This Virtual Vocations actionable statistical report provides researched steps telecommuting jobseekers can take to mirror what successful remote jobseekers do while searching for jobs, applying to jobs, communicating with employers, and conducting remote job interviews.
In 2018, half of all job applications were submitted via job boards, according to Statista. And while there is no shortage of advice on how to successfully conduct a remote job search, how much of it is proven?
For this actionable statistical report on what successful remote jobseekers do, Virtual Vocations researched hiring process data, from sources like Forbes, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn, then translated those statistics into actionable steps jobseekers can take to improve their remote job search experiences and hireability. Our analysis is a step-by-step guide for each phase of the remote hiring process and includes insider success tips supported by employment statistics.
STEP 1: Searching for Remote Jobs — Actionable Statistics for Successful Remote Jobseekers
Nearly 70% of millennials, which are the largest generation and workforce population group, research a potential employer beyond their company website and visit the business’s social media profiles to evaluate their brand.Source: CareerArc
ACTIONABLE STEPS TO TARGET COMPANIES IN A REMOTE JOB SEARCH
Prioritize quality over quantity in a remote job search by targeting companies before applying to their remote job openings. This strategy will not only save time while searching for remote jobs but also increase a jobseeker’s likelihood of finding the right remote job. When a remote job and, in turn, an employer’s company culture closely align with the experience and values of the employee, they will be more satisfied in their roles. Job satisfaction is a critical element to the formula of successfully working from home because it impacts both the well-being of the employee and their ability to perform their job well. When targeting companies during a remote job search, remember the following actionable steps:
- Self-assess to identify priorities regarding employee values and employer conditions that must be met in any remote job.
- Once needs have been established, jobseekers should create a list of potential companies that could match those criteria.
- Next, jobseekers can research those companies, including exploring their brand presence on social media, to evaluate how they align with targeted jobseeker criteria.
- Then remote jobseekers will be able to narrow their list of companies to a select few to target during their remote job search.
- Finally, jobseekers can engage with the shortlisted businesses via professional social media sites, industry contacts, and networks to let the companies get to know them and their desire to work with those employers.
Further Reading from Virtual Vocations: How to Effectively Target Companies in Your Remote Job Search
The collective global workforce consists of Active (30%) and Passive (70%) talent. As many as 87% of Active and Passive workers would consider new career opportunities.Source: LinkedIn
ACTIONABLE STEPS TO HELP REMOTE JOBSEEKERS SEARCH FOR NEW CAREERS
Remote jobs serve a variety of employment needs for workers across generations. The results of a the Virtual Vocations generational survey “How Millennials, Gen-Xers, and Baby Boomers Telework” showed that remote jobseekers and telecommuters of all ages view remote jobs as primary sources of income. However, remote jobs also provide flexibility for earning through gig work and freelancing, supplementing income in retirement, and exploring new careers from the comfort of home.
While at least half of professionals will consider a new job venture at some point in their lives, the choice to change careers is not one that should be made without careful deliberation. After all, switching careers could mean drastic changes in income and employment status including lower wages or a drop in seniority. Before making the decision to change careers, take these actionable steps:
- Consider why a career change is appealing and answer questions like the following: what inspired the career change; whether the same job would still be appealing with a different company; and what feelings would arise if working in the same industry were not an option?
- Evaluate skills and resources by examining career goals, transferable skills that could be used in a new career, and skills that need to be retrained or learned, and income security while pursuing professional development opportunities in order to be successful in a new career.
- Develop a vision for the new career target by learning more about the industry, researching employers hiring in that field, determining work environment criteria, and ensuring any potential new role reinforces career goals and values.
Further Reading from Virtual Vocations: 19 Questions to Ask Before Making a Career Change; this article also includes a downloadable, interactive worksheet to help jobseekers determine if a career change is right for them.
Search for Remote Jobs on the Virtual Vocations Job Board
The Virtual Vocations Job Board features more than 30,000 active remote job openings from more than 40 career categories. Remote jobseekers can streamline their job search results using Job Search Filters with criteria like Job Category, Level of Remote Work (i.e. 100% virtual or partially remote), Location, Weekly Hours, Employment Status (i.e. permanent, temporary, independent contractor or paid internship), Career Level, and Education Level.
All remote job openings added to the Virtual Vocations Job Board have undergone a multi-tiered screening process to ensure job posting quality. None of the remote job postings included on the job board are commission-only, start-your-own-business opportunities, scams, low-paying jobs, and unscrupulous “opportunities” to make money online.
STEP 2: Applying to Remote Jobs — Actionable Statistics for Successful Remote Jobseekers
A single online job posting receives as many as 250 resumes.Source: Forbes
ACTIONABLE STEPS TO STAND OUT AMONG REMOTE JOBSEEKERS
With so many talented professionals swimming in the remote talent pool, deciding how to stand out among the other applicants can be challenging. Start with this list of suggestions to boost your skills and develop your professional persona:
- Build a professional website or digital portfolio
- Clean up and improve social media profiles
- Evaluate and retool employment documents like resumes, cover letters, and work samples
- Earn an online certification or other industry credentials to bolster industry credibility and expand professional networks
Further Reading from Virtual Vocations: 8 Ways to Boost Your Remote Profile & Land That Job
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used by more than 98% of Fortune 500 Companies.Source: Jobscan
ACTIONABLE STEPS FOR CREATING AN ATS COMPLIANT RESUME
ATS software, like Taleo, Homegrown, and Jobvite, is used by the majority of recruiters and hiring managers to save time during the hiring process and pre-qualify candidates who meet job posting criteria. In fact, as many as 75% of recruiters rely on ATS during the hiring process with more than 94% of ATS users saying it has improved their efficiency by cutting back on emails and lost applications. When writing a resume that will pass an ATS screening, take the following actionable steps:
- Use traditional resume section headings to ensure ATS programs correctly extract and structure the resume information.
- Include consistent work history descriptors—ranked in reverse chronological order—that order job information in the following order: company, title, city, state, and date.
- ATS software is designed to categorize jobseeker information based on predetermined criteria so ensure critical details like contact information and location are clear and positioned at the top of the resume.
- Strategically include keywords throughout the resume that also appear in the job posting. For example, a remote jobseeker applying for a development position should incorporate ATS-friendly keywords like HTML, PHP, and CSS into their resume.
- Update social media profiles with industry-related keywords that align with the desired remote job.
- Keep LinkedIn pages current and ensure they match the resume work histories submitted to remote employers.
- Research companies before applying and use their websites to find keywords that match relevant soft skills and achievements.
- Use SEO techniques to optimize and tailor a resume for each job description.
Further Reading from Virtual Vocations: Top Tips for Writing Resumes That Will Pass ATS Software
Improve the Hireability Factor with Career Services from Virtual Vocations
Virtual Vocations Career Services are designed to help jobseekers stand out to hiring managers via keyword optimization, maximum impact formatting and language, and showcasing jobseekers’ professional brands. From resume assessments and resume writing to cover letter and LinkedIn profile upgrades, and even career coaching, Virtual Vocations provides expert, quick-turnaround, personalized services to strengthen jobseekers’ candidacy for remote job openings.
STEP 3: Communicating with Remote-Friendly Employers — Actionable Statistics for Successful Remote Jobseekers
In the U.S., the average time to complete the hiring process is 24 days.Source: Glassdoor
ACTIONABLE STEPS TO CHECK IN WITH AN EMPLOYER DURING THE REMOTE HIRING PROCESS
Finishing a remote job application can be quite a relief, however, waiting for a response is grueling. Following up with an employer during the hiring process is warranted when seeking more information like the start date for the role, as a formality and to implement job search best practices, to confirm that human resources received the application without errors, and to inquire about the application status, especially if it has been weeks since the final interview. When compelled to follow up with an employer, complete these actionable steps to ensure the communication helps, rather than hurts, hireability:
- Contact the hiring manager directly rather than making generic outreach to the human resources department.
- Opt first for a follow-up email before placing a phone call.
- Keep communications concise while reiterating interest in the position.
Further Reading from Virtual Vocations: How to Follow Up with an Employer or Hiring Manager
Before job openings are made public, as many as 50% of all job openings are filled internally.Source: CareerProfiles
ACTIONABLE STEPS TO SEEK A PROMOTION AS A REMOTE WORKER
Despite misconceptions about career longevity and upward mobility associated with remote positions, working from home does not put remote workers at a disadvantages for internal promotions. It is clear employers prefer to promote from within, and successful remote jobseekers know communicating with employers is key to earning the career advancement they want. Before applying to remote positions with other companies, explore internal openings and take these actionable steps to score the promotion:
- Before pitching the promotion, determine job priorities and goals.
- Become more visible within the company by requesting meetings, participating in team building activities, promptly replying to emails, and giving meaningful feedback when asked.
- Establish a presence as an innovator by bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to the table.
- Strengthen industry expertise and company knowledge by attending workshops or seminars and taking advantage of opportunities for professional development.
- Determine self-value so that confidence is apparent when making the pitch.
- Connect with co-workers or network contacts who have earned internal promotions and ask for advice on best practices.
Further Reading from Virtual Vocations: 9 Steps Toward Getting Promoted as a Telecommuter
Connect with Vetted Remote-Enabled Companies via the Virtual Vocations Telecommute Companies Database
Expertly researched business profiles of more than 24,000 remote-enabled companies are found within the Virtual Vocations Telecommute Companies Database. The database, which is searchable by company name or business industry, including top virtual job categories such as information technology, education, marketing, pharmaceutical, administrative, financial, and non-profit, includes hiring information about top companies like ADA Transcription, Lionbridge Technologies, CGI, Konsus, Appen, Varsity Tutors, and more.
Each company profiled in the database is known for hiring qualified professionals to work remotely. Some companies, like the members of our Employer Partner Program, work directly with Virtual Vocations to post their remote job openings. Employer Partner Program members include businesses and organizations like K12 Inc., Ultimate Software, Study.com, Lyra Health, and Scopic Software.
STEP 4: Interviewing for Remote Jobs — Actionable Statistics for Successful Remote Jobseekers
An average application to interview ratio is 10–20%, which is at least one job interview per 10 submitted applications.Source: ZipJob
ACTIONABLE STEPS FOR INSPIRING INTERVIEW REQUESTS FROM EMPLOYERS
When applying to remote jobs, high-quality employment application documents, like a resume, cover letter, and portfolio, should be the catalyst to receiving job interview requests. If employers infrequently respond to a jobseeker’s applications, something is amiss. To improve the their application to interview ratios, successful remote jobseekers should ensure they complete the following actionable steps, some of which may appear obvious but can be easily overlooked in a high-pressure situation like applying to virtual jobs:
- Confirm that emails from hiring managers have not landed in the spam folder.
- Make sure that all contact information provided to employers is accurate.
- Review job postings to double-check that application instructions were properly followed and that mindless errors did not automatically end the hiring process.
- Ensure that all attachments were uploaded in the proper file formats.
Further Reading from Virtual Vocations: Employers Aren’t Responding to Your Job Applications? 12 Reasons Why
86% of organizations rely on virtual technology to conduct video job interviews.Source: Gartner
ACTIONABLE STEPS TO SUCCEED IN VIDEO INTERVIEWS
Since April 2020, video interviewing has become the preferred method for conducting job interviews. Virtual job interviews allow employers to have more personal interactions with distributed candidates and better gauge how remote employees will adapt to the company’s culture and policies. Video interviews also establish a precedent for conducting at least some business for remote companies via video conferencing, which is preferred to text-only communication methods among remote teams. When preparing for a virtual job interview, successful remote jobseekers complete these actionable steps:
- Design a professional work environment that is quiet, distraction free, includes well-functioning equipment, and contains an appropriate background.
- Dress for success by wearing business attire fitting the position.
- Prepare to answer interview questions like “Why do you want this job?” while also knowing which questions to avoid asking in the virtual job interview, and which questions jobseekers should ask employers to prove they are engaged and knowledgeable.
Further Reading from Virtual Vocations: One-Way Video Interviews: Pros, Cons, and How to Prepare
Learn More Expert Remote Job Interview Tips from the Virtual Vocations Interview Guide
Remote jobseekers can conquer their next virtual interview with expert tips from Virtual Vocations. Within their Telecommute Toolkit, Virtual Vocations members can view and download an exclusive guide for triumphing during a remote job interview. Our interview guide covers topics like remote job interviewing success tips, what to expect during telephone interviews, how to navigate video job interviews, essential questions to ask during a remote job interview, how to field tough virtual interview questions, job interviewing tips for left-brain thinkers, and more.
Applying These Actionable Steps for a Successful Remote Job Search Experience
Our actionable steps report for what successful remote jobseekers do while on the job hunt outlined evidenced-based strategies for the following actions:
- Searching for remote jobs,
- Applying to remote jobs,
- Communicating with employers, and
- Interviewing for remote jobs.
It is now time to apply these employment strategies by looking for high-quality remote job leads in the Virtual Vocations Job Board.
Become a Virtual Vocations Member
For 13 years, Virtual Vocations has advocated for remote work while helping more than 2 million jobseekers find and apply to remote job openings. Rather than spending hours searching the web for remote jobs, we save jobseekers the time and frustration of browsing multiple job boards and company career pages. Instead, Virtual Vocations supplies jobseekers with a curated database of remote and work from home jobs, all in one place. Our trained researchers visit thousands of industry and specialty job boards, social media streams, remote-friendly employer websites, blogs, and direct employer listings to find the newest and best job leads available.
Registering for a Virtual Vocations account provides jobseekers with benefits and resources like hand-screened daily job leads, email alerts for new remote jobs that match jobseekers’
interests, a job application history to track jobs that members have applied to via the job board, storage for employment documents, a Telecommuting Handbook download to help jobseekers get started on their journeys to work from home, exclusive discount offers on paid Virtual Vocations memberships, and access to our “Getting Started with Telecommuting” online course created for remote jobseekers.
Which of these statistics about remote job searches surprised you? Will you use any of these tips in your own job search? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts on this blog post and find more remote work content and conversations.
Image credits: Canva; Virtual Vocations images designed by Kimberly Back
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