If you’ve filled out a job application recently, you’ve probably noticed that many companies – especially those who use web forms – want you to include your LinkedIn profile. The online resume website may seem a bit past its prime – after all, it’s been around since 2002 – but employers still look to see if you have a complete LinkedIn profile. The site can also be a valuable tool in finding work-from-home jobs.
Simply Use Search
The first step to finding remote jobs on LinkedIn is a simple one – type “work from home,” “remote,” or “home based” in the country you want to work in (the U.S., for example), and behold the search results that pop up! On the left, you can narrow jobs down by the following: location, company, date posted, job function, industry, experience level, and title. Always utilizing “date posted” is a good idea – applying quickly to the most recently posted jobs gives you a leg up on the competition. In our experience, employers have been much more likely to respond to applicants that reply to job postings within, at most, 2 days. Beyond that, and it’s pretty hit-and-miss – finding good people to work for you is tough, and employers typically want to get it over with.
Talk It Up
Join a discussion group on LinkedIn – let the members of the group know your situation, whether you’re a sole proprietor, individual with years of experience, or freelancer who works remotely. Make sure that the group is, of course, relevant to whatever field you’re working in. Be smart about what group you join – for example, if you’re a writer who works from home and has 5 years of experience writing in the health industry, join a health industry writers’ group on LinkedIn.
These groups often give members direct emails regarding job leads. Sometimes, employers or peers will discuss open job positions at their companies in these groups, so pay attention! Or, if you notice someone in the group discussing their company culture, look up the company and the person, then send a cold email. Employers admire tenacity. The worst that will happen is one of two things: 1.) You get no response or 2.) You get a rejection email back. Either way, at least you tried, and planted the seed of your dream company knowing who you are! Be polite in your emails, and ask that they keep your resume on file should any available positions open up that would suit you; thank them for their time and energy.
And – we cannot stress this enough – always make sure to follow-up! The art of the follow-up is somewhat lost in this day and age, so just sending a quick email, or even better, a handwritten thank-you note, will make you stand out from the crowd.
Keep in mind that some groups are somewhat “private,” and you will need to request to join, but some are open.
Make sure that you are adding valuable connections on LinkedIn; colleagues/peers that are in your field (or relevant to it). Let these contacts know that you work from home, or that you are seeking remote jobs. Word of mouth recommendations are the best way to gain more work. Think about it – who do you trust more – your friend that you’ve known for years who recommends an amazing graphic designer that built her website from scratch, or a Yelp! Review? Personal recommendations are the best tool you have in your job-getting arsenal, and one that freelancers don’t often seek to utilize, either because they’re embarrassed or just don’t think to do it – but networking is key to your work-from-home success.
LinkedIn connections can, perhaps, introduce you to folks in your field who would be willing to give you advice or a job. Ask colleagues to recommend you in writing, and put it in your website or in your portfolio (with their permission, of course). Again, word-of-mouth is a fantastic tool for building your business and reputation, and LinkedIn connections can help you do just that.
Choose Keywords Wisely
Yes, even LinkedIn is dictated by keywords. SEO is everywhere these days, so make sure that you are picking the best keywords for the jobs you want. That way, when employers search for “virtual developers,” your LinkedIn profile may pop up on the first page of results.
Be sure that you put the keywords you want in quotes, and try everything – “remote,” “virtual,” home based,” “work from home,” etc. Companies use many different ways of saying the same thing, and you want your profile to show up! Putting these terms in quotes narrows down the LinkedIn job list, but it makes it easier to look at and less overwhelming.
Search the Best States
FlexJobs states that the best states to find remote work are:
- New York
- North Carolina
Remember how we said that you can search remote jobs on LinkedIn by location? Employ that feature into finding your newest gig. Keep in mind that more affluent areas will often pay more, but not always. You can find well-paid home-based jobs in smaller cities with less competition.
Watch Out for Scams
Almost every job board is going to have scams on it. However, it’s a bit harder to get away with on LinkedIn. Be sure to go through a company’s and employee’s profile on the site to make sure that they’re legitimate. Google the company and/or employees. See which LinkedIn connections you have in common, and reach out to those connections. The worst part about getting scammed is that it takes away time you could spend finding valuable work-from-home gigs! Be wise in making your connections, and your effort should become fruitful in no time.
To absolutely ensure you will not sign up for a work at home scam, you can get a membership at FlexJobs. They hand-screen each lead for legitimacy to ensure that no scams are posted. Leads are added five days per week, and everything you see there should fall under the categories of either flexible and/or work at home.
You can get 30 percent off of a FlexJobs membership by using promo code AFFILPROMO at checkout.