I don’t believe much in resume. I wrote mine with the minimum of fuss and thankfully still managed to land jobs in brag-worthy companies (Google… cough… Google).
But that’s only probably because, in my experience, when it comes to remote jobs, your portfolio or sample work matters more than a copy of your resume.
Resumes are important but it’s not the only way you can get your foot in the door of companies looking to hire remote workers. And this is the part where I also say, unless you’re applying for knowledge or training-sensitive jobs, your education is even less important than having a resume.
If you’re just starting a homebased career though, and you don’t have a portfolio yet, your resume is one of the best tools you can use to get a homebased recruiter to notice you.
That said, here are 4 things recruiters look for in resumes:
1. Skill set
Homebased recruiters and recruiters, in general, do not spend forever perusing resumes. So, be as precise as possible when listing down your skills.
Instead of saying you have “exceptional sales skills,” say you have “exceptional customer relationship management skills” and then include CRM software that you’re familiar with.
Alternatively, you can simply list down the software and web tools you know, if your resume is formatted in a way where only hard skills are listed down and none of soft skills like “great interpersonal skills,” or “strong multi-tasking ability.”
So, if you’re in customer service, simply write “Freshsales CRM,” or “Zoho CRM.”
Hard skills matter a lot in homebased jobs because it’s the best way you can demonstrate your skills and qualifications. You may have great interpersonal skill but that will not matter if the job does not require it– and most of the time, it doesn’t.
For a data encoding position for example, you only have to be good in typing: typing correctly and typing fast. Which brings me to the next thing homebased recruiters look for in resumes.
As in Skillset, keywords are important when putting down your qualifications.
Keep in mind that without ample motivation to read through every single detail of every resume, recruiters will just use a software or a computer tool to scan your resume against keywords they have for the candidate they’re looking for.
The same is true on job sites where you have put in your skills in your profile. Keywords matter.
So be sure to use keyword-rich description of your qualifications. So if you’re keen on becoming a writer, instead of just writing “Strong writing skills,” include keywords like, “SEO” (for Search Engine Optimized), “WordPress writer” or “Social Media” if you’re qualified or experienced in writing posts for Facebook, Twitter, etc. In fact, write down “Facebook” and “Twitter” too.
Again, unless the employer is particular about educational degrees, education doesn’t weigh much.
But just because it doesn’t, doesn’t mean you can’t include it. You worked hard for that degree so put it in there!
If you’re still studying, or if you stopped and weren’t able to finish, you’d be glad to know that homebased opportunities are generally equal-opportunity jobs. You can still get hired and earn money from home.
3. Work Succession
Recruiters want to see a succession of jobs without big time gaps in between declaring the time you’re been idle doing nothing.
So if you have big gaps in between jobs, try to fill it with activities you’ve been busy with during that time.
Perhaps you took a martial arts training or music lessons, or whatever. Put it all in. Not because you’ll get extra points for knowing how to kick like a badass or create a musical composition complete with scores for a graphic artist position, but because “idle” is NOT a good thing.
Please note that the length of time you’ve been with a company, unless it’s a contractual position, speaks of good work values too.
So if you have a succession of four jobs in only one year, I’d think twice of putting that all in.
What you can do, perhaps, is group your jobs according to their types and use the “type” (e.g. customer service) as a heading instead, combine all the years you’ve been in those similar jobs and say “2016-2019” if those are the years covered, and then just bullet list the companies down.
That should put the focus on your experience and not the time you’ve been jumping in and out of different companies.
4. Relevant Experience
Include all the relevant experience for the position you’re applying for. If in your previous job, for example, part of your role as an Admin Asst includes doing transcription and you wish to apply for a transcriptionist post, then be sure to include that.
If you have a varied experience, consider making several versions of your resume, each one highlighting only the qualifications needed for a certain job. There is no rule that says you can only have one resume.
Last but not least, it should go without saying that your resume should be free from typos and grammatical errors, particularly if you’re applying for a writer post.