Are you interested in remote work but don’t know how to draft a stellar remote-friendly resume?
Don’t despair. The good news is that you’re not alone. While remote work is on the rise, it’s still remains mainly unchartered territory for many eager self-starters who seek a challenging and fulfilling job but love to work flexibly.
Even so, what may have been considered a pipe dream just a few years ago, is now becoming a fast reality for interested job seekers as both desire for and availability of remote work continue to multiply. Research shows that this trend will only continue to gain momentum, with some statistics projecting that 50% of all employees will work remotely in some capacity by 2020.
This is great news for those of us who’ve already joined the remote movement as well as those who are just starting their search for remote work. Even those who’ve traditionally viewed remote experience as more of a stopgap in their resume, may breathe a sigh of relief. Previously cynical employers have begun to recognize remote work as not only legitimate but desirable in a global and technologically evolving workplace.
So, what do all of these great developments mean for your resume? How do you best position your remote work experience? Where should you highlight it and what should you emphasize?
1. Include Your Remote Abilities in the Summary Section
Whether you are a seasoned remote worker or someone with just a few remote projects under their belt, you can rest assured that listing your skills and projects alongside your other experience will add value and strengthen your candidacy.
Yes, there may still be a cynical employer or two who’ll wonder if you are just trying to cover up the gaps in your resume or stretch your background and experience.
Don’t concern yourself with that.
The reality today is that the majority of employers will recognize remote work as one indicative of leadership abilities, entrepreneurial spirit, independent thinking and drive. All qualities that are sought-after and considered highly desirable in new hires.
So, be proud of your accomplishments and highlight them, starting up front…
The summary section is a great place to include the skills you’ve honed as a remote employee, whether it’s leadership skills, familiarity with on-line tools and resources, time management, communication abilities or qualities such as creativity, independent thinking and accountability.
2. List your Remote Work Experience in Reverse Chronological Order
Just like with in-office work experience, it’s best to list your remote work in reverse chronological order. This gives the prospective employer a quick snapshot of your work history without having to piece together where you’ve been and what you’ve done.
If you’ve done a number of remote projects and are looking for another remote opportunity, you can create a separate Remote Work Section and place it before the other experience.
Otherwise, include remote work with your other experience, again listing each in reverse chronological order. The most common way to identify remote work is to write REMOTE where you would normally have the job location.
3. Back It Up with Examples
Are you a freelancer who’s built a strong portfolio of work that is accessible online? Do you have your own website?
If your remote experience shows strong presence on the web, it is a good idea to showcase that on your resume. Provide a link to your website or other online profiles with examples of your work to provide more detail. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you can attach links to some of your published content.
When should you NOT include remote work on your resume?
If your remote positions have been short-term and sporadic, for example with one or two projects every three months, then better to leave those out of the resume.
Also, if work has been pro bono, then it should go into the Volunteer section rather than the Work Experience section. Finally, if you took on unrelated projects that didn’t tie into your career goals, it wouldn’t provide much benefit to include them on the resume.
So, what’s the take-away?
Writing a resume customized for remote work is important if you are specifically seeking remote jobs or see your job evolving towards flexible opportunities in the future. Be proud of your accomplishments and display them prominently. The time is not far off when you’ll be considered a trailblazer in the remote work movement.
About the Author
Natasha Kosoff is a certified career coach dedicated to helping others build fulfilling careers aligned with their true passions and strengths. She believes that all of us have unique skills and talents and the power to create and live our best professional lives.