The key to finding work at home jobs online is knowing not just
where to look, but even more importantly HOW to look. You're one of
thousands (if not millions!) of people who are dreaming of staying
home, working in their pajamas, spending more time with their children
and still being able to have a good job.
After three years doing
various work at home jobs online, I've learned that not only is this
possible, but it's a great life to live. If someone in my family is
sick, I can help them. If my husband and I want to take a trip, I don't
have to wait to accumulate vacation days I can just go and work from
wherever we are (or not!).
However, this is only possible if you
can find work. Otherwise you're just unemployed and staying home
watching TV. If that's what you want to do, that's fine, but don't
expect to get paid for work you don't do. If your goal is to have lots
of time off of work, or not working at all, then you should think about
starting an online business
that will provide you with passive income. For those of you willing to
work, I've put together my best tips and tools here for finding work at
home jobs online.
If you're not good at job hunting, or if you hate doing it, you should rethink working from home.
This is because most of the work at home jobs online will require you
to be an independent contractor and on a contract basis. This means
you'll be self-employed. You will most likely also be on a 1099 (in the
US) and if you're not comfortable with, or accustomed to, taking out
and paying your own quarterly taxes, you'll be in for a big shock at
No matter what though, you'll always be needing to
be looking for more work to continue growing your income and career.
This isn't the kind of thing where you can put in 3 years and expect a
promotion or raise - you have to make those things happen for yourself.
The good news is that if you get good at finding work at home jobs
online, you can propel your career much faster than you otherwise would
in an office environment.
There are some basic tips for finding
work at home jobs online that will not only make your job hunt more
effective, but also more efficient (so you don't have to spend 5 hours
each day doing this).
Step One: Get Set Up With Your Online Portfolio
of all, if you really want to make a career of working online, you need
a website. On your own domain. Yes, you could get a blogger blog, but
that won't get you much beyond the initial $10-$12 an hour jobs. Let's
face it, you don't want to be putting
"http://subdomain.domain.com/page/page/blablabla" on your business
cards, you want to put "www.yourname.com" or "www.yourservices.com" on
them. Even if they're just digital business cards. You don't, however
need to shell out for monthly hosting, you just need to learn how to
use a domain redirect.
Ok, so go over to GoDaddy and register
your name as a domain name. It's a good place to start and it'll help
protect your personal 'brand' to own that sucker. If you're name is Joe
Smith, throw in a middle initial or maiden name. Whatever works, but be
sure you'll be comfortable branding this for the rest of your life.
This'll cost you about $10.
Got it? Good, now set yourself up
with a Google website. Go to sites.google.com and sign yourself up with
your Google account and create a website that will show off your skills
and abilities. It's free. They'll also walk you through how to point
that lovely domain you just registered to your free site. I'm not going
to re-write the book here on how to do this, they have an awesome and
easy to follow help section. Setting up a website will immediately show
off your skills to any work at home jobs online that you're applying
for, which is also a good thing.
Think of this website as a
cross between a resume, a portfolio and a business card. Make sure the
information you'd have in each of these is on that site on a separate
page. When you're applying to work at home jobs online you want to send
them to www.yoursite.com/resume for your resume. You'll also want to
reference www.yoursite.com/portfolio in your cover letter so they can
see what you've done in the past.
Once you've got your online
portfolio set up, put it in your automatic signature lines for all your
emails so that everyone can see what you do and how to get you to work
for them, even if it's just your mom to start. After all, you never
know who your Grandma's Uncle Ernie might forward the email of your new
baby to who might be looking for a freelance worker in your industry.
Step Two: All set? Now Find Work at Home Jobs Online automatically
feeds are your friend! They will set you apart in the search for work
at home jobs online. Not only can you use these suckers to subscribe to
blogs and job boards and such that help you become a better employee,
you can take it to the next level by creating your own RSS feeds to
deliver to you searches from top job search engines directly to your
inbox. These will provide you with legitimate work at home
opportunities that match exactly what you're looking for. Like your own
personal (but free) headhunter service.
Plus they'll get you
the newest listings FAST. If you've got your portfolio and cover letter
ready to go, you can easily be one of the first applicants for a newly
posted job - thus increasing your chances of getting your application
If you're still defining what kinds of jobs you're looking
for, start with Craigslist and Indeed as your search engines. Each of
these is riddled with job bank spam, so be aware of what that is. Job
Bank spam are job postings that are intended to get lots of people to
apply for them and fill a job bank database, but which aren't actual
work at home jobs online.
There's not an easy way to bypass
this type of spam with a search, but avoid any application that
requires you to go to another website and fill out a long application
with all your information. Not only will it take a lot of your time,
but you're essentially filling in a database for them. Ones where you
send your resume & cover letter via email will be deterred by
having your resume on a website (thus requiring a human to print it out
and scan it into their OCR system to fill the database). Real jobs will
only be impressed by your website (in my experience), your ability to
create a PDF and your web-savvy.
So, go to Craigslist or
Indeed. Each of these has a 'search' field. Craft a very specific
search. Make sure to include "work from home" or "telecommute" in the
search fields. I've had better luck searching Craigslist's Gigs section
as these are usually smaller work opportunities that can be leveraged
to open doors to more work with the same company. Remember, when you're
just starting looking for work at home jobs online, you want whatever
you can get to gain experience.
Now, here's the TRICK : be as
specific as possible. Don't worry too much about having a very small
sample returned to you - focus instead on creating search results that
return exactly what you're looking for day in and day out. Then, once
you've figured out what to search for and you're getting the work at
home jobs online listings you're looking for, hit the RSS feed
subscription button in your browser bar (that little orange triangle
thing next to where you type a web address). This will create an RSS
feed for the search result page and any time that page changes, it will
deliver the new additions to you immediately.
I like to choose
to have these types of subscriptions delivered to my email, then I can
have them automatically filtered into a folder or whatever, but that
way I see them immediately when they come through. Frequently in
getting these jobs, speed of application is as important as anything.
go back and repeat this procedure for every Craigslist metropolis
center (each one has a different sub-domain) and major city on Indeed
for your country. This is VERY IMPORTANT - remember, you might be one
of hundreds apply for the website gig in Los Angeles, but there's less
of a chance you'll be in such a stiff competition pool in Wichita.
After all, if you do your work at home jobs online you can literally
Because I speak English, I also set up feeds
for other English-speaking countries with Criagslist (not Indeed), but
only for Gigs in those countries because I don't want to have to worry
about international work regulations and paying taxes in England when
I've not even stepped foot in the country.
[Of course, if
you're looking to immigrate, you might find a work at home jobs online
and leverage one of them into a desk job over time in order to secure a
Step Three: Streamline the application process
first day or so of hunting for work at home jobs online, you'll
probably want to write a unique cover letter for each email application
you submit. When all of your cover letter applications start to sound
the same, come up with a compelling yet universal cover letter that
requires you not to change much of it. I usually will change the
company, the name of the addressee and a couple key points to match a
specific job posting. Usually this is 1-2 sentences from my original
letter, which I keep in a Google Document so that I just have to copy
and paste it into a new email.
Make sure that you have links
to all your cool stuff on your personal website where the employer can
see more about you right in your cover letter. Once you've done this,
your application process is literally copying and pasting a single
email (2-5 seconds if you have the window open) and changing a couple
of lines in that email (~1-3 minutes) to answer any specific questions
that the job description has.
Once you've streamlined the
application process, you need to set up a schedule for applying and
following up on your applications. I recommend applying to all postings
as soon as you see them come through your email, if you're actively
looking for work at home jobs online. If you're away, then within one
business day. I then follow up with an email or phone call (if you can
find the telephone number of the office) in 3 days from when I sent the
original email. In the follow-up I send the link to a resume again, in
case my initial email got lost (read: deleted and decided against) so
they don't have to go looking for it again (which will remind them why
it was deleted or turned down the first time).
Step Four: Prove your worth
think like an employer for a moment. You've got some work that needs
doing. If you could figure out any possible way, you'd have someone in
your office do it because then you could make sure they were doing it
Hiring someone to outsource work to is more
scary for employers than finding work at home jobs online is for you -
if you get scammed, you might have to cancel some credit cards. If they
get scammed, they miss their deadlines and potentially loose large sums
of money (for every day production is delayed), or at least loose
whatever they spent to hire you. Thus, you need to prove to them that
you're a professional.
This begins before you get your work, and
you need to have a plan for how you'll show it to someone who lives and
works 3,000 miles away.
How you do this will be unique to you, but here are some suggestions:
Give them the name and phone number of a current client who will give you a good review in your follow-up email.
Have quotes of praise from past employers (with numbers!) on your website.
to do a trial-run, especially for something that will be an ongoing
project. Examples are a Website Review (for SEO), a design moc-up (for
websites, graphics, etc), a syllabus for a class (for teaching), a
typing test, a sample blog post, a first chapter or two, etc.
conscious of their time - if they're on the East Coast and you're on
the West, get up at 5am to call them first thing when they get into the
office. If it's reversed, don't call them before 12 or 1 your time
(especially if they work from home too).
Be set up and ready to go for any phone calls, check-ins, etc. Don't do phone conferences at noisy cafes or in the Supermarket.
Step Five: Follow Through
you've gotten the job, follow through. Up-sell them with more services
or recommendations of what you can do to continue to increase their
bottom line. Like with anything, the customer and companies you're
already working for are much easier sell on more services than someone
whose never worked with you before. Ask them for recommendations to
their friends and colleagues. Send them some business cards so they can
give them to folks who they tell about you.
never stop looking for work at home jobs online. Even after you've
gotten a job, continue with steps 1 & 2 by adding to your portfolio
website (document everything!) and pursuing more business. If you start
to get more work than you can handle, raise your prices! Then, even if
you've got a bunch to do, you'll be able to afford outsourcing parts of