Posted August 16, 2021 by Mark Perna
New to the working world, but want to snag a remote position? This list has you covered. Mark’s article, “Top 10 Remote Jobs For New Grads And Those With Minimal Work Experience,” published at Forbes.com on July 22, 2021.
Remote work—it comes with so many perks. And now that a big cross-section of the workforce has experienced it on a long-term basis, it’s become many people’s dream. But with many remote jobs requiring years of experience, how can new graduates and others with little to no work experience land one?
The job search platform FlexJobs has put together a list of the top 10 jobs that fit the bill. These fully remote positions require no previous work experience and offer an opportunity for your transferable skills to shine.
Plus, I connected with FlexJobs Career Coach Cidnye Work for some tips on how new graduates and others with minimal work experience can best position themselves in the interview process—and land a job where they can grow while still working from home.
“Clear communication skills and efficiency will impress potential clients and employers.”
“Communication skills, typing skills, and the ability to calmly handle customer issues will often qualify you for a customer service position.”
3. Data Entry
“Data entry positions involve entering data into a computer system or into some type of a secure file system and may include other types of clerical activities.”
“Interpreter jobs can involve translating verbal files into written documents, using video to interpret virtually, or proofreading and cleaning up translated files.”
“Entry-level sales positions typically work in a call center environment and either take inbound calls or make outbound calls in order sell a product or service.”
“Social media evaluators are needed to evaluate the quality and relevance of information found in ads, news feeds, or search results.”
7. Tech Support
“These positions will troubleshoot problems with customers, walk them through solutions, and explain complicated tech in an easy-to-understand manner.”
“Good people skills and the ability to easily learn new software programs can qualify you for a remote travel consultant position.”
“Remote tutors use online platforms to interact with students via video or chat. An aptitude for teaching will be needed for this type of role.”
“Having knowledge of a niche area, such as real estate, education, fashion, or finances, can help you land a writing gig even faster.”
For new graduates or those who have been out of the workforce for an extended time, it can be hard to know where to start the job search. “Oftentimes we tend to just think about a job title or industry to get us started in our job search and it can be tempting to take the first job available,” says Work. “It’s a good idea to really reflect upon what you are looking for in your new career. Spending time thinking about your skills, interests and work values will help you create a targeted and intentional job search that hopefully makes it feel less daunting and overwhelming.”
Lack of confidence also tends to be a big hurdle, along with feeling like you need to meet every single requirement in a job description. “If you match 60–70% of the qualifications, consider applying,” advises Work. “A job description is a wishlist from an employer and they’ll almost certainly not wind up hiring someone with all of the qualifications.”
Transferable skills are just that: skills that transfer to any professional setting. And they can help you land a new job. “Think of transferable skills as part of your career tool belt,” says Work. “No matter what you learned in school or at a previous job, transferable skills are what every worker gains from each career experience, including volunteering, internships, freelance jobs, and more.”
There are two types of transferable skills: hard and soft. Work says that it’s critical that you highlight both. She suggests trying the T Approach: “In a document, create one column where you add the list of core skills the company wants from applicants based on the job description and in another column, list the skills and experiences you have related to those core needs,” she says. “Those are your transferable skills and should be showcased on your resume.”
Another way to make the most of your transferable skills is to use them as keywords as you search. “Instead of searching for a job title such as Sales Representative you might search using 3–4 skills keywords such as communication, problem solving, negotiating and relationship building,” says Work. “This can help you find jobs that are a good match based on your specific transferable skills.”
Soft skills may sound, well, soft, but they’re actually critical to workplace success. And the good news is, there are many ways to gain these skills. “Volunteering for local community organizations or doing freelance projects can be great ways to gain new skills that you might need for a full-time job,” says Work. “You can list these experiences under your professional experience section on your resume to showcase that you have done relevant professional work, even if it was not a full-time job.”
Your soft skills are also on display in more subtle ways, such as the professionalism of your written communication and your punctuality. “Make sure you provide quality and error-free application materials and be on time and professional during interviews,” says Work. “This can also showcase some of these soft skills in the interview process.”
While many interviews may take place virtually today, Work says you should still treat them as if you were going in person. “Arrive early, dress professionally and ensure your background is clean and clutter free,” she says. “If it’s a virtual interview, make sure you also test your technology ahead of time and consider practicing with a friend or doing a mock interview to ensure you don’t have any technical issues.”
Lastly, do your research on the company beforehand so you know what current projects and initiatives they are working on. “ALWAYS come prepared with a list of 5–10 questions to ask the interviewer to show your genuine interest in the company,” Work adds.
Searching for the right job when you don’t have a lot of experience can be daunting, but be encouraged. More and more companies are moving toward skills-based hiring rather than requiring exact degrees or experience. “In the past year, LinkedIn has seen a 21% increase in job postings advertising skills and responsibilities instead of qualifications, and the number of positions that don’t require a degree increased by nearly 40% in 2020, compared to 2019,” says Work.
LinkedIn is also unrolling a new method of hiring where job seekers will take a skills assessment and if they pass they get an interview with the company. “Many companies want to see that you have the transferable skills and willingness to learn, so emphasize those things during your application process,” says Work.
Lastly, give yourself some grace as you search. “Job searching can be challenging, and when you can’t find a job, it can feel like you’re stuck in career limbo waiting for the right opportunity to come along,” says Work. “Spend time identifying the key tasks you need to do as a part of your job search and create an action plan including updating your resume or cover letter, enhancing your online presence, doing additional upskilling or planning networking activities and break them down into smaller more manageable goals to accomplish each week.”
Finally, involve others in your search. “Test out what is working and what isn’t working so you know which areas need more focus and enlist the help of friends, family, mentors or a career coach to help you improve along the way,” says Work. “You don’t have to job search alone!”