About the author

Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent eight years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people escape the office. Read more >

There’s a little trick that companies are using to catch out remote job applicants. To be honest, when seeing this for the first time, I was impressed by the creativity behind it.

It’s a clever trick that will filter out a high percentage of people if they do not have this particular skill. The number of people applying for remote jobs increased due to the pandemic. Companies use tricks to filter out people they know are not a good fit for the job.

When you apply for remote jobs, have you made this mistake?

Apply for Remote Jobs: Have you made this mistake?
Companies use Applicant Tracking Software

Before we get into this trick, let me remind you that companies use Applicant Tracking Software to shortlist applicants.

This software looks for keywords on specific skills, experiences and personality traits in resumes.

If you use the same resume for every job, you are going to struggle to get shortlisted. Spend time looking through the job advert and highlight skills, experience and personality traits that they mention.

  • Make sure you reference them in your resume.
  • Ensure all of the essential requirements are included.
The very creative trick to catch out applicants

So far, this trick is used in customer service and quality assurance jobs because they are looking for people who have attention to detail. In the bottom paragraph of the job listing, they write:

“In your cover letter, please make sure to include the words JUNGLE, PIZZA, HIKE, so we know you are not a bot.”

The three words they include will be different for every advert.

Of course, this helps with dealing with bot applications. What if in the job listing, one of the essential requirements is having attention to detail. Do you send your resume and do not include these words?

If not, you have failed the first test.

Make sure you read every word on the job advert. Especially the instructions for applying to the remote job.

Companies are getting creative and do not always want you to just send them your resume and cover letter.

Hidden test or not?

Another trick that you will see used is including mistakes within the job listing. For one Quality Assurance job I applied for, the advert was littered with spelling mistakes and inaccuracies.

When sending the resume, I highlighted these mistakes because It’s difficult to know if it’s a hidden test or a genuine mistake.

What’s next?

Hopefully, this guide will help you apply for remote jobs, but grab a drink and read my other guide on common mistakes when applying for remote jobs. I am biased, but it’s a great read.

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