How to Write a Resume that Stands Out for Remote Jobs
Finding a remote or hybrid role in the current market is possible. Here is what you need to know to build a resume that stands out when pursuing a remote first job search.
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted how most people did their work and so many people went remote during this time. Now that back-to-office mandates are rolling out, many people are looking at finding a role that won't require them to return to an office. With the increased competition, here is what you need to know to build a resume that gets through the applicant tracking systems (ATS) and stands out from the steep competition for the remote only jobs
#1 Include Your Location
You must include your city, state, and zip code on your resume in the contact details. People that choose to leave this information off their resumes when applying to remote roles will most likely be excluded from qualified candidates.
This happens even though more companies are open to remote work for all types of roles now because they cannot let employees work from wherever. This is because of the myriad of employment laws that exist across the US at the city, county, and state levels. These differences can make compliance complex for some employers. So, companies will look for people that work remotely in places where they already have the HR infrastructure established. Thus, if you leave your location off the resume, then you will likely be excluded from many positions as the recruiter won't know where you are located.
#2 Prior Remote Experience
There are many jobs that have been remote or that recently shifted to remote. People that skim your resume will want to know when you have been remote over your career and what you have been able to accomplish in that capacity. So, make sure that you include all of your remote work experience on your resume. It may seem obvious, but the location won't be clear to the ATS or the people scanning your resume if you don't include it explicitly on your resume.
The best way to include this information is in the location of the job. To do this, you should include the city where you performed the work and include an explanation for the role that it was done remotely, on a hybrid basis, or partially remotely. You should not include the city where the company is located in this section. Doing that would only make you look like a candidate that doesn't live in the area. Instead, showing where you were and explaining that you did it remotely will provide the necessary context to anyone or any system that will skim your resume.
#3 Incorporate Relevant Skills for Remote Roles
Simply being remote isn't enough to show that you are good at being remote. Instead, you should also include all of the skills that you used to obtain the achievements in the roles that you performed remotely. These skills should be relevant to the types of jobs that you are now pursuing and you should also explain how those skills translated to your ability to complete the tasks while not onsite.
Remember that a lot of people worked remotely through the pandemic. But, not everyone did that well. So, providing context on how you adapted and how you contributed to the team or customers while being remote will go a long way to making you stand out. And, if you can show that these skills make you a better candidate for the particular job or company that you are applying to, that's even better!
Here are some common skills that are important for remote roles
Globally dispersed teams
Ability to work across time zones
Excellent communication skills
Reliable internet connection and workspace
Strong work ethic
#4 Include Remote Responsibilities
The other area that many people overlook on their remote first resume is the responsibilities. This is a smart area to include the tasks that you did when working remotely from the office or your team.
You may not have worked every day remotely, but there were likely times that you worked from home or while traveling. During that time, you did the job while not at an office. That means you had to communicate differently, plan ahead, and coordinate solutions across multiple locations. Whatever your job may have been, it was important that you adapted to the location and the locations of your colleagues or clients to complete the tasks at hand.
These types of details are exactly the types of information that could fit easily into a responsibilities bullet or even be fleshed out into an achievement. The key here is that including this information means that the person or applicant tracking system skimming your resume will see quickly how you can step into the open position and make things happen for them.
#5 Put the resume to work!
The final and most important step is to make sure that you put this resume to work. It is not enough to simply build the resume for a remote job search. You need to use it to apply to jobs. Right now, many companies are posting more positions that are identified as "remote" or "fully remote." You can also use a number of filters on most job boards to find these roles.
But, there are many more jobs out there where the job isn't identified as remote. Instead, this is a negotiation point for the person that gets the job. Most employers have moved a number of jobs to remote or hybrid models since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The future of the remote nature of these roles isn't totally clear for anyone at this point. But, people have proven that the roles can be done remotely and companies are willing to let people work in them that will be remote or in a hybrid arrangement. So, make sure that you are using your resume that is built for a remote job search for jobs that are marked as remote AND for jobs that can be negotiated as remote or hybrid.
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