Job Search Optimization: The When, Where, and How of Applying

job search optimization

Are you making the most of your telecommute job search? Virtual Vocations has job search optimization tips on the when, where, and how of applying.

You are committed to finding the remote job that’s perfect for you. You are enthusiastic, skilled, and ready to begin your journey. But there is one problem: when it comes to the when, where, and how of applying, you’re at a bit of a loss. You are not alone in this feeling.

Top Tips for Job Search Optimization

It is very easy to become overwhelmed with the application process, but there’s great news: we now have a great basis of research dedicated to career exploration and recruitment. This is an amazing benefit for you, the jobseeker.

You no longer have to struggle to pin down an effective method, you can optimize your application strategy to give yourself the extra edge you need to snag your dream job. Create a system that will ensure success by following these telecommute job search optimization tips.

job search optimization

Timing Is Everything

  • Applying between 6 am and 10 am is the sweet spot for getting noticed by hiring managers. Understand that remote work is highly competitive, you want to use all the tools in your toolbox to stand out as the ideal candidate. This means doing the extra research to know the company’s time zone and use this to apply in the optimal window for success.
  • Not only do you want to tap into the best time, but you also need to be aware of the day you choose to apply. Experts warn against submitting applications on the weekend. You don’t like working during your days off and neither do hiring managers.

    Help them help you by applying during the week. You can increase your chances of getting your application fast-tracked by applying between Monday and Wednesday, according to Business News Daily

  • Don’t wait too long to respond to that intriguing job posting.

    The first two to three days a job is posted is the best time to get in your application.

    You want to show the hiring manager that you are a go-getter, who will put forth their best effort in record time. Additionally, the sheer volume of applications can be overwhelming. Don’t get lost in the shuffle. If you have a stellar application, you could still be passed up if you wait a week or more into the life cycle of the posting to apply.

Your Resumé as a Living Document

  • If you have several areas of expertise and are applying to positions in different fields, the best option is to have several versions of your resumé ready to go so when a particularly appealing opportunity comes up you are ready to act fast. Customize your resumé to fit the job you are applying for by highlighting experience and accomplishments that relate to what the company is looking for.
  • Along with your resumé, be sure to tailor your cover letters to be relevant to each position. Nothing will kill your chances faster than a carbon copy cover letter showing no effort or research. It is perfectly fine to have a well-designed template for your cover letter, but please don’t copy and paste. Be sure to know who you are sending the letter to and address it personally. Understand the company mission and the requirements of the position and work in how you, in particular, can contribute to the team in that specific role.
  • The one-page resumé is the new standard. Your resumé should function as a highlight reel of your most outstanding contributions relative to the position you are seeking. Two to three previous jobs demonstrating your qualifications, education, and extraordinary skills will do the trick. Take a look at Elon Musk’s one-pager for inspiration. If the one page just won’t work for you, try for two pages at most.

    Remember, most employers receive hundreds or thousands of resumés during a hiring period, and you want them to be able to identify why you’re a great candidate at a single glance.

  • A clear, attractive design is a spectacular way to get noticed. Be sure to play around with different formats that help to draw the eye to key aspects you want to highlight. Utilizing a fresh design with white space is an excellent start. You don’t want to overcrowd the document because this is overwhelming to the eye.

    Avoid hard to read fonts or fonts sized so small the hiring manager will need a magnifying glass to examine your qualifications; a standard 12pt font is best. Use a professional font style and make sure that your contact information is front and center. For more help structuring your resumé, check out this nifty infographic from Undercover Recruiter.

  • Many companies now use algorithms to narrow down a long list of job applicants. While professionals fiercely debate the usefulness of these automated systems, for jobseekers, it’s best to be preemptive and understand how these systems work.

    When approaching a job posting, pay close attention to the exact wording of requirements, skills, and desired experience. Repeat keywords from the job posting within your online employment documents.

  • If you notice that you have the needed experience, but your previous company worded this differently, adjust your cover letter and resumé to reflect the language used in the posting. Looking for a little extra attention to ensure your resumé shines? Virtual Vocations’ Resumé Review Service will help! You’ll also find additional tips in this 80-second video:

Social Networking Is Essential

  • Even when working remotely your circle of influence is key to expanding your opportunities for success and career growth. Remember: remote doesn’t mean isolated.

    You can form a more diverse and widespread network of professionals as a telecommuter because you are interacting with people from all over the country and sometimes all over the world.

    Combine in-person networking activities like local meet up and professional networking events with virtual networking opportunities like joining a Slack channel in your field, linking up with a Facebook group or subscribing to blogs that relate to your professional interests. Stay active in online communities and watch your possibilities grow exponentially.

  • Polish your LinkedIn profile to help employers connect your written material to your online presence. Especially in remote work, employers want to connect with you to verify your credibility and get a sense of your ability to connect with others. Having a well-crafted LinkedIn page with recommendations, a solid summary, headline, and endorsements can be a game changer.
  • Start with a professional profile picture that reflects your career aspirations. Business attire is a must for many fields, but not all. Know your audience, i.e who you’re looking to attract to your page and adapt your image accordingly. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be authentic. Professional online networking is about showing your uniqueness inside the realm of your working life. Put your best foot forward.
  • Along the same lines of showing your best face, your online reputation all over the web is crucial. Today employers have access to all your social accounts. Unless you keep your accounts private, anyone can search and find your online photos, blogs, and statuses.

    Online reputation matters, especially in remote work, so be sure to treat all your interactions online accordingly. In recent years, employees have been fired for their conduct online. And since social engagement is no longer separate from your professional life, treat it as an extension your reputation.

  • Curate a professional online portfolio to give your online presence added sparkle. No matter what field you are in, it’s a great idea to have a website, blog or online portfolio to showcase your best work. As a remote worker, you want to show that you can not only navigate the digital work space but are engaged with the trends and emerging aspects of your field. This can only add to your hireability and is a great way to begin forming an online community.

Invest In Your Search

  • If you are serious about remote work, Virtual Vocations is your go-to for fresh opportunities daily. Invest the time into your job search to see results. Utilize Virtual Vocations job search filters to narrow down jobs that fit your field and schedule.

    The Virtual Vocations Database boasts more than 40 job categories as well as filters for part-time and full-time work hours, location, and travel requirements.

  • Be sure to limit your search to an hour each day. You don’t want to burn out. It’s best to use some time each day reviewing your resumé, researching companies and networking. All of these activities will impact the success of your search.
  • To beat stress, get some fresh air. Reducing your anxiety levels around the application process will help you stay sharp. Losing the positive mindset is an easy way to produce lackluster applications. You don’t want to waste time or energy applying if you aren’t giving your best effort.
  • Switch up your physical space by choosing a different location to apply from like a park with Wi-Fi or a cafe. It may even be a benefit to you to ask a friend to review your materials before applying if you have been on the search for a while and are feeling stuck. An extra pair of eyes can help you spot errors you are blind to. Editing can be a difficult process even for the most experienced writer. Save yourself the hassle by making sure you use an online editor like Grammarly.

  • With so many cover letters, resumés and other documents it can be tough to stay organized. Use Google Drive, Microsoft One Note or another online file system to keep you calm and collected. These systems will also give you access to your documents from anywhere, so you can easily tweak a resumé or send out an application on the go.

Do you have additional tips for job search optimization? Share your advice when you connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

If telecommuting is new to you, check out our free, self-directed e-course on Getting Started with Telecommuting.


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