By Holly Reisem Hanna
Even though the economy is flourishing, competition for home-based jobs is fierce, so to get noticed you need to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
Ready to get started?
Here are some job hunting tips to help you stand out among a sea of applicants and get hired faster.
1. Polish Your Resume
To make your resume stand out highlight your past achievements.
Example: Increased organic web traffic by 45% by utilizing SEO techniques and social networking instead of the simply saying, incorporated SEO techniques and social networking into a marketing plan.
Address any periods of unemployment by listing achievements and tasks completed during the period.
Example: From 2007 – 2009 while being a full-time stay-at-home mom, I created and managed a motherhood blog, volunteered at the local woman's shelter, and organized a monthly women's business group.
Include a persuasive cover letter and be sure to follow-up with an email, letter, or phone call after you submit your resume. But most importantly, be sure to read all of the submission guidelines carefully and follow them to a T.
For more tips see: Three Critical Rules to Follow When Applying for a WAH Job
2. Start Your Job Search Online
Two of my favorite places to search online for work-at-home jobs are Indeed and FlexJobs. Indeed is an aggregated job board, which means it pulls results from most of the major job boards on the web, so their database of job listings is enormous. One great thing about Indeed is it's free to use, and it allows you to automate your job search by signing up for email alerts. To get started, go to their website and type in the following keywords:
“work at home,” “work from home,” “home-based,” “remote,” “virtual,” “telecommute,” and “telework.”
Just for fun, I just typed in the keywords “work at home” on Indeed for work-at-home positions, and it populated 237 results. Now you'll need to take the time to weed through these and make sure they're legit, but the opportunities are there for the taking.
The other job board I like to use is FlexJobs. All of the job listings on FlexJobs are either remote, freelance, or flexible in nature, and best of all every single job is handscreened for legitimacy — so you never have to worry about work-at-home scams. They do charge a small fee for usage, but it will save you time and peace of mind in the long run.
3. Try a New Spin on Your Job Search
Have you been searching online and you're not finding what you're looking for? Try searching for opportunities by your skill set instead of an occupation. Consider this example, perhaps you're a nurse and all of the work-at-home jobs you've found require phone work which doesn't interest you. Instead, try searching a skill like, streamlines and healthcare — this pulls up totally different results which are still relevant to a nurse's background. This works especially well for individuals who would like to make a lateral career move.
One last note. Often career titles are obscure and don't hold a lot of literal value — so by searching for skills, you'll find occupations that match your skills, but you would never have thought to search for that specific job title.
4. Get Organized
Stay on top of your job hunting efforts by managing your job search with a tool like Jibber Jobber or a basic spreadsheet. Jibber Jobber allows you to find jobs, network, target companies, and organize and track your results on their platform. Basic service is free; plus being organized can help you find a job faster by making sure you're following up when needed and not missing important interview dates and submission guidelines.
5. Start Networking
I'm always talking about it, and there is a reason why – it's because networking works! Three out of four of my last jobs I got through networking, and here's why it works. First people are more apt to trust a known person's recommendation over a stack of totally unknown resumes. Secondly, people enjoy helping other people out, so let it be known that you are searching for a work-at-home job.
Be sure to get involved on social networks like Facebook where you can connect with old classmates, colleagues, and friends. Tell them that you're searching for a remote job and if they hear of anything to let you know. Facebook is also a great place to meet new people — so join some work-at-home groups and pages. And last, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date with pertinent information. Not only is LinkedIn great way to showcase your work history and experience, but it's an excellent place to search for jobs and get in front of recruiters.
6. Sharpen Your Interviewing Skills
Nobody likes interviewing, but you can alleviate some of the stress of an interview, by practicing and answering common interview questions out loud. By doing this you'll be prepared when the call comes in and you'll exude confidence and expertise, which is exactly what employers are looking for.
If you're going to be interviewed via Skype or video — be sure to check out these tips.
If you'll be interviewing in-person or on video, you'll also need to be dressed for success, so check out these tips.
And for a great list of common questions asked — check out this list from the Muse.
What job-hunting tips do you have? Is there anything that helped speed up the process? We would love to know about it.
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