The Guide to Landing a Remote Management Position

At some point in your career, everyone experiences a crossroads. Once you put in a good three to five years at an entry-level position, it is time to start thinking about the future. Some decide to make a lateral move while others may choose to step out from the traditional 9-to-5 to take what they have learned and start their own company.

However, some decide to take their skills and step into a management position. Over the years, we have seen more of an influx of management roles. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case. In the past two decades, there has been a rise in the need for knowledge workers. This development has created a need for more managers. From 2016 to 2026, the growth in management occupations is slated to be eight percent and bring 807,300 new jobs.

In the past decade, the shift to knowledge work has also increased the need for more project management in the corporate sphere. This situation has coincided with the offering of more certifications and professional affiliations in the project management profession.

As companies began to put more of an emphasis on creating efficient processes that allow them to better tend to customer needs, there is going to be a resulting need for professionals to bring creativity and innovation to the management of these new endeavors.

Why More Management Positions are Becoming Remote

As the need for managers grow, more companies are starting to realize the importance of hiring remote managers. Here are a few reasons why more management positions are becoming remote:

  • An influx of remote positions and remote teams – As studies have shown, more and more jobs are becoming remote. As a result, companies are needing more professionals to manage these new positions.

  • More advanced collaboration technology – Today, tools like Trello, Asana, Basecamp, Google Docs, and other software tools make it much easier to delegate tasks, communicate in real-time, and work on projects simultaneously with other team members.

  • A growing need for capable talent – High-speed internet, and collaborative tools makes it easier to hire the best talent, regardless of if they are located in the same time zone or not.

Eddie, discussed how crucial remote work is to find the best talent from the perspective of working as an engineering director for a UK-based software company:

As we grew the engineering team, we decided to hire the best candidates regardless of where they were located. We hired folks in the US, but also Canada, Italy, Berlin, and the UK. By the summer of 2014, remote work was going so well that our founders decided to extend the opportunity to all employees.

These advances—as well as more relaxed attitudes toward remote work— make it much easier for professionals to step into remote management roles.

If you are seeking a remote management job, the first step is to decide on the management position that best suits you so you can create a strategy tailored made to the job you are seeking. The next section will cover popular management positions, their job descriptions, and average salaries courtesy of Glassdoor.

Different Types of Remote Management Positions

Take a look at these popular management positions that can become remote positions.

Project Manager

Project managers can work in a broad range of industries. However, regardless of if they are working in marketing, engineering, or hospitality, their purpose is to oversee the completion of projects and ensure they are completed within scope and budget. Project managers have to monitor budgets, delegate to employees, keep up with deadlines, and update stakeholders on progress. The average salary for a project manager is $75,474.

Product Manager

Product managers manage the process of ensuring a product goes from idea to a good that can be sold to customers. They have to work with stakeholders to create buy-in, work with designers and manufacturers to ensure products meet specifications and requirements, and help to develop pricing and branding strategies. The average salary for a product manager is $113,886.

Program Manager

Instead of working on specific projects, program managers instead manage projects that may span a variety of departments. They oversee project managers, create efficient operations and strategies, and also manage the budgets and scopes of multiple projects. The average salary of a program manager is $87,658.

Customer Success Manager

These individuals directly work with consumers to help them better understand how to utilize the product they have purchased effectively. They develop and maintain ongoing customer relationships, offer product support, and manage customer complaints. Customer success managers also help with onboarding. The average salary of a customer success manager is $81,414.

Information Technology (IT) Manager

IT managers are responsible for managing the computer systems and relevant computing processes of a company. They oversee IT staff, help to implement software and hardware tools, maintain the running of computing systems, and manage IT project budgets. They will also monitor the security of digital information and create strategic solutions for computing issues. The average salary of an IT manager is $97,461.

The duties of an IT manager also extend to other managerial tasks. Eddie discusses his day-to-day responsibilities of managing a team and handling projects:

Our team is about 15 folks total. I manage both engineers and engineering managers across a range of skill levels and tenure. My day mostly revolves around making sure everyone's needs are met. This involves regular 1:1s and coaching with my direct reports, code reviews with scrum teams, planning with stakeholders from Product, Marketing, Sales & Finance, interviewing candidates if we have open engineering roles, and contributing to our code base where it can improve developer experience & overall quality of life.

How to Stand Out

Now that you have an idea about the available positions, it is crucial that you ensure your resume and cover letter stand out to hiring managers. There is growth in remote management positions, but competition is still fierce. So, be sure that your hiring documents make you stand out from the rest.

The Resume

  • Highlight any experience working with remote companies – Remote company employers want to know that you have experience working in a location-independent environment. Everyone is not a fit for remote work and the challenges that come with it. So, having some prior experience under your belt will make you stand out from the rest.

  • Show instances of managing remote teams – In addition to working with a remote company, hiring managers want to know that you have managed remote teams. There are nuances to the delegation of tasks, spurring collaboration, and increasing the motivation of employees who are not in the office. So, discuss any times you have been in a leadership role while managing a remote team. This could be a time when you were a team leader or took the lead on a project.

  • Showcase the times you have motivated remote workers – Remote work comes with a lot of distractions and negative hits to productivity. So, discuss any strategies that you came up with to motivate your workers and engage them. Whether it be instituting informal Slack talks, planning an in-person retreat, or scheduling weekly check-ins, describe any efforts to further inspire and engage remote workers.

  • Discuss any project management experience – While management does involve motivation, engagement, and leadership, there is also the day-to-day project management tasks. Show how you have kept up with deadlines, managed timelines, and monitored project budgets.

  • Highlight quantifiable accomplishments – While you may be tempted to list your former responsibilities, go beyond that and also list any measurable accomplishments. For example, did you efficiently cut down planning and delivery times? Did you see a correlation between higher sales numbers and strategic management tactics? Be sure to touch on this in your resume.

  • Business development actions – Companies are becoming well-rounded in how they approach business. However, many are still understandably concerned with the bottom line. So, show how your efforts helped to encourage business growth and development in previous positions.

Cover letter

Cover letters allow you to zero in on some key accomplishments or skills that you would like your employer to pay attention to. So, you want to construct it in a way that complements your resume and paints an even more detailed picture of what you can bring to the company.

  • Use keywords from the job description – Your hiring manager may have received close to a thousand resumes. As a result, many are using software to sift through resumes and cover letters to find skills and keywords that match what they are looking for. So, look at the job description and use some of the same keywords in your cover letter.

  • Discuss three to five ways you can be an asset to the company – Your cover letter should complement your resume. So, take a look at the job description and get a feel for what they are looking for. Then choose three to five of your accomplishments that relate to the position and discuss them in a way that shows how you can be an asset to the job.

  • Highlight experience and certifications – This is another excellent place to discuss relevant project management experience, and mention any certifications that you have that could help you accomplish the job.

Job Search and Networking Tips

Below are a list of help job boards and job postings sites to search for remote management jobs as well as some tips for networking to find a job that may not be listed.

Freelance Marketplaces

Networking Tips

Many of today's available jobs will never be posted on a job board, and those that are will see many application submissions. You better your chances of being hired for a remote management job by networking with your contacts. Here are a few mediums to do this.

  • Project management conferences – Conferences and large-scale events in your industry are excellent ways to network with like-minded individuals. Many professionals you meet may know of someone hiring. Also, conferences typically have job fairs and opportunities to network with potential employers.

  • Former colleagues – Always stay in touch with former co-workers if possible. You never know when someone might land at a company you are seeking to work for. Use LinkedIn to keep in touch and inquire about professional introductions.

  • Project management certification courses – Attending workshops and certifications are a great way to accomplish two things at once. You have the opportunity to learn something while also meeting others who may have connections. Many students may now be working for organizations who offer remote work, so always network with others in the course.

Social Media

Social media has become a necessary tool for connecting with potential employers, searching for jobs, and showcasing your skills and what you can do. Here are a few ways to use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to your advantage.

Facebook Groups

LinkedIn Groups

Twitter (hashtags to search with)

Note: While we do our best to research and post legitimate jobs, postings, and groups, we always advise you to do your own additional research to ensure jobs, websites, and groups are above board.

Additional Hiring Tips

Here are a few additional helpful tips that can assist you in finding and landing the ideal remote management job.

  • Look in cities like Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and Atlanta. These locations may be more open to remote work arrangements as they are known to house a large number of start-up companies and technology-related businesses. These types of enterprises are known to be a bit more comfortable with remote work arrangements.

  • Keep your LinkedIn profile current. Many recruiters use LinkedIn as a means to find talent, especially for management. So, have a professional headshot, always display your current position, and list relevant accomplishments and certifications.

  • Use keywords. Use "work from home, " "remote work," and "telecommuting," when you are searching on any job posting or job board site. These keywords are a great way to filter for remote management jobs if they do not have a ready-made filter.

  • Be open to job type. Financial situations may require something different, but be open to both part-time and full-time positions. One can turn into the other over time if one is your preference.

  • Become familiar with the proper technology:

    • SaaS solutions
    • Cloud-based programs
    • Time management and project management software tools

Betsy, a head of content, lists some of her favorite tools that allow her to work with remote teams and manage projects:

In terms of organizing tasks and ideas, I think that my paper planner is still my #1 way of staying productive, but I also really like Evernote and Trello. Since I work with so many different teams, I find that Evernote is great for keeping each of my separate projects organized. […] For communication, I use Zoom for meetings and conference calls and Slack for updates and quick messaging.

It's not a bad idea to become familiar with a few of these collaboration and management tools as they are common among many remote management professionals.

Final Thoughts

Again, as companies began to look for ways to create exceptional customer experiences, and take advantage of more innovative technological solutions, the need for managers to lead the charge in these experiences will grow. So, there will surely be a market for remote management positons as we approach 2026.

As you search for these jobs, remember to stay diligent. It can take a while to find a remote management position that is the right fit. So, be sure to stay alert to opportunities and put yourself in situations to meet those that can make a difference.

Also, be sure to do your research and identify companies you would like to work for. From there, you can network with hiring managers and even leadership staff on social media or upcoming conferences.

We also want to be a resource for you as you search for your next remote management position. So, be sure to check the RemoteHabits interviews for tips that advise you on how to handle the transition to remote work once you get the job. Here is an example of an excellent tip from a RemoteHabits interviewee:

Be prepared to have conversations with family and friends about the boundaries of work time.That's a real conversation I've had with family who thinks that because I am home, I'm not working. Be firm and know that remote work means flexible hours, but if you don't work during the day, you might be pulling all-nighters to complete tasks. – Alaina, nonprofit program director

We also encourage you to use the RemoteHabits job board to locate remote management positions.

We wish you the best of luck in your search!

Was this article helpful? Yes / No

Posted on August 05, 2019
in Uncategorized

Keep your remote working skills sharp—get notified when we post the next remote work interview! RemoteHabits will help you achieve your remote work goals!