Searching for a remote job has become the new normal for more and more people in recent years, but while working remotely has lots of perks, it also requires you to do some things differently. This starts with your resume — you can’t expect to use the same resume you had for in-house positions to land remote jobs. Here’s everything you should know about crafting the perfect resume for a remote job application.
Emphasize your Remote Experience
Emphasize your remote job and working remotely and/or from home should be job #1 for any job seeker searching for remote work. Why? Because recruiters receive 100s of applications for every job posted. Even if you are highly credentialed, trained and skilled; if you lack experience working remotely, your resume may not reach to the top of the pile. Why? Because there are multiple challenges related to working remotely.
- Are you a self-starter?
- Are you disciplined?
- Do you excel with little to no hands on supervision required?
- Do you have the digital skills?
- Do you handle distractions well?
Recruiters, human resources professionals and employers want to know you can navigate the difficult terrain of remote work. They need to be assured that you can hit the ground running while also providing value to the company.
Essential Skills for Remote Job Seekers
If you are looking for land a remote position as a full-time or part-time worker, or even as a freelancer, one of the most essential things to do when it comes to your resume is to highlight the skills that convey you as an ideal remote candidate. While some of these skills are general and overlapping with those required for traditional positions, such as “good communication skills,” for example, you also need to show that you can find your way when it comes to digital platforms and communication.
Use Keywords Found in the Job Description
Scan the job descrption of your desired job. Use the keywords found in the task list, job responsibilities and description and use them profusely throughout your resume. This can not be said enough. For every remote job for which you are applying, you MUST use these keywords to break through the AI (artificial intelligence) bot barrier.
If you are pressed for time, there is a keyword scanner tool and service that can do this for you for a fee for which SearchRemotely will receive a portion of the sale. There is also an option to test the free version of their system.
Showcase your Tech Skills
When applying for a remote job, tech skills separate the wheat from the chaff. So hop to it! There are times, depending on the type of job you’re applying for, you will need to showcase your tech skills. These skills may include anything from HTML and CSS to Social Media Marketing, WordPress and UX design. If you have experience in any of these fields but you have never worked remotely, you will need to be able to convince your potential employer that you are a good candidate for a remote position, so it’s important to focus your resume on that.
What Information to Include in a Remote Job Resume?
Just like in the case of a traditional job, your resume should reflect only experience you have in the particular field you operate in. Make sure you are specific and concise in your language while focusing not only on what you did in your past jobs, but also on the results.
For example, you are applying for a graphic design job, don’t just say that you worked for Company X, but also mentioned that you created designs for some of their campaigns (be specific) that resulted in an increase in sales (don’t be shy to mention percentages and numbers.)
If you already have experience working remotely, make sure that it’s immediately visible on your resume because this is likely to make you stand out from other applicants with the same skills who have never worked remotely.
Keep It Relevant and Remove Your Address
When transferring your skills from the real word to a remote only position, it’s important to keep it relevant, so it’s always a good idea to remove any job positions that don’t have anything to do with the type of job you’re applying for. Remove that barista work experience from college and any other jobs that you can spin to make them relevant.
A remote job resume has no need for your physical address, so it’s perfectly fine to remove it. You should also make sure that you include any relevant online presence you may have, such as your LinkedIn profile and website (but only if relevant).
Emphasise Your Digital Communication Skills
Digital communication skills are to be expected in many jobs today, not only when it comes to remote working, as anyone is expected to be able to manage their email inbox and respond to communication in a timely manner.
Nevertheless, when you work fully remotely, simply being able to answer your emails is not going to cut it. Video calls and meetings are an essential part of communication when you work remotely, so it’s always a good idea to demonstrate your proficiency with platform such as Zoom or Google Hangouts. This is a sure sign that you have what it takes to be successful as a remote worker. If you don’t have any experience with videoconferencing, try to familiarize yourself with the basics before applying for remote jobs.
The majority of remote jobs require the use of some industry standard project management software, such as Asana or Trello, and IM platforms such as Slack. These platforms are essential when it comes to the productivity of a remote team and being able to demonstrate your proficiency in using them shows that you are remotely ready. This is why it’s always a good idea to add them to your resume.
Show That You Are a Team Player
Being a good member of a team is a basic requirement for just about any job, not only remote lands, but your ability to stay in constant communication, help with tasks, solve problems, and provide feedback where needed is paramount in remote work.
Remote teams are generally spread all over the world, so being a team player is essential because clear communication and collaboration are necessary every day, on a much bigger scale than in traditional work environments.
Research the Job and Understand Its Requirements
When applying for a remote job, spending time actually understanding the job description is very important, so you don’t waste your time applying the hundreds of postings that aren’t exactly suitable for you.
Read any job description a couple of times to really understand what you are future employer is looking for and try to adapt your resume and cover letter to really show what you can bring to the table for that particular job. That way, you can make sure your remote job resume passes the automatic parsing round.
What to Do If You Haven’t Worked Remotely Before?
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, remote work experience is the hurdle you’ve got to jump before you can go further in the remote job market. For this reason, many job applicants are hesitant to send their resumes for remote positions because they don’t have any experience with working remotely.
It’s not impossible to land your dream remote job. However, even if you’ve never worked at home before, you’ve probably worked as part of a team where communication was important or with clients who live somewhere else. Think about interactions you had at work in your various positions and use them as examples of your remote skills and willingness to learn. Selling your skills by showing your potential employers that you can be a valuable addition to a remote team should often be enough to get the job even if you don’t have any previous remote experience.
If reframing your current skills you have mastered for the traditional office environment doesn’t work, consider upskilling your experience on the ‘downlow.’ Do some side gigs on the side or start a part time online business that you can reference in moderation when stepping into the remote job marketplace. Further, upskilling your digital literacy, time management and video conference skills are an added bonus.