Tips to Help You Land a Remote Tech Job

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The pandemic has given developers all around the world access to the realm of remote employment. Companies that were formerly on-site are swiftly shifting to remote, while remote-first companies are sprouting up or gaining prominence.

I recently organized a Twitter Space on “Landing a Remote Tech Job,” where I invited Ehi Aigiomawu, Edem Kumodzi, and Bubunyo Nyavor, all of whom have lots of experience with remote tech jobs.

Below are some key takeaways from the session:

 Things to consider before applying for a remote tech job 

Know yourself and what you want. Don’t get too excited about the money and then end up somewhere you don’t want to be. When seeking job opportunities, make sure to update your resume to highlight the roles and companies you are interested in. Never send a generic resume; instead, adapt it to suit the job being applied for. FreeCodeCamp has a great engineering resume template that will assist you in crafting your resume.

 Qualities and skills recruiters look out for in remote candidates

Remote jobs require about the same abilities that are necessary for on-site work.  Good communication is crucial for remote roles as you will mostly not be in the same room as your other team members. There are engineers who write robust codes but are unable to articulate the processes involved in arriving at their solutions. Being able to describe your thought process to a recruiter, hiring manager or even your future team is a required skill for success in a remote job.

 How the pandemic has changed the tech interview process

Recruiters and organizations have come to understand that employees have the ability to work from anywhere and still produce outstanding results. In recent times, landing a tech job should not be as difficult as it previously was, especially if you are a good match for the job and you have the required experience and skills.

Due to the nature of remote tech interviews, which do not allow you to physically demonstrate your technical and soft skills, you must become good at interacting with others virtually. Remote tech jobs still require you to possess all of the technical skills required for the position. Throughout the interview process, it is important to have good internet connectivity as well as to be in a noise-free environment. Although your recruiter may not say it, if you do not check some of these boxes while they interview you, it could demonstrate to them that you are not ready for a remote job. Also, during the interview process, mind your talking speed – do not speak too slowly or too fast as this can prevent your recruiter from picking up important things you say or they may get bored altogether.

 Where to find remote job opportunities

These days, almost every job platform includes a remote toggle to help you filter out remote opportunities easily. Some websites that have remote job postings include We Work Remotely, Remotive, Andela, Remote Okay, TalentQL, TopTal, KuHustle, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, StackShare and AngelList (which is primarily focused on tech startups). In a remote job search, it is advisable to filter out jobs by programming languages. You should also check out the company’s websites directly to explore their open positions and apply to the ones that closely match your skills and experiences.

Being a part of the community for the specific coding language you use, as well as generic developer communities such as Developers in Vogue, DevCongress,  Google Developers Group, etc, is great because these groups usually have employment channels where companies and community members often share job openings and give referrals for some of these positions.  Recruiters find it easier to attract high-quality applicants from these communities after publishing it on their own Slack or Discord channels where candidates usually share their knowledge and learn from one another. Participating in communities by asking and answering questions, and sharing your thoughts helps recruiters and hiring managers to identify you for future opportunities, as some recruiters prefer to hire within their local circle before expanding to the general public.

Tips to help you excel in remote tech job interviews

Keep in mind that the company you are interviewing with wants to know if you are a good match for the position, so every step you take should go in that direction. Don’t forget to interview the company as they interview you. Conduct a thorough study about the company and prepare to ask smart questions that will provide you with the information you will need to make a decision. You should also inquire about the company’s plans for onboarding and remote work and confirm that the company has the essential infrastructure in place to make your remote work experience as seamless as possible.

Making an effort to be adjustable to the company’s local time can go a long way to position you as a candidate of choice. Let’s say you are interviewing with a company in San Francisco while you are located in Ghana; if you cannot demonstrate that working in the Pacific time zone will be possible for you, the company might choose the next best applicant who is closest to their time zone or can work best in their time zone. Alternatively, you can focus your search on remote-first companies (assumes employees are working outside of the corporate office all the time) rather than remote-friendly companies (allows employees to work outside of the corporate office at least part of the time).

When answering questions at the interview, draw scenarios or use situational responses. For example, if an interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself, don’t just give them your name and title; instead, guide them through your tech journey, highlighting major events or successes as well as technologies you’ve used along the way.

Make sure you have good internet and audio ahead of the interview; if you want to invest in video lighting, that is also a good idea. Try to minimize the occurrence of technical challenges as much as possible.

What you can do to stand out from other applicants

Keep investing in building your skills so that you can match up with job applicants from other parts of the world. Aim to be at the top of your game and world-class as that could be your competitive advantage.

Note that companies will not hire you simply because you are from an underrepresented group. Even if they have such initiatives, they will still assess your competencies and fit for the role.

A good way to go about finding remote jobs or job opportunities in general is to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before you. If you know people in the companies you want to apply to, reach out to them for help with your application. This could be in the form of internal referrals, mentorship and even resume reviews. One advantage of applying to companies that have already hired people from your network is that it gives an indication that the company has had prior experience recruiting from your location and probably has the right logistics in place to be able to hire more remote workers from that location.

 When is it appropriate to start looking for remote tech jobs?

There isn’t a clear cut answer to this question as some people have different paths and varying levels of expertise. The barrier to entry into software engineering is low, and thus could be a great advantage for people who want to switch career paths. However, it is advisable to hone your skills to the level of a senior engineer before applying for remote tech jobs. Nevertheless, feel free to apply whenever you feel ready as there are companies that hire entry level junior developers and provide career growth opportunities.

 Do I need a work permit to work remotely if I live in Africa?

Africans, on average, have a harder time obtaining  work visas from other continents. In the United States, the lottery system can make it harder to obtain a work visa. If you have a college degree, it may be easier to obtain a work visa in Europe. Many organizations do not require a work permit for you to work remotely, however, to visit the countries that these companies are located in,  you will most likely require a visa (sometimes a visitor visa could suffice). A number of countries have begun to issue “Nomad” Visas, which grants people legal permission to work remotely while staying outside of their place of permanent residency. Some companies will help by facilitating all the documentation required to obtain work permits and relocate but others may not.

There is no laundry list to assist you find a remote job in your search so these suggestions may or may not work for you. Remote work is not for everyone, so it is important to assess whether working remotely will be a good fit for you. Participate in communities, contribute to open source projects and stay in touch with your network. When working remotely, it could get difficult separating your work life from your personal life and this may result in burnouts. It is important to create appropriate boundaries for yourself, your family, and your career. Finally, don’t neglect your social life.

I usually host Twitter Spaces every Tuesday and Thursday where I bring in speakers to share their experiences, insights, resources and opportunities in the tech industry. If you are interested in joining any of the upcoming ones, please visit http://spaceswithivy.com to add to your calendar.

Want to learn more about my journey as a data scientist at Microsoft as well as useful resources and opportunities for people who are new to the field? Be sure to follow me on LinkedIn so you don’t miss any of my upcoming posts.

 

Source: Ivy Barley

Justicehttps://ghananewshome.com
Editor in chief of ghananewshome.com ~ Content creator ~ Musician~Video Director~Song Writer ~Graphic Designer

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