Posted by : Becca | On : July 17, 2008

Looking for a job, that is.

When you’re searching for a work from home job, you need to treat the job search as a job! It’s a competitive world out there. For each work from home job there are potentially hundreds of applicants. As fuel prices rise there are even more people seeking employment from home or asking their current employers if they can telecommute.

The first thing you need to do is make an honest assessment of your experience and skills. Start building a strong resume. Not only should you include your past work experience and skills, but you should focus on accomplishments at your previous positions. When describing your past work experience don’t just focus on the tasks you performed. Succinctly explain the RESULTS of the tasks you performed. For example, if you were in a sales position, you could state that you grew your account base by 30%, or that you gained “X” number of clients for the company.

A common issue with WAH job seekers is that some of them have been out of the work force for a long period of time and feel they have nothing to put on a resume. Whatever experience you have put it on that resume! You may have done volunteer work, helped your church with bookkeeping or designed a web site for a friend. Use those things. Something to know as well is that you do not have to put dates on your resume. There are different schools of thought on this. Some will tell you that you must include dates of employment. I disagree. Unless the job posting states that it is required, it isn’t! Put down your experience and if it’s relevant, you may just get that interview. If questions about time of employment come up at that point, answer them honestly. It’s OK to say that you took time off to spend time with family.

If you are uncomfortable with your resume writing skills you may want to seek help from a friend or even a professional resume writing service. It may be a stretch for you to spend the money, but in the long run this investment in your future will pay off.

How's your resume performing?

One very important element in the job search is to follow the instructions on the job posting. If the employment ad says “no phone calls” do NOT call them. If it says email your resume to a certain email address, do that. If it says to go to their website and fill out an online application, do that. This may seem simple, but you have no idea how many people don’t do this. If you follow the instructions to the letter your chances of being selected for an interview go way up.

When you get that interview it is important that you focus on one thing: how you will be valuable to the employer. This isn’t the time to focus on how great the job would be for you, but how great you would be for the company. Before your interview find out as much as you can about the company. Write out a list of ways you can bring value to the company in the position. Also have a list of any questions you may have about the position. It helps to have these things written out. Interviews can be stressful. When you’re nervous you are more likely to forget things you want to say or questions you want to ask. Keep your resume and cover letter in front of you to refer to also. Be on time for you interview. Have a positive attitude and show them how you will be a benefit to their organization.

Once you have completed your interview make sure you send a thank you note to the person who took the time to interview you. It is a nice way to keep yourself at the front of their minds and to leave a good impression. Show that you appreciate their time and let them know you are looking forward to hearing from them.

A common complaint from WAH employers is that they end up with people who really don’t want to work, or that can’t seem to perform the tasks effectively. The purpose of a work from home job is not for you to spend more time with your children. The purpose is to perform the tasks your employer requires and to do the job well. Make sure you have appropriate care for your children while you are working. It is unrealistic for most people to think that they can have four hours of uninterrupted quiet time to work while supervising toddlers. Be honest with yourself about your situation and find the type of job that suits you and your situation the best.

Finding the perfect work at home job is not an easy task, but it is worth it when you find the right one for you. Check out this list of companies that hire workers from home to see if there might be a fit for you.

Good luck out there!



Posted by : Becca | On : January 10, 2008

So you’re ready to take on the adventure of working from home? Here are some things I’ve learned through years of various experience working telecommuting and freelance jobs.

Get organized to write your resume and cover letter.
For your resume:
List of all jobs you’ve had (include any freelance work) and dates you worked there
List of software programs you’ve worked with
List of accomplishments at jobs
List of references – at least 3 people you’ve worked with or know you well and you know will speak highly of you if asked.
Here are some
free basic resume templates you can use with Microsoft Word.

For your cover letter:
Start with a basic template you can customize for each employer. Give a quick introduction and highlight the skills you have that make you a fit for the job. Employers go through hundreds of cover letters, so make yours short, sweet and to the point. If you have little experience, highlight the qualities you have that make you a good candidate.

Find companies who hire telecommuters.
There are many online sources to find work at home job listings. Because there is such a demand for telecommuting jobs, con artists from all over the world have made it their mission to use that desperation to prey on unsuspecting newbies to the online work at home world. So before you start your search – a word of caution: Totally check out a company, business or individual who wants to hire you. Ask a lot of questions. Make sure it’s legitimate before you give up your personal information or before starting any work.

Avoid scams by using common sense. Be wary if: they offer a lot of money for a little work, they ask you to use your personal bank account to make transactions for the company, they ask you to receive packages and re-ship them. These are just some of the scams out there. Get to know others who work from home and share information.

Now – back to the search!

Use all the regular job search portals like Monster, Careerbuilder, HotJobs, CraigsList and enter search terms like telecommute, work from home, virtual office, home office, independent contractor etc. Connect on work from home forums like WAHM.com and WorkPlaceLikeHome.com with other people who are both searching for work and those who are currently working from home.

I found job listings, now what?
Find out about the companies with which you want to apply. Hiring managers appreciate when a candidate has taken the time to understand what a company is about and the type of people they want to attract. Check out the company website, read the mission statement, look for links that include information about their customers, ask around to see if other people have had experience with the company.

Next, write down some questions you have for the person who interviews you. Remember, your time is worth something and you are interviewing these companies as much as they are interviewing you.

Follow the Instructions
This is KEY to getting the job. Each job listing or lead you find should have some sort of contact instructions. Whatever they ask, do that. If the ad says email for more information, then email for more information. If it says go to their website and complete the online application, do that. Follow their instructions to the letter and the chances of your application getting the attention it deserves go way up!

Follow Up
Once you’ve followed their instructions on how to apply first you need to relax! These things can take time. Give it a week at least before a brief follow-up email or phone call. Again – follow instructions! If the ad said “no phone calls,” do not call them. Some companies take the time to send “regrets” to everyone who applies, some don’t. If you follow up and don’t hear back, just put it on the back burner.

Getting the Interview
Ok, they liked your resume and cover letter and called you for an interview. Be prepared. Make sure to be on time – verify the time zone of the person who will be calling you. Have your questions ready, have your resume and cover letter in front of you, then just have fun. Let your personality show through over the phone. They can hear a smile in your voice, and employers love that!

After the Interview
Send a quick “thank you” note to the person who interviewed you. Always good to make a good parting impression as much as the first impression!

Most Importantly……if you’re new to working from home, spend a LOT of time researching, reading and learning. There are many experienced home-workers out there who share great information. Listen to their success stories and learn from their mistakes. Ask a lot of questions. Sooner than you realize, you’ll have your first telecommuting job!