On the surface, it would seem that job searching would be a rather straightforward process. You scan job listings, find a position that you like, you apply, interview, and are hopefully rewarded with a job offer. And while that is true for both remote and in-office positions, there are some things that make a remote job search different. 

Use these tips to make the most of your remote job search and find the best remote job for you: 

1. Look for jobs that advertise their flex.

In theory, if a job has some component of work flexibility (i.e., it’s a telecommuting job, part-time gig, freelance, or offers a flexible schedule), then it should state so in the job description.

Thing is, sometimes employers are a little hesitant to flaunt their flex, falsely thinking that only job seekers who simply want to work from home will apply. It shouldn’t be a guessing game as to whether a job is remote or not.

So look for jobs that specifically state their flexible work options, or use niche job search boards (like Remote.co), where you know that all the jobs listed will be: a) legit and b) show what type of flex is being offered. That way, you can make remote work work for you.

2. Find a company with beliefs that align with yours.

In an ideal world, we’d all be working for companies that we love. But sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do and make some money—now. The problem with this scenario is that without the camaraderie of being in an office with colleagues, it can be easy to become disengaged with your company if you’re not passionate about what it stands for.

That’s why you should look for companies with missions that are meaningful to you; it can be that they have a strong humanitarian outreach or you admire their entrepreneurial, bootstrapping spirit.

Whatever it is, working for your company should be motivating for you. To get a better sense of a company during your remote job search, read about its history on the company’s website and check out its social media channels to determine if you really want to apply for a position working for them.

3. It has to be a job that you love.

Let’s face it: you’re not going to love every single aspect of your job, regardless of whether you can work remotely or not. In order to be successful in your remote job, though, you should really like at least most of the components of the position.

Here’s the catch: think beyond the job duty descriptions listed of what you can do, and focus instead on what you’d like to do. After all, you might be applying for a position that you can do in your sleep, but what you really want out of a job is to feel valued, invigorated, and a part of something great.

Sure, you’ll still need to have the qualifications of most of the job duties listed, but look to see where you can learn something new that will make you happy, too.

Being challenged and feeling valued are all parts of what makes a remote job great, and something that you should specifically look for during your job search.

4. You need to know your work-life balance needs.

When you’re looking for a traditional office job, you pretty much know that you’re going to be in-office Monday through Friday from 9 to 5. That’s not the case with a remote job search, where you really do get to choose which type of flexible schedule would best fit your professional life and personal life.

You might be caring for an aging parent or a young child, which would mean that having a flexible schedule would work better for you. (Keep in mind that not all remote jobs have flexible schedules; some will still require you to be sitting at your desk for specific periods of time.)

That’s why it’s important to understand the various types of flex—such as full-time or part-time remote work, freelance jobs, compressed workweeks, job sharing, and so on—so you can design your own remote adventure should you choose to.

And even if a job is remote, some employers do require their employees to live in the same state, so be sure to find out during your remote job search if the position has a location requirement or not.

5. It’s an opportunity to try on a new career.

With any new job search, you have the chance to take your career to the next level—or start it over entirely. But there’s nothing like searching for a remote job that can really inspire you to take a good look at your career and assess where it (and you) are headed.

It’s your chance to either build on your career—and build in some work-life balance, too—or take it by the horns and do a 180 by trying something completely different.

As you peruse job listings, really pay attention to how you’re feeling. Do you feel tense and frustrated? Maybe it’s because you’re looking to continue on in a career that you no longer love. Opt instead to look for a job that makes your heart happy (if you need some inspiration, look to your hobbies as a rich source of inspiration) and find positions that encompass most, if not all, of those characteristics of your hobbies that you love.

You’ll feel lighter, inspired, and happier for it.

Your remote job search should be different from a traditional job search. By knowing what you want (and more importantly, what you don’t), you can find a remote job that has the flex that you need, affording you the work-life balance that you want, working for a company that you believe in, and doing what you love. Now that’s a win/win all around.

Ready to get started with your remote job search? Browse our remote job board.

Readers, how have you structured your remote job search differently than previous traditional job searches? Let us know in the comments below!