*FYI The audio quality in the video is not amazing this week, so listen to the audio podcast above if that will bother you.*
Remote job posts yield so much great information about the role and the company, especially if you read between the lines…
… and notice what’s missing!
From knowing how to assess the remote fit, to envisioning how it would feel to be in the role day to day and understanding how their mission vision and values align with your own, you can make an informed decision about whether to apply.
In fact, far from applying to every remote role that seems remotely relevant to you, I urge you to become very particular and intentional about which roles you do apply for.
These means preparing fewer, more high quality applications for roles that you’ll succeed in.
In this episode I talk you through how to scan & interpret the job posting — including when there’s no salary bracket! — so you can ensure the role meets your needs before you apply. We cover:
- How to assess the remote fit, and whether it’s in line with your work style and lifestyle
- The kind of information you need to visualise yourself succeeding in the role
- What do to when the salary or salary bracket is omitted
Get the Podcast Study Pack 3 and receive a worksheet, guide or checklist workbook for every episode, so you can make your remote career & transition a reality ASAP.
Let’s talk about how to analyse and interpret a job posting. It’s good to get into the habit of really looking at what’s included and what’s not included so you can sense the role, the company mission, vision and values, and most importantly, the culture!
The BONUS in the podcast pack is a video tear down of a job posting, where I walk you through exactly how I review and scan a job posting, what questions I ask, what are red flags etc. Grab the pack here.
Ok, so first things first… say you’re on a remote job board and you’ve clicked on a link for your ideal job title, say: Marketing Manager.
You’ve landed on the page, so what next?
Here are the main things I’d pay attention to, to get a sense of the role and the company.
1. Is it a ‘remote fit’?
Straight away you want to assess your remote fit. Usually the remote descriptor is either in the headline, or just below. Scan until you find it. Not worth applying until you know for sure.
It might be 100% remote. It might be flexible working, work from home 3 days a week, or remote restricted to a continent, a country or a time zone. Make sure to search for this info first before you spend a lot of time on your application. Don’t apply unless you match the remote criteria, or can and are eligible to move to fit the criteria.
One recent spec I was looking at specified: Anywhere, plus or minus 4 hrs UTC/UK. So you might have to learn the time zone vernacular!
2. About the role
Firstly you want to read and digest the details of the role summary. What does it involve? Does it give you a picture of the day to day expectations and deliverables, as well as the regular outputs and longer term goals and targets? You want to get a real feel for the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly expectations for the role, and be able to visualise yourself in the role. Does it give you a good feeling? Does the nitty gritty of the role excite you?
Hopefully they’ve listed the skills they are looking for:
- Can you tick at least 50% of them?
- Are they skills you enjoy using?
- Are they skills you’d like to learn?
They might also list responsibilities:
- Can you imagine doing these day to day?
- Would you enjoy this? Would you thrive on this challenge?
- Would any of this drain you?
- Does it feel uplifting to imagine yourself doing this every day, working on your own without any supervision?
Hopefully they list the qualifications they are looking for:
- Do you match the qualifications?
- Do you have alternative relevant qualifications?
- Can you show the equivalent in work experience?
- Do you feel confident applying without specific qualifications & work experience?
Requirements – required & preferred
- Do you feel comfortable with the requirements of the role?
- If you don’t meet them, could you?
Remember, apart from the non-negotiables, smart companies know you won’t tick all of their boxes. One recent job post specified:
“Aside from the non-negotiables, please don’t worry if you can’t check absolutely every criteria above (you’re probably more awesome than you think).”
How nice is that?!
- Do they match your needs & requirements?
- Do they excite you or surprise you?
- Do they make you feel valued as a potential team member?
- Do they make working remotely seem easier or more beneficial for you?
This is a tricky one, because more and more companies are not including a salary on the job spec. On some job boards it’s essential that a company add at least a salary bracket. This means you can search for certain salaries, which is good.
On others it’s not a required field, leaving you wondering: “Well, this sounds awesome, but what if it won’t meet my needs?” And this is a fair question. And something you might only discover if you get to the interview stage.
In some applications you’re invited to stipulate your salary expectation, which always feels like your bidding, and very awkward! In this case you can use a salary calculator in your country and theirs to get a sense of the right bracket to aim for, without under valuing or overvaluing yourself!
With startups dominating the remote work scene, it’s worth noting the different payment models being used:
- Salaries based on location of companies office, if there is one, or founders
- Salaries based on your location as a remote worker
- Salaries based on general national market trends
You may want to make a note to ask about this in your interview! But it’s a good idea to know what you need to get paid to live comfortably, and what you’d like to get paid ideally that aligns with your life and career goals, location, life stage, and level of experience.
So that will give you a good sense of the role. Really imagine yourself in this role day to day, delivering on your short term deliverables and achieving your longer term goals. And notice how that makes you feel. I like to close my eyes and visualise myself doing this work in my kitchen, or in my favourite cafe and see how I feel about that. Don’t underestimate the power of visualisation to help you choose the right role for you!
Now you want to interpret more about the company itself.
5. About the company
Is there a summary about the company that states what they do, who they do it for, and why? Look for information about their vision, their mission, and most importantly, their values.
Values are usually listed as bullets, indicating the way they operate and how they treat their people. Take a close look at these, and see if they light you up. You’ll be most satisfied in a role where the company’s vision, mission and values align with your own.
So that’s how to look at the role and the company. And these may seem very obvious points, but they are so much more important when you work remotely. Because you won’t have a team to rally you, or a boss to motivate you.
You really have to be motivated by the role itself, taking pride in your work, delivering on time, under pressure, with no one looking over your shoulder checking up on you. When you feel excited by the vision, mission and values of the company; when you really enjoy the nitty gritty of the day to day work; and when you feel you’re being fairly compensated with salary and benefits, you will really thrive working remotely.
So let’s talk about….
6. How the post is written?
- Is the post written in the first person?
- IS it super friendly?
- IS it fun, good natured, humourous?
- Or is it static, boring, dry and impersonal?
- Is it all about THEM and nothing about YOU?
The job post should be all about YOUR experience of the role. Your application should be all about them, showing what value to bring to their business and their goals. So make sure the tone, voice and style of the job post ‘sounds’ like the kind of culture you’d like to work in!
There’s one more thing to notice.
7. How to apply
Pay special attention to the instructions for applying! Sometimes you will just click ‘apply now’ and you’ll be redirected to their company website or a job search aggregator to input your details. But sometimes they’ll leave an email address, and give you a specific subject heading or another phrase to put in your email to test whether you’ve read the job posting in detail and all the way through.
So read carefully, pay attention to every word, and then apply with perfection.
Most importantly I think is that after you’ve scanned & interpreted the job spec, you take a moment to close your eyes and see how this role feels for you. I know how easy it is to apply on autopilot to anything that seems remotely relevant, but it’s really important to apply only if you feel the role is a good fit for your life and career vision, and really excites you.
So head over to Worksheet 15 in the podcast pack — it’s actually an MP4 video file, but I need to stick with naming convention for all the materials in the podcast pack — where I do a tear down of a recent ‘remote’ job posting that I found on a company website via a post on LinkedIn. I talk you through aloud my own insights, questions etc and how I’d research further or follow up with the company before applying, red flags I notice etc.
If you don’t have the worksheet yet don’t worry, head over here to get your copy there.
That’s it from me this week. See you next week on Thriving Empire Live!
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