Changes in the nature of work in our society stipulate that there will also be changes in the way professionals seek out work and establish their personal brands. In today’s marketplace, it is vital to think beyond a single document such as a resume.
Are There Differences in Resumes for Remote Jobs Versus Onsite Jobs?
Creating a consistent message about your contributions to your field requires a well-thought-out strategy. This kind of intent is necessary for both traditional and remote positions, however, the way you develop your brand should directly relate to the method of your work.
For remote workers, there are specific tools, skills, and experiences that should be included on your resume and portfolio to express your readiness to take on a virtual position. In contrast to traditional work resumes, telecommuting resumes should focus on what you can do, not necessarily where you have worked.
Although studies show remote employers look for candidates with some virtual work experience, they also value your ability to thrive using tech-centric communication software, online file sharing, and digital collaboration tools.
The best practices professionals should use when crafting their resume for remote work, are the same tactics all prospective employees should consider. This is because we live in a rapidly growing, technology-driven society that values innovation, continual learning, and cutting-edge tools.
Regardless of your field or whether or not you work from home, you are competing with a larger pool of applicants for positions. This is because, even if your company is strictly in-office, its competitor may not be.
Additionally, as the job market continues to evolve, technology will become more integrated into positions we traditionally think of as low-skill. This is why it is crucial to begin to position yourself according to the future of the job market, and that includes highlighting your readiness for virtual work.
Virtual Vocations highlights simple ways you can correct common resume mistakes to improve hireability. If you are immersed in telecommuting or peering over the ledge considering your jump into the remote workforce, you can begin to think more critically about the skills you will need to reach your full potential, and how to articulate your current virtual work strengths on your resume.
Take a look at the tips below for creating a flawless resume that will help you appeal to remote employers.
Cover letters and Priming Your Resume
Contrary to what some may believe, the cover letter is not dead. Taking time to create a custom cover letter is not only a strategy to help you stand out among a sea of quality but also helps you perfect your own concept of your skills in a short summary format.
Both traditional and remote professionals should devote time and intention toward creating cover letters to accompany their resumes their cover letters when applying for jobs. However, remote employees have a unique opportunity to showcase their digital skill set, creativity and unique vision with supplemental documents such as a digital cover letter.
There are several factors to consider to help you achieve the greatest impact with your cover letter including design, format, and tone. All of these items depend heavily on the job you are applying to, and your level of experience in that particular skill.
There is a case to be made for keeping your letter to half a page, particularly if you will be including it as the body of an email with your resume and supporting documents.
Your letter should also always feature the name of a hiring manager. It may require a bit of research to find out who leads the department you are looking to enter. However, it is well worth the effort to meticulously search Linkedin, the company website or other social media platforms to obtain this information.
Address your letter to the manager, including their position, company, and address, as you would a standard letter.
The exception to this is if you are emailing your cover letter. This is suggested only for positions where the branding and messaging of the company explicitly tell you the a casual, informal approach to hiring is their preference. In this case, you can omit the company name and address and simply address the person in question using their first name.
Your cover letter should include active voice and begin with a line that is impactful and spurs the reader to continue. It is paramount that you do your research about a company before you write your cover letter. Particularly for remote workers, employers receive an astronomical amount of applications for their openings. They want to know why you are the best fit, and letting them know how their mission resonates with you and is featured in the story of your personal career journey is the best way to do that.
For example, if you are a social media marketing professional applying to a company dedicated to fashion for new moms, you may find in the About Me section of the company’s website that the founder began her business after having difficulty feeling fashionable after pregnancy.
Use this to tie into your passion for using social media to empower. Tell the story of a previous campaign that had a measurable impact and highlighted women’s wellness.
Experience like this is not something you can fake. If you don’t have an experience like that described above, write about why you want to work with the prospective company and explain how your experiences translate into this new role. Authenticity is key to making connections that can help you stay at the forefront of consideration among hundreds of other candidates.
Design and Format
The trend in today’s marketplace is minimalist. Focus on using white space to enhance your design and draw the reader’s eye to important details. Using active white space helps the reader move through the sections of your resume from your name and contact information to your skills with ease.
Use a header and design elements that are consistent, clean and appealing to the eye. This helps tell the story of your resume as the outline and your cover letter as the narrative connecting the facts of your experience with the story of your influence. Always use double spacing and wide margins.
You should organize your resume with your summary and relevant skills at the top and your education at the bottom, with your chosen professional experience in the center. You want to make use of the top of your resume to highlight the most important aspects of your job of choice. If the job descriptions make clear the company is looking for someone proficient in design software, highlight your experience in that particular software in your skills section at the top of your resume.
Your name should also be larger than the font used in the body of your document. Steer clear of hard to read fonts and colors that distract the eye. Neutral colors such as blue and black are classic and stylish.
Use a design element such as a simple pattern at the top or the side of your cover letter and resume. You can find resume templates that speak to your personal style and also convey your connection to your respective field. act as a branding strategy that should include your name, contact information such as professional social media handles, particularly for marketing and creative career folk.
You can also consider an online resume to show your skill in utilizing digital technology. An online resume lives online and is easy to edit and make interactive. You can build an online resume website using Wix, which has numerous templates to choose from to highlight your unique voice.
Do not include all of your experience on your resume. Particularly for virtual positions, the one-page rule is one to follow. If Elon Musk can do it, so can you. Focus on two or three recent positions that accent your fit for the role in question. If you have extensive education or publication qualifications, choose your most recent degree and your top three author credits. Remember, the resume is a highlight reel, not a feature film.
In the last two years, the traditional objectives statement has undergone a transformation. They are now referred to as a summary statement. It is no longer a cut and dry call to employers that you are looking for work, it is an elevator pitch that condenses the “why are you the best candidate for the job” question into a few sentences.
When crafting your summary statement, consider, “What is your niche?” Use your statement to articulate the one or two things you do best and what impact this has on businesses in your industry.
Highly polished accounting professional with seven years of progressive leadership experience specializing in personal financial consulting, asset planning, and wealth management. Infusing trusted expertise in investing strategy with an unparalleled diplomacy to grow a strong client base.
Use your summary statement to draw the hiring manager into your story and prepare them for the supporting evidence that will back up your summary claims.
The Remote Resume
The telecommute resume is the new standard. Use the increasing ease of design tools online to help make your resume as beautiful and impactful as possible. Highlight the technology you excel in, and leave yourself the room in the white space to grow. Look at your resume as a living document, one that will evolve and change as you do. You should always re-evaluate it before submitting a new job application and enlist support from colleagues to assess its clarity.
Photo Credit: 1.iStock.com/Eva-Katalin
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