Picture a life without the most irritating parts of your job—your commute, your rigid schedule, or idle office politics. Well that’s exactly what happens when you go remote. All the worst parts of a traditional job are gone, and you’re left to focus on your work on your own terms.
But how exactly can you land a remote position with a company or part-time remote work as a freelancer? One of the most critical things to do to land a remote job is to highlight skills on your resume that present you as an ideal remote candidate to potential employers. In order to make sure your resume is remote-worthy, we’ve interviewed one of The VA Hub’s most excellent VAs and put together a list of crucial skills for job seekers to include (and to hone if they don’t already have them). Some of these skills are general skills, but—because tech jobs are one of the most direct ways to land remote work—we’ve included a section on technical skills as well.
First, let’s learn more about our featured VA, Jay Castillo. He joined The VA Hub in 2017 and has been a fantastic member of our team. “I’m a strong believer of balancing things when it comes to work and life. I don’t aspire to rich or famous but to be able to do the things that makes me happy. I am an ambivert leaning towards introvert since I enjoy my alone time by playing video games.”
Jay worked as a Communications Trainer for a BPO company before he started a full-time career online. He also used to be a virtual English Language Teacher so getting started at The VA Hub as a Real Estate Virtual Assistant was not very difficult. “..online application/interview wasn’t foreign to me. They [The VA Hub Recruitment Team] focused a lot on interviews and how to sell yourself properly which is a good thing for me because I was never good at interviews. The TVH trainers and managers were very supportive and are willing to take some of their busy schedules to help you improve the skills you need for the interview. The training was fun and fast-paced which can be challenging for someone who has no experience in this type of work.”
Currently, he is responsible for reaching out to prospects for a Real Estate Agent. “I call people to see if anyone in that area or call list have any interest in either buying or selling a property. I proceed with gathering and organizing their information for potential leads and prep them for my Agent so that he can personally meet them or talk to them.” He finds that the language barrier and upset clients are the most challenging part of his online job but he is able to keep up well.
According to Jay, “It really depends on what work given to you by your client. In general, being proactive and adaptive would probably be the necessity for all types of jobs you’ll be doing as a VA and thus should bet at the maximum level to ace any jobs that comes across.”
There are countless types of work-at-home jobs, and one of the keys to success is to find the right job for what you need and want. A lot of that has to do with pay, responsibilities, and structure — but it also boils down to being able to spend your time doing something you’re good at.
However, one of the great things about working from home is that you can use the skills you already to have to find the perfect for you.
Are these skills that you already have?
If you’re a multi-talented person, chances are you’ll have many pursuits. You could be doing social media for a startup during the day and then teaching a class on digital marketing in the evening. How do you market yourself, your vision and your product? Learn essential marketing skills to elevate yourself as a brand, your clients or projects in this digital age.
Using Google Hangouts or Skype is great, but what do you say once you connect and how do you give great presentations? Refine your communication skills and learn how to deliver impactful presentations.
Good leadership skills are important no matter what your work setting. From a freelancer working from home, a manager of a small team or a leader of one, your ability to inspire others and make them engage with your vision, company or product is important.
From understanding the ins and outs of spreadsheets to writing compelling prose, a set range of professional skills will certainly help you get set up for success whether you work from home or the office.
Technical skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. They are practical, and often relate to mechanical, information technology, mathematical, or scientific tasks. Some examples include knowledge of programming languages, mechanical equipment, or tools.
While technical skills are often most important for jobs related to information technology (IT) and other fields in the sciences, many other industries also want employees with at least some technical skills.
Many technical skills require training and experience to master. They are also typically a type of hard skill. Hard skills are those that can be learned, and can be defined, evaluated, and measured (as opposed to soft skills).
Here’s a list of technical skills:
In addition to these skills, your command of job-specific skills can help ensure you get hired or promoted. These hard skills include the knowledge and expertise required to do a job, knowledge of specific software and hardware applications, and advanced design skills.
Skills, unlike talent, are absolutely something you can learn. Whether your goal is to convert more calls into actual sales or you just plain want to type faster… those are skills, and you can learn how to acquire them. Jay agrees that any individual can learn as they go along.
“It’s all up to that VA if he wants to learn something new. Even if you become an expert at something, you will always learn something new. Each day will always be a learning experience and the only way to improve is the learn from them.”
While there are risks in hiring people who are not skilled at all, keep in mind that there are also risks in hiring highly skilled/trained VAs. This is why the on-boarding process is important. This means helping new hires find their footing on new territory. It’s getting them familiar with the company itself, the people, the culture, and expectations. Start-up or otherwise, companies should recognize that on-boarding new employees is more than just a way of welcoming the new team member. In fact, it should be on top of every new hire checklist!
As the attitude of “how we get work done” continues to evolve, more and more people will find themselves with the opportunity to work from home. Here are some great pieces of advice from Jay to get you started. “Don’t be afraid to make a mistake as long as you learn from it. Do not be afraid to speak up as long as it is done correctly and appropriately. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas as long as it has logical and reasonable outcomes to what you’re trying to achieve. Lastly, be confident with your ability to grow.”