Think of your resume as the very first example of remote work that you can provide a potential employer. It will tell the hiring manager whether you’ve read and understood the job description. It will also tell them how much you pay attention to detail and care about your work.
As you conduct your remote job search, make sure your resume accurately reflects you and how you wish to present yourself. Make sure it is accurate and well-designed so that your experience and skills stand out.
Make sure you tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you are seeking a teaching job, but you don’t have much experience, you need to highlight any background that gave you valuable skills that could be applied to teaching. Remember that it’s up to you to show your potential employer what skills you have that would help you perform your expected duties. Your resume is your first chance to show that you would be a good fit for the team. If possible, get to know what the culture of the business is like so that you can tailor your resume even more.
2. Relevant Experience
And speaking of tailoring: make sure you include all of your recent experience that is relevant to the position. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean the exact same position or even the same industry as the job you’re applying for. What’s important is that you highlight what you did in those previous experiences that might be relevant to the job you’re seeking. Look for key words in the job description and highlight your previous accomplishments using those same words.
Important: Make sure you include any experience working remotely! Even if it was for a short period of time, include any proof that you have that you have had success when telecommuting. If you have never worked from home, make sure to include indicators of future remote work success like your ability to work independently and your communication skills.
3. Relevant Skills
Make sure to include any skills or knowledge that are relevant to the job and to telecommuting. Examples:
- Knowledge of systems/applications
- Communication skills
- Project management
- Time management
4. Powerful Words
According to this article at The Balance, the best words to include on your resume are:
Whenever possible, include action words that show exactly how you contributed in every previous position. You should avoid vague or overused words. Think of the space in your resume as valuable real estate — you can’t afford to waste space on words that don’t help you show your worth.
You should also make sure to include any key words that are in the job description (see #2 above). Some hiring managers or application readers might toss out your resume if it doesn’t include some of the required experience or skills.
Whenever possible, include numbers that prove your skills or your accomplishments. By including metrics in your resume, you’re making it easier for a hiring manager to understand exactly how you will help their organization.
Ensure that all the information you share is accurate and that it reflects your professionalism and high standards. Do not, under any circumstance, lie or stretch the truth, since it will come back to haunt you. You, your experiences, and your skills are enough, and you just need a resume that reflects that.
I see examples of gorgeous, fancy, visually appealing resumes all the time on Pinterest, but unless you’re in an artistic field, it is probably best to just focus on the readability of your text. Stick to one easy-to-read font, one size, and make the focus your skills and experience. Spraying perfume on pink paper may have worked for Elle Woods, but chances are whoever is looking at your resume just wants to read about why you’re a good fit for the job. Don’t distract them with extras that won’t help you prove why you’re a good candidate.
8. Editing and Proofreading
Edit until you can’t edit anymore, then have someone look it over to check for mistakes. I’ve looked at resumes that had so many typos and errors that it was incredibly distracting, and you definitely don’t want that. I’ve also even seen ones that had the incorrect name of previous places of employment! You might think that some of these errors are insignificant, but these kinds of errors demonstrate a lack of attention to detail. And, why should I hire someone who didn’t care enough to get the name of their employers right?!
I suggest reading your résumé out loud to yourself after you’re done with the first draft; you will be amazed at the mistakes you’ll catch when you try to read back what you’ve written!
When you have a final version of your resume, it’s time to send it to someone else to proofread. If possible, have someone who is in the same field as the position you’re applying for. They might give you ideas that you hadn’t thought of previously.
Here’s a handy checklist to use to verify you’ve got all the above components in your resume:
- Include relevant experience and skills
- Clearly describe what you contributed in each position
- Indicate how your skills and experience will help you work remotely
- Include data to demonstrate your contributions
- Replace vague words with powerful words
- Carefully edit your resume to make sure all details are correct and true
- Have someone proofread your resume to check for typos and other errors