With so many working professionals laid off or furloughed, work-from-home jobs are now in demand because they allow workers to maintain social distancing, protect their health, and be home for their families. However, few working professionals have remote experience – most have worked for an employer their entire professional lives, creating a chicken and egg scenario: you need to work remotely but you need substantive remote work experience to be successful.
Not to worry. I’m going to show you how to overcome this odd situation into which many of us have been unwittingly thrust.
But first, if you already have some remote work experience, be sure to:
1. Include any remote work experience on your resume – in the summary, the job descriptions, skills lists, or the location of an employer.
2. Create a “Remote Work Experience” section on your resume and/or LinkedIn profile to describe your remote experience.
Overall, the best spot on your resume to add this content is at the top, page 1. For example, you may have a bulleted list of qualifications – this is a perfect place to mention your remote work experience because the recruiter’s eye is automatically drawn to this spot. Be sure to explain how your remote work experience will benefit the company to which you’re applying, for example:
“Director of Marketing now leading a diverse team of professionals from remote location and gaining ongoing consensus to ensure seamless workflow.”
“Remote work experience: began March 2020 as COVID-19. Duties include meeting with team each morning viz Zoom conferencing software to set daily goals and resolve outstanding issues…”
You see? Whereas before you probably wouldn’t have mentioned anything as mundane as a regular morning meeting, it now becomes an integral part of your ability to work remotely, to use new tools like Zoom, to communicate effectively across numerous locations, etc.
If You Already Have Remote Work Experience…
If you’ve been working remotely for some time since February or March 2020 due to COVID, or even before just due to the nature of your work, you have enough experience to create a Remote Work Experience section on your resume. This is a good opportunity to show employers that you can continue to succeed out of the office as well as in (not everyone can, you know).
- Consider the job to which you are applying.
- Do a Google search for the exact job you want.
- Make a list of the duties and skills needed to excel in this job.
- Give these in-office duties and skills a bit of a twist by demonstrating how you will manage your responsibilities from a remote location.
- Since working remotely is definitely an emerging skill, consider including your remote experience in a Key Skills or Core Competencies section of your resume. For example, if the job calls for strong communication skills, explain how you’ve learned to use Zoom or other software to stay connected to your company, your team, vendors, stakeholders, etc., how you schedule meetings across varying platforms, how you track engagement from other participants, etc.
The more you tailor your resume to the job, the better your chances of landing an interview because resumes that match best to the job description are more likely to make it through ATS software and on to the recruiter. This doesn’t mean you should copy from the job description into your resume; more finesse is needed to make it your own.
6. You’ll also want to highlight transferable skills. For example, you have superior time management skills, shout it! Time Management is a very important skill for remote workers who find themselves thrust into a whole new work environment…it’s easy to lose track of time (and people) when working from home. So highlight this skill and express how you’ve been able to harness management of your time in the more chaotic remote work environment, without missing a beat.
How to Find Suitable Remote Roles
If you’re searching for a specific remote role, we can help. We have up-to-date lists of remote jobs in nearly every field – healthcare, law, accountancy, taxes, IT, software engineering, marketing, social media, payroll, HR, tech support, sales, customer service, management– it’s a long list as more and more companies turn to hiring remote staff. Just drop me a note asking for today’s list in your specialty area and I’ll send it over. (email me direct: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Retrofit Your Skills to Get Noticed for Remote Work
With remote work becoming the competence du jour, you could say being able to successfully work remotely itself is a skill! But be sure to add or work in to resume sentences other important soft skills. Here’s a short list to get your creative juices started:
· Focused; Reliable
· Disciplined; Strong time management
· Efficient; Works well independently
· Collaborative; Team player
· Modern-equipped office; Dedicated home office; Reliable, secure equipment
· Digital communicator; Cross-cultural savvy
· Strong work ethic
· Organized; Self-starter; Proactive
· Flexible; Adaptable
· Independent problem solver
· Location independent ( means “remote” but sounds nicer
· Self-Motivated; Entrepreneurial spirit
· Strong written communication skills
· Comfortable learning new technology and using digital tools
Any time you can measure your achievements in numbers, you’ll be ahead of the game. Some examples include:
· Client or employee retention / New clients acquired
· Sales revenue
· Cost reduction / Cost savings
· Page views increase
· Profits increase
· User engagement increase
· Level of donations
· Number of cases closed
· Customer ratings / Satisfaction / Complaints resolved / Response time
· Billable hours increase
· Reduced safety violations
· Audit findings
· Overtime cost reduction
· Loss prevention reduction
· Enhanced staff morale
Begin by identifying positive outcomes achieved by you/your team. Then describe the specific success using one or more of the above indicators. “Participated on team responsible for saving $1.2MM in hiring expenditures” or “Led staff to create new guidelines that ultimately increased hiring 2% and decreased hiring spend by $876,000.” You see how you aren’t saying it was all you? In the first example, you worked on a team. In the second example, you led others to a great outcome. Bottom line – you did the work and should get credit for the outcome. And if you did this remotely, all the better!
Don’t Lose Hope
I hope this brief discussion has inspired you to think about your resume in a different way, and to see how remote work can and should fit into your overall career history. We won’t always be fighting a pandemic, but the skills you learn in both doing remote work and explaining how you did it successfully are skills that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Revamped Resumes works with executives pursuing 6-figure roles. If this isn’t you, please reach out anyway as we have many resources to help in your job search at any level.