If you work from home, putting together a resume won’t be quite as straightforward as it is for those who are employed by brick & mortar companies. But don’t underestimate your value: just because you take advantage of the flexibility and freedom of working from home doesn’t mean that you aren’t a hard-working employee or freelancer.
Take the time to include these five essential pieces of information in your work-at-home resume, and your potential employers will definitely take notice:
1. List the big dogs first. Whether you freelanced or were a salaried employee, catch your prospective employer's attention by listing the most recognizable companies first. By grabbing their attention with not-so-subtle name-dropping, you'll be much more likely to have your resume thoroughly read and considered. While listing jobs in chronological order is the traditional format, for online work you’ll want to call attention to your achievements by showing your employer just how good you are, via listing notable jobs first. You’ll still want to include the dates worked at all positions in parentheses (or smaller text underneath the job titles).
2. Personalize your resume. Universal "catch-all" resumes may work for traditional job searches, but if you're looking for online/telecommuting work, you'll want to make yourself as appealing as possible by tweaking your resume so you come across as a perfect fit for the position.
3. Talk up your dedication to your work. Make it clear that you work from home because it's your passion and where you are the most efficient and most productive. Don't be afraid to include sample schedules and your own tips for staying on-task and meeting deadlines, so your prospective employer knows that even though you won't be punching the clock or sitting at a desk in his office, you're dedicated, serious, and reliable.
4. Get references. Ask former and/or current employers and clients to write a quick note of recommendation of you based on your skills and production for them. Compile these references in a consistently formatted document and include it with your resume.
5. Include your best work. Include links to live examples of your work (published articles, running websites, photography portfolios), and/or put together a separate .PDF or Powerpoint presentation that highlights your achievements with other clients. Seeing what you've done goes a long way in a field where your prospective employer can't meet with you face-to-face to gauge your abilities.
In addition to these tips, CareerOneStop.org has excellent recommendations for formatting your resume. Depending on the type of work you’ve done and are looking for, the listed format examples may help you with tailoring your resume.
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