No-fail tips for a kickass work from home resume
Most work from home jobs don’t fly you out to meet the team. Often, there isn’t a face to face interview. Because of this, a lot of remote workforce companies put a lot of emphasis on how you present yourself virtually from the get-go. This includes your application, every email correspondence, every phone call and every video conference. But before you get that far you need to usually need to pass the resume test and prove your worth.
Remember what it’s about
I’m not going to go all job coach here and tell you how to craft the perfect resume. IMO, resumes stink and I only use them as a crib notes for new hires. Yet, the resume and the email it came with is almost always the first time a company gets to see who you are. Make it count. Remember that your resume is for a telecommute position. Make sure that’s clear at the very top. Create a paragraph or bullet pointed list right at the top and tell the employer why you are not only the best candidate but the best telecommute candidate. Not everyone can work remotely and remote workforce companies are keenly aware of it. If you have previous work from home experience, tell them that. Don’t make them hunt for it. They won’t.
Don’t tell me about your elderly dog
You may want to work from home because you need to spend time with your elderly dog who must be carried outside to go pee. That’s very noble of you and I applaud your dedication. But, whatever you do, don’t put that in your cover letter, email, resume or mention it at any time! Don’t talk about how you want to stay home with your kids or how you want to hit the road right after you are hired and use a satellite phone to do your work. All of this may be true but it’s not going to impress a remote team manager. In fact, each tangential reason you give is inching their finger toward the email delete button. If you are going to play nurse to your dog or couch surf across the country while working, you will do it in a way that doesn’t interfere with your job, therefore you shouldn’t mention it.
Tell me why I can trust you
When you work from home, you need to be a driven self-starter. If you only work when you think people are looking, you need to creep back to your cubicle. Does your resume clearly show how independently you can work or does it show someone who has fallen into the learned helplessness (video embedded below) trap? Did you create or promote solutions without being asked? Highlight them. Don’t have any examples, then at least say you can manage your time and avoid distractions. If you really are, then you will not only be convincing on paper but convincing during the interview as well.
This last tip extends past the resume. Before you submit your resume, re-read the job posting again. Does it say to include a cover letter? Did you write one? [Read: The surprisingly stupid (and offensive) reasons you failed to land that work from home job (opens in new tab)] Did it ask for anything else like references? If you don’t include what it job posting asks for, many employers will just delete your email. It may sound harsh, but I do it. I have good reasons for requiring certain documentation. I also make it very clear that each item is required. If you fail to include any of them, you are demonstrating an inability to follow instructions or showing me that the job wasn’t that important to you. If you just fired off a resume and noticed afterwards that the job posting said resume and cover letter, send the complete information in a new email ASAP as if it were your first email. It might not be too late.
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