With more companies than ever offering remote positions in 2022, there are plenty of opportunities to land a work from home job. However, there’s also a lot more competition for the best work from home jobs.
If you want to stand out to hiring managers and prove you’re the perfect candidate, you need to make a resume that highlights your skills and any experience you have working remotely.
So whether this is your first remote job search or your fifth, these writing tips will help you polish your resume and land the remote job you want.
1. Tailor your resume to each remote role you apply to
We know it sounds time-consuming and tedious to tailor your resume for each job. However, the fact is each job you apply to is different. And you can’t expect the same resume to work for every role.
Let’s take a remote PHP developer role, for example.
In the following ad, silverorange is looking for an intermediate PHP developer who can help create and support sites for several different clients in the medical education space:
Now take a look at this PHP developer job listing from OperateBeyond. They’re searching for a standout back-end developer with experience across a number of different projects, including systems integrations, databases, and even user experience (UX).
If you were to use the same general PHP developer resume for each of these roles, you could miss out on both.
If you make slight adjustments to tailor your resume to what each company is specifically looking for, you’ll come off as a perfect-fit candidate every time.
Mention your background in medical education, and you’ll be in a great position for the first job. Highlight your passion for UX on top of PHP development in a different version, and you may score that second role.
Ideally, you should create a general resume that you can easily tweak for each job you apply for.
2. Highlight your best selling points in the top half of your resume
You only have a few seconds to capture a hiring manager’s attention, so it’s important that the first half of your resume makes a strong first impression.
Putting your most important selling points toward the top of the page increases their visibility. Hiring managers will see why you’re a good candidate from the start, and be more inclined to read the rest of your resume.
One way to make the first half of your resume more impactful is to write a resume headline.
Just like an article headline piques your interest and encourages you to click the link to read more, a resume headline gets hiring managers to notice you and find out why your experience and skills qualify you for the role.
To write an effective resume headline, you should:
- Describe what you do, what you’re interested in or passionate about, and how you can help this company succeed.
- Mention your years of experience or certifications.
- Keep it short and sweet, like a 30-second elevator pitch.
- Include a few job-related keywords to make your resume ATS-friendly.
Here’s an example of a software developer resume template that uses a headline to make the first half of the page more attention-grabbing:
3. Use action verbs to start your sentences
One of the best ways to grab the attention of hiring managers is by starting your resume bullet points with strong action verbs.
Action verbs make your resume sound more compelling by shifting the focus of your bullet points away from what you were passively responsible for, and onto the actions you took to accomplish something.
Depending on the role, the best action verbs for a remote resume include:
These action verbs help prove to employers that you’re able to manage your workload effectively and work well with minimal supervision.
Here’s an example of how use action verbs in your resume:
Deliver financial advice to clients, proposing strategies to achieve short- and long-term objectives for investments, insurance, business and estate planning with minimal risk
4. Grab keywords from the job ad
Hiring teams at large companies often use applicant tracking systems (or ATS) to scan your resume for certain job-related keywords. If your resume doesn’t contain enough of these keywords, the software automatically rejects your application before it’s seen by a hiring manager.
Fortunately, you can find the resume keywords an employer is looking for by reading the job description for the position.
So if you add these same keywords to your resume, you’ll have a higher chance of correctly matching the ATS’s search criteria. Then your resume will be passed along to a human hiring manager.
However, you don’t want to keyword stuff your resume or cover letter. This shady tactic refers to people who try to cram as many keywords in their resumes as possible to fool the system.
While you may get through ATS, any hiring manager will take one look at your resume and see that your wording looks unnatural and forced.
So a better approach is to read the job ads carefully and highlight any keywords that jump out as a good fit for your resume.
Try to weave these keywords naturally into your resume. If you can, add these hand-picked keywords to the top half of your resume, so they’re seen immediately.
Copying the exact job title for your resume’s title is an easy way to do that. Then keep updating your resume with relevant keywords from there.