5 skills to master for landing your dream remote job

Do you yearn for an intellectually stimulating job without the over-stimulation of life in Silicon Valley, London, or Tokyo?

Have you had a taste of working from home and are ready to trade in your suit and office commute for pajamas and Zoom meetings?


There are so many reasons why remote work can be a transformative experience for employees and employers alike: from increased productivity and flexibility in where you live to more time with loved ones.

Yet, with all those benefits comes new challenges to overcome. New ways of communicating, new technologies, and distributed time-zones to name a few. While organizations learn how to manage remote work policies, people looking to go remote need to focus on standout skills to get noticed in a global applicant pool.

So what skills should you focus on to stand-out and land that dream remote job? Read on for our Top 5 skills to master and how to show them off to a hiring team.

  1. Tech-Savvy

Why is it important?

Basic understanding of technology is the new barrier to entry for remote working even if you do not have a tech-focused job. Everyone is tired of one of the top questions of 2020 “Can you hear me now?” when logged on Zoom, or having to even explain what Zoom is to begin with.

To execute work effectively in a remote environment you need to feel comfortable using the appropriate tools.

How can I improve?

Common tools to get familiar within the remote landscape include Zoom, Slack, Notion, and Asana. Choose a few favorites and start moving your personal life into these tools. For example, you can create an Asana to manage your To-Do Lists and use Slack to connect with friends and family. Remember practice can go a long way when getting comfortable with new technology.

If things like 2FA and VPN are gibberish to you, brush up on your knowledge of privacy and security online. Creating strong passwords and downloading a password manager is a great starting point.

How can I show this skill off?

Add the tools you are most comfortable using to your LinkedIn profile and CV. Consider sharing your work in a public Notion, acting as a portfolio of your accomplishments. Ask about the tools and tech stack at the companies you are interviewing for.

  1. Communication Skills

Why is it important?

Without the chance of running into your colleague at the coffee machine, or the subtleties of decoding a smile and a smirk, your virtual communication becomes critical.

As communication moves asynchronously, it is important to focus on written communication skills to increase readability of your messages.

How can I improve?

Learn your communication style, and considr ways you can flex to other styles. Start writing messages with a work context in mind. Record yourself on video calls and analyze ways to become more relaxed and engaging on camera.

How can I show this skill off?

From initial contact to final interview, you have many opportunities in the hiring process to stand out. Check that your written messages are concise. Share the most important information, and set clear expectations on next steps. Be authentic during video interviews and let your personality shine through!

  1. Time Management

Why is it important?

Balancing work and kids, pets, and time zones can be a challenge for remote workers. Without the commute to break up the workday it is easy to let work expand into more hours of your day. An effective remote worker is an efficient remote worker. By prioritizing productivity over hours in front of a screen you can accomplish your goals with more time back in your week.

How can I improve?

Create a time management diary. List your top priorities, and all other tasks and meetings. Analyze your estimated time to complete, and your actual time to complete. Over time (pun intended) you will begin to see what traps you are falling victim to. From there, you can plan a schedule to complete your most important and urgent activities first.

How can I show this skill off?

When emailing with Hiring teams share your availability and time zone. Communicate expected turnaround time for your responses. Share examples of work you have completed with dispersed teams. During interviews discuss your approach to scheduling in focus time, meetings, etc.

  1. Self Motivation

Why is it important?

Without the in-person accountability, it may be challenging to stay engaged with the work. A great remote team member will hold themselves accountable. They are proactive in accomplishing milestones.

How can I improve?

To improve on this skill ask yourself, “What excited me to get out of bed in the morning?”

Knowing what motivates you and the triggers you can use to reward yourself is a great activity. Show initiative by taking an online course. Create a personal structure that you can follow to complete certain tasks.

How can I show this skill off?

Include projects you have proposed and self-managed in your CV and during interviews. Share what motivates you and talk about how you approach leading projects in the past.

  1. Relationship Building

Why is it important?

One of the most common challenges for remote workers is feeling connected to a team and battling isolation. Having the ability to create a safe space for vulnerability based trust, and get to know the people you are working with, will not only make you happier in your role but also more successful.

How can I improve?

If you are nervous about creating connections with future remote colleagues, try your hand at remote networking first. Reach out to people on LinkedIn and invite them to a virtual coffee-chat. Create a list of go-to open-ended questions to spark conversation. As well as a list of fun things you are comfortable sharing about yourself. Practice getting comfortable with sharing gratitude remotely by sending a message to someone who has made an impact on your week. Get comfortable building trust by setting clear expectations and following up in writing to commit.

How can I show this skill off?

When communicating with Hiring Teams carve out a few minutes for small talk to build rapport. Follow up conversations, with a meaningful takeaway that you learned in the conversation. And, most importantly – be yourself!

With these five skills, you are sure to set yourself apart from other applicants.

Still job searching? Check out our virtual job fair Oyster Bridges, happening world-wide on December 3, 2020.

Looking to become Remote Ready? Apply to join our upskilling program by sending your CV / Resume to upskilling@oysterhr.com

Published by Ali Greene

Head of Culture and Community at Oyster. Ali has ten years of startup experience and four years leading remote teams and implementing frameworks for organizations while traveling full-time. From rolling out benefits for U.S. based teams while slurping ramen in Tokyo, to managing an organization re-structure from beaches in Spain, her unique point of view and solution-oriented mindset is focused on supporting the success of distributed organizations. At Oyster, Ali is the liaison between internal culture and best practices and external education of the wider Oyster community.