You may think filling in the form, writing a cover letter and attaching your CV is enough to get you to the next stage of a remote job hiring process, but with 3000+ applications for each role, you’re going to need to do a few more things to stand out from the crowd.
The hiring managers need to feel excited by what you have to offer, including your skills, excitement and personality, which means a multimedia application is an even stronger way to make a brilliant first impression. In this episode of Thriving Empire Podcast we talk about:
- The 5 elements of an effective remote job application
- What to include in your cover letter, as well as tips to make it brief & brilliant
- How to present these 5 elements that demonstrates your tech skills & creativity
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.
Creating a really great application comes after you find a job post, assess it for remote, career & life fit, research the company, and make sure it’s not a scam, all previous episodes. As I mentioned in episode 63 creating a really great application goes so far beyond clicking ‘apply now’ and sending a cover letter.
So in this episode I’ll share my tricks with you to help you stand out from the crowd, even if it’s a crowd of 3000+. Including how to demonstrate your tech skills without even specifying them in your CV or cover letter.
So many of you are worried about not having the right tech skills, but if you do a few things I’m going to share with you, you can show the hiring managers you have the skills that would make you a great remote team mate.
Some of these steps are elements I’ll cover in more detail over the next few episodes — the ‘how’, with checklists and templates available in podcast pack 3.
So let’s get into it:
The Cover Letter
This has a couple of elements to it:
This should be brief and articulate for maximum impact. Summarise what role you’re applying for and why; 3 reasons you’re a good fit; a summary about what value you can add; your availability for interview; your contact number and time zone. I’ll talk more about content, share a template and examples in the next episode.
Other things to think about your cover letter:
Tone, voice & style:
Yes, it should be brief and articulate, and that’s why it also needs to be infused with your personality so they get a sense of who you are in a few words. Think about your vocabulary, how you structure your sentences, and bring your own unique style into the mix, making sure you echo their style as a priority. Remember: they are looking for culture fit, but also ‘culture-add’ where you bring someone new an valuable to the team. It will pay off if you pay attention to both those things.
The first sentence of each paragraph should make sense if that’s all the hiring manager reads. So make sure that if someone is scanning instead of reading, you’ve put the most important information from each paragraph in the first sentence! That’s how I was told to write an essay at school and that skill has paid off well in my professional career.
Spelling & grammar:
Write less, but make sure your grammar and spelling is shit hot. There are apps you can use, but learning correct spelling and grammar will help you massively, and save time!
Now a word on cultural spelling. Sometimes I highlight I’m from the UK upfront, making an allowance for my UK spelling. Unfortunately there are some people in the US who don’t know or understand that we spell English differently in Canada, UK, Australia & New Zealand. If you’re applying to a remote company based in the US or with US founders or hiring managers be wary of this. Some might see your British or Canadian spelling as a spelling mistake. Grrrrrrr.
Remember the #1 most important skill for remote work we talked about in episode 60? You must be able to write.
Some agree that being able to write clearly and concisely is the most important skill a remote worker needs:
“Writing is a skill that most of us struggle with, even if it makes up the bulk of our job as knowledge workers. Whether it’s a timely Slack message, a sensitive email, or an article for the blog, being able to communicate our thoughts via the written word is a must.” — yonder.io
“Hire people who can write,” says Wade Foster of Zapier:
“In a co-located office, a lot of information is shared in person. In a remote situation, almost everything is shared via written communication. Communication is one of the most important parts of a remote team. Therefore, good writers are critical to a team’s success.”
Companies will be assessing you for this from the first sentence of your cover letter, the first line of your CV, and the first email you write. It’s that important! The trick is to be clear, concise AND have a bit of personality. So these guidelines I’ve shared with you here (and in the next episode) will help you with this.
Now that your cover letter is sorted…
The Video Cover Letter
Once you’ve written your brief, articulate cover letter infused with your personality & charm that echoes their culture, why not turn it into a video cover letter? I tell you what, since most remote companies meet and connect via video, this instantly conveys confidence, tech skills (because you’ll have to record, perhaps edit, and upload the video somewhere) this is an incredible way to stand out and share your energy, proactivity, confidence, and amazingness in the flesh. It’ll get you one step closer to interview than people who don’t create a video. And it’s good practice, because now many companies are requesting videos for the initial application stage.
Just keep it between 1-3 mins. And I’ll be sharing how to do this — exactly how I script, record, edit, upload & present it — in detail in 2 episodes, including a video bonus for the podcast where I show you exactly how to record.
Your Linkedin Profile
Somewhere in your application it’s a good idea to provide access to your LinkedIn Profile, either at the end of your cover letter, or within your CV. We talked about how to set up LinkedIn to find a remote job in Ep #65, so head back there to make sure your LinkedIn profile presents you as an ideal remote candidate and attracts remote companies and recruiters, too!
This conveys your full work history, experience and RESULTS for each role you’ve had. Shows your network, your contribution to conversations & debates in your fields of expertise & interest, the type of content you can create and how well you convey your ideas (especially important for marketers!) as well as what current and past colleagues think about you.
You’ll want to include your amazing CV that we talked about in Ep #64: The Perfect Remote Job Resume or CV — again using a smart looking template downloaded from Canva and putting the most important information and the last 3 most relevant work experience on ONE page show you’re creatively and strategically savvy and technologically dextrous. Surprising how many people don’t do this. Even though it’s such a simple thing to do.
The Landing Page
And finally the creme de la creme of the application – having all of this hosted on a landing page. I’m going to talk you through how to create a great landing page that you can link to in your cover letter that shows you’re capable of basic tech skills, perfectly positioning yourself as an ideal remote candidate. I’ll show you how to combine your summary, video, required skills, CV, LinkedIn & references on ONE web page to dazzle the hiring manager or recruiter!
Head over worksheet 18 to download the application checklist, a handy one-page print out to make sure you’re creating the most awesome cover letter possible for each job you apply to.
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!
Subscribe to the podcast on Apple, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
If you haven’t already, please rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts!