Create a Work from Home Resume that Gets You Hired
The home-based job market can be super competitive. To get ahead of the pack, you need to create a work from home resume that stands out and gets you noticed.
If you’re actively looking for work from home jobs but haven’t had any interviews, your resume may be to blame.
Experts say that, in order to strengthen your candidacy, you should tailor your resume to each individual job you apply to. This is especially true in the work from home realm. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for special skill sets that translate well to home-based success.
Most Resumes Don’t Make it in Front of Human Eyes
Thanks to sophisticated hiring software, the resume you submit is searched by an applicant-tracking system first. This hiring search-bot is looking for certain keywords on your resume. Depending on the nature of the job, it could be any number of words or word combinations that indicate you may have the skills and experience needed for the job.
If your resume doesn’t contain these keywords, it’s discarded, never to be seen by that company again (unless you re-apply which will probably yield the same results!).
So, if you’ve been submitting your resume like crazy but have failed to get any callbacks, emails or Skype invites, you may be lacking the right keywords. This means your CV is getting tossed before someone gets a chance to see just how perfect you are for the position. Frustrating, right?
Fortunately, you can give your work from home resume the much-needed boost it needs to get past applicant-tracking software and in front of recruiters’ eyes.
So, Which Keywords Should I Use?
The first place to trackdown keywords to use is the job advertisement itself. The job description, responsibilities and required skills sections are filled with the relevant keywords you should be using in your resume.
Let’s take a look at a popular work-from-home job advertisement from U-Haul. This position is for their E-Customer Service Agent role.
From the Overview Section:
Help us by making a difference and enriching our customer’s experience during stressful moving times. With over 16,000 locations around the nation, we are looking for exciting, self-motivated and enthusiastic Customer Service Agents to assist our customers with rental equipment issues.
The words self-motivated and enthusiastic are important here as they are used to describe the types of people U-Haul is actually looking for. Putting them in your work from home resume illustrates that you are that person.
Plus, these action words are easy to incorporate into any resume, regardless of your background.
Now let’s look at the Candidate Traits section:
- You enjoy helping people during stressful times
- You thrive in a fast paced virtual environment with a focus on quality and attention to detail
- You are enthusiastic and empathetic and love creating an enjoyable experience
- You live for a challenge, are goal oriented, be willing to learn different systems, and easily navigate between multiple screens
- You can work independently delivering practical solutions and you thrive in a collaborative team environment
In this excerpted list, virtual environment, attention to detail, goal oriented, work independently, and team environment are all important keywords used to describe U-Haul’s ideal E-Customer Service Agent.
While you may not be able to incorporate all of them into your own work from home resume, you should try to include the ones which apply to you.For example, if you’ve never worked from home before, it would be tough to incorporate “virtual environment” on your resume.
Make sure to look at the Required Skills section, too. Here’s part of U-Haul’s:
- Experience in Windows-based computer programs with excellent navigational skills is preferred
- At least 6 months of customer service experience is preferred
- Must be motivated with strong work ethic
- Excellent communication and customer service skills
Windows, customer service, motivated, and communication skills are all important descriptive keywords. If you have these skills in your background, find a spot to put them in your work from home resume!
Identify Hard Skills & Soft Skills
In the recruiting world, these different skills and attributes are referred to as hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are things that are taught and measurable like typing speed, degrees, and certifications.
Soft skills are traits someone has like interpersonal and communication skills.
The more hard skills and soft skills keywords you can incorporate from the job description into your work from home resume, the better. These are the traits/attributes/abilities that an applicant needs to be successful in the job!
Use Outside Help
If you find it difficult to locate the most relevant keywords from often lengthy job advertisements, you’re in luck! There’s a really great online tool called JobScan, and it couldn’t be simpler to use. Paste your resume on one side, the job ad on the other, and voila!
JobScan will analyze it for you. The result is an easy-to-read report that lets you know how well your resume matches with the requirements of the ad.
It’s free up to five scans per month. Any more than that and you’ll have to pay $89.95 for the year. You can sign up for a free month.
So, if you’re actively looking for a job, it’s probably worth signing up for the free month. In that time you can do unlimited scans and learn a lot from the results. By the time your free month is up, you should have a solid understanding of how to pull keywords from a job description and place them into your resume.
Where Else to Look for Work from Home Resume Keywords
Sometimes a job advertisement is super short. These micro-posts make it difficult to determine what keywords you should use. This means you will have to populate your resume with relevant keywords without the help of the job ad.
If the company has a website (which they likely will) check out their “About Us,” “Mission Statement,” “Values,” “Beliefs” or other similar areas that discuss the company’s culture and philosophy. Here you’ll find plenty of keywords that describe what the company is all about. Chances are, they will be looking for like-minded people that fit in with these core values and beliefs to join their team. When you put these terms in your resume, you automatically seem like a good fit for the company.
You can also head over to your LinkedIn profile for a little inspiration. You know how you can add new skills under the Skills & Endorsement section? This is a great spot to turn to when you need help coming up with keywords relevant to the job title you’re applying for.
Say you’re applying for a home-based customer service job. You can type in “Customer” into the Skills & Endorsement section of your LinkedIn profile and get an idea of related keywords:
You can pull from this list to create plenty of industry specific word combinations that are relevant to the job you’re applying to.
Common Work from Home Resume Keywords
I spend a lot of time reading work from home job advertisements tracking down legitimate ones for the job board. I’ve been jotting down keywords that frequently show up in home-based job ads. Here are some of the ones that show up over and over again:
It’s really not surprising that these are some of the most frequent work from home keywords employers use. After all, when you work remotely, you won’t have someone constantly looming over your shoulder, urging you to get work done. It’s up to you, and you alone, to get your assignments done. It’s no wonder then that terms like, “reliable,” “self-starter,” “self-motivated,” and “dependable” make this list.
Sample Work from Home Resume
Remember, don’t overthink it! While you want to include relevant keywords, you don’t want to overstuff your resume either. Incorporate keywords naturally into your resume. Even though you have to get past applicant-tracking software, your resume will eventually find its ways in front of human eyes.
Always be truthful when detailing your skills, experience, and attributes. If you can strategically place a relevant keyword in place of an existing word choice – great! If not, don’t stress it.
Some ways to easily include keywords into your resume are to include skills, expertise, and profile sections. These are often bulleted lists that quickly layout your abilities. Filling these sections with work from home keywords is really easy and increases your chances of getting an interview.
Check out this sample work from home resume I made filled with popular keywords for inspiration:
Obviously, this resume is completely fictional. But, the layout is reader-friendly and the individual sections makes it super easy to pad it with keywords. You can swap them out and change them in infinite combinations in order to easily create a tailor made resume for each and every work from home job you apply to!
Psst: I used a FREE Canva template to whip up this resume. You can too! Check out their free templates for tons of great options.
If you really want to dig in to what it takes to create a perfect resume, I suggest reading Resume Writing 2016. If you’re ready to apply to work from home jobs with a resume that gets results simply type “Work from Home” in the Indeed Search Box below:
Once you’ve perfected your own work from home resume, be sure to post it to the Resume Dashboard so you can get seen by companies actively looking for remote workers to join their team!
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