Have you ever come across a job listing that’s perfect for you – except it’s located far beyond commutable distance? You’d love to do the job on a remote basis, but if the want ad doesn’t specifically state the brand is open to hiring telecommuters, should you even bother applying?
You won’t know if you don’t try.
Unless a job ad specifically states it’s not accepting remote applicants, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t throw your hat in the ring anyway. Just because a business is searching local, doesn’t mean it won’t consider candidates in another part of the state, national – or even global. It never hurts to ask.
Mind you, most businesses that don’t specifically list telecommute opportunities aren’t looking for telecommuters. However, if you have a stellar record and impressive experience, you might be able to show you’re the right person for the job – even if you live several states away.
The trick to landing a job as a telecommuter is to present yourself as the absolute best candidate for the job. If a business has a choice between hiring the best they’ll choose the best, even if the best can’t come into the office every day.
Make it clear you’re a remote applicant – without dwelling on it
Be honest with the business you’re applying to. If you live in Schenectady and they’re in San Francisco, don’t drop this bombshell when they call you in for an interview. Mention in your cover letter that you’d like to be considered as a remote applicant. That isn’t to say you should make you’re remote-ness the sole focus of your cover letter. As you only have a few brief paragraphs in which to sell yourself and highlight your experience, it’s more important to present yourself as the best person for the job, than how you’ll be working from your home office.
Highlight experience, achievements, and accolades
Because you’re applying as a remote applicant, your cover letter and resume have to shine brighter than all the local candidates. After all, why should a brand hire you to work at home when they can hire people who are closer to show up at the office every day? If you want this job you have to prove you’re the best person to do it.
Be sure to highlight all your achievements with past clients and/or employers. If you helped to accomplish a sales milestone or major business goal, make sure this is noted on your cover letter or resume. If you received awards, press, or other accolades, these should be highlighted as well. Share all the things and hype (without over hyping) your success,. Oh, and don’t forget to make sure to mention you’re a team player. Portraying yourself as a loner who would rather work by yourself isn’t a selling point.
Talk about what you can do for them – and not the other way around
If you’re hired, how will you make a difference? What will you do for the brand to help exceed their goals? What can you do for them that is better than what everyone else can do for them?
You see, while it’s important to highlight yourself as the best job candidate, what’s really important is that you paint a picture of success for the brand. What impact will you make to their bottom line? (Hint: It’s always about the bottom line.)
While a cover letter should always provide an overview of your experience and achievement, what Human Resources is mostly looking for is someone who will take the brand to new heights. Make your cover letter more about them than you. Take them to the moon without going over the top.
Wanting to work from home is the last thing you should talk about in your in your cover letter. The brand doesn’t need to know about office equipment, working in pajamas, your home office, your awesome babysitter, what a great multi tasker you are, or how you’re willing to travel for training periods, conferences, or meetings. None of that is relevant to the immediate matter at hand.
Focus instead on:
- How and why you’re the best job candidate.
- What you will do to help the brand achieve success.
- Past accomplishments
Any questions having to do with job performance, including the logistics of working remotely, will come up during the interview process. For now, concentrate on acing the application.
To sum it up: use your cover letter to show how and why you’re the best candidate for the job, and why hiring is the best decision they’ll ever make. Disclose that you’re applying as a remote applicant, but avoid dwelling on the telecommute aspect.
If you are the best person for the job and it shows, the brand will want you on their team regardless of location.