Looking for a Remote Job? It’s Time to Update Your Resume

Employers are going to want to be convinced that you are able to work from home. Here are a few simple changes to get that across.

Are you the kind of employee with the skills to work remotely? It’s time to prove it to your employers—or prospective ones.

As offices reopen, more employers will be embracing the hybrid model of work in which most professionals spend at least part of their time working remotely. As a result, human-resources departments and bosses have a new set of hiring criteria: Not only do they need to recruit people who are talented, hardworking and collaborative, but they need employees who can be productive and collaborative even when they’re working outside the office.

That means that anyone who’s looking for a new job or promotion needs a résumé and LinkedIn profile that demonstrates remote-work savvy.

Here are some tips on how to do that.

Explicitly note any remote or hybrid roles. Wherever you’ve held a role that involved working remotely, even part of the time, add that into your description of those job experiences. Similarly, if you’re looking for a management position, make it clear that you know how to lead people who aren’t sitting in front of you.

If you work in an organization with far-flung offices, for instance, you might note that you “remotely managed more than a dozen projects for team leaders in four different cities across the U.S.” On the road a lot for client meetings or sales? Reframe it as, “Led team to record-breaking sales figures while working outside the office 40% of the time for client meetings.”

Highlight your remote-relevant skills. Remote experience is only part of the equation. Employers also are looking for people who can show they have remote-relevant skills. Such as: an ability to manage time and tasks without a lot of close oversight; ease with learning and using digital collaboration tools; strong written communication skills; and a self-starter attitude that shows you can sustain motivation without a cheering squad.

So even if you don’t have a lot of remote experience, you can still underline all the ways in which your past work experience (“mentored three peers on using Slack”) demonstrates your capacity to work independently or familiarity with collaboration tools.

Emphasize entrepreneurship. Because remote work typically involves less oversight, employers want evidence that you’re self-motivated and don’t need micromanaging to do good work. Any experience you’ve had running your own business, even if it’s a small side hustle (like an Etsy store or an apartment you rent on Airbnb ) speaks to your ability to self-manage.

Even if you’ve never run so much as a lemonade stand, you can still share examples of employment situations where you took the initiative and delivered great results.

Enumerate tech skills. Now that the digital world has become even more essential to our working lives, your tech skills help tell the story of how you work when you’re outside the office. Consider adding a specific “digital collaboration skills” section to your résumé, where you list digital competencies like your knowledge of Slack, Microsoft Teams, Basecamp, Google Drive, Salesforce, or other key business and communications platforms. When a hiring team is on the fence between two candidates, they may give an edge to the person who’s already familiar with the team’s preferred tool kit, and nobody wants to hire someone who’s uncomfortable learning new software if it’s essential to the way a hybrid team functions.

Project collegiality. Since many organizations are worried about how to support team building and culture when people are wholly or partly remote, it’s good to show that you care about collegial relationships and team spirit. Note any roles where you took on those kinds of projects or went the extra mile for colleagues, whether that was organizing the office holiday party, launching an online trivia night, or developing a new system for sharing work when someone on the team needed to take a vacation or parental leave.

Consider spotlighting your infrastructure. The sad truth is that remote work is hardly a level playing field: It’s much easier to work remotely when you’ve got the luxury of a private home office, rather than sharing an open-concept loft with a spouse and two toddlers. So if you have the advantage of an effective infrastructure, consider showing it off as part of your job description or in a separate “facilities” or “affiliations” section of your résumé.

If you create a “facilities” section, you can note things like “ergonomic home office with excellent soundproofing,” as well as tech tools like an HD webcam, podcasting equipment or studio lighting.

Two years ago, all of this may have seemed silly, with many employers recoiling at somebody who clearly didn’t want to be in the office. But now, such thoughts are so 2019—and so, most likely, is your résumé.

Dr. Samuel is a technology researcher and co-author of “Remote, Inc.: How to Thrive at Work…Wherever You Are.” Email her at reports@wsj.com.


Alexandra Samuel Follow

Feb. 17, 2022 11:00 am ET

By Sheila Lillis
Sheila Lillis Associate Director