How identifying my remote working skills helped me cut through the job competition

Remote company
In this article

Renée Johnson

Director of Candidate Experience

Acework.io

As a former executive director of an international nonprofit, I transitioned our US office to remote a couple years ago. Before, we would only receive a handful of job applicants. Once we went remote, we’d receive more than 100 submissions for openings. I would spend hours ranking cover letters and resumes, turning down 99% of the candidates.

This insider’s look at the remote hiring landscape did not give me confidence when I resigned. I wasn’t sure what my next job would be, but I knew I’d be one of thousands flocking to the competitive remote job market. I have worked partially-remote for almost a decade, and full-time for the last two. After that good fortune, I had zero desire to commute to an office every day.

Since I had a lot of remote work under my belt, I wanted to prove my “remote readiness” to potential employers. I highlighted remote-specific skills such self-motivation, clear and reliable communication, and tech savviness. It worked! I interviewed with almost all the companies I applied to.

Successful experience in managing remote employees

Today I am the Director of Candidate Experience at acework, a new remote work matching platform. Acework connects vetted remote candidates with career opportunities in its network. Our vetting process includes a remote readiness assessment, to ensure we only connect companies to top remote talent.

Main working skills for remote work

Whether you apply directly for a remote role or want to join the acework platform, consider the following essential skills. How you have demonstrated them in your professional career?

  • Self-starter
  • Independent
  • Motivated
  • Growth mindset
  • Accountable
  • Disciplined
  • Organized
  • Problem-solve
  • Punctual
  • Transparent
  • Big-picture thinker
  • Goal-focused
  • Mission-aligned
  • Engaged
  • Team-player
  • Helpful
  • Adaptable
  • Strong communicator
  • Inquisitive
  • Efficient time manager

Remote work technology

In addition to the above soft-skills, other must-haves for remote work success include:

  • Dedicated, distraction-free workspace
  • Reliable high-speed internet
  • Comfort learning and using new technology
  • Time-zone overlap
  • And possibly, English-language fluency

Depending on the location of the employer, you may also have an advantage if you are set up to bill as a contractor. In my case, acework is a start-up in Germany and I am in the US. Hiring me was easy because I had a tax ID, so could invoice for my work and receive international payments. (Make sure you keep excellent records, because you will be responsible for your own taxes!)

Of course, if you have worked remotely before, mention this fact. While rarely required, many remote employers prefer to hire people with remote work experience. My experience boosted my profile with acework since not only is it a remote company, but its purpose is to promote remote work opportunities.

While the remote job market is competitive, remote work is a rapidly growing sector of the evolving global job market. Taking some time to craft your employment profile to promote your remote-readiness will put you ahead.

In the remote job industry, having a compelling and well-crafted LinkedIn account is paramount, as it serves as a powerful tool for showcasing your skills, networking with industry professionals, and attracting potential remote employers. Make sure to list all your cardinal academic qualifications, however, avoid non traditional credentials such as LinkedIn certifications as they might get you overlooked.

One of Running Remote’s partners Remoters wrote about some of the challenges when working remotely here

How to convince a potential employer?

What other characteristics help potential employers know you will thrive on their remote team?

At acework we are warriors for greater flexibility and happiness at work. We are always curious how the rest of the remote work community gets this done. Get in touch and let us know your ideas and best practices (hello@acework.io)

best skills for remote working

Caption: I am grateful for the ability to skip the long commutes common in rural Maine, remaining connected and productive all day in my home office.

working remote social skills

Caption: In the summer, I take to the road in search of adventure in my renovated 1972 Shasta Starflyte camper, which works quite comfortably as a mobile office.

Caption: Grabbing my pup, Finch, for an afternoon romp in the snow helps me shake off the winter blues.

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