For many people, working remotely sounds like a dream. It's not about working less hard or not wanting to interact with coworkers; in most cases, the appeal of remote work is the lack of commute -- the fact that you won't have to spend any time getting to the office. And that makes life easier.
Working from home comes with other perks as well. You save money by not having to go anywhere, and you may not have to dress as you would in an office setting.
It's an ideal option for many people, but getting hired for a remote position can sometimes be a challenge. That's at least partly because 36% of hiring managers look for previous remote work experience when considering applicants according to a new survey from SimplyHired.com.
What are they looking for?
The good news is that not having remote work experience won't be a factor for about two-thirds of hiring managers. In fact, potential remote workers should expect to face less scrutiny than applicants for on-site positions. In nearly every area reviewed by hiring managers, remote workers get less attention.
It seems odd that people making hiring decisions don't read an applicant's full resume and cover letter, but that clearly happens. And remote candidates have their full resumes and cover letters read even less often. They're also less likely to have their education checked, and even less likely to have their social media profiles viewed. Remote applicants, however, are more likely to be Googled by a hiring manager (40% compared to 35%), and their LinkedIn profile will be checked slightly more often (32% compared to 29%).
It's hard to explain why remote candidates aren't scrutinized as deeply as in-office candidates. That may just be a psychological thing -- perhaps hiring managers are less worried about whether or not a person will fit into the company's culture if they won't be in the office.
And while remote workers may not have their full resumes or cover letters read, they are likely to face intense scrutiny in one area: People who hope to work remotely should be careful about how they present themselves in interviews. Nearly all of the hiring managers surveyed (87%) "said that a disorganized or inappropriate interview environment was a red flag."
What can you do?
If you want a remote job, it's important to show the hiring manager that you can handle the position. That means presenting yourself in an organized way, showing up on time, and being prepared. Make sure you arrive a few minutes early, dress appropriately, and have copies of your resume, cover letter, and any other supporting materials you may need.
"While the very nature of remote work is unusual when compared to traditional office environments, we found that the traits that hiring managers desire in remote employees aren't much different from what they'd expect of someone clocking in at the office every day," said SimplyHired.com. "Remote applicants will be put through similar hiring processes, but hiring managers will be on the lookout for previous experience as a remote worker and strong prioritization and task management."
If you want to get hired for a remote work position, make every effort to show the hiring manager you can handle being on your own. The best way to do that is to always present yourself as organized and prepared for any situation.