We are all experiencing the major effects brought on by the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The pandemic has brought on the lonely, but necessary measure of social distancing. Unfortunately, this practice has caused many aspects of our lives to change, most notably our limitations regarding the ability to interact with others in person and create new meaningful relationships.
For many young professionals, there is a sense of uncertainty as to what we should do regarding our next steps. A commonality many of you may share is the loss of valuable internships due to social distancing, leading us to believe that there is no point in searching for new opportunities.
Despite the larger circumstances, however, it is extremely important that you do not fall into this negative mindset and do nothing. I am here to tell you that now is the perfect time for you to seek the opportunities that are happening NOW! Right NOW!
The New Digital Age of Remote Work
That’s right! Remote jobs and internships! Regardless of whether or not there is a pandemic, companies still need to continue operating, which is why many of them have switched to offering online positions. As we transition to a new Digital Age of working from home, people will need to network online with experienced professionals in the industry to get a headstart. The key to this practice is that it’s better to position yourself now, rather than later. Unless you position yourself in a place where you can obtain the opportunities happening now, soon it will be too late and you will have missed out!
According to JP Mangalindan from Protocol.com, “We've seen a big spike in remote jobs on LinkedIn across a wide array of industries: 13% in March alone in remote job postings. They're a small case, to be clear, but they're growing fast” (2020).
That is why it is crucial for you to Network with as many professionals and recruiters as possible so that you can learn more about the Remote Work opportunities that are available.
Optimizing your LinkedIn Profile for Remote Positions
LinkedIn is the Number 1 online resource to promote your professional background and network with others to find new career opportunities. In order for you to build stronger relationships on LinkedIn, you need to optimize your profile that adds value to your work experience. Value includes your Accomplishments, Transferable Skills, and Work Ethic.
Quantifying your Accomplishments does a great deal to add value to your work experience. Change your duties and responsibilities to sound more like Achievements! For example, let’s say you have experience working with Vendor & Invoice Management Accounting:
(Duty) Responsible for handling invoices for the business.
(Accomplishment) Handled $1.4 Million in vendor invoices, ensuring all parties receive their contracted payments.
Do you see how much of a difference in value the Accomplishment bullet point has in comparison to the Duty bullet point?
By implementing these characteristics of value and keywords, you will position yourself where recruiters and other professionals notice your profile. Especially considering we are now working from home, if you are skilled in computers and technology, you will have a high chance of obtaining a Remote Work Position.
The faster you create those relationships with professionals, the more chances you have of opportunities opening up to you.
Step-By-Step Process on How to Network on LinkedIn to find Remote Work Positions
Below is a list of steps on how to expand your LinkedIn network to find more remote work opportunities.
Optimize your LinkedIn Profile (see more details in the previous section).
Start researching companies that you are interested in applying to.
Once you find a company that you are interested in, start looking for those who work with the company and see if they have a similar role as to what you’re applying for!
Reach out to them and ask more about their experience as to why they got into the industry and why they chose to work with that company.
Ask them about their current projects and strategies as to how they’re adapting to COVID-19.
You can even ask them if they know of any Remote Opportunities within the company. If they provide you with a great resource, take it!
Don’t just network with one professional in the company. Network with others too, including HR Recruiters so you can have a larger idea of how the company operates and what to expect when you apply.
Once you find out more about the company, tailor your Resume & Cover Letter to fit the qualifications the company is looking for in candidates.
In your cover letter, emphasize how you are interested in the Remote Work Opportunity and how you want to utilize your skills to exceed the company’s objectives.
Continue to nurture and build that relationship with HR Recruiters. Wait about a week to follow up with the HR Recruiter to ask if the position is still available.
Keep in mind, if you do not get the position, that’s perfectly okay. Remember that it’s a process.
Sometimes, you will reach 10 NO’s before you reach that 1 YES. In addition, every “NO” stands for “Next Opportunity.”
If there’s one thing the Coronavirus has taught you, it’s that changes are constant and adaptation is necessary. While there is certainly an interpersonal disconnect due to working remotely, it is certainly better than sitting around accomplishing nothing.
If you do happen to obtain a Remote Work Position, make the absolute most out of it and be sure to apply your knowledge of what you learned moving forward in your career.
The question you have to ask yourself is: Are you going to sink? Or are you going to swim?
About the Author:
Benjamin Kahan is the Founder of Forest Hills Resumes, a Resume Writing Service based in Queens, NY committed to helping young professionals accomplish more in their careers. Although Benjamin’s background is based in Business Marketing and Media, he has a passion to motivate others to seek life experience and skills. He currently attends Queens College and has been connecting with other young professionals by providing his services and emphasizing their work value.