I field several requests, per week, from family, friends and friends-of-friends-of-friends, asking me to help them find a work from home position. It’s a legit question. I work from home. I used to run a job board that was built to help people land work from home jobs. However, because I work from home, I don’t have time to help everyone. So I thought I’d write up a post with some tips and insider information on how I actually landed a work at home job.
Note: I’m Not Into Work At Home MLMs.
Before we get into this topic, I want to preface it by saying I do not run a Pampered Chef, Melaleuca, Amway or any of the like type businesses. Those are very legit work at home jobs, but I did not want to be responsible for running a multi-level marketing direct sales business. I don’t feel compelled to say anything more, except those career fields are simply not for me.
SO HOW did I land a work from home job?
Logistically, working outside of the home is not possible for me. I committed myself to finding a work at home job, and I did it the good ol’ fashioned way: perseverance and hard work. Below are some things that helped me in my job search. Please note that it took me FOUR months to find a job. It won’t happen overnight. You don’t change your life in one fail swoop. It takes effort. It takes persistence. It takes commitment.
First: Know Thy Skills
The first thing I would recommend doing is to spend some time reflecting on what all you do, every day, in your present role in life. Are you a stay at home mom? Do you work in an office or retail setting? Dedicate a few minutes every hour or so to writing down all the different things you do. Things that seem mundane at your current job/life situation could afford you a new opportunity with a new company in a work from home position.
Second: Write a Few Resumes
Take the notes you’ve compiled over the last couple of days/weeks and write out a list of employment-centric key words. From there, craft a few resumes. You will want to create a generic resume that you can send out for general staff positions. You will also want to write up a few resumes that highlight different work attributes. Consider putting together a resume that is more focused on your administrative skills, one that is focused on your project management skills, one that highlights your professional managerial skills, etc.
You will also want to turn each one of those resumes into a scannable resume. This is really important! If you don’t know why, spend some time brushing up on how companies scan resumes in this digital age.
If you need help with how to write a good resume, do some research. Everything you ever wanted to know about how write a winning resume is already on the net. In fact, here’s one of my favorite posts about resume writing for the current professional: Ten Ways To Ruin Your Resume by Chris Lema.
Note: when sending out resumes, I highly recommend that you do NOT include your physical address, online profiles, personal phone numbers or personal email address. Set up a free Microsoft account and a free Skype number, get yourself a headset, and handle all emails and phone calls through these dedicated accounts. Because of the very nature of working from home, and the fact that there are scammers a-plenty – take a few steps to protect yourself. You can disclose all personal information after you have a signed contract with your new employer and are filling out HR paperwork.
Third: Avoiding Scams
One of the hardest parts of landing a work at home job is just knowing where to start looking. It’s important to protect yourself and know how to quickly tell if the job is legit or a scam. I’ll write some posts about this in the future but basically follow these four key principles and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it’s a scam.
- If it costs you money to apply, it’s a scam.
- If your internal voice is just telling you to be cautious, it’s a scam.
- If anything about it seems “off”, it’s a scam.
The Federal Trade Commission has produced some excellent resources for helping consumers protect themselves while looking for the elusive work from home job. I would HIGHLY recommend that everyone looking for a work from home job spend some time on their website and read through their resources and materials:
Four: Where To Actually Look For Work At Home Jobs
Here is the beginning list of trusted resources that I have personally vetted and or utilized while 1) looking for a work at home job and 2) building the former work at home job board.
- Craigslist: There are plenty of legitimate work at home jobs listed on Craigslist. There are also plenty of scams listed on Craigslist. Search with caution.
- Skip the Drive: one of the newer job boards that I found right as we were shutting down Jill’s Jobs. They have good leads; I do not know what it costs to utilize 100% of their services.
- ProBlogger: If you are a writer or blogger, this job board is for you! I’ve never run across a job here that wasn’t legitimate.
- Work at Home Mafia: Silly name, but good information.
- Rat Race Rebellion: A LOT of their job leads are advertisements and a LOT of their job leads are dead ends. That said – they are the oldest website dedicated to working at home and you will find a lot of options when digging around on their site. I generally start here knowing I’ll end up on an internet bunny hop, if you know what I mean.
- Hound: I like this site because they pull straight from employers websites. That’s important and you’ll soon figure out why. The only thing is you have to be sure to query your searches for remote or telecommute positions, or you’ll spend a LOT of time on dead end leads.
- The Work At Home Woman: This site has a LOT of information. I found about 50% of it helpful and the other 50% just website bloat. But her forums are awesome and everyone shares a lot of information on work at home job leads that they run across. A great resource for starting out.
I have a ton of more resources and I’ll try to find the files and pull the information from them so I can share with you all. But…just don’t hold your breath. I work full-time, and run a family. I don’t spend a lot of time blogging anymore. In fact, the hour I’ve spent writing this blog equates to an hour on my Saturday that I could have logged for work or I could have spent playing with my kiddos. Not to throw a guilt trip at you – I’m just sayin’… 🙂