Out of all of the frustrating tasks involved with job searching, pulling together a cover letter is usually the one that inspires the most dread.
Figuring out exactly what you should highlight is a challenge, and that objective becomes even trickier when you’re applying for a remote position.
What do you need to call attention to? What actually matters to remote employers? How can you prove you’re a qualified fit, while still standing out from the competition?
What to Include in a Cover Letter for a Remote Job
Your Experience Working Remotely
Much like with any other job search, your past experience is going to carry a lot of weight. So, if you already have some remote work under your belt, make sure that you call attention to that in your cover letter.
By showing that you’ve already worked successfully in a remote environment, you’ll prove to the employer that you have suitable skills and can navigate the various challenges involved with not working side-by-side with your coworkers.
I know what you’re thinking now: what if you don’t currently have any remote work experience? Don’t panic yet, and instead move on to the next tip below.
Skills Relevant to Remote Work
Alright, so maybe you don’t have a long history of working remotely—that doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes.
Even if you have experience, it never hurts to shine the spotlight on some of your most relevant skills. But, this becomes even more important if you need to show that you’re a no-brainer fit—even when your past roles aren’t quite as traditional.
Think through some of the skills that are needed to work successfully as a remote employee. You’re probably thinking of things like:
- Time management
Do you possess any (or all) of those skills? Find ways that you can work those into your cover letter for a remote job. Bonus points if you can include real examples of how you’ve used them to make a difference with past employers.
Also consider emphasizing any times when you spearheaded projects or worked independently. Have you ever taken work home on the evenings or weekends? Have you worked on a volunteer or freelance project at home? Any of this counts as remote work experience, so add it to your cover letter.
Here’s an important thing to remember: first and foremost, employers care that you can not only do the job, but that you can do it well. That’s why it’s important to spend most of your time focusing on the value you can provide for that company, as opposed to what they can do for you.
It’s easy to fall victim to using your cover letter to talk about the benefits from landing that position. You may want the job because you want better work-life balance, or you want to be more available for your family. Perhaps you want a job with increased flexibility, because you need to move a lot for your partner’s career.
I get it—there’s no shortage of reasons why that role is perfect for you. But, you know what? The employer likely doesn’t care.
So, resist the temptation to focus on what you’ll gain and turn your attention to what the employer will receive. The more you can use your cover letter to outline the undeniable value they’ll get from hiring you, the better off you’ll be.
A Glimpse of Your Personality
Since you’re applying for a remote position, you might not have the benefit of getting to meet these people in person before you’re hired.
While you still always need to remain polished and professional, it can be helpful to let a little of your personality shine through in your cover letter. Employers want a solid understanding of who you are, and that’s tough to ascertain from a generic cover letter.
This doesn’t need to be anything over the top. Maybe you’ll start with a brief anecdote about how you discovered your passion for your career field. Or, maybe you’ll end with something clever. There are tons of different ways you could inject just a little life, and it’s a great way to set yourself apart.
Sample Cover Letter for a Remote Position
The specifics of your cover letter will depend on your industry, but here’s an example cover letter for a remote job to help get you started. Be sure to add specific accomplishments to make yourself stand out, and touch on your remote work experience and skills:
Hello [First name of hiring manager],
As a child I was writing stories about adventures and superheroes. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was setting myself up for a successful career in content writing. I believe my skills in content creation, SEO, and project management make me a great fit for your open writing role at [company name].
I have spent the last eight years honing my writing skills by:
- Creating fresh content for five different online platforms, frequently on tight deadlines
- Executing and publishing error-free articles that are optimized for search
- Managing a team freelance writers and providing guidance on content strategy
I have worked remotely from my home office for the last two years, so I have a keen understanding of how to manage my time, communicate with coworkers, and complete my work in a timely fashion without sacrificing quality.
I would love to help [company name] continue to thrive and grow. I can be reached at [email and phone number]. I hope to talk more about this position at [company name]!
[First name, last name]