The previous chapter showed you how to increase the chances that companies come to you. Now we’ll look at ways to approach companies. It all starts with your resume.
Building your resume
We’ve already talked about the need to be better than a candidate who will work in the office. Your resume needs to be better too. It needs to look more professional and be more impressive than the next guy. Listen to the Manager Tools podcast Your Resume Stinks! from Mark Hostman. Those resources have good advice for a general resume, but they aren’t enough. There are specific tips you need when looking for a remote job.
When you are working on your resume you may be tempted to include the word remote. Don’t. Don’t list yourself as a remote engineer. Don’t say you have skills working remotely. Don’t mention that you are looking to work remotely. Just don’t do it.
Potential employers read your resume to find out about you and how well you will work in their company. It is all about seeing if you meet their needs. The company does not need you to work remotely. Focus on how you can help them and leave remote out of it until later.
Mark Horstman has worked with corporate recruiters for many years. He shares this cautionary tale about mentioning remote too soon.
Mark tells this story:
Suppose you are in Raleigh, North Carolina in Research Triangle Park. You want to work for IBM [which is headquartered in New York], You send a resume and you say you really want to work remotely. Unbeknownst to you, your resume gets forwarded to the chief of services at IBM in Research Triangle Park. He gets your resume and says, “It’s too bad he wants to work remotely. How cool would it be to have his experiences in our office, 10 minutes from his house, and I don’t want to hire a guy who works remotely.”
This doesn’t mean there is no place on your resume to mention working remotely, but don’t make it the first or second thing. If you have done jobs well and you did them remotely then you should mention this on your resume. Mark suggests a line in your resume like, “Provided all key deliverables for project X on time and under budget, while working remotely.”
Listing jobs that you did well, remote or otherwise, is good. Letting a potential employer know you did the job remotely is good. Saying that you require a remote working environment in your cover letter or your resume is not a good idea.