Writing a cover letter is one of the most frustrating parts of the job search for many reasons. Building a cover letter that helps you to stand out for a remote job search can be more challenging. Here is what you need to know about building a cover letter that helps you to stand out when applying to remote jobs.
Cover Letter Basics
Before understanding how to build a cover letter for a remote job, it is important to first know what the expectations are for a cover letter. Fundamentally, the cover letter should tell the story beyond your resume. A good cover letter makes it easy for the person skimming it to connect the dots about why you are a good candidate for the role. For more information on building a cover letter, go here to learn more.
Remote Working Skills
A strong cover letter for a remote job search will include details that are unique to the requirements of remote working. This includes an explanation of any prior remote work experience and the unique skills gained to succeed as a remote team member. Incorporating these details effectively in your cover letter also means that you are tying these skills back to the particular job and company.
If you haven't worked remotely previously, then you should use the cover letter to explain how your previous non-remote work experience translates. This can also mean adapting how you talk about your skills and the experience.
And, because this is a cover letter for a remote role, make sure to connect those skills in the cover letter back to your resume. Providing this context goes a long way to connect the reader with your resume and makes it easier for that person to understand how you could be a good fit for their need. Do not repeat all of the information in your resume on your cover letter. Instead, reframe that information so that it can be easily seen as relevant for a position that will be working from home. Here are skills that are relevant to working remotely to include in your cover letter.
Fit for Remote Jobs
The importance of culture and team fit are more important than ever in the hiring process. This is particularly true for jobs that will be performed entirely remotely or under a hybrid arrangement. This means that you will need to explain how you are a fit for the employer's culture and how your skills/experiences show that. Consider the following when building a cover letter for your remote job search:
- Do Your Research. Every good cover letter starts with a little research to better understand the job, the company, and its culture. Incorporate this information in your cover letter to showcase your legwork.
- Connect to Your Skills. People skim cover letters. Make it easy for this person by connecting the dots between your skills and the company's culture or that of the team.
- Provide Examples. Use examples from your resume in your cover letter to illustrate how you could be a good addition to the company culture.
- Explain How You Will Learn. Provide some insights in the cover letter about what you would do or have done to learn new organizations, systems, and people remotely.
- Personality. Include details about your personality and how those traits could be a good remote addition to the company or the particular team that you are applying to with the cover letter.
- Space. Most companies that hire remote team members will send the relevant equipment and systems for the person to perform the job remotely. However, you will still need to have the dedicated space and ability to perform the job remotely. Include details about your ability and existing resources to do the job remotely in your cover letter if you haven't worked remotely previously.
This is the most important part of your cover letter for a remote job. Make sure to dedicate enough space on your 1-page cover letter to explain why - why are you looking for a new job, why do you want this job, why do you want to work at this company, and why should they hire you? Answering all of these questions is exactly what makes the cover letter stand out.
Make sure to adapt your answer to these big questions to the remote nature of the role and include that in your cover letter. This means including an explanation about how your answers to the Why questions connect with the remote role and this company.
Your answers to the "why" questions in your cover letter cannot be ONLY about you. A cover letter that stands out for remote roles will also include information about how you will bring value to the company and the team as a remote employee. How you deliver that value remotely is different than if you were working onsite every day. Read more about how to make your cover letter stand out here.
The competition for remote and hybrid roles is growing with the roll-out of return to the office by many companies. This means that your cover letter can play a bigger role than ever before in landing you the interview. Make sure that you incorporate all of the items above to ensure that your cover letter stands out and keep applying to find the right fit for your remote career.
Want help to craft the perfect cover letter for your remote search? Get help from a cover letter writing expert today!