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Guest post by Sreeram Sreenivasan
Today, online collaboration tools like Slack and Google Docs have made it easier than ever to deliver high-quality work right from your home. Remote jobs provide greater flexibility, help you save time and money on commuting, and allow you to spend more time with your family. As a result, these jobs can be highly competitive and not easy to find.
LinkedIn is a great platform to grow your professional network and find your dream job. Here are 6 strategies you can use LinkedIn to remote work that fits your requirements.
1. Join the right LinkedIn Groups
Groups are one of the most useful features of LinkedIn that not only allow you to associate with like-minded people, but also, enable companies to look for the right candidates for their job openings. FlexJobs is one of the most popular LinkedIn groups for finding remote work. With more than 19,000 members, it has plenty of people who can help you find a job by passing an opportunity or connecting you with someone looking for a remote worker, or by simply providing useful advice.
Telecommute Jobs is another such group that has a lot of useful conversations around remote work and job openings.
No matter which group you join, ensure that you actively participate in the discussions, ask questions, provide answers & advice, so that you’re visible to the right people.
2. Use the search functionality to your advantage
LinkedIn provides a search feature that you can use to find people, companies, content, groups, as well as jobs. When you type a search keyword, LinkedIn will automatically provide suggestions – do you want to search for people, groups, or even jobs? You can select the ‘job’ option to directly view the jobs with the search query as job title.
However, if you don’t type the right keywords you may end up getting many irrelevant results. Here are a few keywords to use along with your job title:
For example, instead of searching for “content writer”, use “remote content writer” to find highly relevant remote jobs. Companies use the above words to describe remote jobs so you can use them to get more accurate results.
3. Follow the right companies
Not all companies offer remote jobs. Find out the right companies that do, and follow them on LinkedIn. This will help you stay up-to-date about their activities and job openings. You can also post comments on their updates, start a discussion and build a connection with key people at those companies.
For example, companies like Buffer and Zapier have a 100% remote workforce. In fact, Zapier has created a list of companies that only hire remote workers. It might be a good idea to follow them on LinkedIn.
Just make sure that it’s actually a company that you’d enjoy working for, and that would value your skills. For example, if you’re a content marketer, it wouldn’t be helpful if you follow a company that doesn’t have an online marketing team in place.
4. Look in the right places
You’ll be surprised to know that although remote jobs allow you to work from anywhere, they’re mostly concentrated in a few locations around the world. Once you know these locations, you can approach more companies in those places to see if they have remote job openings.
For example, San Francisco is a well-known source of remote jobs. You’re more likely to find a remote job in a San Francisco-based startup, even if they don’t advertise it, compared to a Minnesota-based company.
According to FlexJobs, here are the top 10 US states that offer remote work:
- New York
- North Carolina
Now that you know this information, you can use location-based search to find remote-friendly companies in these states, and reach out to them about relevant job openings.
5. Be open to contract work
Even if you don’t like freelance or contract work, you should consider it, at least for a while. Today, many companies hire remote workers in a freelance or contact basis. That’s not to say the work isn’t regular or steady. Instead, it’s just an employment classification that saves the company money. Plus it can have a few perks for you, such as greater control over your time, and tax benefits. Imagine how much value it will add to your resume if you do contract work for a company like Facebook or Google. It will enable you to get a foot-in-the-door, build a relationship with the company, and possibly turn it into a full-time remote position. In fact, when I was working at ZS Associates, one of my colleagues started working as a contractor for the organization. They were so impressed by his work that they offered him a full-time employment after working with him for a year.
There are plenty of LinkedIn groups for freelancers and contractors. Search for “freelance ” (e.g freelance web developer) to find open positions. Since companies know that most freelancers work remotely, they’re likely to fish these groups for remote job candidates too.
6. Set Yourself up as a suitable remote work candidate
While you’re proactively seeking remote work opportunities, it’s equally important to position your LinkedIn profile such that it helps companies see you as a suitable candidate.
Update your professional headline as well as current position to reflect that you’re seeking a remote job. Instead of describing yourself as “Unemployed” or “Looking for a Job,” here are some headline examples you can use for your profile’s headline:
- Actively Seeking Remote Employment
- Available for Remote Employment
- Available for New Remote Opportunities
- Seeking a New Remote Opportunity
- Looking for Remote Work
Next, in your current and past positions, describe the projects that made use of remote working skills. For example, you may have lead an offshore team of three people spread across three different timezones.
In each of your job positions, clearly mention the tools and techniques that will help portray yourself as a remote work candidate. Even if you were in a full-time job in an office environment, you may have employed remote work techniques to get your work done. For example, did you use tools like Skype and Google Hangout to do a video call with your customers or project managers? Did you use Slack for team management and communication? Did you use Google docs to manage project documents with your team?
The key is to give potential employers ample proof of your abilities to work in a remote environment.
The above 6 strategies will make it a lot easier to find a remote job using LinkedIn. The key is to consistently apply them for at least 2-3 months – make yourself visible by engaging in meaningful discussions and make new connections. Reach out to the companies that you want to work for, and pitch your case for your dream job.
About the Author:
For more than 8 years, Sreeram Sreenivasan has worked with various Fortune 500 Companies in areas of Business Intelligence, Sales & Marketing Strategy. He regularly writes at Fedingo about a wide range of business growth & marketing topics. He’s also the Founder & CEO of Ubiq BI, a cloud-based BI Platform for SMBs & Enterprises.
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