Wi-fi, laptops, exciting startups and a new-found emphasis on work-life balance have paved the way for a generation of remote workers. Technology has made it possible to work from anywhere, at any time, and therefore we are no longer bound by the confines of a 9-5 working day and our office cubicles.
There are several reasons that remote work has become so popular. Some want to make money as they travel, others want to be able to make their job fit around their family, and some simply want to avoid a costly commute.
Whatever your reasons for going remote, as with any job you need to make sure that you’ve created a strong application if you hope to land the role. So whether you’re looking for a new job so that you can work from home, from your favourite coffee shop or from a Caribbean island, we’ve got you covered! Below is the ultimate guide to writing a standout remote resume:
1. Choose the right structure and format
The format of your remote CV will be much the same as any regular one. It should be no longer than two pages of A4 – even better if you can fit it on one! It should also use short and snappy paragraphs, sub-headings and bullet points to break up the information.
But as with all CVs, the structure may vary slightly. When looking for a remote role, you’re going to want to focus on your skills, in particular, the soft skills that will help you to excel in a remote position. As such, it’s a good idea to structure your resume as follows:
- Contact details
- Personal profile
- Key skills
- Achievements – optional but recommended
- Employment history
- Hobbies and interests – optional
To help you get a better understanding of what you need to include in these sections, we’re going to look at each of these in more detail below.
2. Start with your contact details
Your contact details always go at the top of your CV. You want to make it as easy as possible for the recruiter or employer to get in contact with you, so make sure these are clearly displayed.
You should include your name, email address and phone number. You can provide your location if you want, but as you’re applying for a remote role this isn’t a necessity.
3. Create a killer personal profile
Other than your contact details, your personal profile is the first thing the recruiter is going to read, and it is one of the most important parts of your CV. Your personal profile should be just a few sentences to introduce yourself and highlight your key skills, qualifications and experience.
You might also want to add that you’re looking for an exciting remote position and be sure to mention if you’ve worked remotely before. Employers will be more confident in your abilities to work remotely if you’ve done so in the past.
This section doesn’t need to be long, but it needs to entice the recruiter and convince them to read the rest of your CV – so it needs to be good! Usually around 50-150 words is enough, but it certainly shouldn’t be any longer than 200 words.
4. List your key skills and achievements
Your key skills section needs to highlight a mixture of your soft and hard skills. When you’re applying for a remote role the employer will assume to a certain extent that you have the ability to do the work. What we mean is that if you’re applying to a role that involves technical skills like coding or data analysis, that you have the skills to be able to do this.
So, while it is a good idea to list your hard skills, particularly those that are outlined on the job description, you should also look to emphasize your soft skills whilst writing your CV. For remote roles, it’s likely that the employer will be looking for things like good communication, organization, time-management, flexibility and self-motivation.
While it’s all well and good listing these skills, you also need to show how you’ve actually applied them in the past. This is where your achievements section comes in. By using facts and figures, you can show how you’ve made a real impact and prove your skillset to employers.
For example, ‘By creating keyword optimized content for my client, I was able to increase traffic to their website by 33% which led to an 18% increase in sales’.
5. Add your employment history
Next, you need to add your employment history, including any volunteering or work experience you’ve done in the past. This should be in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent role first.
Only list experience that is relevant to the role you’re applying for, unless you don’t have any – in which case, you need to highlight your transferable skills from other positions.
Underneath each role title, you should list the dates of employment and a brief outline of the role, followed by add a responsibilities and key achievements section. This way you can outline not only your daily responsibilities, but how these helped contribute towards the success of the company.
If you’ve had remote roles in the past, be sure to shout about these and emphasize how you were able to manage yourself and your workload to deliver on time.
6. Follow with your education
After your employment section comes your education. Again, this should be in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent qualification at the top.
List everything from degrees down to GCSEs (if you’ve got the space), adding your grades and the subjects you studied. At this stage, you might also want to go into more detail about any relevant modules or vocational qualifications you’ve done that are helpful to the role.
7. Consider adding your hobbies and interests
Finally, your hobbies and interests section is optional and you only need to add this if you don’t have much experience or your hobbies are really relevant to the role you’re applying for. For example, writing for your own blog or editing your own photos on Photoshop are good hobbies to add.
However, you don’t need to include this only to say you love socializing, reading books and listening to music as they won’t add any value to your application. Including this section unnecessarily will take up vital space that could be used to prove why you’re great for the role.
Guest post by Andrew Fennell, the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.