Want to land a remote job?
Well, so does everyone else - remote jobs are very in-demand these days. Meaning, they’re also very, very competitive.
Instead of competing with professionals in your area for a local job, you’re competing with the best professionals from all around the world for a remote job.
As such, your remote work resume has to be that much better if you want to catch the hiring manager’s attention and land that remote interview.
Fortunately, we’ve got your back! In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to create a compelling remote work resume.
Let’s get started!
5 Steps to Create a Remote Job Resume
There are several differences between a remote job resume and a conventional one.
For starters, a remote job resume needs to make it clear to the recruiter you’re looking to get hired remotely (especially if you’re applying at a company that hires both remote and on-site staff).
At the same time, your professional experience section should, one, comprehensively reflect any remote work experience you’ve had in the past, and two, be very compelling to show the hiring manager that you’re an A-player.
The skills section is also different in a remote job resume. In addition to the skills related to your industry, it’s important to include skills that can prove you can perform well working remotely. Think, reliability, work ethic, time management, and other such skills.
Below, we’ll go into detail about all the steps you need to take to write a remote job resume that’ll land you an interview, starting with:
#1. Make It Known You’re Looking for a Remote Job
The first thing you want to do is use your resume to let potential employers know you're looking for a remote job.
Although most job listings specify the job is remote, that might not always be the case. Some companies, for example, may allow you to work remotely if you're really qualified for the job.
Others may simply list their headquarters and note they allow employees to work remotely (but not whether they’re hiring a remote worker for this specific job).
No matter the case, your remote job resume is your best opportunity to make it clear you're looking to work remotely from the get-go.
There are three places where you can do that on your remote job resume:
- The contact information section. Instead of adding your physical address, you can specify you prefer working remotely by writing “working remotely from [location].”
- The resume summary. This is where you express your professional intent as an applicant and aim to grab the recruiter’s attention early on. As such, it’s one of the best places to mention your remote work experience and state you’re looking to work remotely.
- The work experience section. If you have previous remote work experience, make that known by writing “remote” under your professional title.
Here’s an example of how you’d include this information in your contact information section:
Working remotely from Chicago
Or here’s one for the resume summary:
Hard-working IT support specialist looking for a fully remote role at Company X. Communicative and patient, I have extensive experience in providing technical support on user experience issues for SaaS companies. Looking for an opportunity to apply my technical and remote skills and grow professionally.
#2. Choose the Right Resume Template
According to a GitLab study, 82% of workers believe remote work is the future. As such, companies hiring remotely tend to get a lot of applicants.
So that the hiring manager doesn’t spend their entire day reviewing resumes, they use applicant tracking systems instead.
These systems automatically review hundreds of resumes within minutes and discard the ones that:
- Have bad formatting
- Don’t mention the right type of keywords
If you want to make sure that your resume does fall prey to applicant tracking systems, you’ll want to use an ATS-friendly resume template.
These templates are built with such software in mind guaranteeing that the system will be able to read your resume. Head over here to browse through such resume templates.
#3. Write a Compelling Resume Summary
The first section recruiters will really notice on your remote job resume is your resume summary.
The resume summary is a 2 or 3-sentence long paragraph where you mention:
- Your job title and years of experience. (E.g. “Customer support agent with 6+ years experience in customer service and IT industry.”)
- Your top skills and achievements (or core responsibilities). (E.g. “Responsible and communicative, I specialize in user retention, technical support, and customer care.”)
- Your professional goals. (E.g. “Looking to apply my skills and experience as a lead support agent for your internet software company.”)
Done right, your resume summary will grab recruiters’ attention and get them to go through the rest of your resume in more detail and attention.
As such, it’s a great place to also mention you prefer working remotely or highlight one or two in-demand remote working skills, such as your reliability or your excellent time management.
Alternatively, you can use your remote resume summary to list the countries where you have working rights or your time zone. Many of the companies that hire remote workers are looking for people in specific countries or time zones.
Here’s how you’d do that:
Tech-savvy and reliable content writer with 8 years of experience in SEO, research, and copywriting. I have worked remotely for the past 4 years, writing for several niches including e-learning, blockchain, and alternative health and wellness. US citizen currently working remotely from Italy, but able to work in US time zones if need be.
#4. Highlight Remote Working Skills
To perform well in a remote workplace, you’ll need to have a certain set of skills. Mentioning these skills in your resume, especially if you don’t have a lot of remote work experience, can really tip the scales in your favor.
Say, for example, that you’re applying for a job as a remote chat support agent.
Considering you’ll be working from home, it will be up to you to wake up and start working at the right time on a daily basis. This means that reliability and a strong work ethic are all the more important as soft skills for this remote position than if you’d be working from an office.
The same goes for hard skills. Remote jobs require a bunch of hard skills that may not be as necessary when you’re working from a physical location. In the chat support agent case, for example, you might need the following hard skills to succeed in a remote environment:
- Digital communication
- Intercom automation
So, how do you pick the right skills to add to your remote job resume? Here’s what we suggest:
- Check the job description to include any skills that you have that the company is looking for. If the position is remote, the employer may have also listed the exact remote skills required for the role.
- Research in-demand remote skills. Some remote work skills are nice to have for all types of remote jobs. You can find our list of such skills in the next section of this article.
- List your soft and hard skills separately. Don’t list all your skills in a bundle. List technical skills (industry-related and remote) under “hard skills” and the rest under “soft skills.”
And remember - if you have experience using some specific remote programs and tools (e.g. Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Hubstaff, etc.), you should definitely list their names under your hard skills. Your potential employer will appreciate that you’re already familiar with them (especially if they’re using the same tools).
Needs some inspiration for your remote resume’s skills section? Check out these lists of soft and hard in-demand skills for remote workers:
24 Top Soft Skills for Remote Workers in 2023
- Critical thinking
- Analytical skills
- Time management
- Social awareness
- Stress management
- Work ethic
- Problem-solving skills
10 Top Hard Skills for Remote Workers in 2023
- Digital communication
- Project management tools
- Team management tools
- Written communication
- Google Hangouts
#5. Create an Attention-Grabbing Work Experience Section
The work experience section is the most critical part of your remote resume.
Here, the hiring manager wants to see that you’re not just any job-seeker - they want to see that you’re an A-player.
And simply listing out your responsibilities just won’t do.
In this section, we’ll explain how to create a work experience section that’s likely to get noticed by the hiring manager.
But first, let’s talk about the basics. Here’s how you should format your work experience entries:
- Stick with the reverse-chronological order. Begin with your latest professional experience and work your way back.
- Add your job title. Make sure the title properly describes your role and avoid buzzwords or “funny” job titles (e.g. “keyboard wizard” instead of “copywriter”).
- Include the company’s details. These include key information such as the company’s name and location (or “remote,” if you work online).
- Mention the employment period. Use the mm/yyyy format throughout the remote job resume.
- Write down your responsibilities and achievements. Use up to 5 bullet points for recent positions and 2-3 bullet points for older roles.
Now that we’ve got formatting out of the way, let’s talk about how you can make the section more compelling:
- Tailor your work experience to the position. If you have a TON of work experience, only mention the most recent (and relevant) roles. Rule of thumb, your last 3-4 work experiences are enough. If any of these were remote, make sure to mention that.
- Use numbers to back up your achievements. Quantifying your achievements can really take your work experience section from great to perfect. Reading “increased company client base from 3 to 8 within a year” will be much more convincing to recruiters than “managed to get more clients.”
- Take advantage of action verbs. Action verbs like “collaborated,” “proofread,” “edited,” “oversaw,” “managed,” etc., are much better at driving the point home than “was responsible for” or “achieved X and Y.”
And here’s what a work experience section that follows our tips looks like:
Colective Technologies LLC.
02/2019 - Present
Remotely from Europe
- Updated company's talent acquisition policies to include remote hiring practices and hired 3 new, fully remote technical writers in one year.
- Increased client base from 3 to 8 clients within one year by utilizing social media marketing strategies.
- Implemented ClickUp for managing the entirety of the remote marketing team. Managed to get everyone on board and productive 2 weeks after purchasing the software.
What If I Don’t Have Remote Work Experience?
Some companies may hesitate to hire you for a remote position if you’ve never worked remotely before (even if you’re otherwise qualified for the role).
This is primarily because some professionals simply don’t “click” with remote work. Working from home might seem like an amazing idea in theory, but it might turn out that you:
- Don’t like the loneliness associated with working from home
- Find it very hard to keep yourself motivated and productive without coworkers around
- Have a hard time getting inspired without face-to-face contact with your coworkers
And any of these reasons might turn out to be a good reason to quit.
As such, the hiring manager is less likely to give you a shot if you don’t have any experience working remotely.
But does this mean that you just can’t find a remote job without past remote work experience?
Not really - you just need to show the hiring manager that you have the skills that’ll enable you to succeed in a remote work environment.
One great way to do this is by mentioning your experiences with past personal projects. Anything like:
- A website you’ve worked on in your free time.
- A game you developed in university.
- A personal blog you’ve maintained over the years.
- Illustrations you’ve done for a show/game that you like.
Mentioning such projects in your remote resume shows that you’re a self-starter and a type of person that can be productive without being in the office.
Simply create a dedicated section for “Personal Projects” and list your experience just like you would with your work experience section:
Founder at PersonalBlog.com
Created & maintained a personal blog about IT hiring practices for over 2 years:
- Published over a total of 50 blog posts.
- Drove over 20,000 traffic in 2022 by promoting my content to HR influencers on LinkedIn.
- Invited to 10+ different podcasts to talk about my experience with IT recruitment.
#6. Write a Persuasive Cover Letter
Yes, cover letters are still relevant.
While not as important as your remote resume, they can definitely help you stand out from other applicants and more than half of employers prefer candidates who submit a cover letter.
Now as for how you can use a cover letter to get hired for a remote job, there are 2 good options. You can go with one of the other, or you can do a mix of the two:
- Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the role by mentioning your achievements, skills, or qualifications.
- Explain why you’re a good culture fit for the company and talk about why you’re passionate about working for the company.
In the case of the first, you’d want to review the job ad you’re applying for and identify the key requirements.
Then, in your cover letter, cover these requirements more in-depth.
If, for example, the requirement is “Managing an ad budget in 5-figures,” here’s how you’d frame this in your cover letter:
Past experience involved managing an ad budget in 5-figures while working for Company X. I was in charge of the entire account end-to-end, including picking out creatives, writing copy, running A/B tests, and so on. My goal, which I hit and exceeded, was to maintain a ROAS of over 150%.
Now if you want your cover letter to be a bit more focused on how you’re a good culture fit, here’s what you need to do.
First, you should research the employer and see whether you’re actually a good fit and whether you truly like the company:
- Check the employer’s social media profiles. What kind of content do they post? Who’s their target audience?
- Read up about the company’s mission statement. Is it something you resonate with?
- What’s their product/service? Is it something you’re passionate about working on?
- Read their company news blog. What has the company been doing in the past year? Anything you particularly find interesting?
Then, use this information in your cover letter to communicate why you’re passionate about working at the company.
And that’s about all you need to know to create a compelling remote job resume!
Before you start working on your resume and applying for jobs, let’s do a quick recap of the most important things we covered in this article:
- The first thing you need to do through your remote job resume is to make it known you’re looking for a remote position. The first place you can do that is the contact information section, right where you’d typically input your location.
- Take advantage of the resume summary to highlight one or two skills you have that are necessary for remote work to show recruiters you’re perfect for it from the get-go.
- Give specific examples of your responsibilities and achievements while working remotely in your work experience section. If you’ve had a number of remote positions in the past, then create a separate remote work experience section.
- In your skills section, make sure to include skills that are required for remote positions, such as a strong work ethic, reliability, and ability to meet deadlines.