While remote working has been a viable option for over a decade, the world now has more remote job opportunities than ever before in history.
Many people are wondering how to get a remote job with no experience. The truth is…
Getting a remote job without experience is an uphill battle.
Since you are likely competing against other candidates that already have work experience, you’ll need to go above and beyond to prove yourself. But it’s possible, if you embody the characteristics of a good remote employee.
We need to first reverse-engineer the question. The real question is… What are the key traits that companies look for in a remote job candidate?
Key Traits of a Good Remote Employee
If you want to nail the interview process, then it helps to understand what a good remote employee looks like. The following characteristics describe the ideal remote employee:
The ability to be a self-starter is the #1 thing that remote companies look for. While all companies want an employee like this- remote companies actually need employees that are self-starters.
Being a self-starter means that you take action rather than wait around for instructions.
You understand the high-level goals of the team, and you can effectively prioritize and execute the work.
Remote companies rely heavily on self-starters because the remote environment is more loose than a traditional office environment. Some team members may work in a different timezone, or even on the other side of the globe. As a result, there is more freedom and individuality in how each team member contributes to a project when working in a remote organization.
When an employee is not a self-starter, then their impact on the organization is limited. They must be micromanaged, which drains other team members of their time. By being a self-starter, you will make your organization happy and worry-free.
If you want to land a remote job with no experience, then remember to convey to the employer that you are a self-starter.
Along the same theme of being a self-starter, a good remote employee is also an active communicator. While general communication skills are of course necessary to have, active communication is a pivotal aspect of a remote team.
Being an active communicator means that you don’t wait around for others to ask you questions.
Instead, you actively reach out to give status updates, and ask for clarity when you don’t understand something.
Being an active communicator shows the company that you are invested in the success of the organization.
When team members don’t actively communicate, it causes tension in the team dynamics. Your coworkers won’t know what you’re working on, so there’s little opportunity for them to provide clarity and help you.
If you show the company that you’re willing to be an active communicator, then it drastically increases your chance of landing a remote job without experience.
Many remote jobs require some level of collaboration within a team. This means that you’ll work closely with coworkers to accomplish goals.
The caveat is that– in a remote work environment– collaboration is drastically different than in an office.
Remote collaboration is mostly done through online chat programs like Slack, online video conferencing via Zoom, and standard company email. On top of that, companies usually keep track of projects and tasks through online platforms like Asana, Jira, or Trello.
You may never actually meet your coworkers in real life. So figuring out how to solve complex problems with team members that are thousands of miles away is a challenge that is unique to remote working. You must use internet-connected software to give presentations, brainstorm with colleagues, and share ideas.
The good news is that the software used for collaboration is fairly simple to use. Sending messages through Slack is easy. And hosting a Zoom call to start a discussion with colleagues is fairly straightforward, too.
If you’ve never used those productivity tools before, then it’s not a deal-breaker. Just understand that you’ll need to rely on those tools on a daily basis to work within a remote team.
Showing the employer that you are privy to the common remote work tools gives you another leg up in the interview process– making it more likely for you to land the remote job without any experience.
In a work environment, there are many moving parts. Everyone uses a different type of computer, with a different internet service provider, and in different locations.
All team members are expected to be accountable for their work environment.
Make sure that you have a good quality laptop that won’t crash in the middle of a Zoom call. Get the fastest high-speed internet that you can find, so that you can upload and download files quickly without a hiccup.
Above all, ensure that you live in a stable environment so that you can attend online meetings, focus on the work, and ultimately deliver good results for the company.
When you take full accountability for your work, your employer will know that they can rely on you to get the job done. If you lack prior remote job experience, this is especially important.
Show the company that you’ve gone through the checklist and you are prepared to handle a remote job and any challenges that it might present.
Last but not least– be personable. Being personable doesn’t necessarily mean that you are outgoing or have high energy. It just means that you’re willing to do some small-talk outside of the topic of work.
It’s okay to show some personality. Go ahead and convey your likes, dislikes, and opinions.
However, this is also an opportunity to self-assess. Are you the type of person that other people want to work with?
Companies generally don’t like candidates that are stubbornly opinionated on how work should be done. Because if the highly-opinionated person joins the team, it may lead to conflict and a drop in morale.
However, if you are flexible and show a willingness to adjust to the needs of the team, then that’s another point in your favor.
Make Your Own Experience
It’s somewhat of a paradox. You need job experience in order to get a job. But you need a job in order to get experience in the first place.
So, why not make your own experience?
Depending on the line of work that you are pursuing, there are different ways to make your own work experience. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Here are some examples:
Computer Programming Experience
If you want to snag a remote computer programming job, then why not work on a programming project on your own first? Don’t wait for an internship to fall into your lap. There are numerous online resources to learn the fundamentals of computer programming on your own.
If you want to get a remote mobile app developer job, then make your own app and publish it to the app store. Then during the interview, show the employer your app.
Most entry-level remote job candidates don’t do this. That’s why it will drastically increase your chances of landing the job, even without prior job experience.
Graphic Design Experience
To be a graphic designer means that you know Photoshop like the back of your hand. Build a portfolio of logos, images and designs so that you can show off your skills. Publish the portfolio online so you can get feedback, improve your work, and show the world what you have to offer.
If you don’t yet have a portfolio, then find opportunities to create graphics to add to your portfolio. You can team up with a programmer to design and build an app or website. All apps and websites require a UI (user interface) design before code is written.
Aside from that, you can create your own versions of movie posters, new logos, and product designs. Look at websites like Pinterest and DeviantArt for inspiration. The goal is to create a body of work that conveys your graphic design skills.
In the end, you will have created your own experience as a graphic designer. Landing a remote graphic design job will be much easier, even lacking real job experience.
Digital Marketing Experience
A good digital marketer can help a business get more online exposure and make profit. While digital marketing is an incredibly useful skill, it doesn’t produce much in terms of physically tangible output. Therefore, you need to be more creative in how you make your own digital marketing experience.
On one hand, there’s SEO marketing. Search Engine Optimization is a high-demand niche skill that few people can do extraordinarily well with. In the name of building your own experience in this area, you can start a WordPress blog and apply SEO techniques to it. Generate traffic for it. Then you’ll be able to show off the analytics and prove your knowledge.
On the other hand, there’s PPC (pay per click) marketing, which is a different ballgame. PPC marketing is when a business pays you to purchase advertisements. If you want to make your own experience with PPC marketing, you’ll need to run some experiments with paid ads and learn how to increase conversion rates of an ad through targeted advertising.
At the end of the day– once you’ve made your own digital marketing experience– you can confidently take part in a remote job interview knowing that you’ve already tackled many of the challenges of a digital marketer.
Talking about your personal experiences in experimenting within digital marketing will put you on the short list of remote job candidates.
Being an accountant is all about crunching numbers and making budgets. If you lack experience in this area, then why not offer your services to family and friends? Balance their budgets and give them a financial game plan to help them reach their financial goals.
You can also offer your services to local businesses. Audit their invoices and identify ways that they can increase profit. This will give you an even better perspective of the full responsibilities of an accountant.
Then during your remote job interview, you’ll have a wealth of stories to tell about how you helped family, friends, and businesses to reduce spending and save money.
Promoting Yourself Online
Even if you’re the best candidate on the planet, it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it.
So you need to shout from the rooftops and yell “Hey, I’m here!”– metaphorically speaking.
The most effective way to promote yourself online is by having a flesh-out LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a place where you can proudly show off your work experience. Companies can reach out to you, with no effort needed on your part.
But you’ll need to add your resume and prior work experience to your LinkedIn Profile. And if you don’t yet have a resume, go and make one! If you followed any of the tips about “making your own experience”, then you’ll already have at least a few things that you can throw on your resume.
The Truth About Having No Experience
If you haven’t already noticed, the truth is that it’s a pipe dream to land a remote job without prior experience.
But you can quickly make your own minimal experience, then land a nice remote job soon after.
That’s what I did. Back in 2015, I was fond of computers, but never had a computer programming job. I taught myself how to code while flunking college.
Then, I built a few websites and an app as a hobby. Shortly after, I landed a remote job as a mobile app developer. The interviewer specifically liked how I showed him the app that I built, and noted that none of the other job candidates did.
Now, I’m a Software Engineer making a six-figure salary– still working remotely all these years.
Don’t give up. Success is inevitable if you build your own experience, keep improving your skills, and leverage platforms like LinkedIn for online exposure.