Resumes are an opportunity to make a good first impression. For this reason, it is one of the most crucial steps during the remote job search.
Here’s an interesting fact that was brought to my attention by a recruiter, for a fully-distributed company.
Did you know that the average recruiter spends an average of 30 to 60 seconds before skipping to the next application? Presenting a professional resume is often the only chance to get noticed by employers, so it’s important to stand out.
In this article, we focus on resume tips to help you land a remote job.
EASY TO SCAN
Your resume needs to be easy to scan through. Avoid large paragraphs and use bullet points. Apply a readable font like Arial, Calibri, and Helvetica. Set your font size between 10-12 points and align your content to the left so it can be quickly read.
Don’t include graphics, bright colours, or crazy layouts. Keep it simple. The recommended number of pages for a resume is one to two pages.
Most people will submit their resume in a .doc format, remember that PDFs retain the formatting regardless of how they are viewed, so they’re best when sending your application out electronically.
LOOK FOR KEYWORDS WITHIN THE JOB ADVERT
Many companies use automated software to identify resumes that include specific keywords. Read through the job advert and make sure you have included the essential requirements for the role.
For example, if you’re applying for a job as a Quality Assurance Analyst, an employer might use keywords like ‘regression testing’, ‘test plan’ or ‘automated testing’ in the job description.
If you have the skills employers are looking for, you can add these same keywords to your resume in the experience or skills sections.
Don’t go overboard. Recruiters and employers can spot keyword stuffing and it looks unprofessional.
SHOWCASE YOUR SKILLS ONLINE
Having an online presence will increase the chance of you landing a remote job because they can instantly see you have the required skills.
If you have a portfolio, website or blog, include the URL in your contact section. Also, add any relevant social media accounts where you have showcased your knowledge and skills to an audience.
While it might be tempting to include a personal account to show recruiters who you are, you’re better off only listing accounts that are professionally-focused. Don’t forget to take an extra couple of minutes to make sure your URLs are working and live.
BE SELECTIVE WITH HOBBIES AND INTERESTS
Not all hobbies and interests deserve a place on your resume, but some do. Positive personality traits and skills that could benefit you on the job are worth including.
For example, competing in marathons shows discipline and determination. Blogging about something related to your field shows genuine interest in your work. Make sure to include hobbies that might pique their interest.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Don’t make the mistake that many do, and send the same resume to every remote job they apply for. You can increase your chances of landing an interview by building a customised resume tailored to your target role.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean starting from scratch every time. Instead, all you need to do is slightly tweak your introduction, experience section, and additional skills to match the job description for the specific position you’re applying for.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
Quantifying your achievements will make you stand out. Saying you increased revenue or increased social followers is meaningless. Instead, make your accomplishments pop out by using numbers, percentages, time frames to measure your big wins.
SHOW REMOTE WORK EXPERIENCE
One mistake people make when applying for remote jobs is not highlighting their remote work experience and skills on the resume.
It’s important to know what employers are looking for, so you stand out amongst other candidates. They will be expecting to see specific personality traits and skills within your resume.
Previous Employment entries on a resume typically include the employer’s location as part of the standard information. However, you must make it known that you performed the work remotely.
Within the skills section, highlight your experience using software many remote teams use. Within the job advert, they might not mention the likes of Slack, Zoom and Trello, but it’s a good idea to include them in the resume if you have experience.
When discussing your skills, look at how they particularly fit into the remote environment. Good communicators will want to mention they’re comfortable using video conferencing, to stay in touch with the team.
What personality traits is an employer going to be looking for? As a remote worker, you have to be a self-starter and well organised.
PROOFREAD YOUR RESUME
Before sending your resume, you should proofread to catch spelling or grammar errors. Grammarly is a recommended proofreading tool, but ask trusted friends or colleagues to review your resume.
Remember your resume needs to highlight you as a stand-out candidate for the remote job. Continue to showcase your credentials through a tailored cover letter that lets employers know what value you will add.
Good luck with your search and hopefully these resume tips will help.