Last Updated September 24th, 2018

How to Improve Your Chances of Landing a Work at Home Job

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.

Now.

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.

work at home job hunt

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?

Probably not.

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.

Get ready to work at home

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.

home office ready

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.

Consider Freelancing

Even if you’re really after a steady work at home job with benefits, sometimes taking on freelance work will be the answer you need. Freelancing has a lot of advantages.

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.

Keep Trying

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.

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 February 26th, 2018

How Safe Are Work At Home Jobs?

How Safe Are Work At Home Jobs?

Being scammed is one of the big fears of every work at home job seekers. If you’ve done any research at all about working at home, you know that it’s a real concern. But the question is, how concerned should you be? How can you find safe work at home jobs?

In part, this depends on how you look for a work at home job. If you use the right resources, it’s fairly safe. The wrong ones, pretty risky. No matter how you look for a work at home job, there are things you can do to make your work at home job search safer.

Know The Signs Of A Work At Home Scam

The most important thing you need to know when looking for a work at home job is what the signs of a scam are. Knowing this will help you avoid them.

This will help you even if a scammer is using the name of a legitimate company to fool you. It happens – in fact, some companies that offer work at home jobs have warnings about this on their sites because it’s such a problem.

Your classic work at home scam will offer too much money for too little work. That’s the essential basis for scams such as the check cashing scam. They send you a check or money order for hundreds or thousands of dollars, tell you to keep a couple hundred for yourself and wire the rest back to them. It works on some people because they get greedy. The idea that you can earn hundreds for a half hour’s work, including driving, is pretty appealing to many people.

Poor grammar and lots of typos are often indicative of scams. Many come from people who do not speak English as their native language, so when they try to scam someone who speaks English, it’s not written the same way a native speaker would write it. It may also help to weed out those who are too aware, as the ones who dismiss the scam due to how it’s written may be too likely to see through it. Scams prey on the unwary.

I’ve written quite a bit about work at home scam on other occasions. Read these for more detailed information.

The Work at Home Job Seeker’s Guide to Scams
How to Spot a Work at Home Scam
4 Work at Home Scam Emails
What If The Work At Home Job Is Legitimate But Illegal Or Unethical?
The Check Cashing Scam Is Still Around

Know The Kind Of Work At Home Job You’re Looking For

It’s much easier to fall for a work at home scam if you have no idea what kind of work you’re looking for. This is because generic terms such as “work at home” are used to attract you even when you don’t have a type of job in mind.

I see so many people do this. They ask for help to find a work at home job, with no information beyond that because they haven’t thought that far. They want the advantages of working at home but haven’t truly considered it beyond that.

Know what you’re looking for. Are you open to a home business, starting a blog, etc., or do you only want a work at home job? What kind of job do you want? Do you have work experience? What skills, even if you haven’t used them in a job?

Being specific allows you to narrow down your search quickly. That’s vital for a safe work at home job hunt. It won’t guarantee that you avoid all the scams, but it helps.

Use Trusted Resources

Perhaps the best way to have a safe work at home job hunt is to use trusted resources to find a work at home job. I aim to have this blog and my remote job board be that kind of a resource.

If you aren’t certain about the kind of jobs you’re looking to do at home, for example, you can try my list of entry level remote jobs or my list of remote jobs with benefits. Either will give you a good number of places to start your search.

Even trusted resources can fail you. I can’t tell you how often I’ve gone through my list of companies to find out that one or another has gone out of business since I last checked. That puts the company’s domain at risk for being used by scammers. Things change fast on the internet sometimes, and it’s not always for the better. This is why you must always use caution in your job hunt.

Use Caution With Your Personal Information

Always be careful when sharing your personal information online, especially your Social Security number, credit card number, or bank information.

Some legitimate companies have been known to ask for your Social Security number during the application process. I recommend trying not to share that until you’ve been offered a job – they don’t need that information until then.

Some companies will ask for credit card information to pay for a background check. I’ve never liked the notion of potential employees paying for a background check, but that’s how some companies do it. Be very, very certain that they’re legitimate before taking a chance on this.

Companies shouldn’t need any banking information until they’re paying you, and so that should never be shared in an application.

Anyone who is too eager to get your personal information too quickly should be eyed with caution. It might be normal for their particular business, but it’s not a good idea for you to go along with it too easily.

Places You Shouldn’t Look For A Work At Home Job

There are some places that are very high risk in your work at home job hunt. I would recommend avoiding these in general.

Street Signs & Public Bulletin Boards – You’ve probably seen the signs on the street or on bulletin boards advertising work at home or easy money opportunities. These are almost certainly scams. You may get the occasional person trying to recruit their downline for a network marketing company (a risk of a different sort), but many others are flat out scams.

Newspapers – Job offerings in newspapers can be legit, but how many people actually look in newspapers for jobs anymore? The scams that get posted in newspaper ads are looking for people who aren’t that savvy. You’re better off using your trusted online sources so that you can do research on the jobs you find during your search.

Newspapers are also too localized to be much good for work at home jobs. You might find one or two, but you can find so many more if you search online.

Comment Spam – How often have you seen spam comments on blog posts, forums, and social media advertising easy money earned from home? They aren’t honest. Usually, they just tell you to post ads of the same sort and make money on commissions. That’s not an honest model.

Craigslist – There are legitimate work at home jobs posted on Craigslist, but there are also scams. The community can flag the postings to shut them down, but they may still be up for a while. You’ll also find business opportunities claiming to be job opportunities. I’ve always hated that sort of deception, but people use it.

Can The Better Business Bureau Help You Find Safe Work At Home Jobs?

Many people will tell you to check with the Better Business Bureau when looking for work at home jobs. I’ve done so in the past, but these days I think there are better ways to figure out if a work at home job opportunity is, in fact, a scam.

Many people don’t realize that the Better Business Bureau is not a government agency. They are themselves a business. Companies pay to be members.

That said, sometimes you can use them to spot a scam. Just don’t use them as your only source, because they can’t tell you if someone is using the good name of a real company to scam you. They’re only helpful if scamming potential employees is all the business seems to do.

Know The Risks Of Home Business Opportunities

If you decide that your work at home job hunt is going to end with a home business opportunity of whatever sort, know what the risks are before you join.

Network marketing opportunities, for examples, are highly appealing to people who desperately need to earn money from home. Promoters can always point to the people who have earned a ton of money from the opportunity. You can usually check out the product before you join so that you know it’s something you’d like to do.

What often gets swept under the carpet is how many people lose money on these opportunities. Some people will lose thousands of dollars trying to keep up a good supply of products to sell. Most people who join even the best of the network marketing opportunities do not thrive at it. Others do very well, but it’s a risk you must be willing to take.

The same goes for blogging, much as I love it. You always hear about the people making five figures or more a month blogging. It sounds wonderful.

From what I’ve heard, most bloggers earn less than $100 a month. Is that a chance you’re willing to take?

The great part about blogging is that it doesn’t have to cost you anything. If you decide you want to blog, I recommend spending a little on it, as good hosting and domain name aren’t free, but they are cheap. The risk is pretty low, and you don’t have to spend more until you’re ready to take that chance. Choose the right topic, and blogging is fun, regardless of the money made. I strongly recommend trying to earn money from your blog, just because it’s so awesome when it works, so long as you don’t overspend trying to make it happen.

Be careful of blogging courses and such. Many high income bloggers have them, and income from selling their courses may be a significant part of their income. Taking their course doesn’t guarantee that you’ll do equally well. The right course might just be a wise investment. The wrong one will be a waste.

The same goes for any other home business opportunity. Know the risks before you risk too much money. There are times when spending money is the best path to improving your home business. Other times it’s no better than a scam aimed at home business owners.

Safe Work At Home Jobs Can Be Found

If you give your job hunt time and don’t give in to desperation, safe work at home jobs can be found. Take the time to look over every opportunity carefully so that you know what you’re getting into before you share your personal information or spend any money. Do it right, and you’ll avoid most scams with ease.

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 February 7th, 2018

Why “Easy Work At Home” Is The Wrong Choice For Your Job Search

Why "Easy Work At Home" Is The Wrong Choice For Your Job Search

One of the big questions I get sometimes is how to find “easy work at home jobs.” The appeal of an easy work at home job is quite clear – easier to deal with the kids, low stress, but still bringing some money in. The problem is that “easy” isn’t really a good criterion when looking for work, especially from home.

“Easy Work At Home Jobs” Rarely Pays Well

Easy jobs of any sort rarely pay well at all. The more skill a job takes, the better the odds are that it will pay well.

If you want to try an easy job, try using a microtask site such as Amazon Turk. You won’t earn a lot of money doing most microtasks, but it is easy and flexible work. It can be difficult, however, to even reach minimum wage with microtasks.

Fiverr can also be easy, depending on what you offer there, but making sure that you’re getting paid adequately for the time you spend on it isn’t always easy. You have to find something that you can offer that only takes a little time but people will pay you to do. Then you need to show up well enough on Fiverr that people find your listing and choose you. Some do very well on Fiverr, but the learning curve is not easy for most. On the plus side, you can charge more than the original $5 that the site started out with.

There’s no reason for employers to pay well when a job is so easy that anyone can do it. If anyone can do it, there’s no shortage of people able to do the job. You may have a lot of competition for the easy jobs.

“Easy” Is Usually Dull

Usually when someone asks me about easy work at home jobs, they ask about data entry and such. That’s very repetitive work, generally not interesting at all. It’s very difficult to keep interested in a really boring job, which means it’s hard to work long enough to earn enough money with it.

If you’ve ever had an easy job, odds are that it was also mind-numbingly boring. A little mental or physical challenge makes any job more interesting.

“Easy” Is Vague

One person’s “easy” may not be so easy for someone else. What you find easy, someone else may find challenging. Asking for help finding “easy” work isn’t going to get you a very clear answer.

Sometimes that’s a good thing. If you find writing easy, blogging or freelance writing may appeal to you. Be prepared for writer’s block and other issues making your job more difficult… and most writing jobs still don’t pay all that well. There are writers who do quite well, but they’re in the minority. They also write the more interesting stuff, rather than merely trying to meet a word count for a short article on a subject they don’t care at all about.

“Easy” Often Leads To Scams

Many jobs that claim to be easy are in fact scams. There’s the classic mystery shopping scam where they offer you a cashier’s check to “shop” a particular bank – you keep a couple hundred for yourself, and wire the rest to the scammer. The problem is that the check is fake and now you’re on the hook for the money you sent them. Suddenly you’re in a mess that isn’t all that easy to deal with.

Scammers love the lazy. If you want easy money, you’re more likely to believe their claims when they offer it to you.

So What Should You Look For?

When you’re looking for a way to work at home, consider your skills and interests. Sure, you may want something really flexible, something easy, something you can do without paying for childcare, etc., but that shouldn’t necessarily be your first consideration. Find jobs that are a good match for your skills and interests first, then consider if they’re a match in other ways.

You can also look for work at home jobs that are flexible. If you wanted an easy job because you have small children or other obligations that may interrupt your day, flexible is probably what you were really after anyhow. I have a quick list of sites with flexible work at home jobs, and I’m sure there are many more companies out there.

If you aren’t certain whether a job is flexible, apply anyhow and ask at an appropriate point of the interview process. You might land a job that meets your needs even though the job ad didn’t emphasize that it was flexible.

Never assume that all work at home jobs are easy. They aren’t. People work at home in very technical jobs as well. One of my sisters did software development from home for a time, before deciding that working at home wasn’t for her.

There are work at home jobs that require advanced degrees, and ones that don’t care about your education. There are work at home jobs that require significant experience, and work at home jobs that require no experience. With today’s technology, just about any job that doesn’t require your physical presence in a particular space has the potential to be done at home.

How Do I Find A Work At Home Job?

To get started looking for a work at home job when you don’t know where to start, check out my post about getting started working from home. It has a lot of tips that might help you get things moving with a more realistic view of what to expect.

If you still go for an easy work at home job, consider it a stepping stone to better work, especially if it doesn’t pay well. Much as I discourage anyone from accepting less than minimum wage as a pay rate, I can understand why it’s sometimes necessary to do something so easy that the pay is absurdly low, just to get any money coming it. Just don’t accept it in the long run.

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 January 2nd, 2018

How To Update Your Resume For Your Work At Home Job Hunt

How To Update Your Resume For Your Work At Home Job Hunt

Keeping your resume current is important, whether you’re job hunting or not. But when you want to find a new work at home job, you need to look carefully at your current resume to make sure that it presents you and your experience in the best possible light. These are some of the things you should do to update your resume for your work at home job hunt.

Check Your Contact Information

Having current and professional looking contact information is vital on your resume. You don’t need to include your street address, but you should have your name, phone number, email address, and possibly your website address or LinkedIn profile address on your resume.

Make sure your email address looks professional. The best option is to have your name with a Gmail email address or one associated with a domain you own. A student can get away with using an .edu address, but if you’re done with school it’s not ideal. Email addresses through AOL or Yahoo just look old. Using your name in your email address looks far more professional than using other words do.

Review Your Summary

Your summary gives a quick overview of your qualifications for the job. These are the points in your resume that will be the most important to a potential employer. This should go near the top of your resume.

If you still have an objective on your resume, delete it. Employers know what your objective is – it’s to get hired. You wouldn’t have sent in your resume otherwise.

Update Your Skills And Education

The skills and education you bring to a potential employer are also important. Keep these up to date. If at all possible, take the time to add to them whenever you can. There are plenty of courses at Udemy, community colleges,and so forth where you can build your skills in ways that will help your career.

Some educational choices will look better than others on a resume. When you sign up for a course, make sure that it will be a good addition to your resume.

Remove portions that are no longer relevant. There comes a time in your career when you don’t need to mention that yes, you have graduated from high school. Your college GPA eventually won’t matter either, as your experience will show whether or not you’re suited to the job.

Don’t mention skills that aren’t useful anymore. Employers won’t care how well you use some old software unless they specifically mention it in the job ad.

Update Your Work History

Even if you haven’t changed jobs since the last time you updated your resume, make sure to update your work history. Consider any new accomplishments you’ve made at work since the last update. What about promotions? Did you forget to add something to your work history that is relevant to your latest job hunt? Be specific. Include metrics whenever possible.

Bullet points are useful to make your accomplishments stand out from the general description of your job duties.

You may also need to trim down old employers who aren’t relevant anymore. That fast food job in high school isn’t relevant to your job hunt if you’ve had several other jobs since then, unless it has some specific relevance to what you’re looking for now. The same goes for that internship in college that has nothing to do with the kind of work you’re looking for now.

Review Your Terminology

Does the terminology you use in your resume show that you are current in your field?

If you use outdated terminology in your resume, it makes your skills look out of date. Make sure you haven’t let any old terminology stick around. If you have any doubt, do a little research and look it up.

In addition to professional terminology, look at the words you use to describe your accomplishments. Action verbs are vital to a great resume, if not overused. Consider this list of action verbs to improve yours.

You also need to consider keywords that are important to your industry. Most resume are scanned by applicant tracking software for relevant keywords before a human ever sees it. You want the software to see your resume as relevant to the job so that it gets to the human. Don’t forget the human even as you consider the software.

Update Your Formatting

Is your resume in a modern style? Resume formatting has changed quite a bit over the years.

Many resumes still have your name at the top, but your contact information, skills and education are in a narrow column off to one side. Done properly, this makes it easier for the employer to scan your resume for the information they want.

Use a professional font on your resume. Arial, Helvetica, Verdana and other professional looking Sans Serif fonts are a good choice. Don’t use an unusual font and please, please don’t use Comic Sans. That one is a bad idea for most purposes.

Aim for a one printed page resume, even though it may never be printed. There are times when going to a second page makes sense, but it’s not for everyone. Potential employers need to know enough about you to decide to contact you for an interview, and that’s it. Most times they’ll spend under 30 seconds on your resume. If you don’t get their attention that quickly, you won’t get called for an interview.

Make sure that your formatting is consistent throughout your resume. It looks sloppy if you have different fonts throughout your resume, use multiple date formats, or if you change bullet point styles.

Do NOT Include Excess Personal Information

There is no reason whatsoever to include excess personal information. This is a mistake I see parents who want to work at home make often when they contact me. They tell me nothing about their skills, but I hear all about how they have young children or an ailing parent they need to care for, and that’s why they want to work at home.

First of all, I’m not an employer. If you want work at home job hunting advice from me, I’ll give it, but your personal situation isn’t relevant. It’s even less relevant to potential employers. If you share too much personal information, they probably won’t want to hire you.

Employers do not care if you’re married, if you have kids, or what your hobbies are. If any of these limit your availability, bring up the hours you are available to work (but not why) in your interview. Employers want to hear about what you can do for them, not what you need them to do for you. Personal issues can be handled later. Keep them off your resume.

They also don’t need to see a photo of you. What you look like is not relevant to your resume.

Save Your Resume In The Right File Types

There are two important formats for saving your resume. The first is as a .doc or whatever word processor format you use. This one should be easy for you to edit later, and it’s possible that an employer will want that format for one reason or another. Give your new resume a new filename so that you can compare your old resume to your new if the need ever arises. Having multiple versions of your resume can help you other times that you need to update your resume.

The other is to save it as a PDF. This format ensures that you can easily send your resume to a potential employer and it will look the way you want it to look. There’s no worry about the formatting going wrong or someone accidentally changing your resume if you send it as a PDF. It also prints well, which may matter to some employers. Printed resumes aren’t all that popular anymore, but some people find paper easier to handle than staring at a screen all day.

Consider Making Multiple Resumes

Customizing your resume for each job you apply for is a good idea, but you can make the process faster by making multiple versions of your resume. This is especially important if you’re job hunting in multiple fields. Prepare a resume that is focused on each of those fields, and you won’t have to spend so much time customizing your resume as you find different job openings.

Review Your Social Media Presence

Many employers now search potential employees online and on social media websites to make sure they like what they see. I went into more detail on this subject in my article, Social Media Checklist For Job Hunters.

Update Your Resume On LinkedIn

Once you’ve finished updating your resume, make sure your LinkedIn resume is updated to match. Many employers check there, especially if you have included a link to it on your resume.

Sometimes a recruiter will find you on LinkedIn. Having someone contact you about a job you weren’t aware of is a good thing – just make certain that it’s legitimate first. Some work at home scams will claim to be from a legitimate company, but it’s just a person using that company’s name for their own purposes.

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 October 26th, 2017

7 Reasons Why You Can’t Get Hired For A Work at Home Job

7 Reasons Why You Can't Get Hired For A Work at Home Job

Looking for a work at home job is frustrating. You get past all the scams, find great looking jobs to apply for, and still no one will hire you. You might not even be getting to the first interview. What’s going on? Why is it so hard to get hired for a work at home job?

Hah. Wouldn’t you like to know?

No, seriously, wouldn’t you like to know?

I can’t really say why a particular person doesn’t get a particular work at home job, or any job for that matter. I’m not involved in processing resumes or making interview or hiring decisions. There are, however, some common reasons that make getting the job harder. Consider them, and see if they apply to you and your job search habits.

1. Applying for every job under the sun.

Otherwise known as throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks. It’s not really effective, really messy, and turns potential employers off.

They can’t tell that you’re applying for every job everywhere, but what they can tell is that you aren’t paying enough attention to the specific requirements their job has. Work at home employers receive all too many applications from people who have no relevant experience and give no indication of having read the job listing beyond the phrase “work at home.”

Be picky about which jobs you apply for, and make it show on your resume. List the skills you have that they ask for in the ad. Use the same keywords if you can. You don’t want to copy their ad into your resume, but when you have a matching skill, use the same or similar phrasing. This will help you get through any automated sorting of applications.

Do not claim skills or experience you don’t have. It does you no good to claim a skill that way and then be unable to do that job or even talk up the skill correctly in the interview.

2. Poorly written resume.

Does your resume look professional? Does it reflect the skills and experience requested in the job posting? What about typos? Other mistakes?

If you aren’t getting anywhere in your job search, you may want to consider having a professional resume writer take a look at it. Yes, this costs money. Yes, you will still have to adapt it for each job you apply for. And yes, you may have to break it up into segments to cut and paste into online job applications with companies that don’t want the full resume. Make sure you answer every section on an online job application.

A well-written resume will make all of that easier. If you don’t want to pay someone else to do it, at least get a current book on resume writing and review your resume carefully. Styles have changed somewhat through the years, as most resumes are no longer submitted on paper. Make sure your resume works with current expectations. Remember, the company wants you to benefit them. Focus on their needs in your resume. If you were an excellent employee for someone else, share the specific achievements that might benefit a new employer.

Make certain that your resume is accurate as well. If a potential employer checks with your previous employers and finds out you gave them inaccurate information, you probably won’t get the job. This may include dates of employment and salary history.

3. You aren’t checking your spam folder.

The trouble with email is that it doesn’t always go where it should. If you have any sort of spam filtering on your email service, you might be missing emails from potential employers. If you don’t catch these, you could be missing out on opportunities.

I absolutely do not mean unsolicited emails from people claiming to offer work at home jobs. This is a common form of work at home scam. What you want to be on the lookout for is email from companies you have applied to. Sometimes these hit the spam box too, and if you aren’t checking, you’ll never know they wanted to hear from you.

4. You only apply to the big companies.

It’s very comfortable applying to the big companies that offer work at home jobs. They have solid reputations as employers. The problem is that everyone else does the same thing. They may get hundreds or even thousands of applications for a single opening. The odds that they’ll notice you aren’t that good.

So long as you’re careful, you can and should apply to smaller companies too. There are lots of smaller companies that use home based workers. They’re harder to find, but that means less competition when you do find them. You can find a lot of companies on social media sites such as LinkedIn.

Prepare yourself for your job hunt, network, and look for more places to find companies willing to hire people to work at home. All these things will improve the odds that you will get hired for a work at home job.

5. You aren’t changing things that aren’t working for you.

Sure, it’s easy to say that it’s hard to land a work at home job. It’s even true.

But if your job hunt is getting you any results, change the one thing you have control over: what you’re doing. Change your resume. Rethink the jobs you’re applying for. Take some time and just figure out why things aren’t working out.

Check your social media accounts too. Are they messing you up? Many employers review potential employees’ social media accounts. They can learn a lot about you this way, and if you aren’t prepared, your social media presence can damage your chances toward a job.

6. You aren’t prepared for interviews.

If you’re getting as far as the interview but not getting the job, something’s right with your resume but wrong with your interviewing skills. You need to prepare better for interviews.

Read up on how to interview for a job successfully. Have questions ready, not just about things like salary and benefits, but about the company and the job. Remember, employers want to know how you can benefit them. They don’t want you to focus on how they can benefit you when they haven’t even offered you the job yet.

Be prepared to state why you’re a match for the job. Wanting to get hired for a work at home job is not enough. That’s about you, not about the job.

If the interview is over the phone, you don’t have to look professional, but you certainly have to sound professional. It may help to practice phone interviews with a friend or family member. Just as with an in-person interview, make sure you’re on time for a phone interview. If you miss that call you can’t bet on them calling you back.

7. You don’t follow up when it’s appropriate.

This one isn’t relevant to all employers. Some very specifically request that you not follow up on applications or interviews. If that’s the case, follow their instructions.

Other companies, however, welcome inquiries as to how your job application is going. They’re fine with you calling up and asking about your application. It may even show them that you’re strongly interested in the position.

A thank you note may also be appropriate after an interview. It’s not always necessary, especially if the company prefers that you do not contact them until they say you have the job, but it can be useful at other times.

What Does It Take To Get Hired For A Work At Home Job?

It doesn’t take anything all that unusual to get hired for a work at home job. Just as with any other job, you have to be qualified for the job you’re applying for. You have to impress the interviewer.

The main difference you may expect between a work at home job and an outside the home job is questioning about your home office setup. Interviewers shouldn’t ask about your family – that’s generally off limits for legal reasons. Your ability to work at home, on the other hand, is a legitimate concern.

Some jobs will want to know how quiet your workspace is. If you’re talking to people on the phone, they may want to know that there won’t be any background noise.

If the company is not providing your equipment, they may want to know what kind of computer you have, your internet speed and so forth. They may want to know if you have wired connections for your phone and internet, rather than wireless. These questions may have been on the application, but don’t be surprised if they come up again in an interview.

You will probably also be asked about how comfortable you are with remote work. If this is your first work at home job, you won’t have direct experience to refer to. Instead, think of times you have been independent as you work, and how well you work without direct supervisions. Have examples ready if at all possible.

Overall, the process may not be all that different from landing any other job. You have to convince the employer that you are the best person for the job. Keep your focus on that, and maybe it won’t be too hard to get hired for a work at home job.

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.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest Feedly
Home With the Kids on LinkedIn

Are you ready to work at home? Subscribe to learn about blogging and other ways to earn money from home.

Email:



Ads

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.