Ready to ditch the office cubicle? Here's how to get your CV ready for remote jobs.
In the age of startups, laptops and WiFi on every corner, it's more possible than ever before to ditch the traditional nine-to-five grind for a remote working solution. Professionals across a broad range of industries are leveraging their unique skill sets to accommodate a work-from-anywhere lifestyle. Whether you're a freelance writer, designer, coach, executive assistant, consultant or bookkeeper, you may already be thinking about making the switch. But before you start decorating your home office, you need to ensure your CV is in the right shape.
Tailoring your CV to attract remote positions or freelance work is a little different to marking up a traditional CV. You need to make sure you're highlighting the right skills that HR managers will be looking for in a remote employee. Therefore, if you're thinking about trading in your daily commute, here's everything you need to know about which skills to highlight on your CV and how to showcase them for success.
Which skills are employers looking for in a remote employee?
Time management: Employers will be looking for a candidate who adheres to deadlines and has proven time-management skills. Showcase your ability to juggle multiple priorities and meet deadlines by including an example of this in your work history. Highlight a specific project or task that required you to stick to a tight deadline and then emphasise the results of that project. Tell them how you succeeded.
Flexibility: Working remotely involves a great deal of flexibility, for better or worse. You may be required to work unusual hours or participate in teleconferences or offsite meetings, or you may be assigned tasks that require you to think outside the box. Therefore, employers will be looking to see how you've been flexible in past roles on your CV.
Good communication skills: When you work remotely, it eradicates face-to-face communication in most circumstances. Therefore, communication streams will be reliant on email, phone and other digital channels. An HR manager will be looking for a candidate who can communicate clearly and effectively and who responds to emails or requests in a timely manner. Be sure to include this on your CV.
Ability to work autonomously: In order to successfully work remotely, you need to be self-motivated. You won't have colleagues or a manager sitting next to you to keep you in check ‒ it's all on you. Therefore, use your CV to demonstrate situations or projects in previous roles where you've had to self-manage and work autonomously.
Tech-savviness: If you're working remotely, you'll most likely be using a range of systems and software to help manage your workflow. On top of this, you won't have an IT department to run to when your laptop stops working. If you don't feel confident in your technical skills, sign up for an online course or a short course designed to improve your technical abilities and include it on your CV. It will show an HR manager that you're technically adept to do the job remotely.
How do you highlight the skills on your CV that will help you land a remote job?
There are three main sections on your CV where an employer will be looking for these remote-relevant skills: your professional summary, your skills/qualifications section and your work history. Your professional summary (also known as a personal statement on your CV) is where you select your absolute best and most relevant skills and qualifications and show them off. Think of it as your elevator pitch: What do you want your potential future employer to know about you? Put it here first.
The next section is for your skills and qualifications. This is where you list all the (relevant) abilities in your arsenal, keeping it tailored to the job at hand. Keep in mind, the company could be using an applicant tracking system (ATS), so this is a good section to include keywords from the job description as well.
The last section is your work history. This is where the HR manager wants to see your skills in action. Use this section to demonstrate how you've used your remote-relevant skills in previous roles and what benefits or successes you've achieved by doing so.
When applying for remote working roles, don't forget to utilise the full potential of your cover letter. With limited space, you may not be able to say everything you want to say on your CV. However, you may be able to say it in your cover letter. Make a strong first impression by showcasing your best qualities in your cover letter and remember to demonstrate how they will help you as a remote employee.
Try not to get disheartened by feeling like you need to completely rewrite your CV when you're ready to make the switch to remote work. It doesn't have to be a complete overhaul ‒ just some strategic tweaks and additions to satisfy the needs of an HR manager. Place some extra emphasis on your most remote-relevant skills, and you'll be working from that home office in no time.
Not sure if your CV paints you as remote-ready? Feedback from a free CV critique will tell you where you stand. Submit your CV here.