideal fit.
Virtual companies that are hiring right now
FlexJobs recently published “26 Virtual Companies That Thrive on Remote Work,” a list of companies that have a completely or mostly virtual team; here are ten examples.
- Articulate: This New York-based software company has won awards for its e-learning products. It has a distributed team, allowing its employees to work when, where and how they choose. Current jobs available include: Front-End Engineer, Software Engineer-Web, French Community Manager and Senior QA Engineer.
- Fire Engine RED: Specializing in marketing and technology solutions for higher education, Fire Engine RED creates web-based software products. Current jobs available include: Copywriter, Senior PHP Developer, Front-End Developer and Interaction Designer.
- Jackson River: A consulting company with a heart. The company specializes in working with nonprofits, socially responsible businesses and cause-based initiatives, such as Greenpeace USA and the Audubon Society. Current jobs available include: Project Manager, Drupal Themer, Manager of Website Development and Marketing/Business Development Coordinator.
- InVision: A design tool to create fully interactive user experiences for web and mobile devices, InVision has worked with American Airlines, Whole Foods and Google, among others. Current jobs available include: Community Manager, Director of Engineering and Deep Thinking Product Designer.
- LoveToKnow: This online media company owns a family of websites that provide high quality content to its users. Current jobs available include: Digital Artist/Image Specialist, Freelance Writer, Topic Expert, Associate Photo Editor and User Features Product Manager.
- Mozilla: Mozilla is a nonprofit organization that has produced search engines such as Firefox, as well as developer tools and other platforms. Current jobs available include: Senior Product Manager, Software Engineer — Platform, Security Engineering, Creative Content Director in Residence and Manager — Data Science.
- Site5: This Denver-based web hosting service offers web services to companies worldwide. Current jobs available include: Technical Support Specialist, Systems Engineer and Technical Support Specialist (Turkish Language).
- Sqwiggle: This startup has created online tools to allow telecommuters to have a sense of community with their coworkers through live conversations, photo sharing, etc. Current jobs available include: Backend WebRTC Engineer, Backend Engineer and Full Stack Engineer.
- Upworthy: Upworthy is a site specializing in enlightening and feel-good videos and graphics that are share-worthy. Current jobs available include: Sales Lead, Senior Web Designer and Visual Designer — Marketing.
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Mashable Job Board Listings
The Mashable Job Board connects job seekers across the U.S. with unique career opportunities in the digital space. While we publish a wide range of job listings, we have selected a few job opportunities from the past several weeks to help get you started. Happy hunting!