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Cover Letter and Resume Tips for Remote Jobs, Internships

Show off your remote work skills on your cover letter and resume.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

March 16, 2021

Times are changing -- and so is the way we work. Get our tips for navigating the remote job search.
Cover Letter and Resume Tips for Remote Jobs, Internships
As we begin 2021, it looks as if this year is much the same as last. Though there is a vaccine available, the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of slowing, which means that graduating college seniors and summer job searchers alike may find themselves applying for remote full-time or part-time jobs as well as internship opportunities. Remote jobs, however, aren’t just a by-product of the pandemic. They have been increasing in availability for quite a few years now, and those companies that were migrating toward remote work were simply forced into the situation much sooner. Naturally, tech companies are at the forefront of the movement. According to CNN, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said that 50% of the social media company’s employees could be working from home within the next five to 10 years. Twitter and Square’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, said he is prepared to allow employees to work from home “forever.”

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PSA, a French automaker, will move all of its non-production staff to remote work. Office space will be set up for in-person collaboration when needed, but the company plans to significantly reduce their “real estate footprint,” reports CNN. Because of the ongoing pandemic and this cultural, workplace shift, everyone from high school interns to college graduates will see opportunities presented differently. With that, students need to change their cover letters, resumes, and even interviewing skills to accommodate this move from in-person to remote. If you expect to be looking for work in the near future, whether it’s your first “real world” job or a summer internship, here’s what you can expect:

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Cover Letters

Just like any other job application process, your cover letter is typically the first thing a potential employer sees. A cover letter may be a PDF that the hiring manager requires along with a resume or it may be the introductory email that you send along with your resume. Whatever the case, your cover letter needs to be quick introductory and accurate summation of who you are and what you can do. It also needs to make clear which position you’re applying for – especially if it’s a remote – or virtual – job opportunity that you found. It will also serve you well to introduce how your particular skills can set you up for success in a virtual role. For instance, being able to communicate clearly and concisely is a must when working outside of the office. The first way that you can demonstrate your effectiveness in this area is to have an amazing cover letter.

Resumes

Your resume is a great place to be more detail-oriented with your skills and experience related to remote work. Start with the job advertisement or description: are there certain programs that you need to be proficient in to make this remote role work? If so, you definitely want to highlight those. Next, include any experience you may have with other programs that could be helpful to the job. However, don’t stretch it. Attending Zoom meetings does not make you an expert on Zoom. However, facilitating meetings and managing any extra add-ons that take specific skills are both worth noting. If you have any experience using project management tools, like Trello or Basecamp, they should be included on your resume. Even if the company you’re applying to doesn’t use these particular tools, they will be impressed that you know how to navigate your way around a platform that helps to keep remote workflow going smoothly. Finally, if you're more than just your typical social media user, feature that on your resume as well. If you have influencer status or have helped to craft social media posts in a professional or academic setting in the past, be sure to leverage your social media experience on your resume.

Interviews

If you had applied for remote work before the pandemic, chances are that you would have interviewed in person. But like most things in our lives now, interviews are being handled virtually as well. With that, here are some tips for managing the virtual job interview:
  1. Make sure you have a reliable Internet connection. This is also crucial to sustaining remote work once you’ve accepted the job offer. If you’re working on a more stable connection but don’t have one before the job interview, consider asking one of your friends in your quarantine pod if you can do the interview at their place.
  2. Set up your camera angle before the virtual interview. You don’t want to start the job interview adjusting your camera because of a poor angle or bad lighting. Test the angle out with friends and family too so you can get a second opinion.
  3. Make sure the background of your virtual interview is clean and crisp. You don’t want a huge mess to distract the interviewer from what you’re saying. It’s also a great idea to assess your background before the call – or again, have friends and family offer their assessment.
  4. Dress appropriately. We’ve all gotten so comfortable in our sweatpants, but now is not the time to sport your best-looking athleisure. Put on some real pants and a nice top – and fix your hair properly. It may feel like a little bit of a culture shock, but it will look great during the virtual job interview as well as give you a boost of confidence.

Remote Work and You

Remote work is very likely the way of the future – as well as the way of our present day circumstances. Now is a great time to embrace this reality, and work on making yourself an enticing candidate. If you’d like to become more proficient in tools used in remote work, consider taking online certification courses. Fastweb has highlighted the best online learning platforms by subject matter and cost. You can find multiple programs to help you acquire the skills necessary for remote work. Taking online courses to become more adept at these programs and platforms can set you apart significantly from other job candidates. They will not only look great on your resume or cover letter, but the skills and efficiencies that you use will be fresh for your first day on the job. Embrace these times and the opportunities to grow, check out remote internships to kick off your virtual job experience.

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