tips for landing a remote job with no experience.

Remote jobs offer an unprecedented level of comfort and flexibility; they enable you to live anywhere while building a successful career. But is it possible to land a work-from-home job when you have no experience? Absolutely — given the pandemic-motivated boom in remote work and the ongoing labour shortage, Canadian employers are more willing than ever to allow employees at all levels to work remotely. With a few adjustments to your job search, you can get a remote job as a new graduate or a first-time jobseeker.

look for entry level jobs

Kick off your job search by looking for entry-level remote jobs. These positions are designed specifically for workers with minimal experience, so the requirements are often more relaxed. You might notice that job postings still include preferred qualifications. Don't worry — employers know that most entry-level candidates won't have everything on the list.

How do you know if a job is entry level? In many cases, employers will include it right in the job title. If not, look at the required experience; some jobs state that there's no experience necessary. Others request 1-2 years of relevant experience, but you may be able to satisfy that requirement with internships, co-ops or capstone projects. As long as you meet critical educational or licensing criteria, it's worth your time to apply.

look for patterns in job listings

As you're exploring entry level jobs, keep an eye out for trends in the skill, education and experience requirements. You might notice that most employers want candidates with highly developed writing skills or proficiency in a specific software package. Pay close attention to the remote technologies companies use; as a remote worker, you'll be using them every day on the job.

man sitting an a chair, using a laptop
man sitting an a chair, using a laptop

build relevant skills

Once you identify patterns in your target industry, use that information to assess your personal qualifications. Look at gaps as opportunities for improvement; if you're missing any of the popular qualifications, start building skills in those areas.

When your ideal jobs all want candidates with a working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, buy a trial subscription and start practicing. If employers are looking for people who are familiar with HTML, join a free online coding class. Don't stop there — find ways to prove your new skills to employers. Build a portfolio of images you created in Photoshop, or showcase your HTML skills by coding a resume website from scratch.

Practice is particularly important when it comes to remote communication technologies. If you notice that the majority of companies use a specific program, take time to get familiar with the interface and features. Invite your parents to a Zoom meeting, or create a free Slack account and set up a channel for your friend group. When you're comfortable with the technology, you can participate in video job interviews like a pro. Plus, you'll shine in comparison to applicants who struggle to connect or share their screens.

highlight your skills

When you don't have experience, potential employers are likely to look closely at your skills. As you write your resume, make sure to word the skills section in a way that speaks to the needs of the company. Use the job description as a guide. If a front-end developer job post lists specific programming languages, don't write "web development." Instead, mention the languages by name. "Working knowledge of HTML and JavaScript" offers a clearer picture of your skills. By including keywords from the job description, you may have an easier time getting through the resume-screening process.

Remember to include soft skills. Problem-solving, professional communication, critical thinking and time management are critical for remote workers.

showcase relevant non-work experience

Your work history isn't the only thing that's important to potential employers; life experience can be relevant, too. If you spent 2 years bringing together volunteers for a local nonprofit, it demonstrates leadership and organization. If you traveled around the world working in hostels during a gap year, you probably have a global perspective and unique cross-cultural communication skills.

When you're fresh out of university, you might also consider experiences such as:

  • Building a website or running the social media for a student group
  • Holding a leadership role in a campus organization
  • Completing an internship

Here's the trick — make direct connections between your experiences and the job you're applying for. If you're applying for a communications job, explain that as the Facebook page administrator for a student theater group, you increased followers by 40% in 6 months and boosted engagement by 25%. Showing how you bring value to the company can give you a competitive advantage in the job search.

build an internet presence

When you apply for a job, it's safe to assume that someone on the hiring team will run a Google search for your name. Make sure the results represent you well by beefing up your internet presence. Create a LinkedIn profile, add an updated photo and fill out the details. You can even ask connections to endorse you for relevant skills.

If you're searching for a work from home job in a field such as graphic design, programming, web development or writing, you might also consider building a portfolio website. Include your resume and a collection of your best work so employers can get a sense of your abilities.

Finally, take a look at your social media accounts. Scroll through the posts, and change the visibility permissions for anything that an employer might find objectionable. Alternatively, set the profiles to private, and make sure your profile picture matches the image you want to portray.

For additional reading on remote jobs, check out these pertinent articles:

if you're ready to start searching for entry-level remote work, check out the Randstad job listings today.

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