How to Prepare Your Resume and LinkedIn When You’re Looking for a Remote Job
You love the work you do–but all the preparation it takes to get you onsite to do it is wearing you thin. The 1.5-hour commute each morning and evening. Getting stuck in rush hour traffic on the highway (or the subway). Rifling through clothing. Waking up an extra hour early to find the time to fit in a workout or scarf down breakfast. By the time you get home at night, you barely have time for dinner before it’s off to bed again.
Enough is enough. It’s time to find a remote job in your field.
In many ways, applying for remote jobs is similar to applying for traditional onsite work. You’ll need to do much of the same research to find exciting remote opportunities, and you’ll want to compile the same sets of materials to apply. However, when it comes to crafting the perfect resume and pulling together a LinkedIn page that remote job hiring managers won’t be able to resist, there are certain things you can do to stand out from the crowd.
Ready to snag the remote job of your dreams? Here’s what you need to know to get your application in tip-top shape.
Updating Your Resume
As a remote worker, your relationship with your employer can be drastically different–even though your goal is ultimately the same. Your future manager will likely be evaluating you based on your results and ultimate contributions to the bottom line. You’ll want your resume to serve as proof that you’re the kind of candidate who delivers. What’s more, you’ll want to make it clear that you’re speaking your prospective employer’s language: You know what they’re looking for, and you’ve got it.
That means in the remote world, there’s no one-size-fits-all resume. More likely than not, you’ll want to brace yourself for a lot of customization for each job you encounter. As you tailor your resumes, be sure to do the following.
1. Read (and Reread) the Job Description
According to Remote Work Hub, before you set down to tweak your resume for what seems like a dream remote job, you should pay close attention to the job description–and not only to check out the prerequisites. “Some employers deliberately include a small request in their job description just to keep you on your toes. For example, they might ask you to insert a specific word somewhere in your application. Or they might ask you to answer a particular question in your cover letter. This allows the hiring manager to perform the first cut of candidates. So, regardless of how beautifully crafted your resume might be, if you miss the trick you’ll fall into the reject pile.”
2. Find and Use Relevant Keywords
Often, remote companies will utilize digital applicant tracking systems (ATS) to facilitate the hiring process. As Wifly Nomads describes, these pieces of software use predefined keywords to filter applications before they’re reviewed by the hiring team, with the goal of ensuring only the strongest resumes are reviewed. “This is why it’s important to make sure keywords from a job description are also in your resume, otherwise your resume will instantly get filtered out before it even gets to a human,” the team writes, adding, “be mindful that if you use a tool such as photoshop to design/style a resume, sometimes the ATS won’t be able to pickup keywords due to the design.
Optimize Your Linkedin
When it comes to remote work, your physical address carries much less weight than your digital presence. That’s why it’s much more important that you take the time to make sure your LinkedIn is pulling its weight before you submit your first application. Here’s what you should do:
1. Craft a Powerful Summary
Your LinkedIn Summary is your opportunity to introduce yourself to potential employers. Think of it like your first introduction–a shot at showcasing your personality, professionalism, goals, values, and work ethic all in one three-to-five paragraph snippet.
According to Remote Work Hub, there’s a right way to do it. “Think of…ways to get your point across in a few words and actively demonstrate how you are these things by highlighting causes you care about or uploading examples of your creative work. The idea here is to ‘show’ not ‘tell.’” They add, “When you’re looking for job opportunities, it’s a good idea to include a call to action in your Summary section as well – tell your audience how best to get in touch with you or where they can go to get more information (eg. providing a link to your website or online portfolio of work). [And] so that your well-crafted Summary is clearly visible on your profile, be sure to position it at the top, before your work experience. Don’t make the mistake of hiding it at the bottom.”
2. Update your Career Interests (and Share Them With Recruiters)
You’ll also want to make sure you’re making the best possible use of the platform’s features by updating your career interests on LinkedIn and making it clear that you’re interested not only in work in your field, but also remote work. LinkedIn provides very clear step-by-step directions to give you a sense of just how this is done. When you’re finished, set yourself up to share your interests with recruiters so you broaden your pool of possibility and allies in the job hunt.
Remote jobs expand your world by granting you the freedom to do the work you love while living your life free from lengthy commutes or exhausting work preparation. And now more than ever, the remote workforce is expanding, and opportunities are coming in all ways, shapes and forms. By customizing your resume and LinkedIn to meet the demands of remote work recruiters, you’re sure to land the job of your dreams (with plenty of time to spare after work).
Featured image: Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters