Three Easy Resume Tips to Get Remote WorkMar 29, 2021
Today, I'm going to cover three tips to help you get over the resume hump. People always ask me if they need a different type of resume for remote work. And the answer is yes!
Employers are looking at how your skill sets transfer into remote work. Your resume is the place to highlight that. So here are some tips to get you going on your remote work resume.
- Tip number one-do a skills inventory.
- Tip number two-write a summary statement.
- Tip number three-strategically use keywords.
Before we begin, I want to tell you the #1 think people say about this process: “I'm not really sure what I'm good at.” I’m going to help you with that in this article, but If you need more inspiration about what you ARE good at, click here to read How To Get Remote Work At Any Age. Link to article #2
Tip #1 Complete a Skills Inventory
People tend to lose sight of their skills and their talents. I want to offer you a tip to help unlock that thinking and open you up to all the ways that you're talented.
If you take out a blank piece of paper or you're on your computer and you start to write a resume, you're probably going to get blocked. So a step before doing that is the skills inventory.
On the left-hand side document all of the tasks that you do in your current or your past jobs.
These don't even have to be job related! Just think of all the tasks that you do in a day or a week or even a month and list them on the left. Then, on the right side, list all the skills and knowledge that are related to that task.
For example, I write blog posts. Some of the skills and knowledge that I need to write that blog post are:
- I need to be able to write reasonably well.
- I need to know what's called SEO at a basic level.
- I need to know how to optimize photos, which is really just making the photos the right file size.
And this goes on and on. You're simply listing all the tasks and then you're listing factually all the things you need to do or know to be able to produce that task.
Now, what that's going to do is give you a nice big list of things to choose from when you go to write your resume.
Here's a tip if you feel stuck, just use old job descriptions. If you have them around, see if you got any in some files, pull them out and use those. That's another way to move past the mental block.
Tip #2 Write a Summary Statement
Tip number two is to write a summary statement. A summary statement is how you describe yourself at the top of your resume. Now, some people choose to call that an objective or an objective statement. Here's an example of an objective statement:
“Seeking a remote full or part-time position that will enable me to further enhance my skills obtained during the course of my career.”
In my opinion, it's not very strong because it doesn’t talk about the value you provide to a potential employer.
What you want to do instead is write what's called a summary statement, and this is something that tells the person reviewing your resume, who you are, what you do, what you know, how you contribute value, et cetera.
Here’s my summary statement:
“Corporate trainer, coach, and project manager with 20 years experience in all methods of content development and delivery.”
Can you see the difference between the objective statement above in my summary statement below? Of course I could write another sentence or two, but I want to keep this example short and simple. I'm explaining my years of experience, what I know and what I can do. This is a much stronger statement to put on a resume. That is something that will catch somebody's eye, as opposed to the objective statement above which won't go very far in the resume process.
Tip #3 Use Keywords Strategically
Tip number three is to use keywords in your resume. This tip is specifically designed to help you get your resume past the robots that review your resume. This is also known as an applicant tracking system or “bots”. This is where your resume goes if you're applying to a large company or corporation.
Any time you're applying to jobs on the internet, often your resumes are going first through a system, and that system is looking for keywords on your resume to make sure that your experience matches the job description that you're looking at. This is why keywords are so important.
Here's an example of my job history, and let's pretend for a minute that I'm applying for a training project manager role. Let's also pretend that it's remote. Meaning I want to work wherever I want.
I've highlighted some keywords that communicate to the bots and HR or the hiring manager that I have the right experience. Now, I don't have project manager in this background because in this example, I'm assuming that I'm stepping up into a job title that maybe I haven't done before, but I am using keywords like:
- project lead
- Remote teams
- Created programs
- Senior leaders
- Project benefits
- Manage project teams
- Learning and development.
This is a way to use keywords to tell a story.
Now you can use keywords in all sorts of ways. For example, if you look at the bullet points above, I talk about working on projects for several remote teams. I use the word remote specifically to communicate that I have worked remotely before, and that I’m capable of doing it again. This is how you sprinkle keywords into your resume again, so that the bots pick these keywords up and keep your resume moving through the system.
It also communicates to the person looking at your resume that you are a really good candidate that they should take a look at. Keywords are very powerful.
But don’t get carried away and start “keyword stuffing”. Keyword stuffing is where you take the job description and you're almost rewriting your resume to match it word for word. Don't do that because the bots are going to kick that out of the system.
It also shows that you really aren't qualified for the job. You're just simply copying a job description. So be creative about it.
I told you I would give you three tips, but I want to give you one more bonus tip.
Bonus Tip: Know your value.
I am the founder of Remote Work School where I teach and coach pre-retirees how to get remote work so they can have income to enjoy their flexible lifestyle. One of the trends that I see with students is that they're always undervaluing their skills. They feel like they don't have enough skills to demand the salary that they want, or they feel a little rusty.
I want you to know that you are more skilled than you think you are! It's just a matter of doing that skills inventory to see your skills all on paper.
You have something to offer and probably multiple things. People, especially as you grow older and wiser, have multiple skill sets. Again, it's a matter of identifying them and communicating them so that you know how to position yourself.
You already have what it takes to succeed. I know that because you're taking the time to read this and invest in yourself. And if you're already doing that, then I think you have what it takes to get a remote job.
Now that you have a skill set list, a summary statement and a list of keywords, it’s time to do an exploratory job search. I always recommend dipping a toe in to explore jobs before completing your resume, so that you have some example jobs to use when finishing your resume.
For more information to help you with your remote work search click here to get the free Remote Work Training.