Coding your way to a remote career

Landing your first remote job can be tough. But if you’re still searching for opportunities on LinkedIn and sending the same resumes you would to office jobs, it’s time to level up your remote job-hunting skills. 

The first rule to remote work is to change your mindset. Think remote first. Understand how the remote job market works differently. Consider what remote hiring managers are specifically searching for. Last but not least, orientate your skills for this new mode of work. 

All about the tech remote job market

Luckily, there’s no better time to get into remote tech work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that developer jobs will grow at a rate of 24% from 2016 to 2026. These rates are unbelievably high and set to increase worldwide as well. In fact, estimates suggest that there will be 27.7 million developers globally by 2023. Remember that remote work in the tech industry is on the rise too, meaning that there will be plenty of remote tech work up for grabs.

The perks for remote tech workers are even more exciting. A new survey from Quartz suggests that remote tech workers are paid more than their in-office counterparts throughout the world. In top 10 lists for highest paying online jobs, DevOps managers and software developers are two of the highest at $91,000 and $115,000 per year respectively, and they’re also listed within the top 10 most popular online jobs. 

It’s clear: this is the moment to get into a remote IT career.

Top tech remote roles and languages that hiring managers want

The high demand of tech remote work is also diverse. If you want to crack the remote scene, it’s important you know a little more about what roles and skills hiring managers are looking for. 

To start off, according to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the most popular tech jobs are:

  • 57.9% Back-end developer
  • 48.2% Full-stack developer
  • 37.8% Front-end developer

However, there are even more specific breakdowns for programming languages. By studying remote job boards, hiring trends suggest that the top five contracted languages and skills include: JavaScript, Ruby, DevOps, Full stack and Node JS. Moreover, other “most wanted” skill surveys also have Python as the top language, React as the top framework and MongoDB as the top database.

Finally, if you’re looking for the top paid languages globally, you’ll have to stick with F#, Ocaml, Clojure, Groovy, Perl and Rust. However, all tech remote jobs consistently rank high in salaries worldwide. 

Tech soft skills to stand out among the coding crowd 

Of course, it’s not just your technical skills that hiring managers are looking for. If you’re interested in breaking into remote tech, you’ll need to brush up on skills specific to a global, fast-paced and dynamic tech remote world. 

It’s hard to get numbers of what skills remote companies are looking for, but luckily there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence. According to the top remote companies around, they want tech workers that are:

  • Communicative: This is a biggie for remote work. Effective and responsive communication is key for building trust and making sure projects are moving forward, whether on Slack, Zoom or simply Gmail. If the remote company works directly with clients, verbal communication will also be highly desired. 
  • Adaptable to dynamic teams: Remote teams have all kinds of working modes, including fully remote and distributed. In addition, at times teams are re-configured according to skills. Adaptability to new team members, projects and circumstances is essential for successful remote work.
  • Self-motivated/driven: Being driven isn’t specific to remote work, but it becomes more important when remote workers are in charge of their own work schedule. Companies want team members who believe in the company and just don’t do the bare minimum. As Attentiv says, they want workers who don’t need “babysitting.” 
  • Receptive to feedback: Dynamic tech projects also involve getting feedback, making revisions and doing several iterations for a client. When a worker is receptive to feedback and doesn’t take comments personally, the team can better focus on the end result. In addition, listening to feedback shows that the worker is willing to grow and improve over time.
  • Fit into company culture: Remote companies have culture, too. The virtual office is a space to build relationships, understand company policies and have fun. Some company cultures are even defined by their love of GIFs or their positive attitude in the face of challenges. Understanding the company’s culture is a key part of finding the right remote job.

Crafting a remote-friendly resume and job search

Now that you know what remote hiring managers are looking for, you should focus on your remote job search. First, you should review your resume and make sure it includes skills related to remote work. Can you highlight skills that would be useful for remote work? Have you specified any previous remote roles? Can you make a digital resume with a portfolio? Try to think remote and edit your resume keeping in mind what remote hiring managers want. 

When you begin your job hunt, you should also look in remote-friendly places. One good method is checking out Slack. Many remote companies leverage this tool, so building contacts via Slack can be helpful when looking for work. In addition, digital tools like Twitter or GitHub are good for making contacts and finding opportunities. Go to the tools that remote companies use most and start there. Moreover, there are plenty of online remote job boards these days, as well as remote hiring marketplaces. Getting connected with remote companies is easier than ever.

In the end, you can build your own remote career. Keep in mind the characteristics of the remote job market and what hiring managers are looking for. Stand out by brushing up on the most wanted languages and soft skills, and also make sure your resume is specific to the remote model. Follow these recommendations and you’ll be sure to crack the remote career code.

This is a guest post by Manuel Naveda, a talent recruiting specialist TECLA: a hiring marketplace for remote talent. 

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