Last Updated March 5th, 2018

How Much Information Should You Share When Looking For A Work At Home Job?

How Much Information Should You Share When Looking For A Work At Home Job?

You’re looking for a work at home job, and you think you’ve found something. But they’re asking for some information you aren’t sure that you should share. When is the right time to share the information they’re asking for? How do you know which information you should share when looking for a work at home job?

This isn’t always easy to answer. It can depend on the kind of work you’re looking at and how confident you are that the opportunity is legitimate.

When In Doubt, Don’t Share

We all worry about being scammed when looking for stay at home jobs. It’s normal. There are a lot of scams out there.

This makes sharing even normal personal information requested on any other job application more difficult when you’re talking about applying online. You just don’t have the reassurance that you get from applying with a local company. Most local companies you can drive by and see their actual location. You know they’re real because you’ve been there.

You can do a pretty good job of researching potential employers if you know how. Look up reviews for them online. Many companies are reviewed by current and former employees on sites such as Indeed or Glassdoor. You can learn about them on LinkedIn as well. Make sure you know the company’s name and do a little research on them before you apply for a job.

When in doubt, see if you can submit the online application without all the information filled out, and use the comment box (if available) to explain why you have left certain information out. A Social Security Number, for example, is necessary for a company to deal with taxes, and may be requested if a background check is being done. It’s really not necessary to share it otherwise, and you can take the chance of offering to provide it only if you make it that far in the hiring process.

Information You Shouldn’t Share Immediately

There is some information that you should not share with a potential employer until you know that the opportunity is legitimate and that the employer needs it. This would include your social security number and banking information.

An employer only needs your social security number once you’re hired or to run a background check. They shouldn’t need it sooner than that. If they want your social security number sooner, find out why and decide if you’re comfortable with their reasoning.

Your banking information can be very high risk to share. It’s wonderful when your employer lets you sign up for direct deposit so that you get paid sooner, but there is a risk in giving them access to that information.

You also don’t need to share information about your family or personal situation more than absolutely necessary. Talking about your kids or other parts of your family life can make you look less professional, and make it less likely that you will be hired for the job. It doesn’t matter that you want to work at home to have more time with your kids. Potential employers want to know what you’ll do for them, not what they’ll do for you.

In general, not just in your job hunt, you should never share your contact information, social security number, or birth date publicly. This includes on social media. Putting too much information out there in general sets you up for identity theft. And of course, never share your mother’s maiden name or any of the other information you may have used to secure your bank account.

Is Professionally Embarrassing Information Already Out There?

A lot of people have discovered that information they’ve shared online socially can impact them professionally. More and more employers check applicants out online to see what’s out there. Employers may expect you to give them links to your social media accounts so that they can check them out easily. If they want this, take some time to make sure your social media accounts won’t mess up your job hunt.

No one has perfect control over what appears on a search for their name online. I’m not currently on the first page for my name, one of the curses of having a very common name. But since I’m not exactly going for the guru thing I’ve never stressed about getting my name up there in the rankings.

But the factors you do control you should take into consideration. Look at how you’re presenting yourself on social networks and anywhere else you appear online. Work at home jobs will mostly be concerned with your professionalism, and depending on the position you’re applying for these things can be quite relevant.

Keep It Professional

One important thing to do when you’re looking for a job online is to make sure you give a professional appearance with the information you provide. This means you don’t want to have an email address that’s fun to have socially but might make a potential employer lose interest in you. An email address based on your name is best for most purposes, and it can be nice to keep your job hunting emails separate from the usual personal stuff anyhow.

Potential employers also aren’t going to be interested in your home situation. Even if they’re hiring you for a home based position, they don’t need to know about your kids or how you’re going to handle caring for them while you work. That’s your problem and the expectation is that you’ll handle it.

What they do want to know is why you’re the right employee for them to hire. Make a good impression in that area by emphasizing your relevant skills. Potential employers need employees who know how to separate their family life from their work at home life. If you can’t do that in the application process, they may feel that you won’t keep them appropriately separated when you’re working.

Don’t Speak Poorly Of Current Or Previous Jobs

Never speak negatively of your current or previous jobs. If you worked for a company and it went out of business, you can say that. It even gives you a good reason for leaving.

But don’t go into problems you had at your old job. Potential employers will only care in that they will wonder how you will speak of them outside of work or when you leave. Speaking ill of an employer, past or present, reflects negatively on your professionalism, not on the employer you’re talking about.

Don’t Be Desperate

You may be desperate to land a job. I hear it all the time from people contacting me about finding ways to work at home. They need money, badly.

That’s not the potential employer’s problem. Some might even take advantage and offer you a lower rate of pay than they might otherwise because they know they have the upper hand.

Any situation that isn’t relevant to that employer is something you shouldn’t share. That goes double if it makes you sound desperate for a job. Needing a job badly won’t make them more interested in you as a candidate. It might make them consider paying you less if they decide to hire you.

Hunting for a job always means sharing some personal information. Someone offering you a job (not a business opportunity) without wanting to know about your work history probably doesn’t have a real job to offer you. Make sure you know what the appropriate limits are, and if it feels wrong to share a particular piece of information, find out if it’s really necessary to share it.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated November 7th, 2011

Should You Ignore the Ads When Looking for a Work at Home Job?

If you’re to believe the ads you see on this site, other work at home sites, on search engines when you look for “work at home” and even on television, you’d think work at home jobs were everywhere. You’d probably also think a lot of them sound really shady.

You’d probably be right about a lot of them being shady, although not all ads promote bad opportunities or scams. There are some real gems in there too, just hard to spot under all the garbage. Could it be simpler to just ignore all the ads when you’re looking for a legitimate work at home job?

Personally, I wouldn’t suggest that. I would suggest that you be more careful about what you see in an ad versus what comes from a genuine personal opinion. It’s not always easy to tell the difference, unfortunately.

An Example

Let’s say I’m telling you about Home Job Stop. I recommend it here on this site because I’ve heard many good things about them through the years. I also get paid a commission if you buy a lifetime membership through that link. While I recommend that site because I believe it’s a worthwhile investment for people looking for a work at home job, it’s also an ad because I get paid for it. Do your own research if you need opinions from other people – just be aware that others may also be getting commissions depending on what they recommend.

Nice part is, they don’t have ads on the Home Job Stop site, just work at home job leads.

Now let’s take a look at one of the schools I recommend for medical transcription – the Andrews School. I don’t get a commission or anything else for recommending them. They’re just a good school, and so they’re on my list of good schools for people who want to become a medical transcriptionist. That’s not what I would call an ad because there’s no payment of any kind from them to me. I also mention Career Step, which is an ad, yet also a really good recommendation because I was recommending them even before I knew they had an affiliate program.

Finally, there are AdSense ads and various banner ads around the site. Those are more obvious ads. Some I have control over, some I have very little control over, to the point where I don’t even know which ad you see compared to the ones I see. The ads I control I’m picky about.

Ads Are Everywhere

Sometimes people complain about all the ads on the internet. Certainly some are a pain, such as ones which cover the part of the site you’d like to see, but is that really so different from what you see in the rest of your life? TV, newspaper, magazines… ads are everywhere. It how many media companies earn the bulk of their money, and it’s not always perfectly clear where the line between commentary and advertising lies.

No matter where you see advertising, you should be taking it with a grain of salt. Not all of it is worth your attention. Not necessarily scams, just really difficult to earn money with. Be careful, do your research and you can decide if an advertised opportunity is for you or not.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated June 20th, 2011

Are You Thinking Like an Entrepreneur While Looking for a Legitimate Work at Home Job?

One of the main reasons why there are so many work at home scams out there is that so many people want to work at home, yet relatively few jobs are available. At home job seekers become desperate, and will try anything to find work.

You don’t have to be quite so desperate if you’re willing to think more like an entrepreneur, even when you’re after more of a job than a business opportunity. Some of the best work at home jobs are the ones you find by asking around, rather than waiting for a job to be listed. There’s less competition that way.

The first thing to do is assess the skills you have and prepare a solid resume. You want to seek out work that you’re well qualified to do, so that potential employers are comfortable with the idea of having you do the work from home.

Don’t Limit Yourself to the Lists

There are plenty of websites that list companies that are known to hire work at home employees. I have a list here myself. But that doesn’t mean these companies are your only or even best choices for your job hunt. After all, they’re better known and that means you may face more competition in your search.

You can check the major job boards, Craigslist and so forth for jobs, but be aware that scams can be anywhere. You can also search using Google or any other search engine using terms such as “this is a telecommute position,” “this is a virtual position,” “will have the option to work from home,” “work can be done remotely from home” and so forth. Get off the beaten path and you improve your chances.

The Internet May Not Be the Best Source of Work at Home Jobs

It’s pretty easy to use the internet to look for work at home jobs… aside from all the scams, that is. It’s a pretty good source for some types of work in particular, such as freelance writing. But for other types of work, you may be better off contacting local small businesses about their needs.

Data entry and bookkeeping are two places where you may be able to help a local small business from your home rather than seek out work online. Many small businesses need help in these areas, but may not want to hire a full time, on location employee to handle it.

Look up local companies online, in the phone book or even just walk up and see if they’ll take your cover letter and resume. Not all of them will be at all interested in having someone work for them from home, but some will see the advantages.

You will need to consider whether you’re wanting to be an employee or an independent contractor. There are differences, and they’ll determine in part how you approach potential employers, as well as certain legal and tax issues you will face.

However you search for your work at home job, don’t give up just because they aren’t easy to find. It takes determination and persistence to land a job pretty much anywhere; there’s no reason to expect working at home to be any different. Just remember the reasons why you’ve decided you’d rather work at home and keep trying until you make it.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.