Most people make some mistakes when searching for a work at home job. The scams alone make that easy to do. It’s not always the scams that ruin your job hunt. Sometimes it’s you. Here are some common work at home job hunt mistakes and tips to help you avoid them.
Mistake #1: Focus too much on the money.
We all want to earn a really nice living. Working at home doesn’t change that. Focusing just on how much you can earn from home isn’t going to help you as much as you might think.
First and foremost, that’s one of the big ways people fall for work at home scams. They see all these opportunities and jobs offering big money for little work. Poof! You fall for a scam, and suddenly working at home doesn’t look so possible, plus you’re out some amount of money. It’s not a good situation.
But even when you’re looking at legitimate jobs you shouldn’t focus excessively on the money. Make sure the jobs you apply for are a match to your skills. You have better odds of getting the jobs you’re more qualified for. Nothing wrong with applying to the dream job, but if you really aren’t qualified, it’s not going to happen. Look at jobs that can help you get the experience to get into the better job, not just the better job.
Mistake #2: Treat your job hunt as a numbers game.
Some people will apply to all home based jobs, any home based job, on the theory that if they just keep trying, someone will hire them. This is a big waste of time.
Focus on the jobs that you’re qualified for. Target your resume to them. You want a job you can keep for a long time, not one where you’ll flunk out during the training process if you somehow make it through the interview.
Mistake #3: Rely only on posted jobs.
Finding a legitimate work at home job is tough. Sticking only to job listings makes it even more difficult. Find companies you’d like to work for, and contact them even if they don’t have jobs listed – unless their website specifically says don’t. Some companies that hire home based employees don’t want to be contacted unless they are listing openings at that time. Respect that, as they won’t be interested in employees who can’t follow so basic an instruction.
But if a company is open to contact, you may be able to get your resume in before the job is listed, and be considered before there’s a lot of competition. Done right, the benefit may be huge.
Mistake #4: Don’t follow application instructions.
What does the potential employer want you to include in your application? What format? If you don’t follow all instructions, why would they want to hire you?
Mistake #5: Write a misleading resume.
Keep your resume honest. Don’t claim skills you don’t have, and don’t try to hide gaps in employment. Gaps happen, and so long as you have a good reason for them, they don’t really matter. What employers need most from you are your abilities.
Mistake #6: Write a sloppy resume.
Is your resume disorganized? Does it have typos? Is it just plain hard to understand what you did when in your career?
Odds are good that you would benefit from rewriting your resume. Don’t allow typos to slip through. Make sure the whole thing makes sense and is well organized from a potential employer’s point of view.
Mistake #7: Fail to target your resume.
The wonderful part about electronic resumes rather than printed ones is that they’re easier to target. Particularly for work at home jobs, you will very rarely be sending in a resume on paper. This means you can target your resume for each individual job.
This is important. Consider the keywords used in the job description, especially the skills they’re looking for. Use those words when you can to describe your own skills, so long as it’s an honest description and fits neatly into your resume. These days resume submissions may be scanned electronically before any human sees them, and you want yours to stand out as a possible choice right from the start.
Mistake #8: Ignore your own online presence.
What do people learn about you when they check you out online? While this shouldn’t matter for all jobs, the simple fact is that it can. Some employers will check your online presence, including your social networks, to see what kind of person you are.
Make a LinkedIn profile if you don’t have one already. They’re good for professional networking in any case. Make sure your Facebook, Twitter or any other social profile is appropriate. Google yourself and confirm that anything that appears about you looks good. You can’t control what appears about other people with your same name, but you can make an effort on your own behalf.
Mistake #9: Don’t research the company.
When it comes to work at home jobs, failing to research the company you want to work for can go wrong in two ways. The first is that they could be a scam. The second is that you may not really understand the company when you get an interview, and you may be unprepared.
That said, don’t overdo the research. Your early research should be focused on making sure it’s a company you want to work for. Don’t stress about researching information you’ll need for the interview until you have one scheduled.
Mistake #10: Don’t keep in contact.
There are different ways it may or may not be appropriate to keep in contact with companies you’ve applied to. Some will specifically request that you not call, email or otherwise contact them to see how your application is progressing. Others won’t mind, but want you to do so in a particular way. Respect their requests.
You can also really mess up by not responding promptly when they do contact you. Keep a close eye on your emails when you’re job hunting, including your spam folder, as good emails can sometimes land there by mistake. Check your voicemail regularly too.
Mistake #11: Be negative.
Know who’s going to have a lot of trouble finding any sort of work at home job? Someone who doesn’t believe it’s possible. You say it’s all scams, that’s what you’re going to find. Don’t be so positive that you blind yourself to scams, but also don’t be so negative that even a good job must have something wrong with it.
Also don’t be negative about your situation or your work history. Employers want enthusiastic employees. Have a bad attitude about your own situation, even when it’s tough, and they may not see you in a positive light.
Same goes for any problems you may have had in your work history. You may have left the job from hell, but don’t emphasize that when you’re trying for a new job. They may wonder if you were the problem more so than the previous job.