How To Create a Work at Home Resume (What Matters, What Doesn’t)

In any job search, you need to have a resume updated and ready to submit during the application process. Job searching for work from home can make writing the resume a little tricky. You have to have one, so let’s see what we can do to make it the best WAH resume it can be.

First, your WAH resume has to be concise. Most recruiters and Human Resource people do not have time to read every point on every resume that comes across their desks. If yours is more than one page, it may not be read at all.

The next thing to consider is how to draw attention to your attributes. You have to highlight them in a way that catches the eye with words that encourage the reader to keep reading. Vocabulary choice should be professional but within your comfort zone. You do not want to give an impression with your resume that you cannot carry through the interview.

If you turn to a professional resume writing service, make sure you give them your own copy of the resume, so they have something to work with. A very good resume writer can duplicate your voice, so you do not come across one way on paper, and another in person.

Most of us do this ourselves, however, there are free options available that can help. I did a quick Google search for Free Resume Builder

and got over 47 million results. Thankfully, we do not have to wade through all of that.

If you have Office, you don’t need to search Google for a resume maker at all. There are templates built into Word that can help you create a professional looking resume.

All you have to do is put your info in and save it.

Let’s take a look at a resume I put together without a template.

There’s a third page..

As you can see, I have broken the short and sweet rule. In some cases, you can get away with this, if the excess data is relevant enough and presented in a way that draws the reader’s interest. It is not a wise course to take, however, because the odds are not in your favor. Two-page resumes do not often make it to the top of the pile, no matter how well written they are. So, let’s pick a template and get this resume cut down and cleaned up.

 

This is from my copy of Office365. Earlier versions should have a template selection page where you can sort through and find exactly what you’re looking for with very little trouble.

I like simple and clean documents, and so do most HR people. Unless you’re going for something in graphic design, the big bold one up there is not the best choice. There’s one with green text, but black on white is an easier read.

Colored text is an eye-catcher, but most recruiters see it as a gimmick and will not give another thought to putting it aside in favor of a simple black text resume. A good rule to follow is to keep it simple unless the job post specifically asks you to be more creative. In which case, give them what they want.

You can also see that most of our resume templates have a matching cover letter template. We’ll work on the resume for right now and talk about the cover letter later.

For simplicity, we will use the Chronological template, since this is the organization of our resume.

Once we have it open, we can start filling in our information. 

Some people will see all of those sections and start sweating because they don’t have data to fill them all. The truth is, you do not have to fill or use every section. If you have no Affiliations or Credentials, delete that section. Most job posters are not looking for too much more than job experience and education.

If they are looking for something specific, the job post will ask for it. If you need a degree or a certain level of experience with software, they will say so. This saves them time and spares you from applying to jobs you are not quite qualified for.

Now, the real meat of the resume is going to be in the first and last section of the resume. These are the parts most people in hiring positions actually read.

At Wealthy Affiliate, we have a tool that I mentioned in my review called Jaaxy that helps us find current keywords to insert into our content. This can also be used in a WAH job search. Type in what you’re looking for and see if your resume content can be optimized as well. You can try it out at the end of this post.

Whatever you have in these sections is one of the main points that decides whether the recruiter will take the time to continue looking at your resume.

Let’s take a closer look at those sections on mine.

OBJECTIVE
Seeking a remote position wherein 
I can utilize my experience and expertise .

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE
Customer service skills are foremost. 
Computer skills current. 
Extensive telephone and face-to-face 
customer care experience.
 Writing, blogging, data expert, 
social media, SEO.

Motivated, time management. Minimal supervision required, 
flexible & dependable. Type 50-65 wpm, 10-key sight & feel. 
Windows proficient. Certified in Excel, Word, Access, 
and PowerPoint. 20+ years Internet, 
25+ years Customer Service, 14+ years Tech Support. 
WordPress, Social Media & SEO experience.

This is where you have to seriously sell your work from home, remote, telecommute self. Depending on the job, you have to let them know you can use a computer, pick out the major software you are comfortable with and highlight any other skills that would be useful.

This resume is designed to lean towards non-phone, writing, training or management positions. In many of those cases, you still have to handle customers in some capacity.

Another thing WAH job posters are looking for are people who can work independently and have the discipline to show up to work, especially when there’s no one who is going to be looking for them to walk in the door.

Motivated, time management. 
Minimal supervision required, 
flexible & dependable

These are golden words to a recruiter. Once you tell them they can count on you, tell them exactly what you can do, and how long you’ve been doing it. A time frame will give them an idea just how good you can be expected to be at these tasks.

Some applications will ask you to rate your level of expertise from Novice or Beginner to Intermediate to Expert. This is completely subjective, of course, so telling them how many years of Customer Service or Technical Support or whatever skill you have clarifies for them whether they need to tighten up your skill set or if they can turn you loose on Day 1 and know that you know what you’re doing over there in your cozy home office.

As far as Experience is concerned, most companies will look for the last 5-10 years of work history. My resume goes all the way back to 2010.

I had other non-WAH jobs in and before 2010, but they are not included here because I want to highlight my WAH experience; my customer service, management and training experience; and my writing, SEO, proofreading, and editing experience.

If the job posting asks for a specific time frame for job history, give them what you have. It’s not a bad idea to keep a few different versions of a resume, but only if you are looking for work in different fields.

The same thing goes for a cover letter. I currently have my main one and a secondary one that I use for writing jobs I apply to. I have embedded links in one of these that lead to my portfolio pages, and another where the links are written out. This helps if you’re doing an upload or a copy/paste. In an upload, embedded links usually transfer intact, but not so much when pasting.

This is our resume using the template.

I actually have room to include more work experience. The excess information about each job is left out. There are recruiters that want that data, but they can get that in the interview. This is a case of less is more or giving just enough to make them want to ask questions. This can backfire, or it can play in your favor. There is really no way to be sure, which is why having multiple copies is a good idea.

 

Keep the cover letter as clean as the resume, match the font and size as well. Save a copy with embedded links and one with text links (https://thissite.com) written out.

Then, get to posting. Here’s the Jaaxy link to try out some of those keywords, as promised.

Any questions, concerns, or comments? Drop me a note and we’ll talk about it.

 

 

 

 

 

20 thoughts on “How To Create a Work at Home Resume (What Matters, What Doesn’t)

  1. Thank you for your guide on how to write a work at home resume. I recently tried to update my last resume and I do not know how to write one. I was thinking about references factor as well so I never got to update it. I love the vocabulary on the sample of your resume. They are straight to the point and concise. Will try to work on my resume with your guidelines.

    1. The concise nature of that resume is why I chose it. We no longer need to include every detail on the resume. Employers just want to know where you’ve been and what you can do.

      As another commenter said, recruiters take about 15 seconds per resume. If you don’t catch their eye or take too long to do so, you could be put aside. 

      If you need some help with your resume, let me now. I’ll be glad to look over it with you.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. In the past, my career was coincidentally a career counselor. Writing resumes was one of my purpose for my clients. It’s not easy coming up a resume which will meet every industry.

    WAH concept is great. Being a professional resume writer, an attribute is the one thing I used to focus on. Most resumes have 15 seconds to make an impression. Those 15 seconds better display your best skills.

    There are so many who turn say they have limited skills, yet when you start questioning them, it amazing how many skills they do have. I love your WAH concept.

    1. Thank you so much.

      My mother once worked as a headhunter back before the internet. She used to tell me that the hardest thing she did was convincing people that they were more capable than they thought they were.  A lot of life experience can be applied to the workplace, but people don’t usually consider that when building a resume. 

      It is not simply about work history and education. What people know can be as important as where they have worked and learned.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. This could come in very handy for a lot of people, nowadays. As for myself, I operate my own websites and do some freelance writing on the side. But on occasion, I’ve had to turn in resumes for some of my freelance writing clients. It’s rare, but it does happen and it’s a good idea to have something like this prepared ahead of time. The last time I needed one was several years ago, but I’ve done other work since then that should probably be added to a more updated resume. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Mark,

      I have been working as an Independent Contractor for the last few years, but I do have those jobs listed on my latest resume. It helps show that I am committed to working freelance or off the beaten path and can be to our advantage when applying for jobs. 

      Each time my project changes or ends I add that so I have an updated resume for the next project. 

      It is a good practice, even when working for ourselves. the skills we acquire doing so can enhance our hireability. 

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. Thank you very much for explaining the creation of work at home resume. I’m a bit confused to create CV and cover letter for applying another work at home jobs. They are different with my 9-to-5 jobs, so I must create a very different CV. By the way, is it mandatory to upload resume in online channel? Or is it just to increase the possibility to be found by a potential employer? Thanks.

    1. Usually, you have to add a resume when applying for an online or WAH job. If you register at any of the dedicated work from home sites, a resume is also required. It helps the site present your resume when employers are looking for candidates.

      It is a good idea to try to have yourself up to date with a paper copy and a digital one. I use Google Drive to keep mine updated as well as a downloaded version I can email to employers on the fly. 

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. Hey Gwendolyn,

    This is an unique and informative article I must say. I have heard about WAH resume before but I never tried them rather I used the conventional way of writing resume. And I did not even know that a different approach to a resume can make such differences. Moreover I learned the advantages of writing resume in one page. 

    Thank you for writing such a helpful article.

    1. Mahin,

      Thank you so much for stopping by. 

      Yes, resumes do need to be tweaked and tailored to WAH jobs. It’s not something any recruiter thinks to tell people, because they are just the first touch point in the hiring process. 

      I hope you found the information useful and let me know if you want any help putting together a resume. 

      Take care,

      Gwendolyn J

  6. Hello Gwen. First let me say that I am not a pro proofreader or a journalist.  Heck, I’m not eve that good at writing, but I do have a few observations concerning the topic and your website. You can take em or leave em as you wish.

    the website is terrific.  the home page captures my imagination from the jump.  the theme however is a bit boring. A more focused theme would or might be beneficial. The scripted text is condensed into a narrow pagination, by design I suspect,.  But, when condensed I this way, there is a lot of tex to read but its all slammed tougher and it does give me a break.  The templates, screen shots and advice in the article was excellent but again, a bit hard to read.

    Generally, I really ike the website and the article on resume building is great. I hope to learn more about WAH opportunities.  Perhaps you can share some potential employers hat are legit and look for real people to do real work. hat would be a great article.

    1. Dave,

      I actually chose the template after going through about 20-25 that I hated or couldn’t reconcile with what I wanted to do. I do not want the structure of the page to overpower my content. The content is the point and yes, that is why it is packed into the middle of the page. 

      I try to break up the posts with pictures and such, but I know that my posts run long. There’s often just too much to say. I also try to shorten the paragraphs to no more than 3-5 sentences, if that. I understand the human animal in this day and age requires data in quick bites.

      As for your job search, I have another post on the site you can check out. I will be doing another on several other sites, plus I have a review of Indeed.com that details their work from home options. 

      I hope this helps, and thank you so much for stopping by. 

      Gwendolyn J

  7. Hi Gwen. Terrific article and the website is very informative. I love the rolling scroll at the top . I am trying the WAH path and I have not had much success at it yet, but I’m trying. I’ve been a professional for over thirty years and just wanted to settle down a bit. Thanks for sharing this info.

    1. Dave,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      After 30 years of working, I think we all need a break of some sort. WA is an at-your-pace program which is conducive to taking things a little slower. I am glad you found us!

      Take care,
      Gwendolyn J

  8. Some very good advice on how to create a ‘work at home’ resume that will get you looks, interviews, and jobs. These days a resume is more important than ever, since people may have little else to judge your qualifications on. People looking for work online count on these as do employers to give an accurate picture of the skill set and experience a person may have.

    I know that in my own case, I use them to hire VAs for the various jobs that we hire independent contractors to fill from the Philippines. Without the resume to start things off, there is no offer a person can apply for from my side. Some positions we hire to fill include data entry specialists. chatbot developers, video editors, customer support, accountant, etc.

    With each of these positions, we need to know the skill set that the person has. This is followed up with interviews, some trials, etc. but it all starts with that resume. The length is normally 2-3 pages long with the applicants we have, and rarely more.

    The rest of the points you mention are all good. I need to know the prior jobs, any applicable education, their goals, and anything else they think may be pertinent. They already know what the pay is, but a certain portion is results-oriented, so attitude and tone in the content of the resume are important as well. 

    This is the first article that I have seen on how to create a ‘work at home’ resume, and it is a good one. People like me do use these and ask for them (or a CV, which is the same thing) so you have hit on something so it is a vital post people need to see!

    1. Dave,

      I noticed there was no real information on targeting the resume for WAH, and I hope this post is useful and helps someone down the line. 

      There are massive numbers of work from home sites that help the user build a resume, but they do not actually tell you what recruiters such as yourself will be looking for. 

      Thank you for stopping by, and take care. 

      Gwendolyn J

  9. Dear Gwendolyn,

    Thanks a lot for the informative and helpful post. This has to be motivating, not only for me but also for many others.

    This post means a lot to me because I am trying freelancing jobs for the past one year. I was sending my normal resume and I felt like I don’t have a proper resume for WAH jobs and your post gave me helpful insights. Great advice and suggestions on creating WAH resume!

    OMG, I am using 2 page colored text resume and after reading your post, I realized many of the mistakes I am making with my resume. This post is an eye-opener for me and I will implement what I learned from your post in creating my new WAH resume.

    To be honest, very recently one of my friend asked for a format for WAH resume I said I am yet to create one. I am going to share your post with him and for sure he gonna find great value from this post.

    How I wish I had found your article sooner when I first started! I had to go through the old way of trial and errors.

    Much Success!

    Paul

    1. Paul,

      Bless your heart! I am glad this information is helpful to you. It can be a long road to getting a WAH job and it is unfortunate that people don’t realize from the start that the resume has to be tweaked for the position as you would any traditional job.

      I am flattered that you will be passing the info along. Please, let me know if you have any questions or want some help getting yours put together. 

      Take care, and thanks for stopping by!

      Gwendolyn J

  10. I wished I researched more about this when I tried out freelancing. the online freelance market is a pretty competitive space and you’ll have to really grind to succeed. Never thought a different approach to a resume could make a difference, as I stuck with my traditional office-style resume.

    thanks for sharing!

    1. Mike,

      I had the same mindset at first. Over time I came to understand that WAH positions require a different set of attributes to appeal to the hiring people. I hope this was helpful. 

      Thanks for stopping by

      Gwendolyn J

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