How to Show Remote Work Experience on Your Resume
With the pandemic forcing the layoffs and furloughs of millions of people to date, many qualified and dedicated professionals are on the hunt for a new job. While some grocery stores and big box chains are hiring, you may decide to pursue a work-from-home job until the economy returns to normal. Or, you may decide that it’s the best permanent fit for you moving forward.
Either way, the ability to work remotely is a skill in and of itself. Showcasing a track record of success and remote work skills boosts employment prospects for work-from-home employment opportunities. Of course, not everyone has worked a remote job before. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t be a productive and successful remote employee. You just have to know what skills companies want for remote jobs and how to point them out to potential employers.
So, how do you properly show your remote work experience on a resume? Here are some tips to help you showcase this information.
What Employers Want to Know About Your Remote Work Experience
Not every employer hiring for a remote job will require that candidates have remote work experience. But, having previous experience can signal to an employer that you are self-motivated and able to work on your own. It may provide some comfort that you won’t struggle with working from home if you’ve done it before.
Betsy Andrews, a career coach at FlexJobs, echoes this: “While remote-friendly employers will consider an applicant that has never worked remotely before, it’s always a good idea for an applicant that has remote experience to highlight this in their resume as it may ‘give them a leg up.’ Reflecting this experience catches an employer’s attention because it shows that an applicant possesses self-initiative as well as the communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and time and task management that is paramount within a remote environment.”
Employers want to see that you’ve been successful and accomplished while working remotely. They may want to know if you were the sole remote worker in a previous role, or if the whole company worked remotely. And they may also be curious about what your home office setup is like, but that information can be conveyed in an interview.
Here are some tips on how to weave your remote work experience into your resume.
How to Show Remote Work Experience on a Resume
In Your Summary of Qualifications
Your summary of qualifications goes at the top of your resume and is the very first thing a hiring manager will see. Typically done in a bullet point format, a qualifications summary provides a brief overview of your professional experience, as it relates to the job you’re applying for.
This could be a great spot to make it clear that you have remote work experience. For example, if you’re seeking a remote writing job, your summary could look something like this:
- Over 5 years of writing experience
- 3 years’ experience working from home 100% of the time
- Expertise in technical writing (user manuals, SOPs, and RFPs)
- Wrote 100+ articles for website with X readers per month
By placing your remote work experience here, the recruiter will see right off the bat that you have previous experience with working independently from a home office.
Add It to the Location Section
“Previous Employment” entries on a resume typically include the employer’s location as part of the standard information. However, you can slightly shift the setup to make it known that you performed the work remotely.
Lavie Margolin, the author of Mastering the Job Interview, suggests using one of these three ways to state your remote work experience on your resume:
- List the organization’s corporate location when using a city/state format, but note that the work is performed remotely in the first sentence or bullet point.
- Skip city/state in the formatting and note that it is work that is performed remotely in the first sentence.
- List “Remote Work” in place of city/state.
Create a New Section
Another option is to separate virtual jobs into their own “Remote Work Experience” section. Directly seeing a list of other companies that have trusted you to telecommute builds a hiring manager’s confidence. Just be sure you don’t distract from your best qualifications by inadvertently hiding some relevant non-remote experience in a lower section.
The FlexJobs career coaching team also recommends adding a “Technology Skills” section that can highlight any remote work tools you know how to use. For example:
Remote collaboration tools: Zoom, Google Chat, Hangouts, GoToMeeting, SharePoint, GoToWebinar, Dropbox
Document Software: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), Google Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.)
Additional: Salesforce, Cisco Catalyst, vSphere
Include It in Work History Descriptions
Good resumes show rather than tell. As you discuss your past job responsibilities and accomplishments, deliberately detail how they were performed off-site.
For instance, an effective presentation of a customer service position might read something like, “Attended to 50+ customer inquiries each day through the company’s website from a dedicated home office with a high-speed internet connection.”
Or, for a sales role, perhaps include a statement such as, “Led the sales team in converting inbound leads to billable accounts, all in a remote setting.”
Build It into the “Skills” Section
Being a self-starter, an excellent communicator, or an outstanding manager of time are all great qualities to present for an array of jobs. But when the work is being performed remotely, displaying your prowess in certain areas can make all the difference.
When discussing your skills, look at how they particularly fit into the remote environment. Good communicators, for instance, may want to mention their comfort using video conferencing, chat platforms, and instant messaging to stay in touch with others on the remote team. Strong collaborators could talk about using shared documents and daily check-ins to accomplish company goals while working off-site.
If You Haven’t Worked Remotely Before
Even if you haven’t held a remote position before, you may be able to brainstorm times when you worked at home. Suggests Andrews, “Many job seekers don’t realize that they have remote experience because they’re looking at it from a different lens than an employer would. Good questions to ask themselves are: ‘Do I consistently work from home?’ and ‘Do I regularly bring work home to complete outside of regular office hours?’ (projects/collaborate with team members/communicate with customers/etc.).”
Even if you’ve never worked at home before, you’ve probably worked with co-workers and clients that live somewhere else. Think about your interactions with them and mine those for examples of your remote skills.
How do you manage communications with clients and coworkers when there’s a three-hour time difference? Do you have to coordinate live meetings across multiple time zones? How do you collaborate on projects and manage a crisis when everyone is scattered around the globe? Talk about your success in these areas and make sure to highlight how you accomplished your goals or solved the problems.
If you truly haven’t worked with anyone outside your office, that doesn’t mean you don’t have the necessary skill set to be a successful remote employee. Work-from-home jobs require candidates to have strong communication skills, the ability to work independently and avoid distractions, organizational skills, and computer skills, for example.
So, find examples in your work that demonstrate that you have these skills. For example, do you maintain a shared spreadsheet that tracks progress on projects? Have you done any freelance work that shows how you proactively communicate with clients or how you manage yourself and your deadlines?
Taking some time to dig deep and think about what you do and how you do it can reveal that you have all the skills you need to be a fantastic remote employee. You just need to reflect on how to sell those skills.
Get Remote Resume Help from a Career Coach
Remember that your resume is just the start for presenting yourself as a solid candidate for a remote position. Continue to reinforce your credentials through a tailored cover letter and a stellar interview that lets employers know you’ll be a valuable addition to the staff from any location.
To get help with updating your resume or preparing for a remote job interview, consider meeting with a FlexJobs career coach. If you’re a FlexJobs member, you’ll have access to discounted coaching sessions and resume reviews. Our expert coaches can help you show your remote work experience on your resume and ultimately help you land the job.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
This is a version of an article that was originally published on November 5, 2013 and updated on March 10, 2019.
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Beth Braccio Hering, Writer
Beth Braccio Hering has been a freelance writer for 20 years. In addition to extensive contributions to various Encyclopaedia Britannica products, her work has been published by outlets such as CareerBuilder, Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter, Walt Disney Internet Group, and…Read More >
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