Work at Home Resume Tips & FAQs

Work at Home Resume Tips & FAQs


Hey, Angie Nelson here
from theworkathomewife.com. Today I am going to be
talking about something that comes up frequently in my community, and this how to create a
great work-at-home resume. Many people are really
surprised to find out that your resume when
looking for remote work tends to differ a little bit
than what you are used to with your typical traditional
on-site nine-to-five job. There are some things that
you need to do a little tweaking in order to make
your resume noticeable, especially considering that
this application process is so different than the
traditional jobs as well. In many cases, you’re never
going to meet with your potential employer or an
interviewer in person, so your resume is really what’s
going to make you stand out. It is going to be your first and sometimes your last impression, so it is important that you put in some time. And today I’m going to be
sharing some great tips with you in order to make yours stand out. Now, please stay ’til the end of the video to find out how you can
learn more about some of the great resources and the
tips that I’m sharing today. Now, one thing that people
are often glad to find out is that your work-at-home
resume often highlights your experience over your education, and many of the online jobs
that are available today, a degree isn’t always required. Sometimes it is preferred,
but in many cases, what they’re looking
for, what your employer is going to be looking for are going to be the skills that match the job. And that’s why it’s so
important that your resume does highlight the skills that
are applicable to that job. In many cases, recruiters
in the online space do recommend that you
are tailoring each resume that you send to the job
that you’re applying for, and that is a great
opportunity to make sure that you are listing those
skills that the company is looking for and making
sure that you’re answering the two most important questions
that that employer has, and that is why is this job
and why should you be hired. Now, the skills section
is obviously going to be the highlight of your resume. It is where you’re going to focus the most amount of time and attention is making sure that your
skill set is matching the job description and what
the company is looking for. Now, after you’ve chosen
the most applicable skills to that job, you’re going to
want to back up those skills with job experience, life experience, or specific accomplishments. Now, when it comes to your work history, you’ll probably only need
to go back five or 10 years depending on how much work
experience that you have. If you’ve worked for several
work-at-home companies already or you’ve had several
freelance gigs at one time, you may want to limit your work
experience to just five years. And in this section, you
will want to kind of do some modifications here as well. Rather than being really
general about what you’ve done at a past employer, get
really specific about some of the accomplishments. If you’re a freelance writer,
a good example of that would be rather than just
saying that you wrote articles for a client, you might
want to note that you wrote 60 articles that were published
on Forbes for that client. Get really specific
about the accomplishments that you have made at
these past employers. Now, as I’ve mentioned
several times already, you are going to want
to tailor each resume to the job you’re applying for. Now, because you do want to do
so much tailoring to the job, you may want to consider
nixing the fancy templates. Now, I understand that
you may think that having a fancy resume template with bright colors and fancy fonts and text boxes and tables may help you stand out,
but it actually may become a point of big frustration
to you over time. Because you are going to be
modifying it so frequently, some of those things are going to lose some of their formatting over time, and what you’re going to be left with is just a big messy resume. So because of that, many places
now are just recommending that you start out with
a blank Word document and start building your resume from there. Leave out all of the fancy formatting and just focus on what’s important, and that’s your skills, your
education, and your experience. Now, there is a company called Jobscan that does have a great
functional resume template that’s available for
free, and I’ll leave you a link to that in the description below. Many companies are looking
for prior work-at-home experience, which is a
big point of frustration for many newcomers
because it’s a catch-22. How do you get a work-at-home job if they want work-at-home experience? It’s just a vicious circle
there, so you’re really going to want to think
back to your work history and things that you have
done and try to pull out some of those opportunities where you have worked remotely in the past. I know when I was first
applying for my first work-at-home jobs way back in 2007, one of the things that
I did put on my resume every single time was that occasionally I was allowed to take work home. You know, it was overtime
work that didn’t need to be done on the
computer, it was something that we did have available on occasion. And that is something that I made sure that I put on my resume
and my application. The reason that they’re
looking for this prior telecommuting experience
is because they want to see that you can be
dependable and that you are going to show up once
you’re punching the clock per se or you don’t have a
boss standing over you. So having that prior experience
is going to let them know that you are dependable
and you know what that working relationship entails. Now, there are going
to be skills that need to go on any work-at-home resume. The first one is obviously
technical know-how. When you’re working at home,
you don’t have the opportunity to just call up the IT
department downstairs and have them come and fix
your computer if it’s froze up. Those are things that you’re going to need to be able to trouble-shoot on your own. So those are skills that you’re
going to want to make sure you include every single time. Writing and communication
is also a big one. This is a different work
environment, so they need to be able to feel confident that you can relay any problems or
concerns that you do have and that you do have great
communication skills. Now, decision-making is another big one. You don’t have the opportunity to just put a customer on hold and run
over to your boss’s desk to have a question answered all the time. So there are going to be some instances where you’re going to have
to make decisions on the fly. So that is something that
they’re going to want to look for is that you are confident
about your ability to make decisions on the fly. And as I mentioned before,
they are going to want to make sure that you’re
reliable and you can manage your time well. You aren’t going to
have a supervisor there making sure that you’re
getting your job done. They need to know that
they can depend on you to do what you’ve said you’re going to do. Now, something that comes
as a surprise to many people that are new to looking for work from home is that it’s not a person
in most cases that’s looking at your resume once you
hit that Submit button. It’s actually going through
an applicant tracking system or ATS, and what this
software does is it scans your resume looking for
certain words or phrases that that employer has
punched in and then giving you a score about how well you
match to that individual job. It’s only after you’ve
been given that score and you match a certain
percentage that your resume may actually be seen by an actual person. So it is really important that
you’re tailoring your resume. This is where this all comes into play. When you’re modifying your
resume for each application, you can make sure that
the phrases and the skills that you’re including do match
what that job listing says the company is looking for. Now, a good example of this,
just to give you a quick one, would be if you’re looking
for a virtual assistant job. And let’s say that the
job description says that they’re looking for
someone who is knowledgeable in things like Dropbox, Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Evernote, Asana. If you only include on your
resume that you’re familiar with online tools, you
might not be hitting enough of the words within that scanning software to get you to move on to the next phase of the application process. You may be fully qualified for the job, but without including those
words that they’re looking for, you may be passed on before
you have an opportunity to get to speak to someone directly. Now, if you want to make sure
that you’re getting close or maybe get a feel for how
this ATS software works, there is a site called Jobscan that will allow you to scan your
resume and compare it to a job listing for free. I think they allow you to
do three scans per month. One thing I want you
to really keep in mind with Jobscan and with any
other software that you come across like this is that it
should only be used as a guide. I don’t want you to be stuffing phrases into your resume to the
point that it makes it incomprehensible to your employer, that’s not something that you want to do. Like I said, just use it as a guide, but don’t go so far
that it becomes apparent that you’re only trying
to pass some software. You want to make sure
that it’s still something that’s legible and can be read
clearly by an actual person. For those of you out
there that are familiar with SEO or search engine optimization, it’s the same theory there. Use it as a guide, but don’t go overboard. Now, there are some
frequently asked questions that come up within my community
when it comes to resumes. One that comes up an awful lot right now is I’m afraid of age discrimination,
I think that I’m being passed over for jobs because of my age, and that is certainly a big
concern both online and off. When I was digging through
some research for this video and the accompanying blog
post, Monster has on their site that you should, you could
avoid including dates for your education, that’s
something that ages people a lot. Because we’re only going
back five or maybe 10 years of work experience in some cases, it can be really
difficult to tell your age from just that work experience. But if you are including
the date that you graduated from high school or from
college on your resume, that’s something that can certainly give an indication of your age. So Monster says on their
website, just leave that out. Now, the next question is, what font should I use on my resume? The best thing you can
do is keep it simple. Keep it clear, legible,
don’t try to get too fancy. Georgie, Merriweather, Calibri are some of the most recommended
fonts that you use. Stick away from anything
that’s too cutesy. Now, another question is obviously what about employment gaps? For many of you that are
looking for work from home, you may have gotten out of the workforce because you had a baby or
you had little kids at home and you wanted to stay home with them, and now it’s come to the
time where you really want to get back into the workforce, but your employment gaps are
obviously going to come up regardless of whether you’re
looking for an online job or a more traditional onsite job. So the first thing that
you are going to want to do is really think about the
roles that you’ve held since you’ve been out of the workforce. Maybe you’ve done some freelancing, maybe you’ve done some volunteering, maybe you’ve had some
part-time jobs along the way that you can include on your resume, maybe you’ve helped out at your church’s vacation bible school every summer. Those are things that you can include. You can also include things, let’s say, that you took in kids for
babysitting during the school year since you were going to be home anyway. That’s a great opportunity
that you can put on your resume that’s going to show that you are dependable and reliable. Now, there are a couple things
that you’re going to want to do before you hit that
Submit button for any resume. The first one is use bullet points. When you’re listing out those skills and that employment history,
make sure that you’re keeping it as simple to read as possible. A lot of these people once
they do get their hands on their resume, they’re going
to be skimming through them. It should come as no surprise
for work-at-home jobs, a lot of these companies
report receiving hundreds if not thousands of applications
for every one job posting that they put up, so
you’re really going to want to make yours clear and
scannable by an actual person. That means including bullet points, and it also means
embracing the white space. Don’t make it so cluttered that someone gets overwhelmed just looking at it. Keep it short, simple,
concise, and easy to read. The next thing you need
to do is proofread, proofread, proofread. A lot of people are passed over for a job simply because they misspelled a word or they made some grammar
mistakes that would have easily been caught if
they would’ve given it a second look or maybe even had a friend or a relative give it a look as well. Proofreading is so important
in your online job search. Now, as I mentioned several times already in this video, tailor
every resume to the job. This is going to make
sure that you’re including those important key words that are used in a job description, and
it’s also going to make sure that you’re including
the most relevant skills and experience to that particular job. The next thing that I want
you to do is make sure that you are reading the directions. There are, because these
companies do receive so many resumes and applications
for every job, many of them will put little disqualifiers
in the job listing. That may be a certain word
that you need to include in your email subject line,
or maybe it’s a certain phrase that they want you to include as the first thing on your resume. These are all things that
they do in order to get rid of a big chunk of those
applicants right off the bat so they can just focus on the people that they know are going
to follow attention and would be really detail oriented. So make sure that you are reading those job descriptions and reading them again. Now, the last thing I want
you do it is to make sure that you have a
professional-looking email address. You don’t want anything that’s, you know, [email protected], you
know, anything that’s a little too cutesy or too risque in some cases. Get rid of your high school email address and upgrade to something
more professional looking when it comes to your job search. And there’s going to be additional
benefits to this as well. Not only are you going
to look more professional if say you’re using an
email address that’s your first and last name, but you are also going to have an email
address that’s dedicated solely to your job search. This’ll help ensure that
you’re not skipping over any interview in, excuse me, requests or any inquiries for
additional information. If you’ve been using
the same email address since high school, you likely are getting a ton of junk there anyway. So go to Gmail, set yourself
up a new free email address to use just for your job search. Now, those are just a few
quick tips for you today. I have a huge blog post
over on Work at Home Wife that has some mega-tips for
your work-at-home resume. I’m going to leave you a link to that in the description below
along with some additional resources that we talked
about in this video, and I want you to leave me any questions that you have in the comments. If there’s some followup
questions that you have, feel free to ask them below. Now, if you liked today’s video, please give it a Like and a Share, and make sure you’re
subscribe to my channel so you’ll get notification
of the next video. Until then, I wish you best of luck in your work-at-home job search.

4 thoughts on “Work at Home Resume Tips & FAQs

  • How would I highlight my skills not based on previous jobs but life experience and personal development?
    Thank you for helping me find my previous work at home experience, even though it was with a 9-5 job and my self-reliant skills.

  • So much great info! Thanks! I go back 20 years as I was at my last 2-3 jobs several years. Anyway, 17 of those was remote transcription work and the last 3 working in an office until I got laid off. I use bullets to highlight my skills and experience. However, I have been looking for non-work at home jobs and cannot find anything close and don't want to commute more than 15 miles. How does one get trained in all the different software packages so many of the remote jobs require?

  • Good Morning Angie,I got an email about a work at home summit? Will I definitely get a job from this program? It looks very exciting. is it guaranteed ?

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