Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream job. Check out my article on remote software engineering jobs.
Updated in 2021
Even before COVID-19, the number of remote workers was increasing every year. And now, the pandemic shows that remote work is not only viable, but often more productive. Remote work is certainly here to stay.
In general, remote work is more common in cities, especially those with high income levels. One of the most common remote industries is software engineering because it can often be done from anywhere. About 8% of all software engineers were remote in 2015 according to Quartz. That number has been growing since then.
So, how can you find remote software engineering jobs so that you can take part in this trend?
1. Strengthen your resume and online profiles
The first step towards finding a new software engineering job is having a strong resume, LinkedIn, and GitHub or portfolio. When companies are hiring for remote employees, they need to be absolutely sure that they can be successful in the role because there is less oversight given.
Optimize your resume by focusing your statements on impact and quantification. To show impact, you should think about why you did the work you are including on your resume. You should be able to think about what you accomplished with your tasks and how you made a difference for the company.
In the same vein, you should be quantifying your successes to give even more context to the work you did. Ask yourself questions about the scale and results of the project. This shows the recruiters and interviewers that your work had meaning. For example, you can talk about the percentage by which you improved processes, the hours you saved the company, the revenue you drove, and similar results. If you are looking for more help with your resume, download our software engineering resume template.
When you work on your LinkedIn and portfolio or GitHub, make sure that you are providing enough context and telling the complete story of the work you did. To optimize your LinkedIn, you don’t have the same limitations as a resume. So, feel free to go into more depth. A portfolio or public GitHub account is a great place to showcase the work you do beyond your job or classes. These are important to recruiters and hiring managers because they show you are passionate about this work. Plus, it differentiates you from classmates with the same projects. For more information on how to create a strong GitHub portfolio, check out our guide.
2. Look for jobs in the right places
If your goal is to find a remote job, then you should start your job search with remote job boards.
The largest community online for remote jobs (over 2.5 million monthly visitors), We Work Remotely is a great place to search for a position that is not defined by commutes or offices. The people behind 37 Signals, creators of the book Remote, are responsible for the job board.
Working Nomads is a job board with positions for many different tech roles. But, luckily for you, their software engineering section is the most robust. They also have a newsletter that sends their openings directly to your inbox, if you want to avoid having to search each week.
Remote.co is a resource for companies that see remote work as an opportunity. Their job board is hand curated to showcase the best remote job opportunities in the most recruited job categories. 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 400+ remote software engineering jobs from July 2021 that you can check out.
As the name suggests, No Desk is a job board for people looking for roles that allow them to work from anywhere. They have roughly 175 open software engineering roles for you to review at a variety of companies, from startups to large organizations like Stripe.
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 software engineering roles that can help you save time in your search.
With over 230 open software engineering jobs, Dynamite Jobs is a good source for remote opportunities in the US and abroad. These roles are updated frequently. They have a newsletter that candidates can subscribe to so that they get new jobs in their 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 remote roles. They also give opportunities for part-time job-seekers. They have about 35 open software engineering roles that you can review.
3. Do more than just apply
Relying solely on the online application portal is not enough. Especially if you are applying to a large company, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who submit for these roles. You need to do something that will help you stand out and bring your application to the top of the pile.
Plus, it is important for potential remote employees to show that they are motivated, hardworking, and passionate about the company. Sending compelling cold email is a great way to accomplish both of these goals.
When you find a position you are interested in, do some research on the employees on LinkedIn. Try to find a technical recruiter or engineering manager that has a connection to you. Maybe they went to the same school, grew up in the same town, or enjoy the same hobby. This similarity will help warm up the cold email and increase the chances that they will respond to you.
Once you find this person, 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. They should not be a rehashing of your resume or a plea for help. Imagine you are on the receiving end of this email – what would make you want to help this person?
With these tips and templates, you should be able to find remote software engineering 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.