How to Write Your Resume for a Remote Job
Whatever your reasons for looking for a new role, you can create the perfect remote job resume that helps you land a work-from-home (or anywhere!) job.
Fortunately, writing a resume for a remote job doesn’t require any fancy resume writing skills. And, in fact, you may already have the skills you need to be a successful remote employee. However, if you want to convince an employer that you’ve got what it takes to be their remote employee, you’ll have to learn how to put remote work on your resume the right way.
Finding the Experience for a Remote Job Resume
Believe it or not, you probably have remote work experience, even if you’ve never worked for a fully distributed team. You just need to think creatively about your skills and experiences to figure out how to list remote work on your resume.
Try this: Think about your most recent in-person job and the tasks you did every day. Now, analyze how you got those tasks done. Did you only talk to people in your office, or did you also chat on the phone with people across town every day? What about across the state or the country? Perhaps you worked with people around the world. This all counts as remote experience.
How did you collaborate with other people in the office on shared projects? Did you use shared documents or drives? What about project management tools? Even if you used all these things with an in-person team, these are exactly the kinds of skills and experiences you need to be successful as a remote employee.
Of course, if you have full-time paid remote work experience, you should include it on your resume when applying for a remote job. But, if you’ve worked part-time or volunteered and have remote-relevant skills and experience, that counts, and you should list it on your resume. Even if you have only casual experience (like attending online classes), that counts as remote experience, too.
How to List Remote Work on Your Resume
As a rule, many of the skills you already have are precisely the kind of remote skills employers want in their staff. In fact, most of the skills you need to be a successful remote worker are the same skills you need to be a successful worker no matter where you work.
The trick, though, is to pick out the right skills that make it clear that you are a great remote candidate. So, what skills should you highlight on your resume?
Independent and Proactive
In many respects, remote work means working alone. And though that doesn’t mean you’re not a part of a team, remote employers expect you to be independent. It’s not so easy to pop into your boss’s office or your coworker’s cubicle to get an answer to a question when you’re separated by miles and time zones.
In a remote environment, you have to find the best way to get your tasks done and your questions answered. But, in addition to being independent, you also have to be proactive. Will an internet search answer your question? Is there another colleague who can help you? Is there a searchable database your company has so you can find the answer?
Being independent and proactive means getting your work done and finding creative solutions to the challenges you face on your own.
In most remote work environments, no one is monitoring you. And more importantly, without face-to-face interaction, no one is there to motivate you either. It’s up to you and only you to stay focused and on task.
Remote employees need excellent communication skills. When all of your interactions are through a screen and not always in real-time, your ability to clearly and concisely communicate is an essential part of getting the job done.
Without superior communication skills, you may find yourself correcting the record or apologizing for frustrations your miscommunication caused.
When you work remotely, you are your own tech support. Even if your company has a tech department, if your screen suddenly goes blank, it’s up to you to fix the problem quickly so you can get back to work.
However, being tech-savvy doesn’t only mean solving hardware problems. It also refers to your ability to learn and adapt to new tools and technology quickly.
How to Put Remote Work on Your Resume
Once you’ve identified your remote skills, you have to figure out how to put them on your resume. While “working with clients in another country” is one way to go, to make your remote job resume stand out from the others, you’ll need to make it clear that you’re the right remote employee for this role.
Summary of Qualifications
Your summary of qualifications is at the top of your resume and is the first thing the hiring manager will see. This is an excellent place to summarize your remote qualifications. You can either specifically mention your remote qualifications or highlight the remote-specific skills you have that qualify you for the job. Examples include:
- Collaborate with team members across multiple time zones while working in remote environments
- Six years of experience working remotely
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
The skills section of your resume is a great place to show off your remote-relevant skills. For example, if you want to highlight your collaboration skills, talk about your experience with shared documents or online project management tools. Mention your tech skills and experience with remote-specific tools like Google Drive, Zoom, Trello, Dropbox, or SharePoint.
Job Title or Location
Another way to call attention to your remote work experience is to include “remote” as part of each job on your resume. For example, instead of using this on your remote work resume:
The Widget Company, 2012-2015
Account Manager | Remote
The Widget Company, 2012-2015
It’s subtle, to be sure, but it makes a difference!
Similarly, you can include your remote work experience as part of your work history.
Self-Employed, 2017 – present
- Provide remote tutoring to clients via Zoom
Again, it’s subtle, but it could be the edge you need to land that remote job.
Fine-Tuning Your Work-From-Home Resume
As a rule, you should always customize your resume and cover letter for every job you apply to. But, when you’re learning how to put remote work on your resume, follow a few extra tips to make sure you land in the “yes” pile.
Use the Keywords
To help your resume rise to the top of the pile, make sure you identify and incorporate keywords. Keywords are the “key” words the employer uses in the job posting. They’re easy to identify and important to sprinkle throughout your resume.
When you use the keywords from the job posting on your resume, you stand a better chance of getting past the applicant tracking systems (ATS). These systems are programmed to look for certain keywords, and not including them on your resume makes it less likely your application will make it to a human hiring manager.
Using keywords also shows that you and the employer speak the same language. For example, if you see that in the job posting the employer refers to “clients” and not “customers,” make sure you don’t talk about how you like to delight customers, say that you like to delight clients.
As it relates to a remote job resume, prioritize the remote-specific keywords that you identify in the job posting. For example, if you see “Google Suite” mentioned several times in the job posting, that’s probably a keyword. So, make sure you mention your Google Suite experience and not your Google Drive experience.
Also, be on the lookout for how the keywords are used. If a job posting keyword is “detail-oriented,” don’t mention your “attention to detail.” Similarly, be aware of common synonyms employers use. While working in a virtual environment is pretty much the same as working in a remote environment, don’t mention “remote” several times if the employer uses “virtual.”
Take Advantage of the Pandemic
One silver lining from the pandemic is that overnight, many people suddenly gained remote work experience. Why not capitalize on it and use this experience to your advantage?
Call out that your job went from in-person to remote and mention if you work from home full-time or part-time. Then, include some of the details. Discuss how you adapted to the sudden change in circumstances, but your productivity and performance never suffered. Talk about all the experience you now have with Zoom or Slack.
These details can make all the difference in your remote job resume and help you stand out from the other applicants.
Write Your Remote Job Resume
As you can see, there’s no magic formula for creating a winning remote job resume. It’s all about connecting the dots for the employer and helping them see how your current skill set is the right skill set for their remote role.
Interested in learning more? Check out our article on how to spotlight your skills on your resume.
By Rachel Pelta | November 6, 2020 | Categories: Work Remotely