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The skills may stay the same but how you present them when applying for a job that involves working from home is vital.
With any job you’ve got to tailor your skills to each application. How you present your CV can be key.
And although a job might appear to require the same abilities whether you’re doing it in an office or working from home you may still need to sell yourself differently.
Andrew Fennell, founder of StandOutCV, a website full of advice on putting together the best CV you can, offers his tips on tweaking your resume if you’re remote working.
Remote working is becoming increasingly popular amongst professionals, particularly those who want the flexibility to fit their work-life around their family. If this sounds familiar, you may be considering finding yourself a remote role, or at least a job that allows you to work from home most of the time.
In order to do this, you need to create a strong CV that proves you’ve got what it takes to work remotely. There are some very specific skills that employers will be looking for in a remote employee, so you need to make sure that you’re ticking all the right boxes.
While the required hard skills will inevitably vary from role to role, remote workers need to have a variety of other characteristics and soft skills in order to get the job done right:
When you work remotely, self-motivation is a must. After all, when you go to the office it’s for one thing – to work! But remote locations can be less formal and more distracting, particularly if you’re working from home.
As such, employers will be keen to see that you’ve got the drive to keep yourself motivated and to complete your work, regardless of location.
How to prove it: If you’ve worked remotely or on a freelance basis before, highlight this experience, along with the results of your work, in your CV. This will help to exhibit the level of accountability and self-motivation required. Otherwise, make a point of providing examples of times in previous, non-remote roles, that you’ve worked independently.
The flexibility of remote working is a huge perk, as you can often pick and choose your hours to suit your needs and lifestyle.
With that said, when you’re not bound by the confines of the traditional 9-5, you need to be good at managing your time effectively. After all, you still have emails to reply to, progress to make and deadlines to meet.
Therefore, recruiters will be looking for a clear indication that you’re able to manage your time effectively.
How to prove it: Give clear examples of times that you’ve handled multiple responsibilities, juggled numerous projects and/or met demanding deadlines.
Whether you prefer to use email, phone or video to speak to your clients or employer, strong communication skills are one of the most important traits of a remote worker.
Bad communication skills can waste time, lead to mistakes and cause frustration amongst a team of remote workers – so it’s vital to show that you’re able to communicate clearly and succinctly.
How to prove it: Prove you’re able to come across fluidly on paper by writing a flawless CV and cover letter. Make sure any email correspondence you have with a potential employer is prompt, well-written and succinct. Double check that your camera and mic are in good order before any video interviews.
Depending on the nature of your role, there will be different digital skills that you need to possess. That said, virtually every remote position relies on technology and will therefore require you to possess some digital know-how and be fairly tech-savvy.
How to prove it: Look over the job description to see if the employer has listed any platforms or systems in particular – then, refer to your experience using them in your CV. For example, an employer might ask that you know how to use Slack or Google Sheets. If so, be sure to mention these in your application, by including them in your core skills list as well as giving tangible examples of their use within previous roles or noting down any digital certifications you’ve gained.
Remote working is one of the most flexible forms of working out there – but it often requires you to be flexible, too.
Sometimes, employers or clients might get in touch, within reason, to ask for last minute changes or additional work. Additionally, if you’re working with a remote team positioned all over the world, you might need to schedule meetings to cater to other time zones.
By showing that you’re flexible and adaptable in your CV, you’ll be far employable for remote roles.
How to prove it: Again, if you’ve already worked with an international remote team, make sure to highlight this experience and provide examples of your flexibility within the role. If this will be your first remote role, demonstrate situations within non-remote roles that you adapted to change and new ways of working, quickly and easily.
By incorporating the essential remote working skills above, as well as making use of the skills listed in the role description, you’ll be able to create a CV which proves you’d make a reliable and successful remote worker. If you pair your CV with a punchy and compelling cover letter, you’ll be well on your way to landing a great remote role!
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.