The corporate landscape is changing and employers now more than ever are willing and eager to utilize remote employees and consultants as part of their workforce. From a job-seekers standpoint, working remotely can eliminate the increasingly longer commute times, help reduce expenses, and allows for a more flexible work-life balance. It is no wonder why more and more employees are looking to make the switch into the virtual workforce. If you are an active job seeker looking to make the move to virtual, you may need to update your resume to help you get the remote job you're seeking.
Clearly State Your Objective
When writing a cover letter or resume it is important always to include what your objective is as a job seeker. When tailoring your resume towards landing a remote or virtual role include a line that states “looking for remote or virtual opportunity” in addition to your overall objective. If working virtually is critical for you to take a position, be sure your objective is free of phrases that are open to interpretation. An example of an objective that may be open to interpretation would be “looking for a greater work-life balance” or “looking for flexible working environment”. Each organization will have a different work from home or virtual work policy and the individual reading your resume may misinterpret your intent to work remotely for someone who may want an earlier start time or flexibility to work from home occasionally. If you have experience working remotely – be sure to indicate this, as it will show you are proficient with working independently.
GET THE REMOTE LOOK
Following the traditional format of resume writing isn't always as effective when you are looking for virtual work or have recently completed a job that allowed you to work remotely. Traditionally when you write your resume you include the city, province/state, and country beside either the company or job title. On a resume that is trying to highlight remote experience, people should swap out the traditional location with Home Office, Remote Office, or Virtual Support.
Many organizations also use independent consultants for remote work projects. If you are an incorporated contractor, you should include this on your resume either next to your job title(s) or below your name in the header portion of your resume. In addition, job seekers who are looking to work remotely may remove their home address and replace it with a home office or virtual resources.
Demonstrate previous success as a remote worker
The most important information that must be on a resume are the key successes people have experienced within their roles. By using phrases that include “while working remotely” along with what you have accomplished during your time working in the role, hiring managers have the ability to see how you could fit in their open role and be a valuable team member. This will get them excited about what you could achieve as a remote worker for their organization. Make your results quantifiable, showing business value relevant to your role will show that you understand the impact you can provide to the organization.
Partnering effectively with clients, managers, and other employees are also critical to being successful when working remotely. Include examples of how you partner effectively while working remotely on your resume, this will demonstrate to a hiring manager that you know what working remotely entails. An example of this could be “responsible for leading virtual meeting to ensure project timelines were met” or “partnered effectively with the project team virtually through daily updates, online meeting, and teleconferences.”
Include key skills that employers look for in remote workers
When employers are looking for virtual or remote resources they often look for individuals with a certain skill set that makes them effective at working remotely. When updating your resume include skill sets that demonstrate your ability to work independently. It is a good idea to include keywords like “self-starter” or ability to “self-manage” on your resume. Time management and organizational skills are always on the top of the list of soft skills that hiring managers look for in remote employees. Including bullet points that demonstrate effective organizational skills and time management skills will help you increase your chance of interviewing for remote positions.
Make your resume searchable for people looking for remote resources
Employers are actively looking for remote workers with experience but how can you ensure that employers will find your resume online? When you put your resume online or into a company’s applicant tracking system you want to make sure that your resume in searchable. Use a variety of keywords to make your resume searchable for employers looking for virtual workers such as telecommuting, work from home, remote, and freelance.
If you want your next role to be remote or virtual, make sure to update your resume to reflect your desire to work remotely, show your remote experience, skills, and be sure to optimize it for easy search by future employers.
Matthew Angus has been in recruitment for five years and is currently a recruitment consultant at WilsonCTS. He attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but now resides in Toronto, and loves every minute of it. Matthew has a passion for understanding the needs of his clients and placing their ideal candidate that best fits their needs.