How to Optimize Your Resume for a Remote Job

Since 2007 there has been a 159% growth in remote working in the US. With laptop in hand and Wi-Fi in your corner, remote working is no longer impossible for many jobs. In fact, many employers actively promote remote working as it appeals to the next generation of workers and minimizes their overheads.

When a role is going to be remote from the start, the recruitment process will be geared to identifying the candidate’s skill at remote working, as well as whatever technical skills the job requires. For candidates, this means that you need to optimize your resume for a remote job in some unique ways. 

The common elements

Think of optimizing your resume for a remote job as a layering-up process, rather than a fundamental change. Your resume still needs to showcase your role experience, technical skills and qualifications. The difference is that you also need to highlight the personal attributes, skills and evidence that demonstrate you thrive as a remote worker.

What is the employer looking for?

To do this, you need to understand what the employer is looking for in a candidate for a remote job in addition to the job-specific skills. These soft skills are common to all remote jobs:

 

Time management:

Without eyes on the employee, the employer needs to feel confident that you are a time management pro; able to meet deadlines without continual hands-on prompting.

How to show this: Make sure you include details of a project that required you to stick to a tight deadline, remembering to say how you succeeded. This can fit within the career history part of your resume.

 

Flexibility:

Without the confines of an office structure, remote working requires a greater degree of flexibility.

How to show this: Give examples of work in the past which has required flexibility e.g. working with European clients in a different time zone.

 

Resourcefulness:

Without the back-up of other people in the office physically present, remote workers need to be resourceful. There will be times when you need to think creatively to solve problems, whether that’s working out a tech problem, or presenting work to global operatives.

How to show this: Demonstrate times in your career history when you have stepped outside the box to create a solution, stating why it was necessary, and what the outcome was. A good place to show this is in your personal profile/statement.

 

Communication:

Contrary to popular belief, remote working is not an ideal option for the readily-reclusive. It will take more effort and more commitment to communication to ensure the individual meets the demands of the role and the goals of the organization.

How to show this: If you have past experience working remotely, highlight this. However, also be mindful of how you communicate throughout the recruitment process and when submitting your resume. Your written communication, within your resume, cover letter and email must be absolutely clear and straightforward. Follow the instructions of the job advert to the letter, and respond to all communication in a timely manner.

 

Autonomy:

Not everyone is suited to remote working. It takes diligence and high-levels of self-motivation to successfully work day-in-day out without a boss sitting next to you. Yet, it is vital that a recruiting manager can see that you are capable of this.

How to show this: Choose example situations to put in your resume that clearly demonstrate achievement despite a lack of direct supervision. Explain how your self-management resulted in success.

 

Tech:

Successful remote working is entirely dependent on excellent working knowledge of the technology and software available to you, as well as confidence to fix problems, try new things and investigate additional solutions.

How to show this: If you have relevant training and qualifications, list these, or sign-up to a relevant online course. This shows a willingness to expand your technical abilities.

 

Don’t forget that the employer may use an applicant tracking system (ATS). When recruiting for a remote position, they may use specific keywords to filter an applicant’s suitability for remote working from their resume. Make sure the personal statement on your resume is rewritten specifically for a remote role.

Take the approach of layering to your resume, showcasing these remote working soft skills on top of your core technical skills and experience. 

Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.

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