2020 is the year of remote work. While there were already business trends towards allowing employees to work remotely, since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing remote work is a requirement instead of a choice. Employers are doing entire application processes online, they're onboarding new employees online, and they're posting more and more remote jobs.
Whether or not you were looking for remote work before, it's now likely going to be a healthy portion of your job search. What mistakes are there to avoid? Here are four large mistakes people make on remote job applications, sometimes before they know their way around a work-from-home resume. Read up on them to get ahead of the game.
Even if you've never worked in a wholly-remote job before, mentioning times you've successfully delivered from home is an important way to get ahead on any remote work application. If you've worked with a partially-remote team, been partially remote yourself or traveled for work while keeping up your normal responsibilities, make sure this language gets on your application. Flexibility is never a bad thing to mention and bringing up times you've successfully operated under telecommuting norms before demonstrates you have at least the foundational skills and experience needed to nail a remote job.
There are certain soft skills that people who successfully work remote have: They're excellent communicators, they're great with time management, they're flexible in both schedule and spirit, and they're independent problem-solvers. No matter your experience, employers are looking for evidence of these skills as a green light to interview you. While I'm not normally an advocate for listing your soft skills on your resume, you'd be remiss to leave this language out when describing your experiences in past roles. Explicit language about your postive, WFH-friendly qualities will help hiring officials imagine you as someone they can trust with the extra responsibility of being a remote employee.
Unfortunately, ATS (or application tracking systems) run the hiring game now. Many employers now use an ATS to screen resumes for key words before deciding who's application to review. As a result, if you don't include words about being remote or having remote experience in your resume, you may very well be passed over before your application makes it to a human being's screen. When editing your resume for a remote position, include any key words you see in the job description to avoid this (easily avoidable) problem.
While working remote is a sweet deal, it's not a good idea to position it only as a benefit in your job application. Instead, mention it as something that allows you to add value to the company. In your objective statement or personal value proposition at the top of your resume, you can position the flexibility and independence of remote work as a way for you to achieve your goals more efficiently or to achieve more goals, point blank.
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