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!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure for more information.
Corina Ramos says
This is awesome Ashlee! Thanks for putting this together. A rockin’ resume is so important to have, which reminds me I have to update mine, just in case :).
I love the example resume you shared. The layout is different from resumes I’ve seen.
Hope you’re having a great day!
This is just what I need. Thank you.
You’re welcome! Best of luck on your work from home job search.
This is the most useful info I have read on this topic. THANK YOU!
Also, do you have any tips for building a resume when you don’t have squat as far as recent employment? I’ve been a homeschooling SAHM, but now I’m adding “divorced” to the mix. Hence the long time gap /:
Thanks for stopping by! I wouldn’t sweat the gap in employment on your resume — it’s not as big of deal as you may think! Plus, isn’t being a SAHM like the most difficult, underpaid job ever that develops amazing interpersonal skills? 😉
I’ve found some great resources that I think work well for your situation:
Stay-at-Home Parent? How to Kill it On Your Comeback Resume
How to Write a Stay at Home Mom Resume
How to Create a Standout Resume After Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
Hope this helps! If you need any further help, don’t be shy — email me at email@example.com — I’m here to help!
Hi Ashlee, I’m currently looking for work at home jobs but i don’t reside in the US. When i tried searching for work at home jobs, most of the companies required candidates residing in the US. where can i search for jobs outside the US?
Ashlee Anderson says
Thanks for stopping by! You might want to check out this list:
There are a number of companies that hire international candidates! I hope this helps 🙂
I love this resume. Do you have this exact template that I could use to add my information in?
Ashlee Anderson says
Thanks for stopping by. Yes, this resume was created using Canva. Canva is a free online graphic design tool. I use it for just about everything — including this mock resume I made. Let me know if you have any questions!
ereshia powe says
thanks ashlee for the helpful tips now maybe i will find this work from home job seeking easier
But what if you don’t have any blogger, freelance writer, virtual assistant, etc. experience and the extent to your online experience is through social media activity like Facebook and Pinterest? What would you put in the experience section of resume? I’m trying to start working from home so I don’t have work from home experience.
Ashlee Anderson says
Thanks for stopping by! Really, it depends on what kind of work from home job you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a sales and support position, you would want to higihlight your customer service experience. If you wanted to become a virtual administrative assistant, you would want to describe your in-office experience in clerical roles. A lot of in-office jobs translate really well to online work! Many times, you don’t necessarily need previous work from home experience. Instead, you need to demonstrate on your resume that you can get the job done while working remotely. This includes mentioning the needed qualifications for the position and showing that you work will as part of a virtual team — being familiar with online collaboration tools, being organized, and great written communication skills are definite musts 🙂
Rita Gray says
Ashlee that you so much for the information on Creating a Work from Home Resume. Lots of really good advice.
I will send friends and others to your site that want to work from home, but need help with this special type of resume.
Natalie rivera says
Can someone just make a resume for me instead? It’s too much work for me. I’m not creative using words. I never worked and been a sahm since 2004. I have 5 kids, a husband and in debt. I don’t volunteer in anything and don’t want too! I’m a very much a introvert. I also do not drive so I reallly need a good paying job from home. I homeschool two of my kids.
Jasmine Capri says
Ashlee, I understand that you use Canva, however, can you send me the layout of the resume you made on there? I already sent you an email about it.
Faith Stewart says
I honestly never thought about changing my resume when applying for a work at home job rather than a traditional office job. I just used the same one! That probably explains a lot. Thank you so much for this!
Amy Dowds says
This is great information. I have many skills I’ve used remotely with my current and previous jobs, just not remotely from home, so to speak. I’ve done work for other operations or projects within the same company, but was not on site with the entire team. I feel these skills can carry over to a fully remote position. I will be working on the resume based on your examples. This information is just what I’ve been looking for
Ashlee Anderson says
Glad you found it helpful! A work-from-home resume is different than a traditional one — that’s for sure. Good luck on your remote job search!
What tool did you use to create this fake resume? I’d like to replicate this.
Ashlee Anderson says
I used Canva! It’s a free online design tool. They have lots of resume templates you can use. 🙂
Joe Flanagan says
A great blog – particularly useful is the insight around keywords. As the saying goes its not what you say but how you say it, especially the action words you choose. Using powerful action words on your resume is one great way to make it stand out. Take for example the words, ‘wrote’ and ‘compose’ press releases. Both of them mean the same but using the word ‘compose’ suggests you put more thought into writing those press releases. Drop the generics or empty jargon such as ‘good communicator’ and ‘passionate, and instead demonstrate that you are. This will help to sift you out from the pile of applications. Check out one of our popular articles which may be of help: https://www.velvetjobs.com/resume/resume-action-words
Utkalika Bhoi says
Ashlee, this is a really helpful and inspiring blog. I am starting my work from home journey, hopefully with a direct direction 🙂
Ashlee Anderson says
Awesome! Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to point you in the right direction.
Ashlee Anderson, CPCC