Errors happen naturally. While the list of things you can wrong goes for miles, there is a handful of mistakes that many job candidates fall for. These minor setbacks are often hard to spot but can make or break success when you apply for the dream remote job.
That’s why Running Remote is here to help! Here’s a fast-forward sneak peek:
- Zero Info of the Company you Plan to Apply for
- The Average Resume or Cover Letter
- Submission of Your Resume to Every Remote Position for the Company You Want
- Approach the Interview as a Single Player
- Putting More Weight on Remote than Work
- Poor Preparation for the Entire Process of Applying for a Job
- Loss of Spirit Way too Early
1. Zero Info of the Company
To carry in-depth company research prior to starting your resume is an absolute must. To learn more of the code of conduct and culture at your desired work environment helps you peek at what it would be like if you nail it.
Remember, you’re not merely on the hunt for an employer but how and where you’d spend most of your days for a considerable amount of the time you have left in this world. If culture, goals, and values match, things are perfect but ask yourself, what if they don’t?
Thanks to the combined experience of our team, we put together a list of simple, yet crucial questions meant to help job seekers figure this out during the interview cycle:
- First, what is it that the company does?
- Does the company have a policy for remote work and a well-defined set of values?
- What is the position open meant to fulfill?
- How does company culture feel on a daily basis?
- To what extent does “remote” mean in practice?
- What are the latest news and what do people say about the company?
- What incentives does the company offer?
- How does the company look compared to the competition?
2. The Average Resume or Cover Letter
Positions at different companies could look alike, but more often than not, they don’t. That’s why it fails to surprise us that most companies nowadays go after candidates of various skills and backgrounds. The case with remote jobs is just that.
You can invoke trust and respect in many ways. But failing to build and format a neat resume or cover letter to please the eye is a deal-breaker no matter if you apply for a job that is remote or not.
Consider these are your grandeur opportunity to introduce yourself in the best way possible, for that’s exactly what resumes and cover letters are – your business card and presentation.
What should you do? Make sure to present a customized, well-formatted, and well-written file.
According to a study of Peter Yang for ResumeGo, some prefer two-page resumes but if you’re more comfortable with a one-page resume, that shouldn’t stop you.
Here are a few other common mistakes remote job candidates do:
- Mislead recruiters of how good you are, how much you accomplished, your trackback, and profile.
- Find excuses for lacking skills, experience, or any other critical area. These are a sure sign for dishonesty, and that’s the last thing companies need from remote workers.
- Put the obvious at the start of a cover letter, such as “I am Jonathan Smith”. Keep that to your filename, not the letter itself.
- Show signs or openly express disrespect, arrogance, lack of virtues. Recruiters want remote candidates to be polite, socially adept, and professional.
- Money talks or salary requirements. Never add numbers, expectations, or comments to your resume or cover letter. That’s not the place or time to discuss the salary.
- Typos, typos, typos. Poor grammar is the easiest mistake to fix and among the ones to cause the most damage.
3. Submission of Your Resume to Every Remote Position for the Company You Want
If you want to join the company on all costs, to submit your job application to all remote openings does make sense to some extent but not in the eyes of the recruiter. Also, bear in mind that similar job openings at different companies might use the same recruiter or recruiting system.
Within this crazy age of science and technology, big companies don’t need the average jack of all trades. Unless, of course, you apply for the one-man-army job at a smaller company, but these rarely have multiple job listings, right?
So, back to employers with multiple remote job openings. What to do?
- Choose wisely and pick the one company you want the most.
- Do not apply to all at once. Leave a small window in between.
- Tailor your resume and cover letter to each company and remote job.
- Take the time to get in touch with employees and do your homework first.
- If you can have the luxury of time, take as much as you need and learn the skills required.
4. Approach the Interview as a Single Player
It is crucial to understand that interviews are tango and it takes two to tango. According to BizDig.co, recruiters have a fixed set of questions each tailored to the specific position at hand, and finding the right profile is what their main goal is. But that’s not all.
Recruiters are humans too and to impress one might just give you the competitive advantage you need. Ask questions position-wise but also questions outside the scope of the meeting.
Express your enthusiasm and do your best to make the talk worthwhile. Pay close attention to how the interviewer on the other side defines their questions since that reveals their personality and mindset. Understand the mindset and you’re a step closer to success.
Here are a few starting points for you to address:
- Work hours: How do the company workflow and breaks-flow work?
- Career advancement: How often and under what criteria do promotions happen?
- Teamwork & teams: Does the company encourage communication, learning, and sharing of knowledge?
- Time off: What are the numbers for vacations, sick leave, and maternity leave?
- Perks & benefits: Are there team buildings, discounts, medical perks, sports incentives, insurance, etc?
- Notice & probation: Things can change crazy fast, so your details on both getting on board and getting out are crucial.
Another good idea is to send them a Thank you which will show gratitude for the job application process and make them feel special.
5. Putting More Weight on Remote than Work
Be careful of what impressions you build and leave…
A common mistake candidates do is to put more weight on being remote than the work itself. Although you should follow the basic best practices, the part where you don’t work in an office is not the essence of the matter.
Focus on testifying your passion and worky spirit.
Details such as freedom of movement, travel, hobbies, or even time with your family are on you to organize and sync with the remote position. Consider following a morning or night routine to find the sweet spot of work-life balance.
6. Poor Preparation for the Entire Process of Applying for a Job
You might think job openings at different companies have nothing to do with each other and you can send the same resume and cover letter throughout the board. Wrong. Professional recruiters use applicant tracking systems (ATS) that aggregate and sort upon various criteria and when you send the same application to multiple opportunities, it will likely get a red flag.
Focus on quality instead of quantity.
You should never underestimate the power and value of diligence and dedicated effort.
That’s the one essential thing that every company or team looks for.
Narrow your focus and make sure you stand out from the crowd! If you build up the profile of a fun, determined, and hardworking person, pick a fresh email template when sending your application and you can rest assured that you are one step closer to getting the remote job you want.
7. Loss of Spirit Way too Early
As with all things in life, the fruits of your effort take time.
When a company puts out a job offer, it takes a certain period before applicants get reviewed. This could take anywhere between two weeks and a month, and sometimes longer.
The important part is that you don’t give up.
Resume Mistakes – The Wrap Up
Getting the desired remote job is a dream come true for many but only if you have what it takes. Thorough preparation is the key to success. As famous Sun Tzu said, those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Dimitar Karamarinov is an award-winning digital multi-instrumentalist with authorship in a broad range of digital medium and multimedia starting as early as 2006. With over a decade of experience in audio, graphic and motion design, along with various forms of business and communication, Dimitar Karamarinov grows experience with companies Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Inc 5000, Best Franchise Marketing Awards and beyond.