How to write a resume to land that remote job

How to write a resume to land that remote job

Ben TemplePublished on: May 13, 2020
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Whether you are an aspiring digital nomad or are simply looking to skip the commute, working remotely is popular among modern professionals. The work-from-home lifestyle has become not just appealing but necessary for many people in recent months, as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to thousands of layoffs across the country, leaving only remote jobs available until the economy opens once again.

If you are on the hunt for a remote job, you will need the right resume. We have written about how to write a great resume before in our Resume Guide, but writing a resume for a remote job requires special attention. Before you apply for your next remote role, it is important to tailor your resume to suit the needs of a remote position. If you use these 5 tips for writing a remote resume you will be working from home in no time.

Include the right contact information

In addition to your phone number and email address, make sure your resume displays your LinkedIn account and any other professional online profiles you maintain. It is important to show that you are well-versed in social networking and online communication. A custom personal website can be an important asset here, as it demonstrates that you are tech-savvy and are able to build a robust online presence.

It is customary to include your location on your resume, even if you are planning to work remotely. Some job-seekers choose to omit their location, but most employers prefer to know where you are based. Your city and state of residence will suffice; it is not necessary to include your entire address. The rest of the resume will make it clear that you are willing and able to work from home.

Customize your professional summary

As with any resume, you should begin your resume content with a brief summary section. Your professional summary cannot be generic, however; you must tailor your summary to the position you are applying for. This means both tailoring it to suit the specifics of the role itself—if it is a customer support job, emphasize your customer support experience, and so on—and to the fact that it is a remote role.

You can do this by summarizing the experience you have with working remotely and collaborating over distances. For example, noting that you have provided strong client support by email and phone, maintained high customer satisfaction scores throughout your career, or facilitated video conferences with coworkers and clients will show that you are comfortable working with customers and teammates remotely. Emphasizing the competencies that aid in working remotely will take your resume to the top of the pile.

Tailor your work experience to showcase remote experience

As with any resume, your work experience should be tailored to suit the job you are applying to. You can do this by closely reading the job description and company website to learn what skills and experience the company is looking for. Then, when writing your resume, you can foreground the experience that is most relevant to the role and most impressive to this particular employer.

In the case of a remote opportunity, you should emphasize the parts of your work history that are related to remote work. In each entry in your work experience section, foreground the skills that are most applicable to working from home, even if that particular role didn’t require working remotely. Tasks like working with teammates based in a different state, taking calls from clients, and using document sharing software are all great preparation for working from home, even if they were done in the office. Employers are looking for any experience that shows you can successfully collaborate remotely.

If a previous role was fully remote, you can show this by noting that a past role was remote where you would typically include the city name:

Customer Support Specialist
Infocorp Incorporated, New York, NY (Remote)

Throughout your work experience section, focus on your achievements rather than your responsibilities. This is best done by using quantifiable information wherever possible; high sales numbers, client satisfaction scores, and customer retention rates, for example, all show your value to a company. It is important to demonstrate that you can be a successful goal-oriented employee, both in the office and when working from home.

If the remote role you are applying to is based in another country, make sure that your resume suits the expectations of that specific country. For help with this, check out our International Resume Guide.

Show your familiarity with remote collaboration tools

When working remotely, it is integral that you can collaborate with your teammates despite the physical distance between you. To demonstrate this on a resume, it is important to showcase the experience you have with different collaboration software. You can include this in your personal summary or throughout your work history, but if you have the space for it you may want to create a distinct resume section for it instead, simply calling it ‘Collaboration tools,’ ‘Software,’ or something similar.

Useful collaboration platforms to get to know include:

Emphasize remote skills

The skills that you choose to highlight on your resume will be integral to scoring the interview. The skills section of a resume will typically focus on hard skills, or the skills directly related to the job that you do: Javascript, budgeting, editing, analytics. Soft skills—skills like leadership and independence—often take a back seat. As a remote worker, however, soft skills like time management and collaboration are integral to your success as you set your own schedule and manage your own workday. It is important to show not only that you can do your job, but that you can do it along and without much supervision.

When writing your skills section, in addition to the hard skills required by your role, make sure to include some examples of useful soft skills for working from home, such as:

  • Time management
  • Self-motivation
  • Detail-oriented
  • Strong Communication
  • Tech savvy
  • Critical thinking
  • Adaptability

Working from home is a great lifestyle, and it is likely to become more and more common as the internet’s influence on the workplace continues to grow. Developing a great resume for remote positions may soon be integral to a successful career. If you are working on developing the perfect resume for remote jobs, VisualCV is offering a free Pro subscription to people impacted by COVID-19.

Ben Temple

Ben is a writer and customer support specialist with 5 years of experience helping job-seekers create their careers. He believes in the importance of a great resume and the power of coffee.

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