Applying for a remote job (from scratch)

Mohsin Hayat,engineeringremote work


Let's start with a clean slate. You have no idea where to find remote jobs, you have no resume, no cover letter and you just graduated from university. Create a new google doc and start writing points about yourself.

Step one is to realize what is driving you to apply for the remote jobs, this will help us shortlist the kinds of companies you want to apply to.

Which point do you weigh more? Weighing one more than the other is important because some things come at a cost. That cost here is "compromises". Some company A could be giving you a lot of salaries but giving you zero exposure. Some company B could be giving you more exposure but the work they do has no impact.

Write the top 2 points in the google doc. Once you have decided why you want to have a remote job, it will now be easy for you to decide which company you want to apply to.

Gathering content for your application

The second step is to start collecting and documenting things from your past experiences. These things will be important in making your resume, cover letter, and preparation for your interview.

Write everything in your document. From your school days when you created some cool websites to your first semester when you coded your first project. It could be some seminar you attended or society work you did. Key points of each of the content should be:

Write as much as you can. This will streamline your thoughts about yourself. Sometimes the interviewer asks you these questions and it becomes very easy for you to answer if you have documented these somewhere.

And some of my friends say they don't have anything in their portfolio and they haven't done anything valuable. This is a chance for them to realize they have done a lot of stuff.

If you don't have enough things, start working on one or two rockstar projects. It's never too late. I suggest starting some courses if you feel confused.

Sorting your content

The third step is to sort the content by the most important ones. You can assign marks to each of the pointers out of a total of 10 marks. This will give you more clarity on what you have done in the past that you value the most.

Write your score with each of the points in google docs.

Writing your resume

First of all, don't bother if your resume doesn't follow a good design. You don't need a fancy template. The first priority is to write the pointers correctly in your resume. Objectively speaking, these are the points that should be at your fingertips: (opens in a new tab).

The order of content in the resume should be:

  1. Contact info
  2. Summary/Objective
  3. Work experience
    3.1. Awards (if any)
  4. Education
    4.1. Distinctions (if any)
  5. Skills

and all should be in reverse chronological order. This is standard and is followed almost everywhere. If you change this order, you're adding extra load on the job recruiter to go through your resume in a different approach.

Don't add everything in the skills section. Knowing software is not a skill so don't add Figma, VScode, or Gitlab to it.

Don't make it more than 1 page. If it is more than a page, reduce the details of the pointers or remove the pointers altogether.

Writing your cover letter

Writing cover letters is the most underrated skill in the job application stage. People just ignore it and copy-paste their whole resume in the cover letters.

From my experience, the cover letter should be different for every job. You can have a template ready but that should be modified for every job application. There's a 15-minute rule for writing cover letters and it is to always spend at least 15 minutes on your cover letter before applying to the job.

It should answer these questions essentially:

Don't overcomplicate the content of the cover letter. Just keep in mind that the reader of the cover letter has gone through your resume and he's looking for reasons to give you a chance for the interview. Bragging or lying in the resume will not help. You can write some irrelevant stuff like having a pet or love for music for an ice-breaker but keep it short.

Use your google doc to write your cover letter template.

Finding companies to apply

Here are a few websites where you can easily find high-paying remote jobs:

But don't stop just here, keep searching for other places too.


Click here to see brief list to filter the jobs.

© Mohsin Hayat.