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    How to Stand Out Behind the Screen: a Guide for Remote Candidates

    Part of a Series: Setting yourself up for success as a remote candidate

    Editors note: this article was previously posted on LeadDev on behalf of Hired as part of a content series for remote jobseekers.

    Before the pandemic, the job market was split into two uneven parts – office work and remote work – with hardly anything in between.

    Two years later and we now live in a world where you can be, say, 92% remote, visiting the office twice a month. The binary of home and office work no longer exists; ‘remote’ is a variable, and every company has its own baseline.

    Some are offering remote positions on top of office ones. Many are taking a hybrid approach, giving the flexibility to work some days remotely and encouraging folks to come in for ad-hoc team events or sensitive one-on-ones. I was recently involved in a company effort to design that hybrid culture shift and it changed the way we recruit as well.

    If you’re searching for a partially or fully remote role, how can you navigate through an uneven and saturated market? Here I’m sharing my guide for remote candidates looking to stand out by mixing new ‘remote’ tricks along with proven winning strategies.

    1. Boosting your profile

    Cut through the noise

    It’s important to clearly communicate your personal baseline for working remotely. Let recruiters know if you’re willing to come to the office at all, and specify how often. Put this information on your LinkedIn profile and CV. Otherwise, you’ll waste valuable time talking to recruiters who are looking for something else and miss other opportunities due to a lack of focus. It’s also a good idea to highlight if you’re open to relocation and what your baseline would look like in the new country.

    Plan for limited attention

    As a hiring manager, I look through CVs every day. Attention is the most valuable resource I have, and so my task is to extract essential information as fast as possible to decide whether to start the recruitment process. I only take a deeper look when I’m preparing for the interview.

    This isn’t just me. Some studies suggest you have only 7 seconds to attract a recruiter’s attention. That may be an exaggeration, but most recruiters I know settle on a 60-second interval. To increase your chances, consider structuring the most vital details on the first page and use an E or F pattern.

    Showcase the most valuable details

    When I scan the applicant profile, I personally look for:

    Is it a remote-only candidate? If so, what is their timezone range availability? I hope to find these details at the top of the page, together with their LinkedIn URL and personal website or GitHub.Is relocation needed? Relocation adds an interval on top of the notice period, so if I am proceeding with such a candidate I need to plan accordingly.What can this person do, and what do they like to do? A lot of candidates barely mention what they excel at and what kind of opportunities would make them happy. I get very excited when candidates include this in a summary.What was their last job role in detail? Here, I expect a clear distinction between responsibilities and achievements. When I was refactoring my own CV a few years back, I was surprised by how hard it was to separate achievements and tie them to numbers, let alone business outcomes. It’s no wonder that many candidates fail to paint a clear picture of their recent roles. However, doing this will get you bonus points.Is it written in sufficiently good English? I also use the CV to estimate English proficiency and attention-to-detail levels. This is especially important for remote candidates who rely a lot on written communication. And of course, it may not be applicable to neurodivergent individuals.

    Treat LinkedIn as a minimalistic version of your CV

    Recruiters rely on LinkedIn more and more as a sourcing tool where they can find and reach out to attractive prospects. Moreover, if your profile is detailed and up-to-date, they may treat it as a mini CV. Sometimes, I interview candidates without seeing their CVs, just based on their LinkedIn profiles.

    Consider keeping sections like your ‘Summary’ in sync between your CV and online profile. Often, candidates don’t have any description of their roles in the LinkedIn ‘Experience’ section, which renders their profile semi-useless from a sourcing perspective.

    Remember that exercise of writing down your achievements? These would shine on your profile too. Because of the spam, you would still get irrelevant proposals occasionally, but less so. Having your online profile in check may lead to some of the most promising and well-targeted recruitment invites.

    2. Making the right impression

    Think through your video appearance

    In a remote work environment, the way you present yourself matters. It’s not about how you look. It’s how you impact the experience of others. When we come to the office, we want a comfy, quiet space with a nice interior. In a video chat, each participant’s video and audio stream contributes to the overall environment. It forms that virtual office space. Your own contribution should improve it, so the interviewers can see it would be comfortable for them to work with you remotely.

    Do you have everything listed below? These represent the hygiene minimum:

    Good sound. Don’t use an internal microphone.No background noise. You can also try to bring it down via software.Non-cluttered background. The real one is better, yet you can also resort to a virtual background.Non-blurry webcam. A cheap webcam also might do a better job if you increase the amount of light in the room.Good internet connection. Also, arrange for a backup connection.

    If adjusting your current setup is entirely impossible, consider renting a meeting room through a coworking space or taking an interview from a friend’s house with a better setup.

    Related: Video Interviews 101: How to Impress in the Digital Age

    Demonstrate remote professional traits

    Every company has different needs, so there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the personal qualities you should demonstrate in the interview. Some companies may consciously allow for specific traits as a part of their D&I strategy. A good trick is to ask the recruiter what kind of remote candidates they’re looking for.

    That said, there are a few common things that would highlight your capacity to work remotely

    You come across as an organized person. To the extent that you are on time to join interviews, responsive to recruiters over email, and appear composed when speaking.You have good written communication skills. The typical signals are your CV, online profile, and any written content you generate during the recruitment process (e.g., email exchange with a recruiter) or posted online earlier (e.g., your article).You can be concise when speaking. This means you don’t take too long to deliver a point. Folks who can’t do this tend to bloat work meetings, increasing zoom fatigue. If brevity and structure don’t come naturally, you can practice in advance (try using the STAR or PARADE methods).You can bring results autonomously. This is especially important if there’s a timezone difference. The ability to organize and unblock yourself while your colleagues are asleep becomes crucial.

    3. Applying the secret sauce

    Highlight what makes you special

    Every person is special and can contribute in a unique way. As a hiring manager, I also have to be very pragmatic. Ultimately, I will prioritize hiring those applicants who are already aware of what makes them stand out. These folks write about it on their profile and highlight it during interviews.

    Things I would look for include open source contributions, pet projects, tech articles, non-tech initiatives, and public speaking. Your personality and past experience can also make you interesting. I’ve hired pilots and poets, architects, and party people. Carefully growing a team and adding diverse personalities into the mix can make it incredibly performant and creative. It also makes for a fun place to work. Consider what kind of community you want to join, and make your profile stand out in that way.

    Reflections on standing out as a remote jobseeker

    One thing I haven’t mentioned at all in this article is tech skills. Those alone could get you a job, and there’s a magnitude of resources dedicated to perfecting them. But it’s a shame that so many people overlook the importance of presenting themselves in a clear, appealing, and authentic way. By boosting your profile, making the right impression, and applying a bit of secret sauce, you’ll surely increase your chances of swiftly getting the best offer from the company that’s right for you.

    This article was written by Matthew Gladyshev as part of a content series for LeadDev.

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    What Top Companies Look for in a Great Remote Technical Interview

    Part of a Series: Set Yourself Up for Success as a Remote Jobseeker Editor’s note: this article is reposted from one originally contributed to for Hired… Today’s interview candidates go through a rollercoaster ride when it comes to online technical interviews. A typical round lasts for about 60 minutes while the candidate tackles hot […] More

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    How to Negotiate Your Job Offer

    So, you received an offer — congratulations! Now, you might be wondering, Can I negotiate it? Yes, you definitely can negotiate your offer! Companies will not retract the job offer if you do. In fact, those who negotiate are often successful in getting a better outcome. If you’re unsure, your Candidate Experience Manager can offer […] More

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    How to Maximize your Job Offer as a Remote Engineer

    This article is reposted from one originally contributed to and authored by Lawrence Barker for Hired… How can you get the job offer you want? And how can you feel confident you’re getting paid what you deserve? With so much confusion around salaries for remote roles, these questions are top of mind when you’re […] More

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    5 Ways Using Social Media Can Help You Get a Job

    Depending on your age and where you are in life, odds are you use social media for one or two reasons– entertainment purposes, to keep up with your friends and family, or to share moments of your life. 

    When it comes to social media and finding a job, most people elect to keep those two worlds separate. But what many of these people fail to see are all the ways you can use social media to help you get a job. 

    As a company that specializes in helping people get jobs, we have identified various social media tips and tricks that can lead to employment. Today, we want to share them with you.

    In this career tips article you’re going to learn about the following:

    Using your profile as a digital resumeNetworking on social mediaSocial media as a jobUsing social media for educationLearning about employers using social media

    As a Digital Resume

    For better or worse, social media is a great way to understand what someone is like. And as many of us know, employers use this perspective to gain a better understanding of potential employees. For this reason, many people elect to keep their social media pages private. 

    But those same people are missing out on the opportunity to show employers a more personal side of them. Employers want to see a candidate who is interesting and impassioned about life, someone who has hobbies and meaningful interests.

    Social media is a great way to show the company you’re applying for that you’re someone who can get excited about things and someone people like to be around. So when you’re thinking about what pictures you should be posting or whether or not you’re profile should be private, keep this in mind.

    Networking on Social Media

    If LinkedIn showed us anything, it’s that networking on social media is very lucrative. But with so many social networking platforms in the world, why use only one? Every single day, people use the big three – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – to establish connections and help them find jobs. 

    While you can use social media as a means of contacting people directly, you should also use it as a way to interact and engage with them. For example, say the CEO of a company gets interviewed and he or she reposts it on their feed. Why not comment on it with an intelligent thought? 

    Or say someone from a company you want to work for posts something about an objective they met. Why not use that information to follow up with a question? The more you come to understand social media, the more ways you will be able to use it to establish meaningful connections and maybe even score a job.

    Social Media as a Job

    While LinkedIn showed us how to network on social media, TikTok and Instagram showed us how social media in itself can be a job. Even before the days of TikTok, people were using their knowledge of social media combined with their creativity and other skills to pursue careers in social media marketing and brand representation. 

    Whether it’s as simple as being an influencer for a company and posting a picture wearing their clothes or as advanced as running an entire social media marketing operation, the market is littered with jobs in social media.

    Depending on your knowledge of social media and the skills you have, you might be the perfect candidate for a job in social media. Browse tons of social media positions on our job listings page today.

    Social Media for Education

    With all the garbage that exists on social media, there are still several outlets and pages you can follow to stay educated on job tips, career advice, and more. For starters, if you like a company, follow them on social media. More often than not, they will make a post when they have open positions.

    When searching for job tips and information on how you can get a job, social media becomes particularly useful. You can find tons of pages that provide information like resume tips, advice for interviewing, ways to dress, and plenty more.

    Our totally unbiased and personal favorite page for career advice, job tips, and updates on the job market is WayUp. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook if you haven’t already!

    Learning About Employers Using Social Media

    After using WayUp to find current job openings and discover companies that are hiring, take to social media and find the company’s profile. Get a feel for their branding, their voice, and their message then see if it aligns with a company you see yourself working for.

    Are their pictures of company culture? Do they promote similar beliefs as you? All of this and more can be better understood by examining a company’s social media profiles and presence. Just make sure the companies you’re looking at are hiring!

    Using Every Tool in the Shed

    While social media is a great way to help you get a job, we recommend using every tool at your disposal to help lock down that contract you’ve been looking for. At WayUp, not only are we a tool that helps students and recent graduates find jobs but we also talk about it on our blog.

    So no matter where you are in the job search process, whether you’re just writing your first resume or you’ve been searching for a job for years, we’re here to help. Register with WayUp for free and start getting matched with employers today. More

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    How ARISE Is Making Life Better For African American Employees at TCS

    When you join a community, you want to know that you’re going to be getting more than a koozie and a drawstring bag out of it. Depending on who you are, you might join a community to make new friends, learn a new skill, discuss a certain topic, or support a certain cause. But when you join the ARISE community at TaTa Consultancy Services, you can expect to do all of the above.

    The ARISE community at TaTa Consultancy Services (TCS) is an African American employee resource group whose members work, socialize, interact, and grow with one another on a variety of levels. In order to get a better look at ARISE and all the benefits associated with being a member, we interviewed a few members of the group and even hosted a virtual event alongside members where prospects were invited to learn more about the community.

    After the virtual event and all the interviews were conducted, one thing that was emphasized repeatedly within the community was the sense of family that ARISE members felt. Interestingly enough, we found that this sense of family led to all sorts of other benefits for members such as an easier onboarding process for new hires, a stronger sense of community and belonging, and a flourishing system of resources for members to grow themselves with.

    An Easier, Warmer Welcome

    Joining a new company is never easy, especially if it’s your first job out of college. Throw in being a minority and your path gets even more complicated. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a group of people who have similar backgrounds as you that you could rely on and ask questions? People who may have gone through similar hurdles and experiences as you?

    Well, that’s exactly what ARISE provides, and exactly why TCS introduces it to new hires early on.

    Although TCS makes sure every single new hire has the right resources necessary for an easy and seamless onboarding process, the ARISE community offers an extra lever for those new hires to lean on. Plus, sometimes specific questions and inquiries can be better answered by the same people who may have experienced those specific scenarios themselves.

    A Stronger Sense of Belonging

    In college, we had sports clubs, greek organizations, academic groups, and a plethora of other avenues to help us feel welcome and like we belonged. In the professional world, employee resource groups have taken the role of these collegiate communities which employees can use to feel more a part of the company they work for.

    In our conversations with members of the ARISE group at TCS, every single employee reiterated one phrase over and over again – “ it’s like a family.” They spoke about how their relationships with one another felt incredibly natural and close. As if they had known one another their whole lives. 

    Here is what Adele Ruffin had to say about her expectations coming into the company and how they were pleasantly fulfilled.

    When you know you belong somewhere, like your welcome, it makes it that much easier to succeed and be your best self. But when the same group that gives you that sense of belonging also has a system of resources deliberately intended to help you grow, your ability to achieve greatness triples, if not doubles.

    Resources to Help You Grow

    Now that ARISE has helped you get onboarded to the company and allowed you to establish a sense of belonging and friendship with colleagues, it’s time for the community to assist you in growing yourself professionally.

    One of the most valuable aspects of being involved with ARISE is the access you have to other employees that you might not normally come across in your typical day-to-day at the company. These fellow members could belong to different departments who you could discuss new opportunities with or they could be superiors or executives who you get a chance to impress.

    This open-door environment is perhaps one of the biggest contributing factors to growing within a company. You can only get so much from reading a job description. When you’re actually able to meet someone who is responsible for a particular role, have lunch with them, get mentored by them, or just introduce yourself, you increase both your understanding of that role and your chances of one day fulfilling that role. 

    Regardless of what your career path is, building significant relationships in a group like ARISE will contribute to the proliferation of your professional life in one way or another.

    Outside Looking In

    As the WayUp interviewer covering the deep dive into the ARISE program, I did not come away from my interaction with the group unaffected. Having spent hours conversing with members like Jamar, Brianna, Bridget, and Joe, cracking jokes, talking about what drives them and the group, and coming to understand them not only as individuals but as a community as well, really made me see the big picture.

    In its simplest form, ARISE was created to help African Americans at TCS win. The beautiful cycle that’s occurring at ARISE starts with someone making the most of the program, using all the resources that are available to them to boost their life personally and professionally, and then paying it forward to the next new member.

    Will you be the next new member to reap the benefits of this incredible program? Browse current openings at TCS and start the cycle to greatness! More