How To Optimise Your Resume For Remote Work

No matter why you are searching for a new job, your resume is often the deciding factor on if and when you land an interview. You should curate a perfect remote work resume to ensure that you land on your ideal work-from-home job. The resume can be a game-changer during your job hunt - just one or two flaws may drop your resume to the bottom of the list.

Fortunately, to write a great resume you don’t need any fancy writing skills. All it takes to craft a “perfect” resume is knowing how and where to include the right information. Even if you already have the skillset needed to be a productive employee, your resume is the first thing that translates your expertise. A poorly crafted resume can prove to be the stumbling block to your progress. So, if you want to convince your prospective employer that you are the perfect fit for the job and have what it takes, your resume should be your main focus.

But, what do you do when you are applying for a remote job, either with remote work experience or without? In this article, we’ll address how to optimise your resume for remote work and remote work jobs.

How to Find the Experience to Put in a Remote Job Resume

Think you haven’t worked a remote job before? Believe it or not, most of us have some remote work experience, even if we haven’t worked on a remote team. Take a minute to review your job experience from the viewpoint of remote skills and you’ll likely see you’ve already “worked remotely”. You’ve probably completed a list of tasks that you have performed remotely while working in office-based jobs.

You should brainstorm times when you were working from home while holding an in-person position. Think about your most recent job and analyse all the tasks that you have been performing. Have you ever performed some of your job-related responsibilities outside of your workplace? Have you ever talked to co-workers on your phone or through any other digital means? Do you use telecommunication tools to contact team members in other branches or clients in other countries? Even if you have never worked from home before, you might have worked with your colleagues and clients that live in another city or country.

You might have communicated with cross-border clients and co-workers in different time zones. Did you ever coordinate meetings to keep up with employees from different regional offices? You may have even collaborated on projects while being in separate corners of the world - and this is essentially what remote workers do.

Do you believe you have the competency to work independently, communication skills, organisation skills, and computer adaptability? If you believe your previous work history has taught you the foundational skills for remote work, then you can highlight these skills in your resume.

You should take some time and dig deep into your previous job experiences to know what can relate to a remote job. Recognising these skills can help you polish up your resume, even without targeted remote experience.

Analysing Things From the Employer’s Perspective

You don’t need to have prior remote work experience to apply for a remote job because the majority of employers focus on the expertise of the employees rather than relevant full-time experience. However, having previous hands-on experience can signal to the employer that you are the perfect fit for the position. Relevant experience can comfort employers that you won’t struggle to manage remote work tools or communicating with non-physical team members.

While employers looking for remote workers will surely consider applicants who have never worked remotely, highlighting remote work experience can improve the chances of getting noticed. You will outshine many candidates and get a leg up by reflecting on the experience that will hook the employer’s attention to your resume. Previous remote working experience will indicate that the applicant possesses good communication, problem-solving, collaboration, task management, and time management skills. A self-initiative person who has all these skills can prove to be a productive employee in the future.

Every employer wants to hire an employee who has successfully accomplished specific goals while working remotely. You should also highlight if you were the sole remote worker at your previous workplace or if you were part of a remote team. Your potential employer may also be curious to know if you have a home office setup, what it is like, and how you manage distractions while working. You don’t need to include this information on your resume - an experienced remote worker will have the relevant setup, which employers will know. Only mention specific home office information if you are asked questions during an actual interview.

Take a look at job descriptions of the job title you want and ask yourself if an employer would hire you to fill this role based on just your resume.

Top Remote Working Skills to Learn and Highlight On Your Resume

There is a good chance that most remote-friendly employers need skills that you have already learned. If you’ve highlighted these skills properly, you’ll automatically have an edge over your competitors.

The trick here is to pick the most suitable skills to indicate to the employer that you will be an asset to the organisation. Here, a question arises: what type of skills should you highlight on your remote work resume?

Below, we’ve listed some of the most crucial skills needed to be a successful remote working employee in any organisation. Even if you haven’t hard remote work experience, possessing these skills will increase your chances of getting your resume noticed.

Independent and Proactive

Remote employers expect you to be a team player and an independent employee at the same time. You should know that you will not have the option to pop into your co-workers’ cubical or manager’s office to get your queries answered or get guidelines about the task. When you are working in a segregated team separated by time zones and miles, you have to take the responsibility to handle tasks independently.

As an employee, you should work hard to find the best possible ways to get a task done. You may not always have access to advice from team members, so learning to be independent is essential. While working remotely, you often do not have anyone to answer your questions right away, or at all. Finding ways to handle your workload on your own is a necessary skill for effective remote work.

Also, how proactive are you as an employee? If you are aware that you may have questions during a task, consider running through the task in your mind and jotting down the questions that come to mind. Get the answers to these questions beforehand to prevent last-minute needs. In the case of an emergency, utilise all available information avenues and do not just rely on help from co-workers or superiors.

Tech-Savvy

You may not have anyone to support you in technical matters while working remotely. Though you may have a tech department at your company, there may come a time that you’ll have to fix tech-related issues on your own. Maybe you’ll be attending a virtual meeting or a live session and your screen suddenly goes blank. Or, maybe a tech professional is guiding you, but you need a certain level of knowledge to solve the issue. A remote worker’s entire livelihood is using technology, so being tech-savvy is critical.

Contrary to popular belief, being tech-savvy doesn’t mean handling hardware-related problems only. It translates your ability to adapt to new tools and quickly learn about the latest technology. Being au fait with technology is of paramount importance for remote workers. If you have work experience with software tools, include these in your resume. Do so whether the tools were skill-specific, like Photoshop, or used for general work, Asana.

Motivated

Unlike with traditional office settings, co-workers and supervisors are not passing by your desk to subconsciously remind you to stay on task. Most importantly, no one will be there to motivate you. When you work alone, you need not only to be able to work independently, but also without external motivation. For the most, you may not be monitored in most remote working jobs. Due to this, you have to hold yourself accountable for your assigned tasks.

Do you have experience working in an atmosphere where you had to be self-motivated? Are you able to outline your tasks each day and complete them with no hesitation? If you struggle with this, you can try to set your own deadlines and celebrate little achievements as rewards. Use sticky notes and phone alerts to remind you to take small breaks and update your progress in a notepad or tracking software. Once you’ve hit a certain milestone, do an activity that you enjoy before moving on to the next task. Keeping up a simple reward system can help you stay motivated, even while working remotely.

Communicative

Strong communication skills are imperative to being a successful remote employee. All of your interactions will be through a screen, whether written or voice or video chat. You should learn the art of being an effective communicator; an employee with the ability to communicate clearly and concisely will be a great asset to an organisation. Communication is a soft skill - and soft skills are not always easy to learn. For many professionals, the mastery of soft skills can take quite some time. If you have already learned to be a better communicator, you possess an essential skill that your employer is looking for.

But, if communication is not your strong suit, don’t be deterred. Invest some time (and possibly money) into a communication course to help you improve your skills. You’ll be able to learn not only why communication is important but also what positive communication looks like and how to achieve it.

If you already possess these skills, highlighting them on your resume can take you one step closer to your dream job.

How to Put Remote Work on Your Resume?

After you are done figuring out your remote working skills, the next step is to identify the best ways to put them on your resume. Writing “working with clients from different time zones” won’t be sufficient; you need to put effort into making simple tasks stand out.

Summary of Qualifications

The summary of your qualifications will be at the top of your resume. It is the first thing that the hiring manager or a potential employer will see, and that’s why this is the perfect place to give a quick overview of your remote qualifications. You can do this in two ways; by either highlighting the skills relevant to remote working or specifically mentioning remote qualifications.

The example of summarising the qualifications include:

  • Four years of experience working on a global remote team
  • Digitally collaborated with team members in various countries
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills due to eight years of targeted remote work experience

These buzz phrases should be placed into your summary of qualifications as an indicator of your experience. Check out Zety to find out more about how to craft your summary of qualifications.

Skills Section

You can be as creative as you want in this section; in fact, creativity is encouraged. Recruiters and employers often see the same types of resumes hundreds of times. By using your creativity to include an attractive skills section, you give your resume that extra “oomph”. For instance, if you want to showcase problem-solving skills on your resume, talk about how handled a complex problem. Briefly relay how you analysed the issue, evaluated the possible solutions, and communicated these needs to others. If you were working solo, mentioning that you single-handedly resolved the task showcase initiative and independence - both important skills.

As remote workers have to be tech-savvy, don’t hesitate to mention your tech skills and experience using remote-specific tools like Trello, SharePoint, Google Drive, Dropbox, or Zoom. Do you have management experience? Have you worked with customers or clients in a front-facing role? Detail these skills in this section. Check out the Balance Career for more information on how to structure your skills section.

Job Title or Location

If you want to call attention to your previous remote work experiences, you should include a simple reference after your job title.

Rather than using this on your resume:

WordPress Developer

Tech Solutions, London, GB, 2014-2019

Use this, instead:

WordPress Developer | Remote

Tech Solutions, London, GB, 2014-2019

Including ‘remote’ at the end of your job title indicates that you did not work in a physical location, even if the company has one.

Work History

When you write down your work history, whether it be remote or otherwise, your job is to highlight your achievements as clearly as possible.

WordPress Developer | Remote

Tech Solutions, London, GB, 2014-2019

  • Provided top-rated development services, leading to a 17% increase in customer retention and over 40% increase in sales.
  • Maintained a secure system and prevented the leak and distribution of client information using optimised data security measures.

By not just stating your duties and stating facts regarding your performance, your experience reads more tangibly. A potential employee can now quantify your impact in your previous workplace.

How to Tweak Your Remote Work Resume

You shouldn’t use the same resume and cover letter for every type of job that you come across. Here are a few ways to customize each resume to suit the job application at hand.

Use the Keywords

Have you ever noticed the way an employer describes their ideal candidate? A majority of employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen relevant job applications. You can improve the chances of getting past the ATS by using the keywords from the job posting. Since these systems are looking for these keywords, if you do not include them, your resume may be automatically rejected.

Though using keywords is crucial, you should also look out for how to use keywords correctly. Using the keywords several times will likely seem as if you simply word-padded your resume. To add diversity, try using the synonyms once you’ve mentioned the keywords. For example, using “detail-oriented” instead of “has great attention to detail”. Doing this helps keep your resume concise while maintaining keyword usage.

Highlight your transferable skills

Amid the pandemic, if you have been working in an industry affected by the COVID-19 crisis and are seeking opportunities in another domain, highlight the experiences and skills that are transferable to another position. For example, if you’ve worked in a retail store with a point of sales (POS) system, you can use this experience as an indicator that you are proficient at navigating complex software.

You don’t have to be 100% qualified to apply for a position. Review the job description and adjust your resume to include the experience that would be most impactful to the employer. Many remote jobs require a small learning curve, so employers are often willing to train new employees or provide guidance on foreign tasks.

Use your pandemic experience to your advantage

Though pandemic has hit us all greatly, one silver lining is that almost everyone has gained some amount of remote work experience. Look for ways to describe how your job went from an on-site position to a full-time work-from-home job. Include some relevant details, explain how you handled this shift, discuss how your productivity has improved, and elaborate on how you manage to perform well while working from home.

Even if your role was not remote for very long, acknowledging that you managed in a remote environment is an excellent resume addition.

Find remote working opportunities today by visiting www.jobs.remoteworker.co.uk

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