After almost a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear the virus has upended the way we work. Safety measures like quarantines and lockdowns have prompted more employees to work from home than ever before; one study found that the number of employees working remotely has doubled since mid-March 2020. Employer surveys indicate this trend will likely continue even after restrictions are lifted.
Companies and professionals have adapted to remote work arrangements in creative ways—but how do you land that perfect remote job in the first place? Here are 6 tips to help with your remote job search:
Focus on an industry already well-suited to remote work.
You might kickstart your job search by targeting an industry with a high built-in potential for offering remote work. These include Information Technology; Software Development; Customer Support & Client Services; Scientific & Technical Services; Communications & Marketing; Design; Finance, Insurance, & Accounting; Research & Data analysis; Online Education & Counseling; and Administrative Support.
Take advantage of job boards, especially those specifically for remote work.
WeWorkRemotely, FlexJobs, and Remote.Co are valuable hubs of remote job opportunities that also offer supportive online communities for remote workers to share information and advice. Major job boards like Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn are also great places to peruse remote positions; just set your location preference to “remote” in the search field.
Market your most remote-friendly professional experience.
When updating your resume, highlight the job skills that would help you succeed in a remote position. These include working with computers; familiarity with software; analyzing information; identifying process improvements; taking initiative to problem solve; performing administrative activities; training, teaching, or coaching others; establishing relationships; monitoring processes; and marketing products or services.
Consider how you’ll show productivity and accountability.
While some companies have developed methods to ensure their employees are productive even while at home, there may not always be clear benchmarks for remote employees to show they’re staying on task. Your cover letter is an ideal place to promote the “soft skills” and personality traits that will make you an accountable remote worker. These may include being self-directed and organized, possessing excellent time management and communication skills, or the ability to learn new things quickly and independently.
Start preparing for remote work now.
Think about what would position you for remote work success. This may include steps like investing in upgraded computer accessories or a better desk setup, or re-structuring your daily routines to accommodate working from home. LinkedIn Learning offers courses in preparing for remote learning that focus on key concepts like managing virtual teams, leading conference calls, and improving productivity. Listing professional development courses on a resume is a great way to show proactivity— an essential trait for a remote employee!
Let us help!
Preparing for any job search isn’t easy, but the good news is that you don’t have to go about it alone. If you need help with interview preparation, career coaching, or marketing yourself to employers by creating a great resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile, contact the career consultants at Resume Spice today.
You just successfully completed a job interview. Good work!
The next step is to send a polished thank you email to your interviewer and further demonstrate your enthusiasm (and competency!) for the position.
It’s tempting to simply copy/paste an email template that you find online. However, to truly come across as a unique candidate, personalization is key.
Interviewers can sense a cookie-cutter message a mile away and a copied email suggests laziness on your part. We’re going to provide templates here, but we highly recommend that you customize them to your interview / interviewer.
Below are three customizable interview follow-up email templates.
Template #1: Informal Thank You Email
This thank you email is appropriate for an entry-level to mid-level position interview or a more informal email (such as with a startup).
Subject Line: Thank you for your time, <Interviewer Name>!
Dear <Interviewer Name>:
Thank you for meeting with me on <Day>. I enjoyed learning more about the <Position Name> and <Company Name>.
What I found particularly interesting was <something unique about the position.> I believe that my skill set in <x,y,z> would lend itself well to this responsibility.
At <Previous Company Name>, I approached a similar task and I took <x,y,z steps> to achieve <provide quantifiable results>.
On a personal note, I enjoyed discussing <sports team, home town, or your shared love of dogs>. <Add a personal note about it>
If you need additional information about my experience or skill set, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you by <follow up date discussed in the interview>.
Thank you again!
Template #2: Formal Thank You Email
This thank you email has a formal tone which makes it more appropriate to send after an interview for a corporate position (e.g. director or C-Suite level).
Subject Line: Follow-up regarding <Position Name>
Dear Mr./Mrs. <Interviewer’s Last Name>,
I want to formally thank you for meeting with me on <Day> regarding <Position Name>. I enjoyed discussing <specifics from your conversation> and learning about <Company Name>.
Your vision for <x,y,z> and insights about <topic discussed> were compelling and aligned with my personal and professional values. I believe that my experience and skillset with <specific business activity> are a perfect fit for <Company Name>.
Regarding the challenges you mentioned with the position, I approached similar challenges with positive results at <Previous Company Name>. I took <x,y,z steps> to achieve <provide quantifiable results>.
I was also interested to learn about <specific project within the position>. Please find attached a document with preliminary ideas and their projected impact on the company. In summary, this document includes:
- Detail 1
- Detail 2
- Detail 3
If you need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to our follow-up conversation on <date discussed>.
Thank you again for your time.
Template #3: Second Interview Thank You Email
Not sure what to say after a 2nd interview? Here’s a template that can be adapted after an additional conversation with a company.
Subject Line: Thank you again for your time!
Dear <Interviewer Name>:
Thank you again for your time! I enjoyed our 2nd interview and learning about specific projects for <Position Name>.
As discussed, the position’s responsibilities align closely with my previous experience and skill set of <x,y,z>.
I am confident that I can achieve the results that <Company Name> desires. I’ve attached a <document that includes ideas that relate to your conversation> for your review. In summary, this document includes:
- Detail 1
- Detail 2
- Detail 3
Please let me know if you need additional information. I look forward to hearing from you by <follow-up date discussed in the interview).
Customize these interview thank you email templates
As mentioned previously, we don’t recommend copying/pasting an email template for your thank you email.
It’s important that the email is unique to you. You also want to avoid the interviewer receiving the same thank you email from 15 other candidates.
Use one of these templates as the starting point for writing the perfect interview thank you email!
Check out our article about writing effective interview thank you emails for more great tips. For additional interview guidance and career coaching, you can also check out our top-rated services here at ResumeSpice. Contact us today!
Most job candidates (57%) don’t send thank-you notes after an interview.
Here’s why that’s good news for you.
According to a recent Murray Resources survey, 85% of hiring managers, executives and HR professionals say that a candidate’s follow-up after an interview makes a positive difference.
Another study found that 1 in 5 recruiters and hiring managers will automatically dismiss a candidate if they haven’t sent an interview thank you email.
The upshot? Sending a thank you note can differentiate your candidacy in a crowded job market – and help you land the job.
But how should you follow-up? Is a handwritten card best or are emails or phone calls preferred?
Email is the clear winner.
According to the Murray Resources survey, 69% of hiring managers prefer receiving an email, a distant favorite over handwritten cards (25%) and phone calls (6%).
Here are our best tips on how to write a thank you email after an interview.
1. Write a clear subject line.
Write a subject line that simply and clearly lets the interviewer know what the email is about.
Include words such as “Thank you” or “Follow-up” and the interviewer’s name. Here are a few ideas:
- “Thank you, Jeff.”
- “Thank you for the interview!
- “Following-up after our interview”
- “Thank you for your time, Amy!”
Also consider including the position name within the subject line to immediately provide context.
For example, you could say, “Follow-up regarding Junior Sales Rep position.” Just keep the subject line short and sweet. It’s recommended to not go over 9 words or 60 characters.
2. Personalize your email.
If you Google “thank you email templates,” you’ll find hundreds of examples. But don’t simply copy/paste a template.
Instead, personalize the email.
Here are five steps for personalizing and writing your email:
1. Provide an appropriate greeting. Include the interviewer’s name in the email. In a business email, it’s appropriate to use “Dear” followed by the interviewer’s first name and a comma (you can use a colon for increased formality).
2. Thank the interviewer. Quickly and sincerely express how much you appreciated the interviewer’s time. This can be as simple as “Thank you again for meeting with me today.”
3. Reiterate that you’re interested. Summarize why you’re a good fit for the position and share something about the position or the company that stood out during the interview. You could also share ideas for solving a particular problem or results you’ve had in the past.
4. Build rapport. Consider referencing something personal you talked about in your interview such as a sports team, hometown, or your shared love of dogs.
5. Close the email. Let the interviewer know that you’re available for questions and that you look forward to next steps. Close with a professional sign-off such as “Best regards.”
Analyze your audience before writing your email so that you can hit the right tone. For example, was the interviewer more formal during your interview? Use a formal, polished tone in your email. Try to match the tone of the interviewer and the culture of the company.
Read More: 3 Interview Thank You Email Templates You Can Customize
3. Edit, edit, edit.
It’s important to send your email quickly so your candidacy is fresh on the interviewer’s mind. However, you have to balance speed with quality.
According to the Murray Resources survey, 87% of hiring managers, executives, and HR professionals report that poorly written or unprofessional communication removed a candidate from consideration.
Carefully proofread your email to ensure that there are no mistakes.
Run your email through a free writing service like Grammarly. This tool can help you spot typos and grammar issues.
In addition, read your email out loud before sending. This practice often helps us catch errors and clunky sentences. You can also use a free tool like Hemingway to create short, effective copy.
4. Adapt for multiple interviewers.
58% of hiring managers reported conducting three or more rounds of interviews per role, so it’s likely you’ll interview with more than one person.
While you should send a thank you email to each interviewer, you don’t have to completely rewrite each email. However, they should be adapted. Try to reference something you individually discussed.
If you only have one email address, thank the group. Here’s a great resource on how to properly greet multiple people via email.
5. Send your email within 24 hours.
Timing is crucial at this point of the interview stage. Show that you’re truly interested in the position by following up with a thank you email within 24 hours.
A well-crafted, timely email following a successful job interview could be the tipping point that catapults you to the top of the finalist pool.
Go the extra mile with a well-written thank you email.
Stand out from the crowd. Write a carefully-worded thank you email that helps you get that next interview (and hopefully the job!).
If you need interview prep or career coaching, check out our top-rated services at ResumeSpice. Contact us at 832-930-7378. We’d love to work with you!
Hiring mistakes are costly. In fact, one survey found that companies lost $14,900 on every bad hire in 2017.
Unfortunately, mishires are all too common with 74% of employers saying they’ve hired the wrong person for a position.
These numbers suggest that steps in the hiring process are flawed. The interview is a top suspect since companies normally lean heavily on interviews to choose a candidate. According to Murray Resources, 90% of survey respondents ranked the interview as the first or second most important factor in the hiring decision.
But unstructured interviews — interviews that have no set list of predetermined questions — are limited in their ability to produce qualified hires. Research suggests that standard, unstructured interviews are one of the worst ways to successfully select the right person for a job.
Here are three problems with relying too much on unstructured interviews and what you can do instead.
Interview Issue #1: Interviewer Bias
Interviewer bias is a common problem with traditional interviews. In fact, 42% of recruiters cite interviewer bias as a challenge. Interviewer bias means that our own conscious or unconscious biases skew our judgment of a candidate and their potential fit for a role.
There are different types of interview bias. For example, similarity bias is when the interviewer likes the interviewee because the person is similar in appearance, interests, background, etc. Confirmation bias is when an interviewer makes a quick decision about an interviewee and confirms that belief throughout the interview, even if it’s inaccurate. Intuition bias is when the interviewer trusts their “gut feeling” about an interviewee, instead of the candidate’s skills and experience.
The list goes on, but the damage of interviewer bias is clear. Interviewer bias isn’t only harmful to hiring decisions – it also makes it harder to generate a more inclusive workforce. Considering that a diverse workforce performs better, interviewer bias is worth eliminating.
Interview Issue #2: Top Candidates Aren’t Always the Best Interviewers
A great job candidate doesn’t necessarily equate to a great interviewer. Why? Great candidates with steady tenure don’t interview often. As a result, they don’t have as much practice sharpening their interview skills.
This lack of practice creates a distinct disadvantage for the candidate, especially if a hiring manager is relying on an unstructured interview to make the final hiring decision.
Photo by Tim Gouw from Pexels
33% of employers say that they decide if they’ll hire a job candidate within the first 90 seconds of an interview. The best candidates might then be overlooked thanks to unpolished interviewing skills.
Interview Issue #3: Job Hoppers Have Extensive Interview Experience
Throughout the interview process, you’ll likely meet job hoppers — employees who regularly change roles every year, unrelated to layoffs, market downturns, or any other factor outside their control.
These employees are skilled interviewers because they have the most practice. They are also easily able to answer tough questions with confidence. Confidence is one of the most admirable traits in a candidate, according to 42% of HR professionals.
Unfortunately, hiring a job hopper can be costly if the candidate repeats their pattern and leaves the company within a year or two. The cost of employee turnover can range from 16%-213% of the lost employee’s salary.
Approach Interviewing Differently
Interviews shouldn’t be eliminated from the hiring process as they provide an excellent opportunity to build relationships and learn more about a candidate. Expectations for a role can also be set within an interview.
However, unstructured interviews are a problem. Here are ways to rethink the structure of an interview and how to better fit interviews within the recruiting process.
Solution #1: Follow a predetermined interview scorecard
A predetermined interview scorecard reduces the potential for bias within an interview. You can develop a baseline of standard interview questions for each skill related to the position, as well as a predetermined grading scale – the process is then fair and objective. All candidates are judged by the same scorecard and grading system.
For example, say that your scorecard has questions to assess a candidate’s leadership skills, culture skills, and technical skills. Each skill has a grading scale from “Low” to “Outstanding” that you can use to score the candidate. Companies like Google use this method as part of their hiring process.
Granted, it’s challenging to create scorecards for positions over and over again. It’s why many people don’t adhere to structured interviews. They feel confident in their ability to judge people without guidance. But the truth is, objectivity is needed in the hiring process. Interview scorecards add in a layer of objectivity.
Solution #2: Conduct pre-employment assessments
Pre-employment assessments evaluate candidates based on a consistent rating system. This method is proven to remove bias from the hiring process. It’s also a time-efficient way to screen applicants.
Pre-employment assessments are also called job assessments or skill assessments. Employers use these tools to objectively assess job candidates before they make a hire. These assessments can be cognitive tests (verbal/numerical reasoning), skills assessments (ex: Excel or typing tests), personality assessments (ex: Myers-Briggs), or job fit assessments (ex: Birkman for sales, Predictive Index).
Here’s how the hiring process might work for a sales role, with assessments integrated:
- Sales aptitude assessment (ex: Predictive Index or Birkman)
- 20-minute phone screen with hiring manager
- Personality assessments (ex: DISC)
- 60 minute, in-person interview
- Sales presentation / Blind audition
In this example, steps #1 and #3 serve as objective assessments. Step #2 (the phone screen) helps eliminate some of the natural biases that come with face-to-face meetings.
If a candidate successfully reaches step #4 (the in-person interview), they most likely have the skills and aptitude for the role. The impact of interviewer bias is thus reduced.
Solution #3: Host blind auditions.
Have you ever watched “The Voice?” It’s a singing competition where judges have their backs to the stage. A singer performs and judges select contestants based solely on their voice talent. This method is designed to remove bias. A blind audition works the same way in hiring. It reduces interview bias and reliance on traditional interviewing practices.
Here’s how it works: During a blind audition, you have an applicant complete a job-related task such as writing a case study or finishing a coding challenge. The applicant is then hired based on their merit and skill, rather than solely on an unstructured interview. This hiring method also helps generate a more diverse pool of candidates.
Solution #4: Decide on an area of focus for each interviewer
Unfortunately, too many conversations after an interview go something like this:
Interviewer #1: “What did you think?”
Interviewer #2: “I liked her. I think she could fit well here.”
Interviewer #1: “I think so too. And her experience with XYZ company was great.”
Interviewer #2: “Let’s ask Barbara what she thought.”
Despite this not being the most rigorous evaluation process, it’s far too common.
Here’s how to avoid a simple “thumbs up or thumbs down” hiring decision with the interview team: Give each interviewer a particular area to evaluate such as the interviewee’s culture fit, technical skills, or managerial acumen. Base evaluation assignments on each interviewer’s position within the company.
For example, the HR manager might evaluate managerial skills or culture fit. The hiring manager could evaluate technical skills. By dividing responsibility, all areas of an open interview are evaluated more objectively.
Beyond the Unstructured Interview
There are always mistakes involved in the recruiting and hiring process, but a poor interview system shouldn’t dictate who you hire. You might overlook the most qualified candidates. Introduce a level of consistency and objectivity into your hiring process and step away from the unstructured interview – your chances of mishiring will go down significantly.