productivity tips · May 13, 2021

What are Employers Looking for in Candidates for Fully Remote Jobs?

Remote work

More and more companies are seeing the benefits of remote workers far outweigh any potential drawbacks. And, in part, that’s why so many jobs are now becoming fully remote.

It’s often cheaper both for the employer and the employee if the employee works from home. But not everyone has what it takes to be able to work fully remotely.

Employers are looking for candidates who are:

  • effective and efficient communicators
  • have good time management
  • independent and trustworthy
  • tech savvy
  • work well independently for long stretches of time

Candidates looking for remote jobs who have these traits are most likely to get hired.

5 traits employers are looking for in candidates for remote work

Remote working culture has entered a new phase.

That phase being there is a large remote work force worldwide. And even when the COVID-19 pandemic is over, many companies and organizations are saying they will probably never go 100% back to how it was.

So how can you land yourself a remote job? There are 5 traits that employers are looking for. Ideally, you want to have all five to be a standout candidate.

1. Effective communicator

You have to be an effective and efficient communicator. Because working remotely means staying in constant communication with your team. Which is done through email, video calling, and messaging.

With the written word being the primary form of communication, it’s vital that you can clearly and succinctly convey ideas in writing.

Also: it’s very easy to sound curt/rude in writing, so if you can show tact and subtly in your writing this will go a long way to helping your job prospects.

2. Good with time management

Time management is a very broad term that can cover motivation, proactiveness, and organizational skills.

So, how good are you at staying focused for long stretches of time? Are you able prioritize your tasks and follow-up team members and managers when necessary?

If you said yes to these, then you’re likely a good fit for remote work.

After all, these traits are important even if you’re working in an office. But working remotely, they become vital. And if you can demonstrate that you have these traits, you significantly increase your chances of gaining a remote job.

The other part of time management is working under pressure. Because sometimes deadlines can be brutal. And if you’re not able to work remotely, and under pressure, you may find that remote work is not right for you.

Read more on the best 5 tips for remote teams using a digital to-do list.

3. Trustworthy and independent

These ties into the above point.

Independent employees have to be self-motivated and proactive. Because, unlike an office environment, most of your work day will be spent unsupervised.

You’ve got to be able to show that you can be productive from your home office (even if your home office is your bedroom or lounge room), and that your employer(s) has made the right decision in allowing your to do remote work.

Trust is one of the biggest reasons many employers were—and some still are—reluctant to let their employees work from home. And this is partly for another reason: control.

When employees are in the office it’s easy to see what they are doing. It’s easy to see who showed up on time and who is late. Who’s slacking off and who’s got their nose to the grindstone.

Read more on a guide to deep work: how to achieve the ultimate productivity.

With remote work, all you can see is the communication (messaging and emails) and the results. Depending on the size and structure of the company, remote working doesn’t provide the same level of observation on an employee’s day-to-day doings.

Which bothers some employers. Your trustworthiness and independence are huge factors in determining if you’re a viable candidate for a fully remote job.

Project management software

4. Good with technology/tech savvy

Effective remote working relies on the latest tools and technology to run smoothly. This is why it’s necessary that you are good with technology, a faster learner, and/or are quick to adapt.

This isn’t to say you have to own the latest gear—the most recent Apple Mac or PC, the latest model.

There are some good software tools out there to help track tasks, communication, and KPIs. As well as provide enhanced video conferencing experiences.

Software tools like project management software have really come into their own in the last few years.

When the pandemic hit, more and more companies realized the importance and value of a project management software tool that could help organize projects, tasks, and employees.

With projects being broken down into tasks, and then those tasks being organized by priority—and by team member—it does make ensuring everyone’s one the same page a straightforward process.

There’s also the communication aspect. Many project management software tools (like Quire) have messaging options in the platform. Which allows team members to leave real-time comments on tasks as well as communicate via the message app.

Familiarity with project management software tools can be a big bonus when applying for fully remote work.

5. Can work long periods in solitude

Make no mistake. This is a very solitary job. You will be—physically—on your own.

And this trait ties back into what we’ve already discussed in points 2 and 3 (time management and independence). If you have no problem sitting at your desk for long periods doing your work, then you will have little problem with a fully remote job.

But if the idea of sitting alone working—with only email and messaging for company—then a fully remote job may not be the best fit for you.

However, if you have no problem sitting at your computer in a comfortable environment working for 8 hours a day then this will definitely help your candidacy for remote work.

Read more on how to successfully settle into a new job post-covid job loss.

The traits employers are looking for in candidates for fully remote jobs

The new remote work culture is here to stay. And if you want to succeed and thrive in this culture you need to be able to show employers that you are the ideal candidate for a fully remote job.

Employers are looking for motivated, independent, reliable, and trustworthy candidates. And if you fit this description, and you can demonstrate it to prospective employers, you have a far greater chance than most of landing a remote job.

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