Telecommuting Resume Advice

Sometimes I get asked about whether or not I keep up a resume and whether or not anyone looking for a telecommuting job should. So I figured I’d take time to answer that question today. Then I found an article that already does just that (and from an expert in the topic of resumes, no less).

So for starters I’ll tell you that no, I personally do not keep up a current resume–primarily because I’m not actively seeking a job of any sort. I’ve got more work than time, so if anything I’m looking for a maid so that I can devote even more time to work and much less time to cleaning chores.

photo by thp365Should you create a resume or keep one up-to-date if you ARE looking for a telecommuting position? Heck yeah! If you’re looking for any good job, you’d better be polishing your resume and working towards additional skills you can list for good measure. In fact, I agree with the expert du’jour, for telecommuter wanna-be’s it’s even more essential to have a polished document that speaks for itself.
Photo by thp365 on day 186/365 of applying to jobs and submitting resumes.

In an effort to help you create an awesome resume that’s able to land jobs sight unseen, here’s an article written by Jennifer Anthony who just happens to be the owner of, offering professional and affordable resume writing services since 1999. That’s not a typo, people. She’s been offering her expertise online for nearly a decade now and her blog is full of cover letter and resume advice, quick tips, and career-related articles.

This article was actually written in 2006 (yeah, I just stumbled on it today) but it’s every bit as relevant today as it was when it was written. So now, without further ado…

What Are the Differences Between Telecommute Resumes and Standard Resumes?
by Jennifer Anthony

Jobseekers often ask me what the difference is between a “standard” resume and a telecommute resume. So I have compiled this short article to explain those differences.

1. Telecommute resumes have to stand out.

Recruiters and hiring mangers are flooded with resumes when they post a telecommute job. I spoke to a recruiter that stated he gets between 750 and 1,000 resumes, each day, every time he posts a project. It starts to taper off a little after the third day. So after just three days, he could easily have more than 2,000 resumes to sort through.

Because of this, you absolutely have to have a resume that stands apart from the crowd. I don’t mean that you should add all kinds of clipart and colorful graphics – so don’t go crazy. You should take time to make sure your information is presented in an easy to read and eye-pleasing format. You will need to emphasize your skills, particularly your ability to work independently, and your time management skills.

2. Telecommute resumes are highly scrutinized.

You are competing with people all over the country instead of just local applicants. The telecommuting employer has the “cream of the crop” to choose from. They are going to analyze and make judgments on what they find in your resume.

You have to pay extra attention to spelling and grammar errors. Make sure you aren’t using the word, “I” anywhere on your resume. Pay attention to where you place commas, and remember to end your sentences with a period.

Don’t rely on MS Word to teach you proper grammar, those little red squiggly lines look intimidating, but you can make them go away (see below). Instead, refer to a manual such as the Gregg Reference Manual or some online manual.

3. Telecommute resumes have to take the place of you.

The hiring manager is not going to be able to meet you. They may call you for a phone interview, but they will make most of their hiring decision based on your resume alone. You want to make sure to cover everything you think is applicable, and leave off information that isn’t. Read over your resume and think about what impression you will make.

In addition, if you have taken any online certification tests, (offered at be sure to add that information. If you belong to professional associations, (like the International Virtual Assistants Association) be sure to note that on your resume. Going the extra mile might make the difference between a regretful e-mail, and “you’re hired.”

** How to make those red squiggly lines go away:

In Word 2003, go to the “Tools” menu and scroll down to “Options.” When you click on “Options” a new window will open up that has several tabs to choose from. Select the “Spelling and Grammar.” Look for the check box that says, “hide grammatical errors in this document.” Check the box and hit the “OK” button. Voila! All of the little misleading lines have vanished.

About the Author…

Jennifer Anthony, Resume Expert

Featured on CareerBuilder, MSN Careers, AOL Jobs,
CNN, Net-Temps, TelCoa, and Telework Recruiting.

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