Make flexible work a feature of your CV

Employers are going to be on the look out for candidates that can adapt to new flexible ways of working

CV tips

 

Remote working has been the norm for the last few months. And it looks like it’ll be a big part of the work experience going forward.

With fierce competition also likely to be a feature of the jobs market in the immediate future, selling any previous experience of remote working on your CV is going to help.

Here’s some advice on how to sell what has suddenly become a particularly marketable skill on your resume.

Put it at the top

If you’re putting bullet points summarising your qualifications then chuck remote working in there.

This bit of your CV ought to be tailored to the role you’re applying for. But since many roles will now involve some aspect of remote working, or could do if there’s a need for further lockdowns, remote working is going to be a key qualification for most jobs.

For example, if you were applying for my job editing workingdads.co.uk (please don’t), your CV might look something like this:

  • 20 years experience as a journalist
  • Written for a range of outlets and audiences
  • Works from home 100% of the time since 2016

Home is a location

Often the ‘previous employment’ section on a resume includes the employer’s address.

You can still include that if you want but state prominently, ideally in the first line, that the work was done remotely.  Alternatively just put ‘homeworking’ or something similar as the address for any jobs that didn’t involve going to a workplace.

Give remote work it’s own section

If the job you’re applying for explicitly involves remote working then give your experience of it more prominence. Create a new section under a title like ‘remote work experience’ and stick that at the top of your experience. Many employers are still getting to grips with the practicalities of remote work. If they can see that you’ve been a success at it, and other bosses have trusted you to work from home they’ll feel more confident about taking you on.

Zoom skills

We’ve all had to get to grips with the tech since the spring. But while some people have only progressed as far as changing the background on a Zoom call employers are going to be impressed by a candidate that has experience or even expertise in the whole range. So if you’ve mastered Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Skype and Dropbox shout about it on your CV

Include it in your work history descriptions

A good CV details your previous responsibilities and achievements. Many candidates will be familiar with the ‘STAR’ approach in which you set out the Situation, Task, Action, Result. But location ought to be in the mix now too. If you worked from home and handled tons of customer inquiries via phone and website or kept up your record of smashing targets but did so from your kitchen talk that bit up.

There’s going to be quite a few STAR answers in which the situation was a pandemic and the task was adapting to that, think about how you can make yours stand out.

Skills

Remote jobs require slightly different skills. Of courses you’ve still got to be an excellent communicator or target driven sales executive. But if you can work in some particular remote working skills that’s even better. Stuff like innovation when using chat platforms like Slack, or showing how you took a collaborative project forward despite having to work remotely.

What if you haven’t worked remotely before?

Seems unlikely given the last three months but if this is you then give it some hard thought before writing yourself off as tied to the office environment. If you previously took work home with you occasionally that’s remote working. Did you have to stay home when a child was off school sick? That might have been a pain at the time, now it’s valuable experience.

And if you haven’t homeworking experience, have you worked with someone who was a bit more flexible? Or even a co-worker in a different country and different time zone? How you interacted with them or managed them required skills that are valuable in the new normal.

Freelance work and side hustles also require motivation, organisation, remote communication – basically all the skills that go with remote working.

Take time to think about what you do and how you do it, how you’ve adapted since coronavirus struck and you’ll likely find you’ve all the skills to be a successful remote employee. Make sure your CV reflects that.





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