There’s nothing new about looking for a job online. And while trends come and go, the digital word is in a constant state of forward movement. You’ve likely been looking for ways to improve your remote job search since long before the global pandemic.
However, what you didn’t experience to this great of scale is the mass influx of competition in the virtual job market. Since early 2020, employers have had to switch to exclusively posting jobs, attending virtual job fairs, accepting online-only applications, performing virtual interviews, and even onboarding new hires into a remote workforce.
What does this mean for medical sales job seekers? Quite simply, expectations have changed and you need to improve your remote job search game.
When it comes to sifting through advice for the remote job search, you get the most out of tips from people who prove they’re effective. That’s why we’ve turned to the true experts: those who successfully landed a job in the current job market and those who are hiring.
Here how you can stand out above the competition in the remote job search:
Your skills must change with the times. Each passing year creates little changes (or HUGE changes) to the world we live in, and your resume in the remote job search should reflect that you’ve grown.
No matter what shifts in the job market you must hurdle, it can only help to elevate your skillset.
“My top recommendation is to take your time to further enhance your skills. You can watch Youtube videos to learn more, or develop professional skills by getting professional certifications. These certifications help to enhance your resume and the overall experience that you possess.” Donna Tang, Budgeting Expert at CreditDonkey
“If you apply to a new role and want to show that you’re the right candidate, take an online course to update your knowledge on different topics. Some courses provide certificates that look good in your LinkedIn profile. It shows your potential employer that even if you don’t have much experience in a particular area, you made an effort to learn it.” Jessica Ulloa, Community Manager at MyPerfectResume
Gain tech skills
There are thousands of skills you can work on. Maybe you’d like to learn more about a specific part of your field, or perhaps soft skills are your cup of tea right now. Regardless, be sure to spend some time dedicated to improving your relationship with technology.
“The internet has made job-hunting seriously competitive, and the only way to increase chances of getting hired for me was to become expensive by the highly-demanded values and skills to my store. All those paid and free courses on Udemy, Coursera, and Google Academy have been helpful with their certificates.” Liam Clouds, Project Manager at Mitrade
In fact, employers confirm that learning more about technology is a great move for job seekers.
“Tech certifications help boost a candidate’s chances of getting hired because it shows that he/she has exerted more effort in *upskilling* to improve his/her craft. Those who know how to tap into their other skills to allow them to survive in this challenging economy are ahead of the crop. They know how to adapt and can prove that whatever challenge there is, they are willing to sweat it out.” Michael Hamelburger, CEO at The Bottom Line Group
Highlight remote skills
When your target job is permanently remote, it’s equally significant to demonstrate that you have experience with working from home with a remote team.
In his job search, James Bullard noticed that lots of companies preferred remote workers, and the candidates who were most successful were those who could prove they were reliable as remote workers. That’s why he started emphasizing his self-motivation with professional tasks, flexibility, strong problem-solving skills, and independence in the absence of a lot of supervision.
“I just landed a job as a virtual assistant three months ago. I think what really helped me was that I worked hard on my resume to highlight my remote working skills. Before, I tried the conventional way of promoting myself by submitting my old resumes with the skills I believed to be ideal in the eyes of recruiters. But, obviously, it didn’t work. The recruitment landscape has changed a lot and applicants should adapt to now.” James Bullard, Founder of Sound Fro
It’s important to consider the employer’s perspective on remote skills.
“A critical aspect of increasing your chances of getting hired for a remote job is updating your resume’ to mention your previous remote working experiences specifically. Employers find it hard to trust individuals to follow deadlines when working remotely. So your remote working experience can be useful in helping you get a remote job. More importantly, having more than one skill can help put up a positive impression.” Snow Qu, CEO at Linking News
Branding, network, and outreach
In the virtual age, your online presence matters more than ever. Everything from your social media accounts to building a professional network is crucial to the remote job search.
“Those who can manage their personal brands well and how well it translates into their resume as evidenced by their adaptability to critical situations.”Michael Hamelburger
Maximize your use of LinkedIn
Almost everyone knows that LinkedIn is a pivotal part to any job search. But are you getting the most out of it?
“I made the mistake of applying to a job opening directly through LinkedIn before taking the time to work on my profile. Our social profiles are a digital representation of us. They allow recruiters to scan through our past work experiences. Therefore, keeping them updated and relevant to the role you want is super important.” Jessica Ulloa
Employers agree that bypassing the personalization step for your profile is a mistake.
“I recommend sprinkling your LinkedIn profile with relevant industry keywords and update your work history to ensure maximum visibility. To reel in recruiters, you may also want to provide a clear and concise snapshot of your tangible professional accomplishments in the summary section of your profile.” Jagoda Wieczorek, Head of HR at ResumeLab
Maintain strong connections
Taking advantage of your professional network is known to give you a step-up in securing a job. Here’s what that can look like in practice:
“It’s a good practice to make a connection with someone who works at the company. Try to find someone on the company team page or on LinkedIn and let them know you’re interested in working there and which position you applied to. You might be able to get an internal referral, which could boost your chances of landing an interview.” Rebecca Safier
“Another thing that helped to make me a preference in the eyes of potential employers was my good track record with previous employers. In my pitches, I always attach the contact of happy previous employers who have agreed to root for me whenever a potential employer reaches out to them to confirm my legitimacy.” Liam Clouds
Connections are important, but they alone can’t land you a job. Here’s some other routes for your virtual job search:
- “Search with new keywords is enough to bubble up some fresh opportunities in the job listing portals. By expanding your geographical boundaries, you might land for a better opportunity. Also, remember that you may be able to use public transportation or remote work options for jobs far away from you.” Caroline Lee, Marketing Director at CocoSign
- “Discover more organizations in your field or those doing similar work to get complete job listings. You can search for organizations by using keywords and filtering for the location of your choice. If the organization is not hiring at that time, add them to your watchlist and check for regular updates in future postings and set up job alerts through mail or SMS.” Caroline Lee
“Not all businesses looking to hire are on job listing sites, for some, find out where your potential employers spend their day. Facebook? Twitter? Their official website?”Liam Clouds
The application process
Once you’ve identified the jobs you’re interested in, the next steps can be even more terrifying. Especially if it’s a position you’re very excited about, you don’t want a clumsy misstep in the application to ruin your chances. But don’t worry. This advice is tried and true (and current!). If you can adopt these practices for the application step of your remote job search, you’ll be in great shape.
Apply only to jobs that fit best
Sending a generic application to loads of recruiters is the wrong choice. Here’s why:
“It’s important to figure out exactly what job you’re targeting so you can position yourself as the best candidate for that role. Sending off a bunch of generic applications for a variety of roles won’t do your job search any favors. It’s best to get really targeted and show a hiring manager that you’re the right fit for a specific position.” Rebecca Safier
“I was successful in this round of applications as opposed to my early freelancing days because I wasn’t sending out applications en masse. Hiring teams can always tell when an applicant hasn’t researched the company or sent a generic cover letter, and it is a major turn off.” John Cho, Founder of My Pet Child
“Most individuals apply for jobs out of nowhere, whether that suits them or not. This makes the process very tedious for recruiters, and reaching the right candidate is very hard. The solution I adopted was to change myself and only apply for jobs that I really want to work for, and that’s what I expect from others.” Patrick Smith, Editor-in-chief at Fire Stick Tricks
Keeping a spreadsheet of all the companies I have applied to was helpful for me, as I was able to keep track of which company reached back out and which rejected me. Rene Cheng
Try a portfolio
Portfolios tend to work best for creative industries, but you can also use them to strengthen your medical sales resume. Include evidence of your sales record and projects you worked on to showcase your past work.
“When you’re an entry-level job seeker, landing a job can feel like a Catch-22 — employers want to see experience, but you can’t get experience until you’ve gotten a job. In my case, I wrote articles for free so I had a portfolio of work to show an employer. For job seekers in other industries, you might focus on the transferable skills you’ve acquired in past jobs, internships, or other experiences and explain how they will enable you to succeed in the new role.” Rebecca Safier
Check out these insider tips for your resume:
- “Especially right now as people are changing careers at record breaking levels, don’t be afraid to include your passions, hobbies and charitable work on your resume.” John Cho
- “Craft an extensive master resume and include all the skills, certifications, work experiences you have. While you won’t ever send it out, you’ll use your master resume to create a brand-new customized application based on it. All you’ll have to do is go through the job posting and see what the company wants and go back to your master resume and just keep what the job is looking for.” Jagoda Wieczorek
- “Mentioning too many skills on your CV and not having any work experience to back it up is a very ineffective move. People usually try to mention extra skills hoping they will convince the employer, but employers are usually people with years of hiring experience and do not fall for such scams. Even if you make it to the interview, you will not be able to pass that if you can’t prove your skills are worthy.” Snow Qu
Take the initiative with communication
Traditionally, your job after sending out an application is to sit and wait. But no one likes twiddling their thumbs for weeks on end. Successful job seekers from the remote job search recommend reaching out to current employees at the company to get more information and maybe even a referral.
“It took longer and extra effort for me to land interviews. Many times I didn’t receive any response regarding my applications. I decided to look for contact information for the HR department and reach out to them directly. Whether I asked for updates or more information about their roles, having direct contact with HR made it easier for me to get answers.” Jessica Ulloa
“I personally faced a lot of roadblocks when cold messaging recruiters because they seem to be very busy! However, I found a way to engage with recruiters by writing a professional and yet heart-warming conversation starter.” Rene Cheng, Content Marketing Growth Specialist at JobSeer
Hold onto your hope that you’ll find a job you can get passionate about and that will advance your career. Job search burnout is very real, but you know what you’re a great employee. Believe that, when you apply wisely, you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be.
“From my virtual job hunting experience I have gauged that career-oriented jobs should be your utmost priority and not high paying jobs. Usually high paying jobs have no job security but relatively lesser paying jobs give you a career. Choose wisely and make sure you know your interest well.” Patrick Smith
“Keep your head up! We understand job searching is very frustrating at times, but as job seekers, we should not let rejection letters defeat our abilities and mentality.” Rene Cheng