Top Skills to Include in Your Resume as a Remote Based Professional

When it comes to remote working, there are certain qualities that as a professional become even more critical and that should be better highlighted in your resume to improve your chances of getting an interview and ultimately, getting hired.

What are these top skills to include and how to do it? How do you set up your intro for a slam dunk and job offer?remote job resume / cv

What are soft and hard skills?

Let’s start by understanding the different type of skills

Hard skills

Your resume should include soft skills and hard skills. Hard skills are the specific skills you need to do your specific job, the ones that you need to train for, whether that’s at school, on the job, or at a workshop or course: the knowledge of a programming language or certain tools, etc.

In the case of hard skills it’s important to describe if you have a certification or degree to prove that you have this knowledge, including where you have learned them.

However, if you’re applying for a certain position, it’s safe to assume that you have the necessary skills to do that job.

For example, remote workers applying for a graphic design job should know how to design and use design tools like Illustrator. Knowing this skill will only put you on the same level as everyone else. It will not elevate you since it’s the bare minimum. This is where soft skills come into play and why they’re so important.

SEO consultant Phil Drinkwater says:

“I look beyond skills towards the qualities and values that I can discern from a cv. Skills are important of course, but my years in business has shown me that someone less skilled and more humble and ethical, more creative and willing to learn, will win for me.”

Soft skills

Soft skills have the power to set you apart from your competitors. These can make or break your resume. It’s the difference between getting a callback and having your resume simply be one of a dozen in a pile.

Soft skills are the traits that affect the way you work, whether independently or as part of a team. They are highly valued because although they can be taught, they are more connected with the personality and character of the person.

Michelle Robbins, remote based VP of Product Innovation at Aimclear says:

“If the CV demonstrates intelligence, curiosity, diversity of experience, and growth throughout a person’s career, that’s worth far more than a list of skills/languages/platforms. A smart person can learn anything – but you can’t teach someone to be smart.”

There are also certain soft skills that become even more critical due to the nature of remote work and become fundamental to show in case you have them, adding them also as key traits in a skills section at the top of your resume.

What are your soft skills, and how to include them?

The best way to identify your skills is to think back to your previous work or learning experiences. What would your colleagues, boss or teachers list as your standout traits? Have you ever received awards for excelling in a specific area? What talents have helped you achieve success?

1.   Active Listening

What’s the difference between passive and active listeners? Most people are passive listeners who respond to verbal and nonverbal cues automatically. Active listening is a skill you need to work on and develop. It is the act of paying attention to the words, breaking down the message, and responding thoughtfully. Active listeners are more likely to follow guidelines and contribute effectively.

How to include it:

To show your potential employer you’re an active listener, pay close attention to the job listing. Job ads come with a list of skills the company wants. When a manager reviews your resume, they often scan through it, looking for the keywords. By highlighting them in your resume, you make your application relevant and show that you’re paying attention.

This is something Gisele Navarro, from Neomam, a remote based link building agency, mentions:

“The capacity to follow clear guidelines. Our processes are documented and need to be followed by all. This is not something we can see in a CV so what we do is ask for a specific way in which that CV needs to be delivered. This weeds out people who didn’t pay enough attention.”

2.   Effective communication

As a remote worker, you need to have great communication skills. Without physical cues and reactions, there is more room for confusion. This issue is especially common in remote work settings where many discussions are over text, emails, or phone calls.

How to include it:

While mentioning your strong communication skills, try to be as specific as possible. If your job involves writing effective emails, use terms like report writing or copywriting. And if you’re dealing with clients, talk about your public speaking skills. You can even highlight a part-time retail job. Even though this does not relate directly to the post you’re applying for, it backs up a soft skill you’ve mentioned.

Chris Lake, remote based Head of Marketing at Vestd says:

“Experience and attitude first. But then… it’s all about the comms. The quality and clarity of the writing. The formatting. The intro note. The tone of voice. The attention to detail. Strong communications skills are so important for remote work.”

3.   Time management

Time management critical for remote working. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to lose track of time. Since you don’t have to go to an office, you’re responsible for setting your own schedule. That means coffee breaks, food breaks, or even something as simple as getting up on time is all on you.

If you cannot separate your personal life from your work life, you can end up whether missing deadlines or over-working.

How to include it:

The ability to manage your time well, on your own, is a valuable skill for a remote worker. Highlight if you have any prior remote working or learning experience, no matter the field.

Describe how you’ve been able to set your own professional goals and organize your day to day to develop tasks on time and under the specified deadline. Include recommendations from previous bosses or co-workers describing this particular trait. If you’ve also done any time or productivity management training in the past, it’s important to mention it.

4.   Problem-solving

Problem-solving is a valuable skill for any industry, but especially for remote workers. It is the ability to proactively find effective solutions to daily problems. Most people rely on outside help to fix an issue. But, when you’re working remotely, you don’t have the constant supervision of an office. So, you need to show that you can work independently.

How to include it:

Show potential employers that you can find answers to questions yourself, even in challenging scenarios. First, take note of your research skills. Then, add any past experience of working in a high-pressure or complex environment, describing how you navigated through it to find the needed solutions in an assertive way. If you can, include testimonials or recommendations of previous supervisors mentioning this trait.

Gianna Brachetti-Truskawa says:

“I am trying to figure out if anything hints at them having taken responsibility for something, doesn’t have to be in their previous job.”

Praveen Sharma also mentions its importance:

“..it’s hard to find this information in resume, but normally I try look for analytical and problem solving skills.”

5.   Proactivity

Most people can follow the textbook and do what they’re told. If you want to stand out, you need to show that you can also be proactive when finding solutions and be creative, that you can have creative approaches and are also willing to go the extra mile.

How to include it:

Highlight your ability to take initiative and find creative solutions to problems and adapt to situations. You can do this by adding an instance where you did something out of your own initiative, whether to achieve a goal in a previous work or learning experience.

David Iwanow says he pays special attention to this characteristic:

“Examples of past situations they were a self starter… Have taught themselves something related to their career such as Excel pivot tables, regex, SQL even if basic…”

Hamlet Batista, CEO of RankSense, remote based SEO tool and consultancy says:

“You want people that are self motivated, learn fast, and meet deadlines”

6.  Dependability

Working on your own comes with a lot of responsibility. Can you handle the workload? Are you willing to take the initiative when is needed? These are the qualities companies want to see.

Building trust takes time. And you’ll have to show your bosses they can count on you to do your job after you’re hired. But, you also need to show a hint of your reliability on your resume.

How to include it:

One way managers judge this is by looking at how long you worked at previous jobs. Did you stick to a single place for a while? Or are you a job hopper? The worst thing you can do is list many different jobs in short time intervals.

When you’re crafting your resume, take care with what you put on there and the impression it gives. Only add relevant, long-term experiences while showing your commitment with your role within that organization.

Tom Baker, founder of Amazon agency Forde Baker highlights it:

“Priorities = self motivation, instinct to act, ability to follow/create process. hard to get from a CV but understanding of desire to work autonomously/take responsibility for own schedule. people who see remote as desirable, not just an aspect of the job.”

7.   Critical thinking

The ability to use logical reasoning is a must skill to have, especially in certain positions of responsibility. So, you need your resume to show that you can:

  • Break down problems to their core aspects
  • Critically isolate and analyze the issues at hand
  • Effectively solve any problem

How to include it:

You should list this in the skills section of your resume, adding past situations where you used your critical thinking ability. So, any jobs or internships where you had to deal with conflict or recurring problems. If you can, showcase recommendations that mention this trait.

8.  Attention to detail

Showing prospective employers that you pay great attention to detail is a must, especially when you’re not physically working in the same place and it becomes  even more fundamental to pay attention to instructions. It is also one of the easiest things to show on your resume if done right. Anyone who picks up details is more likely to be prone to perfection. So, an employee with this quality is likely to produce high-quality work.

How to include it:

The best way to show this skill in real-time is to tear apart the job listing. Pay close attention to all the skills and requirements the company has posted. As well as any other information available about the company online. Adapt your resume according to this information, so the person reading your resume knows you paid attention to each detail.

Geoff Jackson, founding director of remote based Clubnet Digital says:

“Tailoring an introduction to the actual role they are applying for is a great start and sharing their relevant experience.”

Conclusion

Cindy Krum, founder and director at MobileMoxie, a remote based SEO tool and consultancy says she pays special attention to a few of the previously mentioned  soft-skills when hiring remotely, in particular, if the person is:

  1. Self-starter/Self-motivated/Curious
  2. Good with variety & ambiguity – does not need a template or a training manual for everything
  3. Strong communication skills – written and verbal

If you can include these relevant soft skills in your resume you’ll have higher chances to get the remote job you apply to. Make sure you list them clearly, so they come up in any checks the company is running. Also, use past work experience to highlight the skills you’ve mentioned, as well as recommendations from past supervisors and coworkers, they add credibility to your resume.

Last but not least, although not a skill, is fundamental that if you have previous remote work experience and/or remote work is one of your values, you also highlight it.

It’s time to update your resume to improve your chances to get hired next time you apply to a remote based job!

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