Imagine that you are a busy business owner who needs a virtual assistant. Would you care if they have a university degree?
Maybe you would, but it is more likely that you would be interested in hiring a person who has experience in working online or some experience related to being an assistant.
On the other hand, if they lack such experience, you will probably be more interested in hiring somebody who went through some training for a virtual assistant position or some similar online work, than in somebody who has an MA in Biology.
That is more or less how the potential employers approach your resume, as well. So, keep that in mind when creating it.
In other words, do some reverse engineering and come up with a resume that your potential employer is looking for. How to do that? Here are some ideas.
Add a Twist to the Traditional Resume Categories
When you write your resume, you categorize your information into several sections: personal data, resume objective, work experience, education, and skills.
You can keep these sections as they are useful, but rearrange them in a way that will represent you to be a great match for the job of a virtual assistant.
Personal information – this section should contain your name and your contact information. There is no need to state your date of birth, nationality, marital status and similar details.
You are a virtual assistant, which means, as long as you are hard-working, available and capable, all those details don’t really mean a lot.
Instead of wasting your precious resume space on listing that sort of personal details, focus more on those that can actually help you ‘look good’ and land a job. For example, your social media profiles.
Of course, not all of them. If you have a profile on Tumblr and Pinterest, they are not that likely to be important.
However, a well created LinkedIn profile can make all the difference. The same goes with having a Skype and some other services like WhatsApp.
Your email and phone number should be among your personal details, as well. Create an email address that you will use only for business purposes.
Pay extra attention to what your username will be. It should reflect a professional and reliable person who has something to bring to the table.
Resume objective – this is sometimes called resume summary. Maybe that is a better way of expressing what it really is. It should be a long sentence or two describing who you really are and what you look for.
Sometimes, if you are aiming at a very particular job opening, you should scan it and see what phrases they use, so you can use them also to write your objective.
Work experience – List the previous job positions going from the most recent to the oldest. List only the company name, the period in which you worked there and your position.
When you list that, come up with a couple of bullet points that should list your activities on that position, as well as your achievements!
In other words, don’t just say that you created Facebook ads. Add the result to this statement. Instead of this, write created Facebook ads that increased conversion by 15%.
Again, take a look at the job description that you apply for and make sure that you formulate your bullet points so that they match the job requirements.
Education – It is great if you have an MA. Even if it is not in any of the fields that can be useful for virtual assistant work, it shows that you are hard-working and that you are persistent.
However, this is far from being the most important information for your employer. Usually, it can be more useful to show that you have passed the training that equips you with the skills and attitude necessary for online work.
Skills – There are hard and soft skills. Hard skills are those skills that can be measured, learned and defined precisely. They are foreign languages, math, creating Powerpoint presentations and similar.
On the other hand, there are soft skills which are more of personal traits. Soft skills are time management, communicative skills, empathy and similar.
You can guess that desirable soft skills for a virtual assistant include great time management, meticulous detail-oriented approach to work, excellent organizational skills, ability to work in a team and individually and many more.
Once more, it is best to scan the job opening to see which of those skills are required and see if you have them.
Optimize Your CV for Better Visibility
Every job listing has some keywords in it. Those are mainly soft and hard skills and responsibilities that come with the job. If you have a specific job opening that you are targeting, analyse it for keywords.
If you don’t, analyze several virtual assistant openings and see if some of the skills are repeated.
Make a list of those and check the ones you have. If there is a skill that seems to be repeating in all job ads and you don’t have it – obtain it!
Get training, coaching or anything else that you feel could make you better at it.
When you have your keyword list, scatter those keywords throughout your resume. Don’t limit yourself to the skills section. You can use them to enrich your resume objective and even bullet points of the work experience.
Stand out With Visually Appealing Templates
Generally, resumes are black on white, with a photo or without it and with the text slightly formatted, so that it looks clean and easy to read. Something that resembles this type of resume:
These resumes are very good and there is nothing wrong with them. Being easy to read is important, if not an essential aspect of a resume. However, it is not very likely to stand out from the pile of other resumes.
If you want to stand out, you can use some of the templates that are available online. They are already pre-designed, so you can just enter your details and still have a visually appealing resume.
Here is one of such resumes, created using a Canva template.
Canva is far from being the only service that offers free resume templates. You can find them in your Google Docs template section, but also Word and similar text, as well as image editors.
See What Others Are Doing
Just like with everything else, there is a bit of fashion when it comes to resumes. What worked at one point in time, becomes, old, lame and obsolete quite soon. Having an outdated resume that looks passé can really hurt your chances of landing a job.
The only way you can make sure you will stay on top of the trends is to keep your eye on them. This doesn’t mean that you should frantically read all the possible updates from the HR industry.
It simply means that you should conduct short research about current resume trends before you start applying for your job and implement a tip or two.
It is very important that you learn how to write a resume for a virtual assistant job yourself with or without templates. This skill is essential in today’s online job market because of the way we get employed and the time we spend in one company changes.
In the modern online job market, virtual assistants can be hired on a per-project basis, part-time or full-time.
Additionally, the life span of modern online companies is also different. It is quite rare today to get a job in one company and stay there for decades.
That is why you should always keep your resume up to date with all the new skills and accomplishments that you gained at your current position. They will increase your chances to make your next position even a better one.Credit: freepik by ijeab