One of the most essential 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. Separate the words with commas, like this: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, etc. if your specialty is data processing, make sure you include your fastest typing speed here and accuracy level.
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. 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.
Your Objectives section of your resume 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 by using action words!
Here are some examples of great opening paragraphs...
Creative graphics design professional seeking freelance projects. Professional, experienced, reliable and accustomed to meeting tight deadlines.
Speed typist seeking work as an independent contractor or full time offsite member of your team. Specialist in medical and business transcription and an expert in producing high quality materials with a fast turnaround.
Expert internet researcher seeking projects that require accurate results and fast turnaround. Equipped with high speed cable modem and willing to work off-hours if necessary.
Note that you should omit the typical "I want to work from home so I can be with my kids" paragraphs that some people think are a good idea. There are some very good reasons to avoid these statements. You need to focus on the highlights of your skills, rather than focusing on your desired location.
You should 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 free webspace providers, but unfortunately, those resumes aren't easily found, simply because the web address is not unique. Your resume may not be indexed at all, or it may be located in the 600th spot, which doesn't do you any good. It may be worth it for your resume to be posted on your own domain or with a service which gets good search engine results. You stand a better chance of being found this way.
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.
The Overview or Summary section of your resume should be a bulleted section which
briefly outlines your skills. Start each line with an action word, like this:
As you can see, these types of action words get the attention of the reader
and emphasize your accomplishments.
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. Use colors to spice it up, but stay away from red! Red evokes an angry emotion, and that is not the goal! Use soft blues, grays, and soft greens to highlight the sections. 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.
Did you know that your resume for telecommuting has to be different from your resume for regular onsite positions? 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.