Hi, I’m Elle! I work as a product designer at Getaround and as an industry mentor here at Pathrise. I help our fellows land great jobs in product design through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my article on remote design jobs.
Updated in 2021
Even before COVID-19, remote work was becoming more popularity. Now, more companies than ever are offering remote options for employees because it saves them money and it’s become the norm. It has also proven to be beneficial to employee health and happiness, according to research done by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics.
If you are looking to find a remote design job that can provide you the flexibility and commute-free lifestyle you desire, check out this step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Showcase your talents with a strong resume, LinkedIn, and portfolio
Before you can even start applying for new roles, you need to make sure your resume, LinkedIn, and portfolio are as strong as possible. This is the case with all jobs. But, it is especially true for remote work because there is less oversight and companies need to mitigate the risk of hiring these types of employees.
Your resume is often the first chance for recruiters to get to know you. So, you need to make sure it is optimized to highlight your impact in past roles and projects. Don’t write what you did, write why you did it. All of your work accomplished some goal or task, so make sure that your results are easy to see. The best way to showcase your accomplishments is through quantifying the scale and results of the project. That way you can show the recruiters and interviewers that your work had meaning.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask yourself to help get these numbers:
- How many different methodologies did I implement?
- How many users did I launch to or will I launch to?
- By what percentage did I improve our old process?
- How much time did I save the team or the user?
When you work to optimize your LinkedIn, make sure that you are providing enough context and telling the complete story of the work you did. You don’t have the same space limitations as your resume, so feel free to go into more depth. You can also include more personal information about yourself, like a short bio and some hobbies. This gives the recruiter a feeling for who you are beyond your work.
Finally, no designer is ready for the job search without a strong portfolio. This is truly the most important element because this is where you get to tell your story as a designer and a candidate. Your portfolio should be clean and user-friendly just like your favorite app or product. It needs to include your personal information, the type of roles you are interested in, and your body of work. Make everything easy to find right on the homepage. In addition, show your personality, but keep it professional.
When you go into depth about your projects, provide context and start from the beginning. Explain the problem you were trying to solve, the steps you took to do this (including any research and testing done), and ultimately, your results. Mockups and final products are also important. For more information on how to build a strong UX portfolio, check out our guide.
Step 2. Be smart in your search
If your goal is to find a remote job, then you should start your job search with remote job boards.
For designers that work better on their own or are fine with reviews over video chat, We Work Remotely is a good job board to check out. In fact, they are the largest community online for remote jobs with over 2,500,000 monthly visitors.
Working Nomads is a job board for people looking for remote jobs in the digital space. You can search by category or by further narrowing down your search. They have over 1680 design jobs listed. But, make sure you check the date they were posted. You should focus on recent openings. You can also sign up for their newsletter and get design openings directly in your inbox.
Remote.co is a resource for companies that are looking to hire remote workers. You can filter their job board for design jobs and review a variety of web design opportunities in UI or UX graphic design openings, illustration positions, and everything in between. They also have a technology specific jobs newsletter so you can get new openings sent right to you.
Focused on remote roles at startups, Remotive.io is an especially helpful job board because it only shows openings that were recently posted. This is important because when a job is new, it means you can get in early and hopefully be one of the first candidates. They have 130+ remote design jobs from July 2021 that you can check out.
As the name suggests, No Desk is a job board for people looking for roles where they can work from anywhere. They have over 100 open design roles for you to review at a variety of companies, from startups to large organizations like Twitter.
If you are looking for a remote job at a female-friendly organization, the job board at Remote Woman would be a good place for you to start. These are curated specifically by the community so that you know you are applying to trusted companies. They have a specific job board for design roles that can help you save time in your search.
With roughly 30 open design jobs, Dynamite Jobs is a good source for remote opportunities in the US and abroad. These roles are updated frequently. Plus, they have a newsletter that candidates so you can get new jobs in your inbox each day.
Another remote job board with a newsletter, Just Remote is a good place for applicants who might be interested in full or partially roles. They also give opportunities for part-time job-seekers. They have roughly 25 open design roles that you can review.
Step 3. Go beyond the application
Applying online often means you are sending your information into a black hole. Especially if you are applying to a large company, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who submit for these roles. We always recommend that job-seekers send cold emails along with their applications. Otherwise they likely will not hear anything back after they press submit. This advice is especially important for potential remote employees to show that they are motivated, hardworking, and passionate about the role.
When you find a remote position that you are interested in and that fits your experience, go on LinkedIn to find employees at that company. Ideally, you want to find a technical recruiter or design manager that has a connection to you. Hometown, college, or hobbies are good places to start. This similarity will help warm up the cold email and increase the chances that they will respond to you.
Once you find this person, find their email address and write an email that explains who you are, how you are connected, why you are interested in working at the company, and how you can provide impact. These emails should be compelling and concise. Don’t just regurgitate your resume: instead, pick one point that directly relates to the role or to that person. Make sure you end the email with an easy call-to-action, in which you ask for a quick call and give them 2 time-frames that work for you. Check out our guide to writing compelling cold emails for more tips and a template you can adapt.
With these steps, you should be able to find remote design jobs and move forward in the process with confidence. If you are looking for a mentor to work with you 1-on-1 on each step of your job search, join Pathrise.