Telecommute Resumes

images4Until today I had never heard of a “telecommute resume,” but Employment Digest has some tips for building one. While their advice is worth a look, I think they’re addressing how to build a resume to win any great job in a competitive global market. They’ve left out the one thing that might add value to resume aimed specifically at a telecommuting position.

The article says:

“1. Telecommute resumes have to stand out” because of intense competition for telecommute jobs. That’s because “2. Telecommute resumes are highly scrutinized,” since applicants come from all over, not just the local applicant pool. I agree on both counts. But both also apply to the sort of competition that professionals face when they apply for in-office jobs too. It’s a tough market.

The last point, “3. Telecommute resumes have to take the place of you” is also true to a point for someone applying for an in-office job. If the resume doesn’t sell the applicant, he won’t be called in for any interview, whether in-office or by phone.

All of these tips are good for anyone who’s up against stiff global competition for a great job. But if you were the manager hiring specifically for a telecommuting position, wouldn’t you be seeking hints that this applicant is the sort of person who can be trusted to deliver without face-to-face supervision? Would you be reassured to know that an applicant had worked remotely before and demonstrated real business results?

“Six years telecommute experience. Awarded ‘Top Producer’ in the department for the last four.”

“In the last year as a telecommuter, led three cross-organizational projects of over 1000 hours each to successful completion, on time and on budget.”

Someone without telecommuting experience might focus on remote teamworking skills demonstrated in the office.

“Led a virtual team based in Japan, Singapore, US, Norway, and France to complete a successful global implementation.”

The resume doesn’t “take the place of you” but it gets your foot in the door when it wins an interview. If that interview is by phone then your voice takes the place of your physical presence. No need to worry if your interview suit doesn’t fit quite right or wonder if your shoes are too dressy or casual or out of date. Your voice projects your image.

So polish it like you’d shine your interview shoes.  Prepare to answer the phone with a sharp, professional greeting. Use your radio voice. Imagine you’re the image of a sharp businessman or woman with a confident stance and firm handshake, and then project that attitude in your voice.  A friendly smile is audible by phone and makes you sound personable.

An interview coach once advised me to digging through my past for short stories that demonstrate professional qualities. Think behavioral interviews: the “tell me about a time when you had to win over someone who opposed you” sort of questions.  Take time before the interview to jot down and review a few personal stories that demonstrate successful remote work and dependable self management so that you can take advantage of any opening to sell your telecommuting skills.

Then put on that smile. You’ll stand out just fine.