By: Sylvie Fortin
Did you know that your resume for home-based jobs must be completely different than a resume you would use for an onsite job? Your resume for a telecommuting job has to be your main sales pitch. It says everything the employer needs to know to hire you, so having a professional image is very important. You may never have the chance to sell yourself in person with an interview, so you need to make your first impression a good one!
The standard resume has a goal of landing you an interview, while the telecommuter’s resume has the goal of landing you the job. You need to include more information in a compact format that sums up your most important assets and employment history.
Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to include in your resume if you want to start working from home.
This section provides a one paragraph overview of what you want in a job and what you can offer the employer. This is the first thing an employer will read, so make it snappy and exciting!
Be sure to omit the typical “I want to work from home so I can be with my kids” paragraph that some people think are a good idea. There are some very good reasons to avoid these statements like the plague! You need to focus on the highlights of your skills, rather than focusing on your desired location.
Overview or Summary
This section should be a bulleted section which briefly outlines your relevant skills.
One of the most important parts of a successful telecommuter’s resume is the keywords section. Many large employers have a resume scanning program which scans in your resume without anyone ever actually reading it. Create a section called Technical Experience or Skills and make a list of every software program you have ever worked with, including those freeware programs you downloaded and played with.
The most common section of any resume is the employment history section. This is where you have the chance to say where you worked and what you did there. The common format employers are used to seeing is the chronological format, with the most recent position listed first. Feel free to be excited about your experience. Use a lot of action words to describe what you did and how you contributed to the success of the company you worked with.
Outline your educational background here and provide an overview of what you enjoyed most about the courses you took.
This section is completely optional. In this section, try and make a note about interests that relate to your work. Some employers are looking for what kinds of things you do outside of work, but try to stay focused on things that relate to what you do, like reading or research on the web.
Formatting is Important, Too
Once you have your resume completed, you’ll need to save it in a variety of formats.
You will need a formatted resume, preferably created in Microsoft Word (the most common word processing application) to send as an attachment only if the employer has specified it. You will also need this to apply by mail or fax. If you are looking for more than one type of job description, be prepared with different resumes for different occasions. Your resume should focus on the type of job you are applying to.
You will need an ASCII text resume to paste into an email or online application. If you rely only on your Word-formatted resume, employers may never read it. Some email programs will automatically delete any attachments, so avoid sending your resume as an attachment if you can.
You should also have an online resume that is created with meta tags firmly established. Some employers and recruiters search the web for skilled personnel who have their resume posted, so make sure yours can be found online!
There are many telecommuting positions out there if you know where to look, but you must project a professional image to the employer. Don’t forget the importance of a good cover letter and have a few different ones ready to send out to land the telecommuting job of your dreams!