How to Improve Your Chances of Landing a Work at Home Job
Are you having trouble landing a work at home job? It’s not an easy process for most people. There’s a lot of competition for most positions. But if you’ve applied to a lot of work at home jobs and haven’t landed one yet, odds are that there’s something you need to change in your work at home job hunt.
Following these tips won’t guarantee that you land a work at home job. Nothing can do that – it’s up to the employers, and I am not an employer. What these tips can do is help you look better as you seek out the right work at home job.
Set Up A Spreadsheet
This part is optional, but setting up a spreadsheet can help you to keep track of where you’ve applied, when you did so, and what you heard back. I’ve made a sample job application tracking spreadsheet you can use with Google Sheets.
Knowing where and when you’ve applied can save you a lot of trouble. You don’t have to rely on your memory for how long it has been since you applied.
You can add a lot more information to your spreadsheet than what I’ve done here. As you think of things you would like to track while applying for jobs, put them into your spreadsheet. It will save you a lot of frustration.
Know The Scams
If you don’t know how to spot a work at home scam, learn.
Being scammed while looking for a way to earn money is incredibly painful and humiliating. But if you’re alert, you can avoid a lot of them.
Many scams fall simply into the category of “too good to be true.” If a remote job opportunity looks too good to be true, look more carefully before applying. You might just be staring at a scam.
Others are more subtle. Some scams use the names of legitimate remote employers to gain your trust. Make sure you know for certain that the person you’re dealing with is who they say they are and that they’re representing the company you believe you’re dealing with.
Falling for a work at home scam wastes your time. It makes your job hunt more miserable. Do everything you can to avoid falling for a work at home job scam so that you can avoid that frustration.
Are You Qualified?
Before you start searching for a work at home job, go over your skills and experience. You need to narrow your search down to the jobs you are qualified to perform. I hear of a lot of people applying for work at home jobs with no consideration for what they already know how to do.
Think of it this way. Would you expect to get hired for an outside the home job if you had no qualifications for it?
Sometimes this means you have to get training before you start to search for jobs at all. I had to get training in medical transcription before I got my job doing that.
Training can cost money when you do it yourself. Career Step, for example, provides good training for medical transcriptionists and medical coders, but it’s not cheap. If you put in the effort and get a job after, it should be worth it. Kick back and do a poor job of training, and you’ve wasted your money.
It is not a scam to pay money for high quality training. You can get scammed if the training isn’t what it claimed, but good training no different than attending school for an outside the home job. Sometimes it’s just what you have to do.
There are some remote jobs that require no experience. If you don’t want to get training and you lack experience, these are the jobs you want to apply for.
Don’t go applying for jobs that want lots of experience – you’re wasting your time. Many employers use software to sort applications to see who has qualifications, and if you lack them, odds are that no human will even look at your application.
So just skip it if you are completely and utterly unqualified. I can’t repeat that one often enough. Companies that hire people to work at home get very tired of unqualified applicants. I’ve even had one tell me so.
Does Your Resume Show That You’re Qualified?
Your resume can ruin all your chances of landing a work at home job if it doesn’t do a good job of representing the skills and experience you will bring to the job. It’s the first impression most employers will have of you.
Write a crappy resume and you can expect crappy results. It’s really quite simple.
The first thing your work at home resume must do is show that you have the skills the employer is seeking. Look at the job description. Do you think your resume is a poor match, a good match, or a great match for the job as described?
You want it to be a great match. Failing that, a good match will do.
Look at the keywords used in the job description. If the employer is using software to sort applications, odds are that it’s looking for those keywords. Use them in your resume to improve your chances of getting an interview.
Make sure you follow directions when you apply for a work at home job. I can’t tell you how many people have contacted me after reading a job listing here on this site, thinking that I’m the employer.
I’m not. Nor do I have an “in” with these companies to help you get a job.
They also want to see that you can work independently. Anything you can do with your resume or cover letter that shows that you can work with little to no supervision will help.
Never, ever, minimize your skill with a computer. If you’re working remotely, odds are that you will be using a computer a lot, even if the job requires little to no experience. Employers don’t want to hold your hand as you learn computer basics.
Are You Following Instructions?
How you apply for the job tells the company a lot. If you can’t follow their instructions, if your resume is a mess, they aren’t going to be interested. They’ll find someone else out of the thousands of applications from other people who want to work at home.
Some employers, for example, will have their job posted on a job board but want you to email them directly rather than apply through the board.
They may even have you use a particular subject line in your email to show that you’re paying attention.
But following instructions goes beyond applying on the right site. It’s what you do after you apply.
Many employers specify that they do NOT want you to contact them to find out the status of your application. They get a lot of them. It takes time to go through all those applications and they don’t have time to answer the questions of a bunch of hopefuls every day.
Yes, that means you have to wait and wonder about your application. Keep applying to jobs until you get one, and don’t spend so much time wondering about individual ones.
Are You Prepared For Interviews?
Be prepared if you should make it as far as the telephone interview. Even if you won’t be on the phone as a part of your job, you will need to sound professional on the phone.
Yes, you will often be going up against some heavy competition.
Whenever your interview is, find a quiet place for it. Have someone keep the kids and pets away. Keep the television and radio off, and no surfing the internet while you talk.
Preparing for a phone or video interview is much like preparing for any other interview. Have some questions ready that you can ask your interviewer.
A word of warning: Just because you get an interview doesn’t mean you should let your guard down about work at home scams. Be aware of the signs of a work at home job scam interview. They count on your eagerness for a job to get past your defenses.
Have Your Workspace Ready
Many remote jobs have specific requirements for your workspace. If you don’t have this ready to go before you get an interview, you’re at a disadvantage.
If the jobs you’re applying for require the use of a wired telephone or internet service, wireless isn’t going to do. Set up in advance, or you may find that you miss out on jobs because you can’t get things installed in time.
Similarly, you don’t want to have to buy a lot of equipment. Some employers will provide the basic equipment you need, but many will expect you to provide your own.
At the very least, you will need a sufficiently current computer of the right kind. Some employers require that you have a Windows computer, not Apple OS. Your operating system should be reasonably up to date as well, and don’t forget current antimalware software!
Don’t forget to set up a comfortable home office. Not everyone can have a dedicated home office space, but do the best you can. Some employers will be very interested in how your office is set up so that they know it meets their standards.
This is especially important if you’re dealing with things that require privacy. Medical transcriptionists and medical coders, for example, have to follow HIPAA. If your home office isn’t sufficiently private, you could get into trouble.
The first advantage is that you can usually get higher pay. Don’t underestimate what you should earn from a freelance gig. Remember that you will have to pay higher taxes on freelance income, as they are not withheld by your employer.
Flexibility is the next advantage. Freelance jobs are usually quite flexible, although they can also be highly demanding if they want a lot of work with a quick deadline.
And of course, freelancing gives you more experience. This is great if you keep hearing from potential employers that you don’t have enough experience. Freelance for a time and get that experience.
Sometime a freelance gig will turn into a regular job. Some employers use freelancers essentially as a long job interview to decide if you’re who they want to hire. This is why you cannot dismiss a freelance gig offhand. It might take you exactly where you want to go.
Will all this guarantee you the job? Dream on! It’s still a matter of how good you look versus everyone else trying for the job. But if you put your best face forward you certainly can improve your odds.
Landing a work at home job takes time. It can take months to land even an outside the home job, so why expect things to be any different when you want to work at home?
Give it time and improve your odds of success.