You would have thought that with all the social media profiles – especially LinkedIn – resumes would become a thing of the past.
Our lives are already so exposed to everybody that it seems kind of unfair that we all still need to write resumes and send them to the recruiters.
However, the business owners and the recruiters still ask for them, so we need to keep sending them. Yes, even if you are applying for a remote online position.
Resumes for remote work positions have their own specifics, although they are more or less similar to the traditional resumes.
Therefore, you will find here the anatomy of a winning resume that you can use for your new remote position. Of course, chances are, you will be able to use it for some in-house positions, as well.
1. Read the Entire Job Description, Word-by-Word
Reading the job descriptions will save you and your employer a lot of time. You would assume that everybody reads this description, but it just doesn’t happen. A lot of people just skim through it, and it shows.
It is not likely that you will be just the perfect fit for the job you want, but don’t apply for those that have entirely different requirements from your qualifications. Required 5 years in a certain industry is not the same as one year in the industry.
Also, some employers put a little rule at the bottom of their job description. They require you to use a word or a funny phrase in your cover letter so that they are sure you have read the entire job description. Something like this job post from Upwork.
2. Craft Your Own Value Proposition
Yes, you read it right – no more objective statements. You can forget about listing your years of experience and qualifications in this section, as well. So what are you left with?
Your value proposition is the answer to the question – what is it that only you can offer to the company? The answer is a short sentence packed with value and information.
Let your employers know what you have to offer and what you bring to the table.
While this is just a short sentence, it is the most difficult part of the resume. So, take your time and think long and hard about it.
3. Blaze Through the Applicant Tracking Systems
The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is created to make the recruiters’ job easier. Since there are so many applicants for every job, the first round of elimination always takes the most time.
So this is what the ATS does. It scans all those resumes searching for certain keywords in them. If it doesn’t find them, the resume is off to the junk pile.
How to work your way around this? By scanning the job posting and the company website (especially the mission and/or vision part) and mining for the relevant keywords. Once you have that list of keywords, scatter them around your resume.
4. See Yourself from the Employer’s Point of View
Your employer decided to add a remote worker to their team. They did it on purpose. Usually, employers do this to save money and to add people who are self-sufficient, disciplined and self-motivated to their team.
It is up to you to prove that you have those skills.
You also need to demonstrate that you working remotely will benefit the company more than you working from the office.
Since your employers are already aware of the financial advantage of having a remote worker, you need to prove that you are the type of person who works from home perfectly well.
There is an entire set of habits and behaviors that you should acquire and prove that you have before your resume can become appealing to employers. You can take a course and use the certificate as proof if you don’t have the relevant experience working remotely.
5. Properly Format Your Resume
The first thing you need to do is pick a resume format. There are three most common formats to choose from. Let’s just go through them quickly and explain only the basics.
Reverse Chronological Resume – Use this if you have a long and steady employment history. It should list all the positions you kept from today and working backward. It is all about work experience and your past jobs.
Functional Resume – Use this if you are transitioning to a new career. It is not so much about the work history, but more about the skills and achievements that you have. Your value proposition must really shine for this resume format to work.
Combination Resume – Use this if you simply want to get the best from both worlds. List your resume elements in the following order – start with the value proposition statement and then list your achievements. After that, you can list your experience, and lastly your education.
However, formatting is more than just choosing your format. You also need to think about the little details, like fonts and sizes.
Firstly, your resume should not be more than one A4 page. There are some that say that a resume should be long enough to tell the whole story, but it is very likely that nobody would read it all.
You get up to 15 seconds of attention for your resume, so don’t expect any page flipping.
Secondly, when choosing your font, you should aim at size 11. The maximum you should go for is 12, while the minimal ever should be 10.5. Anything smaller than that turns your resume into an intelligible pile of tiny letters.
Different fonts look different when they are shrunk to 10.5 or magnified to 12. Still, use fonts that are elegant and clean. Arial, Calibri and Helvetica are such fonts. You can also use Georgia, Garamond or Didot if you like.
6. List Your Free Time Activities and Interests
Showing off your personality in your resume for a remote worker is good. Since you are not about to be in the workplace in person, this is how people get the idea that there is a real person behind that screen.
Employers who hire people remotely understand that those people have a different lifestyle and that they have interests outside work.
After all, they are most likely remote workers because they value their lifestyle. In most cases, such employers value the work-life balance.
This means that you can be a bit more relaxed when listing your interests. Still, experts say that you should emphasize those interests that are even remotely related to the company.
There is one thing that remains the same and it will be here forever – the importance of a proofread resume. Errors and spelling mistakes make you look bad.
They make it look like you didn’t care enough to do a good job with your resume. Consequently, they say that you will be just as sloppy while working.
Since employers truly risk a lot when hiring a person for a remote position, all they know about that person, they get from their resume, cover letter, and social media.
If those are covered in spelling mistakes, the chances an employer will hire such a person are minimal.
Therefore, proofread three times and then ask a friend to do it for you one more time. You can never be too careful with this.