What Does It Cost to Find a Legitimate Work at Home Job?

If you’ve read much about looking for work at home jobs, you’ve probably often heard that you should never pay for a work at home job. That’s absolutely true, in the sense that you shouldn’t be paying a company to “prove” that you’re serious about applying for a job with them. There are, however, legitimate expenses you may have as you pursue a good home based job.

Work at Home Job Board Memberships

You can find work at home job leads for free, but it’s time consuming and often difficult to tell the scam ads from the legitimate employers. A good job board can be worth the purchase because they filter out the job leads for you, putting them in one place without paid advertising.

I do not mean all paid work at home job boards are worth it. Some never update or are rehashed lists of companies that allow some employees to telecommute, regardless of whether or not they regularly hire people to work at home. Those aren’t worth the price. HomeJobStop has a good reputation.

Paying for these really isn’t so different from buying a newspaper back when that was the big place to find job listings, except HomeJobStop only charges you once.

You can look for listings for free on your own. Check Craigslist, Indeed, etc. It’s time consuming – that’s why a membership site that seeks out postings for you can be worth it, but you can do it on your own. It’s a matter of how much time you want to spend each day on the search.

Freelance Job Boards

Freelancing is another great way to work from home, and there are a number of sites where you can locate and bid on jobs, such as eLance, Guru and oDesk (edit: now Upwork). Be careful not to set your price to low of course.

Some boards have membership levels you have to pay for monthly, and there’s usually a fee that is a part of your earnings from the jobs you get there. Take a good look around the site before you pay for a membership. Paid members may get to bid on more jobs or have other advantages, so it can be worth considering.

Even if you’d rather have a steady job, freelancing can be worth your time, especially if you need to build up your resume or nothing is panning out for you right away for a longer term job.

Resume and Cover Letter Writing

If you don’t know how to write a stellar resume and cover letter, it can be worth the money to pay someone to create one for you. You’ll still need to edit it to match each job, but you’ll have the core written by someone who knows what they’re doing.

Alternatively, buy a book or ebook on the process and write it yourself. A good resume takes some time and effort to write, but it’s well worth it when you get the job. Don’t just slap one together, especially if you’ve rarely or never written a resume. Do what it takes to get one written that will catch the attention of potential employers.


Sometimes you have to have the right education to get a job, such as if you want to go into medical transcription or if the position requires a certain degree or certification. That costs money, either now or at some time in the past. There’s nothing wrong with paying for the education required to get a job – that’s necessary for many jobs both at home our outside the home.

There can be a problem if the employer says you have to pay them or the exact program they tell you for the job. Sometimes that’s a scam.

That said, some companies such as Arise are legitimate enough, but are more business opportunity than work at home job, and you do have to pay for training. Read my interview with Arise to learn more about how this can work, and be careful if any company is asking you to pay them for training. They must have an excellent opportunity before you consider such a thing.

Overall, this means that yes, you can have expenses associated with your search for a work at home job, and they can be legitimate. Just make sure you know why you’re paying someone and that it really will help you to get a good job. Too many people pay for things to help them work from home, and all that happens is that their money disappears and they’re frustrated. Use caution and things should turn out better.

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