Everyone who has done some remote work in the past knows that this career choice can be very rewarding. The benefits of working from home are numerous, and not only from a financial perspective.
Truth to be told, the flexibility is often what pulls people in doing remote work, but not everyone acknowledges how grand this experience is in a job application.
The number of remote workers is estimated to hit 50% by 2020.
Currently, this percentage has reached 37% of the workforce in the United States, and the numbers are growing at a very rapid pace.
Both companies and workers contribute to this increase in remote work. Many companies nowadays seek remote workers to widen the territory where they can search for talent, decrease the expenses and simply demonstrate that they are modern and trendy.
The reason for the freelancer is obvious – remote work can provide a great financial opportunity and flexibility no traditional job position can offer.
But, this job choice is definitely not for everyone.
Not everyone wants to remain a freelancer or telecommuter forever. Some find better work opportunities in a traditional workplace, others simply cannot organize properly, while the third group prefers sharing an office with friendly co-workers over working in the lonely office of their homes.
Remote work is a trend and obviously a career path everyone should consider when choosing what they will do in life. The benefits are so numerous; it is no wonder that this career choice has become such popular in the past few decades.
But, if you did remote work just to fill in that gap in between employment or simply prefer to get back to the office work, you can leverage this experience to get a better position in the corporate world.
Why is Remote Work Good for Your Job Experience?
You may be wondering – why would I use remote work as a tool to get a completely different type of job? After all, employers seek related experience that helps them recognize how well you will do the job offered, which makes remote work a bit ‘out of the equation’.
But, what most people fail to acknowledge is that remote work provides the candidate with some unique qualifications that cannot be demonstrated or achieve in another way.
The qualities of a remote workers are numerous, which makes it an obvious reason to include this experience in your resume.
Qualities of Remote Workers
Before you start considering what to include and where to put it in your resume, you need to get an idea as to which qualities make remote work an excellent addition to a resume.
1. Remote workers are communicative
You are your own employer when you work as a freelancer, making communication a must-have skill. In order to work remotely, one has to be able to communicate with many people without wasting time or creating misunderstandings.
A remote worker that doesn’t possess communication skills can easily interfere with the productivity and success of the team, or struggle to find a common language with the clients they work for.
Remote work experience in a resume demonstrates that you possess communication skills.
2. Remote workers have a positive attitude
Without a great deal of positivity, a remote worker won’t be able to attract a client or maintain a relationship with one. A good freelancer is a positive person who has the ability to handle difficult clients and doesn’t break deals easily.
According to Career Builder, 72% of employers search for candidates with a positive attitude. If you can demonstrate that you have great remote work reputation, you are good to go.
Remote work experience in a resume demonstrates that you have a positive attitude and can handle stressful situations.
3. Remote workers Are Goal-oriented
A great remote worker won’t just ‘do a task’ without knowing the specifics. To be able to maintain the relationship and keep clients happy, a remote worker must be a doer. By showing that you have remote work experience, you are telling the employer that you can define and set an achievable goal and organize your way towards completing it.
Remote workers create plans for their work since they are the only ones planning their time and workload. Instead of waiting for others to guide them and organize them, remote workers must do all this on their own. If you have been a remote worker, you can use this skill to impress a potential employer.
Remote work experience in a resume shows that you are goal-oriented.
4. Remote workers are adaptable
Freelancers need to adapt to various conditions, especially if they have worked for more than one client. Not only do they have to adapt to working online or finding a suitable time to communicate with people in different time zones, but they have to adapt to the requirements of completely different companies and employers.
If you have been a remote worker, you’ve been exposed to different employers and situations. This will be important to the potential employer – to know that you can adapt to their specific workplace culture due to your remote work experience.
Remote work experience in a resume shows that you are adaptable.
5. Remote workers are reliable
To have worked remotely for someone successfully means that you are a reliable person. Possessing those amazing organizational skills allowed you to finish projects in time, making you a highly reliable member of a team.
If an employer searches for a team-member they can count on, this experience can demonstrate that you already possess such qualities. Combined with the adaptable characteristic, you are a great fit for any team.
Remote work experience in a resume equals reliability on behalf of the candidate.
6. Remote workers are organized
Telecommuters know to prioritize. In order to be able to meet deadlines and work remotely, one has to be very organized. This is probably one of the biggest reasons why many people prefer traditional work over remote work.
In the office, you are given instructions and deadlines, as well as set hours and milestones to follow. When you work remotely, you have more flexibility. With that flexibility, comes a high requirement for organization.
Showing that you have worked remotely in the past demonstrates that you are able to prioritize. This makes you an organized candidate, which is a very important trait employers look for.
Being organized means that you can prioritize the workload and manage your time. As you know, time-management is a skill valued by every employer. This skill allows you to meet deadlines, set the priorities in order, make better decisions, fight off procrastination, and deliver high-quality work.
Remote work experience in a resume shows that you are highly organized and able to prioritize.
7. Remote workers have the ability to work independently
This is the last best quality of a remote worker, but also the strongest. As a person who has managed his own workload and worked independently as well as in a team, a remote worker has the unique opportunity to build on both these ‘opposite skills’.
As such, a remote worker is much more likely to finish his or her tasks without seeking constant push and guidance on behalf of the busy employer. We can all agree that this comes very handy when you have to manage a busy office.
Remote work experience in a resume demonstrates that you have the ability to work both independently and in a team.
These are just seven of the many qualities you already possess because you have worked remotely. Each employer will recognize these, but only if you know how to demonstrate them in a resume.
How to Include Remote Work in Your Resume?
Now that you know WHY you need to include remote work experience in the resume, it is time to learn HOW to do this. Here are some steps that will help you:
1. Create a title for your remote work
Surely, you can introduce your remote work experience under the title ‘remote work’, ‘freelancer’ or ‘telecommuter’. But, in many cases, such titles won’t leave good impression with the recruiter.
Depending on the job you are applying for and how much you know about the recruiter, you may want to consider creating a title that explains the remote work you did.
A resume does not allow you to explain everything in detail, so your title should present your experience by combining the accomplishment and purpose.
Here is a nice example:
Professional Content Writer
2012 to 2017
Blogger. Freelance writer. Editor
2. Do it in reverse
The reverse chronological format is recommended for resume writing and this should also include your remote work experience. Start out with the recent remote work you have done and move backwards.
3. Always include Links
Resumes serve to prove your experience, not just state it. If people could just write things they come up with in a resume without proving it, employers would have a very tough job in selecting candidates.
If you want to demonstrate all those remote worker’s qualities we discussed above, attempt to validate everything you are saying in your resume. Don’t just state your achievements and accomplishments – add honest figures and facts, and provide letters of recommendations in attachment.
Since you are writing about your remote work experience, you should definitely include links to the portfolio or websites that have published your work.
4. Include references
A resume that does not include remote experience may include this phrase:
References available upon request
But, if you want the recruiter to trust that you possess all those qualities and have been a great remote worker, you need to do more than that.
Whenever you are adding remote work as part of your resume, include the clients you selected as references. Of course, this also means that you’d have to be sure that the client will provide the reference if requested.
Recruiters may be a bit sceptic because they don’t know how well you worked as a remote worker. After all, you’ve probably worked for many clients and do not have a supervisor they can contact to ask questions. The recruiter is much more likely to verify your experiences if you provide them with a contact of the person who is a reference.
5. Don’t just place it anywhere
Every information in your resume should take a strategically-planned spot. The information you provide to the reader must be in an order that neither confuses nor angers. So, where do you place the remote experience in a resume?
Search for an employment gap. If you have had one, include the remote experience in between. This should show the recruiter that you are a productive person. Remote work is an excellent way to cover employment gaps and avoid all those awkward questions during an interview.
If you don’t have an employment gap and have decided to work remotely by design, you should definitely create a separate section for this experience. The same applies if you are once again applying to do remote work for the recruiter.
In this case, place the remote work section ahead of the other experience. This should give it more importance and prominence, and demonstrate your qualities as a remote worker.
When Should You Not Include Remote Work in a Resume?
Remote work is widely accepted as an excellent experience by recruiters. Many benefits come from being a remote worker and as long as you know where and how to utilize this experience, it should definitely tilt the balance into your favor.
But, there are also exceptions as to where you should use remote work experiences in a resume.
These are the cases where you should erase such experiences altogether:
- You had a bad reputation or negative customer reviews when you worked as a remote worker and believe that the recruiter will find these easily.
- Your remote work was mostly done for free and you have no way to validate this.
- You had a very sporadic experience; have worked on very few projects within a long timeframe.
The facts remain – doing remote work is something you should be definitely proud to include in your resume.
In this competitive market, the skills you attained while working remotely are crucial and in high demand. Utilize these skills and your experience to get the job you wouldn’t otherwise be able to attain.
If you are still struggling with the resume structure or are unable to detect the information that should be included or excluded, your best shot at getting invited for that interview is if you hire good help.