In 2020, the world made a shift. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, those commuting to offices everyday or attending in-person job interviews were pushed to stay home instead. For months, we’ve connected through Zoom calls and Google Meets instead of handshakes and coffee dates. And, as the Delta variant cases rise across the country, that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. In fact, some even say that by working remotely, we’re living in the “future of work.”
So, if this is the future, how do we connect with potential employers and show off our skills and capabilities? How do we show our bosses that we’re going above and beyond from home? How do our coworkers know they can count on us?
We talked to Talent Path for some tips on how to maximize your value in a remote setting. Here’s what they said.
1. Personalize your LinkedIn profile
In the job search process, it’s important to have an online profile — specifically on LinkedIn. For those unfamiliar with LinkedIn, the platform lets you display your previous positions, skills, accomplishments, and more, all in one place. You can connect with others to form a substantial network, and you can even request skill endorsements from previous coworkers or bosses.
Recruiters are always on LinkedIn. But if you want to stand out, your LinkedIn profile should be personal.
Your profile photo should be a clear shot that shows your face, so that recruiters and connections can trust who you are — in fact, you’re 20+ times more likely to get noticed on LinkedIn if you have a profile picture. You should also use the background banner for an extra touch of personalization, so that even though you can’t meet recruiters face-to-face, your online presence offers a glimpse of your personality.
It’s also helpful to add personal flair to your “about” section, as this is an excellent opportunity for connections to get a sense of who you are beneath the surface. Make sure your opening line is a unique hook that draws readers into your world and makes them want to reach out.
2. Show off your best work
When you’re on the job hunt, it can be tempting to showcase every project you’ve ever completed in hopes of demonstrating your range, adaptability, and intelligence. But this can sometimes do more harm than good.
Your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be saturated with irrelevant samples. Instead, be selective about which projects you choose to display. A digital marketing job might call for samples of past campaigns, while a software developer position might warrant samples from your Github repository. Before you update your LinkedIn profile or send out a job application, ask yourself: do the projects I’m showcasing represent the skill sets needed for this particular role? And what’s more, do they represent the work I’m most proud of?
When you put only your best (and most relevant) work out there, it’s much more likely that your profile will be noticed and considered — and you’re much more likely to stand out from other candidates.
3. Digitize your resume
With so many recruiters and networking possibilities online, your LinkedIn profile can sometimes act more like your resume than your actual resume itself. That’s why it’s important to keep an up-to-date, accurate version of your resume on your LinkedIn profile at all times.
But that doesn’t mean uploading your resume document to LinkedIn. In fact, most people advise against this, suggesting it shows a lack of digital savvy and misunderstanding of the platform. Instead, make sure to transfer your work history, education background, skills, and anything else on your resume to display clearly on your profile, so that your page is comprehensive, informative, and easily digestible.
4. Network, network, network
Networking is the most surefire way to build professional relationships. The best part? It’s easy to make great first impressions in a remote setting, as networking is often done online or over the phone.
Talent Path suggests building a network of people you aspire to be, whether that be professionals who work in your field or merely those whose talent you admire. And while it can be helpful to network with people you already know, like professors or former coworkers, the best leads often come from new connections.
When messaging strangers, don’t be afraid to request a phone call or virtual coffee chat to learn more about them. In most cases, your new connection will be flattered and excited to share their experiences. Just make sure you’re prepared with a list of specific questions, which can range from the skills needed to enter a new field, details about their company culture, or tips on applying for an open position. As long as you’re engaged and intentional, there’s no reason you won’t make a great first impression.
5. Be patient
It can be hard to put your best foot forward in a remote setting. Hiring managers and bosses know that as well as you do, so be patient with yourself.
It might take you a little longer to find a job you’re excited about, and you might face a few rejections along the way. Once you’re hired, you might struggle to connect with your boss or prove your worth to teammates right away.
The bottom line? Don’t be discouraged! Stay focused, motivated, and continue to do great work. In time, your positive attitude and work ethic will speak for itself.