Six-figure designers weren’t born knowing how to find remote design jobs. Nor did these designers make it on talent alone. While talent is a necessary component in this industry, it’s equally important to learn how to find jobs that both showcase that talent and pay the bills.
Whether you’re just getting started in your remote design career or you’re looking for ways to scale your business, we can help you learn how to find remote design jobs that work for you. By showcasing your unique talents and engaging in regular client curation, you can achieve the remote design career of your dreams.
1. Knowing How to Showcase Your Talents
Each time you apply for a remote design job, you will need to prove your abilities. Your resume, portfolio, and social media accounts can work together to provide that proof to prospective employers. But this works only if you know how to use each of these tools to their fullest extent.
Creating Your Resume
Your resume is a list of relevant jobs you’ve done in the past. This can get tricky for freelance and remote workers, since it’s still customary to keep your resume to one page. You may have too many jobs to list, especially if you take on different projects every week or every month.
This is where tailoring your resume comes into play. If you’re applying for a UX design job, for example, you’ll specifically want to list your UX design work. Stick to your most recent, relevant job experience and tweak your resume every time you apply to a new job. While this strategy is more time-consuming than sending in a resume created entirely by ChatGPT, by avoiding common resume mistakes, you increase your chances of landing interviews with prospective clients and employers.
Building Your Portfolio
Each interaction a prospective client or employer has with you and your work should lead them down the path of deciding that you’re the best designer for their job. And that starts with designing a strong UX design portfolio.
Janelle Metz, Pathrise Design Career Mentor says, “The portfolio we coach here at pathrise consists of case studies that describe your design process from ideation to shipping, which is why we spend so much time on them in the design track. We recommend 2 optimized case studies to get started and add a third when starting to apply so employers understand your design process and decision-making.”
Updating Relevant Social Media Accounts and Websites
Did you know that eight people are hired on Linkedin every minute? With more than 930 million members spanning 200 countries around the world, LinkedIn is the one social media account you need to have if you’re a remote worker.
Having a strong presence on LinkedIn — and other social media platforms like Facebook or TikTok — means keeping up with your account. Don’t use more social media accounts than you can reliably keep up to date. Your social media accounts and portfolio should include recent examples of your work and your current contact information so that prospective employers can reach out to you if they like what they see.
2. Top Job Boards for Finding Remote Design Jobs
Online job boards aren’t just for individuals looking for in-person work. In fact, numerous job boards exist exclusively for the benefit of remote workers. But even traditional online job boards can help you find remote design work. Let’s take a look at some of the top job boards for remote designers.
Although Hired.com is available for all workers, not just remote workers, it remains a standout job board because it’s free to use and has an awesome customer service team. It’s also a good idea to look at standard job boards in addition to remote job boards, as employers who are new to hiring remote workers may continue using the job boards they’re most comfortable with.
Himalayas is the ultimate job board for UX designers seeking strong remote opportunities. With its well-organized interface and status as one of the largest job boards for remote workers, Himalayas provides a seamless experience. It integrates your remote work portfolio, making it easy to connect your information and showcase your work to prospective clients. Explore a wide range of industries and job types, and access a diverse pool of reputable employers. Trust in Himalayas’ commitment to quality job listings and save valuable time by focusing on the most reliable and rewarding freelance opportunities.
We Work Remotely is a job board aimed at helping freelancers find strong jobs. This is a well-organized site and is one of the largest job boards for remote workers. The site also includes a remote work portfolio. Keeping your portfolio in the same space as your job applications makes it easy to connect your information and showcase your work to prospective clients.
Working Nomads is a great job board for remote workers, and it allows you to narrow your search by categories. This means you can target the right types of design jobs for your experience and interests. The biggest downside to this job board is that many of the jobs listed are old. Keep an eye on the job’s posting date to ensure you don’t waste time applying for a position that has already been filled.
One great thing about Remote.co is that it has a technology-specific newsletter. If you’re active on this job board, you may receive listings directly via email. If you’re trying to juggle multiple job listings across numerous job boards, this newsletter can help you curate your options, which will save you time in the long run.
Remotive specifically works with tech companies, which makes it a great job board for UX designers on the hunt for remote work. Remotive’s search features are less robust than those of some other job boards, but the platform is free to use and has a large selection of available jobs, which are updated weekly.
NoDesk has fewer jobs available each week than some other job boards, but the offerings it does have are well-vetted, current, and flexible. Strong keyword search options make it easy to navigate the site. And in addition to job listings, NoDesk also offers helpful resources to help you grow in your career.
If you’re looking for a job and you identify as female, RemoteWoman may be a great job board for you. This job board is specifically designed to help companies hire more women and help women find respectful remote work. Most of the companies that post on this site are looking to bring in a more diverse group of employees and reduce the gender gap in the workplace.
Dynamite Jobs specifically works with companies that have a remote-first mentality. This means that if you’re looking for jobs through this platform, you’re likely to interact with clients who understand the nuances of working with a remote professional. The site posts only job listings that are 100% remote, open, and paid. This well-curated list ensures that you don’t have to do a ton of sifting to find legitimate remote work opportunities.
Although most of JustRemote’s ads are free for job seekers, it costs $189 for a company to post an ad on this site for 30 days. There are pros and cons to this strategy, but it does mean that ads on the site tend to be relevant and posted by legitimate brands that have money to spend on marketing. This bodes well for remote workers hoping to work for these companies down the road.
FlexJobs is a great place to find remote work with flexible hours as well as full-time remote work. But what really makes this job board stand out is its large collection of webinars, courses, and downloadable guides that subscribers can access. That being said, there is a subscription fee to use FlexJobs, and there is no guarantee that you will land a job when you subscribe. If you’re going to use FlexJobs, make sure you have the budget to subscribe and that you’re positioned to actively hunt for work.
3. Networking, Cold Emails, and Beyond
Job boards aren’t the only way to find remote design jobs. Networking and cold calls are among some of the most common ways to find work. You can also post your services on specific sites and invite jobs to come to you.
Networking as a Remote Designer
If you break out in a cold sweat just thinking about networking, you’re not alone. More than a third of professionals struggle with networking. And yet 80% of professionals agree that networking matters if you want a successful career. This makes sense because 84% of potential recruiters are most influenced by their family and friends. So even if you hate the idea of networking, you may need to find ways to build a sustainable network.
If you’re just leaving the 9-to-5 grind to pursue remote work, attending a formal business conference may not be at the top of your to-do list. However, conferences provide great networking opportunities.
Signing up for one or two conferences a year can provide ongoing, continual training in your field (which looks great on a resume!) while also giving you access to industry leaders and decision-makers. Attend with business cards in hand, and you have a ready-made opportunity to make connections.
In-Person Word of Mouth
Don’t underestimate the power of talking about yourself. If you’re at a social event and someone asks what you do for a living, go ahead and give some details. You can also emphasize that you’re actively looking for new clients. You may be surprised by the contacts you can make through your family and friends.
Support From Previous Clients
If you’ve worked with clients in the past and finished jobs in good standing, you have ready-made opportunities to boost your standing in the design world. If you stay in contact with previous clients, they may be more likely to remember your name when they need to hire a remote designer in the future. They may also be willing to pass your name along when people in their network ask whether they have any recommendations for designers.
You can take this a step further by emailing clients and asking them to leave a review of your work on your website or social media page. You should also ask previous clients if they would be willing to serve as a reference for future clients. Building a list of potential references empowers you to use the right references for the right job opportunities.
Cold calls are a job-finding technique that involves reaching out to potential clients that you have no connection with and offering your services. On average, cold calls have a 2% success rate. This means that if you send cold-call emails to 100 different companies, you could expect to hear back from two of them. While these odds aren’t terrible, sending cold-call emails — or making actual phone calls — can be an arduous process.
If you’re going to use cold calls to find remote design jobs, you should use them in conjunction with other job-hunting techniques. Consider sending a few cold-call emails each day before you start your job hunting in earnest.
Other Options for Finding Remote Design Jobs
You don’t always have to apply for remote design jobs. If you enjoy a certain kind of design, you can advertise your work on sites like Upwork, Freelance.com or Fiverr, and prospective clients may come to you. Through these platforms you can also reach out to hiring agencies for short-term work to build portfolios. This type of work is rarely for the long term, though, and it’s difficult to build a sustainable career on these types of jobs alone. However, Upwork, Freelance.com and Fiverr jobs can help you build your portfolio when you’re first getting started, provide an opportunity to work on passion projects, and serve as an additional revenue stream.
Improve Your Income When You Know How to Find Remote Design Jobs
Once you know how to find remote design jobs, your income potential rises exponentially. Unfortunately, finding such jobs can be a time-consuming process.
Pathrise can help! Not only can we help you apply for jobs, but also get a guaranteed increase in salary through Pathrise. If you want to work with any of our career mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your interview prep or with any other aspect of the job search, apply today to become a Pathrise fellow.