How to Find a Remote Job as a Developer in 2021
You are one in 27 million. According to the Global Developer Population and Demographic Study, that is the number of developers worldwide now, that will increase to bizarre 45 million by 2030. Even though not all of them work remotely, the competition for remote tech jobs remains huge. The million-dollar question is: How do you stand out?
First, do your homework. Second, use the best tools and techniques for your job search and find only the most relevant roles. Finally, market yourself effectively to potential employers.
Our goal is to help you approach the application process in a fearless fashion. Here is Part 3 of the 6nomads guide on how to find a remote job as a developer in 2021.
WRITE A KILLER CV
A CV or a resume is a requirement of any job application and your one-two-page chance to sell yourself as a professional.
What does a CV have to look like?
Clean, professional and digestible in a short amount of time. You can use one of many resume templates available online, i.e. on Canva, resume building websites like Resumake or try LinkedIn Resume Assistant. A typical CV or resume features:
- Contact details
- Links to your professional profiles
- Headline or Summary giving a general idea of who you are
- Work experience (with bullet points under each of your positions explaining your responsibilities, accomplishments and lessons learned)
- Self Study (courses and certificates)
- Languages and Interests
TIP: If you are creating a CV on LinkedIn, there is an option to save a Profile as a PDF. On 6nomads you don’t even have to copy-paste your CV. When registering, you put your LinkedIn profile link, and the fields are automatically filled in. Customize it by describing your strengths, interests and career goals. Now you are all set: your profile contains all the necessary details and is ready to grab the employer’s attention.
How will they know what I am capable of?
List all the technologies you have ever been exposed to. There are a few ways to showcase it (and the best thing is to do them all):
✔ Put the stack on the resume: in the skills section or in every project you worked on.
✔ Showcase your projects on GitHub and add a link to your resume. Check this article to learn tips, tricks and red flags for a GitHub profile.
✔ Pass 6nomads technical skills assessment.
Can I lie on my resume (just a little bit)?
Please don’t. First, it’s neither nice nor ethical. Second, you are going to get exposed during the technical interview. The dev team or a person you are going to talk to will know if you are actually aware of that framework or if you actually used that tool.
How to make my CV look really attractive then?
- Customize your headline. What is the point in repeating the title of your most recent role? Try to rewrite it, for example by including the languages or technologies you use the most.
- Create a summary for your profile. The summary serves as an elevator pitch that you can put between your contact details and your work experience. The basic summary includes your current role, your experience in the industry and with certain technologies, achievements and also your interest in the particular role and company. Just a couple sentences to give an idea of who you are and why you are a good fit.
- Use action verbs. Don’t just list your responsibilities under each job you had, but start every sentence with an action verb like ‘applied, ‘facilitated’, ‘delivered’. Harvard Law School has a full list of action verbs published.
- Choose a special technique to develop your resume and create strong bullet points, such as STAR method, WHO method and CAR technique. Your CV is not just a list of things you did in life. The special techniques help you describe your functional skills, define your achievements and create a real story of your professional development.
- Tailor your resume to the job. It’s even more important if you are applying for a job in larger companies as many of them use applicant tracking systems (ATS). ATS is a company’s doorman that categorizes your resume and scans it for specific keywords in order to determine if it is worth being handed to the recruiter.
Now you are ready to:
✔ Save your CV as a PDF.
✔ Create or update your LinkedIn profile.
✔ Use the links to your LinkedIn and GitHub profiles to register at the 6nomads platform.
WRITE A COVER LETTER
A cover letter can be a separate file attached to your email or to your online application. If a cover letter is optional, it is a good idea that you submit it to show the effort and a real interest in the job.
Wait, do I even need a cover letter for a tech role?
On the one hand, about half of tech companies have cover letter fields in their application forms, and 65% of fast-growing startups do too. On the other hand, the cover letter fields are mostly optional, and job recruiters spend only a few seconds on each application. We match companies with the most relevant candidates, so the need for a cover letter and extra test tasks usually goes down. You can also skip a lot of exhausting formalities, as almost all recruiters on 6nomads are CEOs, CTOs and team leads.
Preparing a cover letter is still a great opportunity to:
✔ Practice self-reflection and review your work experience
✔ Improve your writing skills
✔ Prepare for an interview
✔ Explain any gaps in employment
There is no universal rule on how to write cover letters and what information to include. Usually, when reading a cover letter a hiring person wants to see the answers to the following questions:
- Do you know the name of our company?
- Why are you interested in the position?
- Why do you want to work for a particular company?
- How is your previous experience relevant to the job?
- What benefits will you bring?
- Do you love what you do?
The general idea is to show that you understand yourself, the industry, and the company you are going to work for. As you are applying for a remote role, make sure to highlight your ability to work remotely. Don’t forget to check the final version of your cover letter for grammar and spelling mistakes using a free check tool.
Congratulations! Four companies got your resume and maybe even read your cover letter. A hiring manager from the first one gives you a call just to confirm your interest, the second one wants to text chat on Slack. Then you get a take-home skills test from the third company, and the fourth one insists on a tech interview straight away.
The hiring process varies from company to company. The steps you may go through usually include but not limited to:
✔ Pre-recorded interviews that are gaining broader use, especially within the remote work market. All the candidates get the same questions and make three-five minute videos answering these questions. According to 6nomads data, candidates who have pre-recorded interviews in their profile receive offers from companies almost 40% more often.
✔ Preliminary remote coding tasks. It might be a homework-type assignment provided by a hiring company with a certain time limit or a coding challenge like the one we use.
✔ Technical interviews are video interviews with tech-savvy people from the company, i.e. a dev team lead, CTO or a whole panel of developers. During a technical interview be ready for:
- Code review of your take-home tasks
- Quiz questions on software development fundamentals
- Coding challenges. You will have to open an IDE or text editor to solve some exercises in real time and discuss them
Usually, the tasks are harder than the ones the position requires, and employers care more about your solution to the problem and your explanation rather than the actual answer to it. To get an idea on how tech interviews usually go, check YouTube, for example, Joshua Fluke’s channel.
✔ General interviews. A hiring manager, a team lead or even a startup CEO might give you one or more phone screens or video calls and ask you about all the little things you put on your resume, your experience using different tools and technologies, your soft skills and basic culture and questions. Prepare yourself to answer remote specific questions.
Remember you are interviewing a company as much as they are interviewing you, so feel free to ask them about their remote culture or any support they offer to remote workers.
Check the remote jobs shortlist not to postpone, but to find the offer suiting you the best right now and good luck!
Part 1. Lessons to learn before you start your job search