How to find remote work amid coronavirus unemployment

Americans are seeking out remote work with layoffs, job cuts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic

Remote work is the new normal for many employees and Americans who have been laid off as companies struggle financially with the coronavirus pandemic.

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Service industry jobs have announced significant job cuts in the last few weeks, as businesses like restaurants, hair and nail salons, bars, entertainment venues and retailers close amid nationwide efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Many more workers will pursue remote jobs they can do from home amid coronavirus pandemic. (iStock). 

Now, many Americans will have to pursue jobs they can do from home.

“It’s an unprecedented time for everybody. In the first part of March, we’ve had almost a 70 percent increase in search terms relating to remote or virtual work,” Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of human resources for the job listings website Indeed.com, told FOX Business.

Job postings typically increase at the beginning of the year. Without a public health crisis like the coronavirus, the job postings market would grow at the same rate, roughly, from the start of the year, however, in 2020, the trend in job postings is 2.6 percent lower than in 2019, according to data from Indeed.com.

Here are easy steps to take to land potential remote job opportunities:

Define your transferable skills

Wolfe says it’s important to think about what skills you have that are relevant in other job roles. Transferable skills can be things like time management, leadership skills or knowledge of software or technical programs.

For example, if you worked as a waitress or rideshare driver, those customer service skills communicating with customers and clients could translate to a remote representative for a call center.

Update your resume

Add remote job friendly skills to your resume, cover letter and online job profiles like LinkedIn. If you've used programs like Slack or Google Chat to communicate with colleagues about projects via instant messaging, or if you have experience with document collaboration programs like Google Drive and or photo-sharing apps like DropBox, list them. Proficiency in video conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype are also ideal to include. Knowledge of these technologies will show recruiters or prospective employers that you can collaborate while working remotely.

Target career fields that have the most remote jobs

Career fields such as medical and health, computer and IT, customer service, education and training, sales and accounting and finance are among the top fields with the most access to remote employment capabilities, according to FlexJobs, a career site that helps people find remote full and part-time jobs.

Career fields like medical and health, IT, education and training have the most number of remote employment opportunities, according to FlexJobs. (iStock)

Using keywords in your search is crucial. Consider keywords like "telecommute job," "remote job," "virtual job" and "distributed team" for the best results, and avoid using phrases that job scammers use like "work from home" and "work at home," career experts at FlexJobs suggest.

WORKING FROM HOME DO'S AND DON'TS 

Join relevant social networking groups

Finding a group that aligns with your industry or area of work can help connect you with prospective hiring managers. LinkedIn has a group called Remote Workers devoted entirely to people who are working virtually and publishes a #HiringRemote job post thread connecting members with potential employment opportunities weekly.

"Networking is still really important -- who do you know that knows somebody? Who have you heard of that's hiring someone?" Wolfe says, advising to check out virtual job fairs and forums online.

Once you join, career experts suggest sending personalized messages to people in your industry to share contacts and industry information.

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