A survey conducted by remote career site FlexJobs found that the majority of employees would rather quit their jobs than quit working from home. It’s understandable, too— why trade larger houses for tiny apartments and higher living expenses in city centers, just because it’s closer to a job that you’ve doing from home just fine? But as offices reopen, many workplaces are returning to ‘business-as-usual’, and unfortunately for many, that means in-person attendance. So, will people actually do it— will people actually quit their jobs and opt in for remote work instead?
Quitting your job means finding a new one— and the first step to landing the job of your dreams (and one that you can do from your living room or overlooking a beach in Puerto Rico) is creating the perfect resume. No one is exempt from the task of making a resume; from recent grads to seasoned vets, everyone should take the time to ensure that their resume is polished and professional and, most of all, that it stands out in the pile.
Here are some keys to a great resume:
Use the basics
I know I said you want to stand out, but sometimes trying to be overly-creative distracts from the point of your resume, or falls flat. Especially if you’re not applying to a creative role, the hiring manager will see through your over-the-top attempts at capturing their attention. That’s why I want you remember the basics:
- Fonts: Data shows that resumes with a font smaller than 11 are more likely to get thrown in the trash. Why pour long hours into creating a resume if no one can read it? Plus, the actual font style itself matters— stick with Arial, Times, or one of the basics.
- Margins: We all want to fit as much of our experience on the page as possible, but don’t stretch your margins so big that the resume overwhelms the reader. Sometimes, less is more.
- Results: If you have quantifiable results from previous positions you have had, then include them! Your resume should be a highlight of your greatest achievements, not necessarily a summary of everything you’ve ever done or everywhere you’ve ever worked.
It’s About the How, Not the What
Try not to fall into the trap of creating a resumé of long lists of things you did in each job. Describe your experiences! I find that the STAR method is a very helpful way to put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Describe the Situation, the Task at hand, and the Action you took. Then detail the Result.
While quantifiable results are great to share, you should also be giving your results more context. Tell a story, don’t just share numbers and lists.
Get With The Times
I started this article by sharing that many people don’t want to let go of remote work— and if you happen to be one of those people who are looking exclusively to land a remote job, it’s best to emphasize your experience and success working virtually.
Make sure that you say you worked “remote” or “partially remote” next to your job title or location. It’s also beneficial to add skills that are directly related to remote work, like “Slack, Google Drive Suite, Teamwork, Zoom, and Skype” into the “Skills” section. Showcasing your proficiency with these different softwares and applications can really make you stand out in a remote job application.
And if you’re really, really dead-set on working remotely, I would focus my attention on sites like FlexJobs, JustRemote, and Hubstaff Talent. Most job posting websites allow you to filter for remote jobs, but it can be easier to just go straight to these pages.
Ideally, your resume should be updated for each new job application. I know what you’re thinking, Who has the time? How could I possibly tailor 50+, maybe even 100+ resumes?
Well, you should be working smarter not harder— and that means actually focusing on ten or so jobs at a time to perfect your application to the best of your ability. Casting a wide net isn’t as effective as really concentrating your efforts into a handful of jobs you really want, and creating a resume that reflects the job posting. Especially now with applicant tracking software (ATS), it’s vital to include keywords in your resume. That means tweaking each one!
Accept that Age is Often a Negative Number: Click Delete
Nothing’s changed: age discrimination is still illegal, as well as many other forms of discrimination. Unfortunately, it still happens. Review your LinkedIn or your other social media postings and, if you’re concerned by your age— either too old or too young— you should consider removing the date you graduated college.
Any position you had more than 10 years ago shouldn’t be included in your resume. It can be difficult to ‘click delete’ on experiences and positions you are proud of, but this is how to update your resume.
Right now, there are more jobs than there are applicants, and if you want a great job, take the time to prepare a resume that reflects your best possible self. That’s the self that will soon be accepting an outstanding offer!