What to look for and what to avoid to identify them
Legitimate work from home jobs can be as elusive as a bird,
apparently abundant one moment and gone the next. Once you've begun to
look for work from home jobs, you'll quickly find that while there are
opportunities out there there are just as many scammers.
If you let it get to you,
discerning the legitimate work from home jobs from the rest of them can
be discouraging and disheartening. Don't give up! You just need to
learn how to identify the legitimate opportunities quickly so you don't
waste your time with them.
Reading The Posting
work from home jobs have postings that are involved and intricate. The
HR offices posting these opportunities are as sick of spam applications
as you are sick of spam listings. Most will put subtle application
directions into their job postings and automatically weed out anyone
whose application doesn't follow these instructions.
enough postings and you'll begin to see the more specific language that
some of them have. These are more likely legitimate. Listings that
don't use anything to identify the industry they're seeking employees
for are usually from headhunters and not legitimate.
To Fill Out The Application or Not?
don't fill out online applications. That's me, however, and for the
right opportunity taking the time to fill out a detailed application
can help to quickly set you apart from the rest of the crowd by proving
your determination. The key is figuring out which applications are for
legitimate work from home jobs and which ones are simply filling a
quota in somebody's database.
Ask yourself - does this form look like it will get to an employer's desk or will it end up in cyberspace somewhere?
applications that are on an employer's website are fine. Applications
that redirect you to a third party website bear more investigation. Do
a quick web search for the root URL and see what it turns up.
When in doubt, ask
I was actively applying for writing work from home jobs, I found that a
great way to identify legitimate work from home jobs among all the spam
when it was hazy to me was to drop the poster a quick request for more
information. Make sure you're asking something specific and related to
the post, but asking for more information about a posting will quickly
do one of two things:
Either it will set you apart from the rest
of the pack and get you a confirmation of a job's legitimacy, or you
won't hear anything from them.
Of course, there's the rare
auto-responder that will reply with a "apply at this form" email, but
then we've already covered what to do then.
If I'm leaning
towards thinking it's one of the legitimate work from home jobs, and
just want to be sure, I'll also include a PDF of my resume - just in
A Job Pays YOU, not the other way around
go without saying, but if you have to pay something to get the work,
its not one of the legitimate work from home jobs.
with placement companies (like secret shopper head hunters) or trade
organizations are possibly an exception to this rule. However, even in
these situations, the companies you're paying a membership fee with
aren't the companies eventually employing you. So, the rule stands.
Professional Background Checks are not part of this - depending on your
field you may have to pay to get one of these done before you can be
offered a job. However, these fees are, again, not paid to the company
employing you but to a 3rd-party source that's doing the checks. At
least, they should be if it's a legitimate opportunity.]
What about 'start-up' costs? This is the difference between starting an online business and legitimate work from home jobs.
If there is a start-up cost required (initial purchase, intro package,
training, etc) that you'll need to pay out of pocket, that indicates
that you're starting a business of your own, not getting a job working
for someone else.
This doesn't mean it's not legitimate, it just means you should treat it like the business that it is from the get-go.
work from home jobs are employment with someone else's business where
you're trading your time and effort for a regular paycheck. Think of it
like working at your local school district. If you wouldn't pay the fee
to work there (school districts usually require background checks
pre-interview and membership in the union upon employment), then you
shouldn't pay it to work online.
won't get them all - occasionally you'll end up dealing with a spammer
or a bad gig (which is almost worse) - it's just the nature of the
beast. So, there are some basic steps you can take to protect yourself
from getting your identity stolen or your inbox flooded with spam.
an email other than your personal email for sending applications. Do as
I say here, not as I did. When I was hunting for legitimate work from
home jobs, I just used my regular email address since it's based on my
name and is professional sounding enough. However, I also use spam
filters excessively. I still get lots of junk four years later. Learn
from my mistakes.
Don't give any online applications your
Social Security Number. They'll tell you they need it to proceed.
They're lying. The only time you need to provide a Social Security
Number is when you're proving that you're legally allowed to be
employed in the US, which happens AFTER they've offered you the job.
The ones who tell you otherwise are headhunters - they run programs
that check you before they add you to their system - but you don't need
Listen to your gut. If something that a potential employer
asks you to provide over the internet makes you unsure, don't give it
If concerned, walk away
Even if you're
offered a job, if you have any concerns about any of your seemingly
legitimate work from home jobs, don't be afraid to walk away. There's
always someone else with better standards and ethics you could work for
- just keep looking.
When you start looking for legitimate
work from home jobs, this might seem extreme. You need the money to
start your new lifestyle, why would you walk away? Trust me, don't let
this mode of thinking get you doing something you're not comfortable
with - your gut is usually right. Be professional when declining, but
remember that if you don't get paid for the work you do then you'll not
only have lost the income, you'll have lost the hours and days of your
Really, isn't that part of why you wanted to work from home in the first place?