You are excited about the prospect of working from home.
You have good reasons: working from the comfort of your home will allow you more time with your family, you will say “sayonara” to the stress of a daily commute, and you might even have time for another side hustle!
With this in mind, you have sent several applications for attractive online jobs… and nothing.
Employers just don’t seem to be interested in what you have to offer. Or could the problem be your resume? Or is there a problem with the way you’re submitting your application?
Don’t give up. Although finding that first work-at-home job might be difficult, it definitely isn’t impossible.
Read on for some of the most common reasons why employers don’t seem to be interested in offering you remote jobs.
We’ve also provided you with ideas on how to fix these problems and increase your chances of landing that first work-at-home job.
1. You Don’t Follow Directions
How good are you at following directions?
This is an important consideration when you’re applying for a job, whether it is a traditional office position or a remote position.
Although there isn’t much data on the subject, it seems that many job seekers don’t pay attention to detail when submitting job applications.
Some job applicants lose out on attractive opportunities due to errors such as leaving out important details on their applications, not using the right format or even failing to include a certain code word in their application.
If you have been applying for jobs online for a while, you might have noticed that some employers include very specific instructions on how to submit a resume.
For instance, they might ask for applicants to include a “code word” in the subject of the application email.
If you’re not paying attention you will miss such details, which might cost you the job.
Take a look at these two job descriptions from Indeed which give specific directions to applicants:
What to do:
When you find a job posting you’re interested in, don’t send a generic resume and cover letter.
Instead, take time to carefully read and understand the job description and the submission instructions.
Maybe the employer wants you to use a “code word”, send the application to a particular email, or use Word instead of PDF format for your resume.
Make sure you follow the explicit instructions and have a customized resume. By doing this, you will have a leg-up over a large number of applicants who chose not to follow the instructions.
Remember, if you don’t follow instructions, there’s a huge probability that your application is disqualified right from the start.
2. You Lack Work-At-Home Experience
Employers prefer candidates who have some experience, but you have to get a job to acquire experience. This is the ultimate catch-22 for job seekers.
Working at home requires independence, accountability, flexibility, and discipline – more so than having a traditional office job.
With this in mind, employers looking for remote workers desire applicants who have a proven record of these qualities.
If you’re looking for your first work-at-home job, lack of experience can be daunting. In today’s competitive job market, what are you supposed to do if you’re concerned that your lack experience is holding you back from a coveted work-at-home job?
Here are a few helpful tips:
Play Up Your Experience
Remember that companies looking for work-at-home employees want to see evidence that you can work independently.
You don’t have to have previous work-at-home experience to demonstrate this. If you were in a position in which you were in charge of your own schedule, or you were heading a team, you can play up the experience to get work-at-home jobs.
For example, did you run a successful home business? Have you done some freelance work? Were you a volunteer on a charity committee?
Use this experience to show recruiters that you can handle the responsibility of a work-at-home job.
Start at the Bottom
Not every job will require experience. There are jobs that recruit remote workers with no previous work-at-home experience.
The catch, however, is that they may pay less and offer fewer hours.
These companies are a great place to start if you want to get some experience on your resume. Because they offer fewer hours, you will even have the flexibility to continue working an outside job as you acquire experience.
Keep an eye out for better work-at-home jobs that you can apply for using your experience.
Here are some of the best sites to look for work-at-home jobs:
- Zip Recruiter: allows you to search for work-at-home jobs in your location.
- Flex Jobs: this website charges a membership fee of $14.95 per month. However, the quality of its job listings might be worth the price.
- Jobspresso only posts remote jobs, which raises your chances of finding what you desire.
- Angel List is ideal for those looking to work in a startup company.
- Power To Fly is a site which is like LinkedIn for stay-at-home mothers and women who want to find a flexible job. It has a section for “Remote Jobs.”
- Remote OK is a site that aggregates remote job listings for digital nomads from sites such as Stack Overflow and Indeed. Mostly, you’ll find tech-based jobs although you can search for “non-tech” jobs.
- Skip The Drive: most of the jobs in this site will link back to Indeed. However, the site’s filter options might make finding the work-at-home job of your dreams a little easier.
- Stack Overflow: although this site is mostly used as a message board for developers, it also has a section for location-independent jobs.
- Working Nomads allows you to search for remote gigs in your interest area such as development, design, customer success, management, writing or system administrator.
- Measurement Inc is a site where you can find a remote job as a reader/evaluator. They don’t require experience but you need to have a bachelor’s degree in any subject.
- CastingWords: If you’re looking for transcription jobs, have a look at this site.
- Vicky Virtual: This site pays virtual receptionists $10/hour. However, it is only open for those living in the US.
- Remotive is a site that focuses exclusively on remote jobs. You can simply select your desired category and start applying for jobs.
- Virtual Vocations allows you to search for remote jobs in your interest area, weekly hours, geographical and career level. You will find jobs in various categories including editing, fundraising, legal, real estate, and travel.
3. You Don’t Tailor Your Resume for the Job
Many job seekers have a generic resume they use to apply for every job.
However, in today’s competitive job market, it is imperative that you take time to carefully craft your resume for the job you’re applying to.
Bear in mind that on average, a job opening listed online will attract as many as 250 applicants.
To make it past the initial screening stages, you have to closely mirror the verbiage used in the job description.
Additionally, use a functional resume instead of a chronological one
What is a Functional Resume?
Unlike the traditional resume that arranges your work history in chronological order, a functional resume focuses on your relevant skills, experience, and abilities.
A functional resume is especially advisable when you’re changing jobs (such as when shifting from a traditional office job to working from home), or when you have gaps in your career history.
Here is what a functional resume looks like:
Here are a few tips to help you write a successful functional resume:
Write a Summary: Include a brief summary of your resume in the top third of the document. The summary should focus on the skills and experience you have that are relevant to the job.
Organize by Theme: The traditional resume organizes your work experience in reverse chronological order (starting with your current/latest job to your first). But a functional resume groups your skills and work experience under themes. For example, you can have themes such as “Editing Experience”, “Customer Service Experience” and so on.
Mention Relevant Projects: Have you completed personal or professional projects which you think might catch the recruiter’s attention? Remember to include them in your resume. Projects can help you demonstrate to employers that you’re able to develop and complete tasks.
Bonus Tip: Make Finding a Job Your Job
Are you in desperate need of a job?
To achieve success more quickly, you have to make finding a job your job. Simply, this means you should invest as much time and effort into job-seeking as you would a paying job.
Stick to a regular schedule of waking up early, exercising, freshening up and putting some hours into your job search.
Spend a predetermined number of hours each day in job searching.
For instance, you can dedicate an hour to finding and saving job leads, an hour for training, an hour for networking, an hour for lunch, and two hours to apply to jobs in the afternoon.
To become even more competitive in your field, you should constantly update your skills and acquire new ones.
Small Revolution school has carefully assembled courses especially suited for those looking for work-at-home jobs as copywriters or virtual assistants.
The courses are interactive with easy-to-follow lessons, real-world examples, and quizzes.
Don’t wait, sign up and start a wonderful course which will bring you one step closer to that work-at-home job of your dreams.