About the author

Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent nine years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people find remote work. Read more >

Crafting a resume is a critical step in your remote job search. While the basics of a good resume remain the same, remote jobs have their expectations and nuances.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the common resume mistakes to avoid for remote jobs and how they can kill your chances of landing that coveted remote position.

We’ll delve into specifics like the importance of showcasing remote work skills, the pitfalls of using a one-size-fits-all approach, and why ignoring Applicant Tracking Systems can be a grave mistake.

What Are Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid for Remote Jobs?
Ignoring Remote-Specific Skills

When applying for a remote job, it’s crucial to highlight skills that are relevant to remote work.  These include time management, self-discipline, and excellent written communication.  Don’t just list these skills; provide concrete examples.

Instead of saying, “Excellent time management skills,” you could write, “Managed a team of 5 across three time zones, coordinating deadlines and ensuring on-time project delivery.”

Using a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Tailoring your resume for each job application is essential.  Remote companies often look for a cultural fit as much as they look for skills.  Research the company’s values, remote work culture, and job description.  Customize your resume to reflect your excellent professional and remote culture fit.

Overlooking Keywords

Many companies use ATS to filter resumes before they ever reach a human.  These systems scan for specific keywords related to the job.  Your resume may be automatically rejected if it doesn’t contain these keywords.

Read the remote job listing carefully and naturally incorporate relevant keywords into your resume to ensure you beat the applicant tracking systems.

Failing to Showcase Remote Work Experience

Make it prominent if you’ve worked remotely before, even if it’s not in the same field; this shows you’re already familiar with the remote work environment.  If you haven’t worked remotely, focus on experiences demonstrating your ability to work independently and communicate effectively.

Ignoring the Importance of Layout and Design

In a remote job, written communication is often the primary mode of interaction.  A cluttered, hard-to-read resume can signal poor communication skills.  Use a clean layout, bullet points, and headings.  Make sure your resume is mobile-friendly, as many recruiters review applications on mobile devices.

Being Vague About Achievements

Remote employers want to see results.  Instead of listing job duties, focus on accomplishments.  Use quantifiable metrics to show your impact.  For example, instead of saying “Handled customer service,” say “Improved customer service ratings by 20% through implementing a new feedback system.”

Not Using Action Verbs

Your resume should be dynamic and show that you’re a person of action, which is especially important for remote work where self-motivation is critical.

Use action verbs like “achieved,” “managed,” or “implemented” to describe your work and its impact.

Ignoring Soft Skills

While technical skills are necessary, soft skills like adaptability, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence are equally crucial in remote work.  Use examples to demonstrate these skills.  For instance, you could say, “Resolved conflicts among team members located in different time zones, improving project efficiency.”

Not Including a Skills Section

A dedicated skills section can serve as a quick snapshot of what you bring to the table; this is especially useful for remote jobs where specific technical skills, like proficiency in Slack or Asana, can be beneficial.  Ensure this section is not generic but tailored to the remote job you’re applying for.

Neglecting to Mention Tools and Tech Proficiency

Remote work often requires familiarity with specific tools for communication, project management, and document sharing.  Include these in your resume if you’re proficient in tools like Google Meet, Slack, or Asana.

The Importance of Being Proactive

While this guide has focused on resume-building, being proactive throughout your job search is essential.  After submitting your resume:

  • Consider contacting current employees for informational interviews because it gives you a better understanding of the company culture and shows your initiative—an essential trait for remote work.
  • Use LinkedIn or company websites to identify potential contacts.
  • Remember, the more you know about the company and its remote work culture, the better you can tailor your resume.

Hopefully, this guide will help you understand the common resume mistakes to avoid for remote jobs.  Are you looking for more advice on resumes?  Check out our library of guides written exclusively for you.  We will add more, so please subscribe to our monthly email for free remote work coaching.

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