Remote Work Resume Guide To Land More Job Interviews
Think of a resume as a tool that is for marketing yourself, outlines your background, your skills and your education so that a potential employer is quickly and easily able to see how your individual experiences can contribute to a company’s success.
Resume is a marketing document that has to be short to-the-point to showcase only the top experience, skills and education you have that will match the job posting from a company you’re applying. Everything you’re putting in a resume has to focus on the absolute best quality about you and customized to showcase the value you can deliver and how good of a match you can be for that particular job and company.
The remote job market is extremely competitive. Some of the employers we work with report that they receive up to 400 applications per job opening. Sometimes they are overwhelmed with the demand of professionals who want to work remotely from a global pool of talents and they are looking for the best candidates.
Resumes are the cornerstone of the whole application process. For this reason, it is often referred to as one of the most crucial steps taken during a job search. In this guide, we are going to review the key aspects of what a good resume must have if you want to apply for a remote job and get to the interview.
1. Create a powerful summary about yourself
Making a first impression is just as important in a resume as it is in person. Studies show that, on average, you have 6 seconds to catch a Recruiter or Hiring Manager’s attention from the moment they start scanning your resume. In order to achieve that, you must write an interesting and to-the-point summary about yourself. Keep it short (paragraph max 8 lines) without using overcomplicated statements, outlining your key skillsets, work ethic, team skills, management skills and overall strengths, include keywords that are important for that specific job, results that you have delivered in that area of expertise, and highlighting why you stand out from the crowd.
This is the first piece of information that the recruiter will read from your resume and what you say will determine your chances of success and whether the recruiter will look further into your application or move to the next one. Write a paragraph about yourself that makes the recruiter want to know more about you.
2. Include a key skills section
Again, its all part of creating a strong first impression, so highlight your key competencies to draw attention to your profile and elevate your leadership skills (for executive candidates). This will also optimise your resume for ATS and increase your changes of enabling scan reading for human reviews.
Nowadays, companies use a software application called “Applicant Tracking System” (ATS) which helps Recruiters or Hiring Mangers to collect and filter applications. This program has an automation feature that filters out applicants who do not match the criteria. Obviously, the filters can be customized by every company and job position but this is one of the reasons why many people do not hear back from employers, and this is because the ATS directly filtered their resume/application out from the list of candidates. This may happen for several reasons. For example, if one of the requirements for the position is having a Bachelor Degree or PHP skills, the ATS can be setup to not show candidates without Bachelor Degree or PHP development experience. It can filter based on keywords, skills, education, experience, etc.
The important take away here in order to avoid being filtered out straight away is when you’re reading the job description, pay attention on what is required (must have), list the main keywords of those requirements, and finally make sure they are mentioned somewhere in your resume.
Resources: You can use search sites such as Jobscan to check if your resume matches with top terms and keywords highlighted on the job description or not – just like SEO for docs.
3. Include Social Media URLs
Living in a digital age it’s necessary to make sure your online presence is up-to-date and squeaky clean! Particularly if you are intending to apply for jobs within the social media, communication or marketing space. Competitive candidates are likely to have additional online profiles such as website that highlight portfolios but LinkedIn is a minimum addition to your resume, so make sure your profile is up-to-date and reflects the same information you’re showing in your resume, also make connections and gather endorsements from other professionals or colleagues you previously worked with.
4. Follow a structured format and use achievement metrics
There is a specific writing style to creating a strong professional resume and it is necessary to quantify your achievements using metric examples where possible. Adding these details will strengthen and bring to life your job achievements as well as making them attainable for prospectus companies too. A lot of resumes tend to fail when candidates list long and in-depth descriptions of jobs, with little or no explanation as to how they have been successful in their careers.
The format to follow when bullet pointing your responsibilities is x = y. Example:
– Responsibilities include, acting as a valuable brand ambassador for customer satisfaction, responding to quires efficiently and appropriately resulting in a reduced waiting time across all customer responses (call, email, Facebook) by 65% and maintained a customer satisfaction rate of 97% over the last year.
– Lead the sales B2B function across all online media platforms and channels for the London Head office, resulting in an 30% increase in sales revenue across all 5 sub-teams managed.
– Designed and managed the projection of the company marketing and PR plan ($10M), saving $5M from the previous year and increasing exposure across TV and Radio by 80%.
– Engaged with Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and investment banking regulators to attract sustainable investment, resulting in two investments from Bain Investment and Neuberger Berman, earning a 32% improvement in investor indices.
5. Keep language precise and clear
Read and re-read your resume several times before you submit it. Get someone in your industry to read over your resume and ensure all information is correct. Ask someone non-related to your job to proofread and identify information that is jargon or nonsensical, many companies use acronyms that are not universal or easily understood.
6. Don’t copy the job description
Do not repeat or copy the exact words written on the job description, try to recreate how you have met the requirements without using exactly the same words. Think of examples of what you have done and use this to present your achievements:
– Tailor each role duties to the points on the job description; don’t put unnecessarily details every role description, but make it appropriate to the role you are applying for
– Highlight with examples of your achievements
– Describe your personality and how this contributed to your successful job/ career
7. Include your IT/programs/software experience
When applying for remote roles, emphasis on IT skills and systems as this is a key element to successfully be working independently and therefore being hired remotely. Highlighting your tech and IT experience demonstrates how you can save a company time and money. When possible, add at the end of every job detailing the software and IT systems used. For example, for a role in Customer Services write, ‘highly competent using CRM systems, Zendesk, Salesforces, etc’.
8. Keep design clear and organised
Keep your resume to a maximum of two (2) pages. It’s unlikely that recruiters will want to scan through large blocks of information, so keep bullet points precise and sentence structures simple. To express multiple skills in one sentence, use a semi-colon (;) for separating points and reading flow. Do not overuse bold and italic text.
9. Keep formatting consistent throughout your Resume
Make your resume look as neat and polished as possible with a few simple tips:
– Keep the font size of consistent (for main text and subheadings)
– Keep the spaces between job roles the same width
– Keep all page margins the same (recommended 1.55cm top/bottom, 1.3cm left/right)
– Do not add headers or footers with your details on every page
10. Excluded referee details
Do not put management or company information at the bottom of your resume, these details have the potential to be inappropriately used especially if your resume is uploaded on jobsite databases. Future employees will ask for references when necessary or at the final stages of a hiring process. Write ‘references available on request’.
11. Research about the company and understand the product
This is very basic but still many people fail at this. Employers in the remote work space want someone who is familiar with the company, and they will be impressed that you went the extra mile and did your homework. The company’s website is the obvious starting point to learn about what the company does, its mission and its values (usually found on its “About Us” page). Browse the company’s social media pages for more up-to-date news like upcoming product launches, awards received and other exciting things happening at the company. Some of the questions you want to do research are: What does the company do? What are the company’s values? Who are the clients? What are the main products or services? How is the company different from the competition? Same questions will be important to know well if you make it through the interview.
12. Show results from previous work experience upfront
Because you won’t be working at an office with your manager siting next to you, recruiters look for profiles that guarantee results, in other words, they want to hire people who can provide great value for the company from day 1. For that, you have to prove that you’re a top performer and somehow you won’t disappoint them. The best way to achieve this in a resume is by listing results that you have accomplished in your previous work experience instead of writing a plain description of what your roles in previous companies looked like, which is what most people do. You have to show why you’re are the best for the job and from listing specific great results as bullet points, your resume will stand out from the rest.
13. Follow the application instructions
This can be from filling up a web-form, sending the resume in a specific format (doc. pdf.), writing a specific cover letter, answering customized questions, or even a specific subject line that they request you to put in the email you’re sending them when applying. Therefore, the instructions may range from simple ones to more complex ones. But it’s extremely important to follow the instructions the recruiter asks in the job description. If you do follow them step by step, your changes to get a response from a recruiter increases exponentially. Why? Your application will stand out immediately simply because most of the people do NOT follow the instructions.
14. Bonus: Create a Video Resume
If you want to get more interviews, you have to find a way to differentiate yourself, and a video resume will help you do just that. Still very few people use this approach when applying for a job. Creating a video resume is an excellent way to stand out from the competition and showcase one’s personality, communication skills, and more. This video is typically used to complement a paper resume and can be either general or targeted toward a particular position or company. A video resume can be created by a professional for you, or you can create your own with a phone camera or webcam. The video file can be uploaded for free in video platforms like YouTube or Vimeo so you can add the sharing link in your resume. Optionally, if you have concerns about privacy, you can easily make the video private and only people who has the link will be able to watch it.