Have you ever wondered whether to leave your location off your resume because you want to work virtually? Or how to show that you’re “remote-ready”? In this post I’ll describe how to write a resume for a remote job–in a way that gets you the interview.
Should I include my location?
What you include in the contact information at the top depends on whether you’re seeking remote work only, or are open to hybrid (remote and on-site) positions.
If you’re only interested in remote roles, you don’t need to mention where you live.
If you’re potentially interested in either remote and on-site work, it depends. Let’s say the on-site work would need to be in your hometown. In that case, you can write something like this:
Anyville, CO 81234 / Remote
Or, if the job you’re interested in is elsewhere and you’re willing to relocate:
Remote / Relocating to Othertown, TX 73456
For more details, read my post about writing a relocation resume.
Thea, why did you include the zip code but leave out the street address?
Including your zip code may cause your resume to show up higher in search results when a local company searches their resume database. Employers usually prefer local candidates, who are easier to hire and also tend to stay with the company longer than those who have relocated.
Omitting the street address helps protect your privacy. It also reduces clutter, since the employer doesn’t need that information.
I don’t need to include “Remote” or “Relocating,” because my cover letter already says that.
It’s great that your cover letter is so complete. However, some recruiters don’t take the time to read these until very late in the process, if at all. Or they may hastily skim the letter, and the resume for that matter. Your resume should stand on its own and make all the important points very clearly.
Do I need to show where my past jobs were located? What if they were remote too?
Employers appreciate seeing a location listed for each job on your resume. It is customary and helps them verify your employment. If your role was remote, you can write it like this:
New York, NY (Remote)
Or you can include the words “remote,” “virtual” or “hybrid” in the first line of the description, but I prefer putting it right near the city info, to make it “pop.”
What else can I do to show I’m a pro at telecommuting?
In your “Experience” entries, and/or in your “Skills” section if you use one, mention software applications you’ve used to collaborate at a distance, such as Slack, Cisco Catalyst, Salesforce and such.
What about very basic applications like Zoom and Teams? Won’t employers assume all candidates are familiar with these? Microsoft Office is now left off of resumes for the same reason. However, until recently, teleconferencing platforms were not as widely used as Office. As of this writing in 2023, I think it’s safer to mention them. If nothing else, they are keywords–along with the words “remote,” “virtual” or “hybrid”–that can help your resume perform well in applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Remote work makes certain soft skills more crucial, such as time management, adaptability, flexibility, initiative, problem-solving, relationship building and a strong work ethic. These have value as keywords for the ATS, but not necessarily for convincing a busy recruiter, who sees words like this all the time and little reason to believe them.
Whether an applicant truly has a strong work ethic is a matter of opinion, and your opinion of yourself (as expressed in your resume), is obviously biased. So if you want the recruiter to believe you’re highly flexible or an excellent relationship builder, you need to give them a reason to believe it–in other words, evidence. Instead of merely claiming these skills, mention accomplishments that demonstrate them. Or have others vouch for your soft skills by using an advanced resume technique: inclusion of LinkedIn recommendations or other testimonials in your resume.
Now that you know how to write a resume for a remote job, make sure it also meets the other “must-have” requirements for resume success.