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Applying for a new job can be one of the most nerve-racking and challenging things you ever do in your life. It means taking a step into the unknown or casting your bottle out into the ocean in hopes that it is picked up by someone.
You want to put your best foot forward — show off all of your skills. But what are you forgetting? What little thing could you mention that would really make you shine?
It may come as a bit of a surprise, but acknowledging that you have the ability and willingness to work successfully in a remote, online environment could actually be worth mentioning on your resume. Online work and eLearning skills have been growing in popularity and necessity for years. Now more than ever before, they are almost essential to business success and have become highly desired amongst new candidates.
Online Education Skills
For those of us who have been forced into working from home or completing coursework online due to COVID-19, the skills may not seem as grand as they actually are. But for many employees and students, you deliberately choose to be remote, there are a lot of pluses. Working or learning remotely can be an improvement because of it:
- Gives you the freedom to live closer to friends/family/hobbies and not be tied to a specific location where the physical work/school building is.
- Allows you to go on adventures anywhere in the world and still hold a job.
- Provides flexibility in your schedule to work around a second job/kids/other obligations.
- Enables you to connect or disconnect from co-workers as necessary to complete work.
- Creates the ability to study in a location that allows you to be most productive.
An educational background that includes remote learning can also benefit students and employees who have different learning or working styles. For instance, many online professors offer some level of asynchronous learning. This means students are provided all of the coursework early on and are able to work through it and ask questions at their own pace.
Having already made this type of adjustment from a brick and mortar building to online work once can make a big difference going forward. For instance, if your job suddenly requires you to work online, as it has for many employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, you already have the tools and environment you need to be successful. Likewise, you know what communication strategies are going to work for you and you can be a huge asset to a team that is having difficulty adjusting.
Making the Cut
So you’ve established that you have a solid remote work background whether it comes from completing online courses or working from home in the past. What next?
The next action involves taking the steps to get out there and get a job!
Your remote work and learning skills may end up coming in handy even during the job hunt. They can make you a better applicant because you have an understanding of the ins and outs of applying to positions online rather than just in person. You know who to contact when you have questions and how to come across as professional when you haven’t met someone face-to-face. This ability can even go so far as to help you during the interview process: many employers are interested in asking behavioral interview questions that enable you to describe your experiences in detail.
Remote work experience isn’t always for everyone, however. For instance, for those adults working with ADHD, it can be a real benefit that enables you to concentrate or a terrible problem that keeps you way too distracted to focus on anything. There are plenty of tips and tricks to get through it, such as breaks for exercise, but your previous experience may help you determine which types of jobs are and are not for you.
E-Learning in the Workplace
Getting a job still isn’t the last way that your previous remote experience is likely to help you succeed. Nowadays, many employers require new employees to take online work orientation training. Tenured employees likely have to complete refresher courses online, so it really never goes away.
E-learning in the workplace can be used regularly for different types of training, especially those that are sensitive and may not be as effective in a large group setting. In these scenarios larger groups may make employees feel targeted or defensive which can limit their ability to take away a strong message. Online learning can help them go through the required courses at their own pace so information can really be absorbed.
Finally, your remote experience can make you an asset to creating a culture of learning in your workplace. Getting employees to value and absorb the training they are receiving can be a real challenge, especially when it comes in a format they aren’t always familiar with. But you can promote online learning and help others adjust to the many changes and benefits it can bring to the workplace.
Having an experience of working or learning in a remote environment has a lot of perks that largely go unappreciated by many employees. Online environments tend to offer greater flexibility and opportunity to balance other aspects of life. They can help you shine in a remote application world and once you get a job these skills will be used regularly and can make you an asset to the team.