Are you one of those people who has tried and tried to get a work at home job and you just can't seem to get anywhere at all? I know it's frustrating, but don't give up. There are several reasons why you may not be getting any interest from employers, and there are also some things you can do to increase your chances of getting hired.
Are you chasing after a dream job that doesn't exist?
I know that this doesn't apply to everyone, but there are a lot of people who believe that work at home isn't actually work. They scan the job leads and forums looking for a job requiring no experience where all they do is sit at home, press buttons, and rake in lots and lots of money.
Somehow, they think that by working at home they won't really be working at all. And when they find out that they can't get a job like that just handed over to them, they become frustrated and start complaining that they can't find a work at home job.
Yes, I honestly do get occasional emails from people who want this kind of work that doesn't even exist, and when I can't give them information on it (since it isn't real), they decide I'm just no help.
In reality, there are a lot of work at home jobs, but work at home is work. I can't speak for everyone, but I know that I work just as hard at home as I did outside the home!
Are you qualified for the jobs you're applying to?
Some people apply to everything they come across whether they are truly qualified or not, using the same generic resume. While casting a wide net can be a good thing, you also might be wasting time that could be spent on things that might actually get you somewhere — like tweaking your resume.
Are you being too picky?
On the flip side, some people do the opposite of casting a wide net. They won't apply to anything at all unless it's a perfect fit. Doing this will likely decrease your chances of actually getting a home-based job. There will probably be some things you'll have to compromise on whether you really want to or not.
Are you not bothering because you don't think you're qualified?
Many people won't even apply for certain positions because they don't believe they're qualified. But did you know that cashier work you might have done way back when can count as customer service experience? When you start looking at things like that, it opens up a lot of doors that you probably assumed were closed to you.
Is your resume as good as it can possibly be?
Take a long look at your resume and put yourself in the shoes of the person doing the hiring. Are you truly a good candidate for the job you want? You have to remember that there is a lot of competition for work at home employment. Since you can't meet your potential employer in person, you've got to come across as good as you can on paper.
It's also smart to include a cover letter with your resume. Don't share your life history, but do create a couple of straight to the point paragraphs explaining why you want the job and why you're very qualified for the work. Be direct, polite, and keep it fairly short. Your potential employer will have a lot of resumes to sort through and won't want to waste time reading a cover letter that's excessively long.
If you don't think you can create an impressive resume for yourself, hire a professional to do it for you. I have some links to resume resources to help you start.
Is your resume tailored to the job you're applying for?
If you can, it's smart to tailor your resume to the type of job you're applying for. Many people use the same generic resume for absolutely everything. Instead of doing that, pay close attention to what exactly the company is looking for in terms of your skills, etc. Try to make sure your resume showcases that you have what they want and would be capable of doing the job.
Are there large gaps in your employment history?
I know a lot of people have trouble landing jobs because of long periods of unemployment. There is no way around the fact that this can hurt you, and an employer may not even bother to schedule a phone interview with you after seeing that. If they did, you might be able to explain the gaps, but all too often your resume will just be placed into the “no” pile.
So what can you do? First off, think about anything you have done during those times. Did you do any volunteer work or go to school? Definitely list it if you did! That at least counts as doing something.
Another thing you can do to make your resume look a little better when you have those gaps is to not be too specific with the dates. For example, if you worked for six months in 2001 but not again until the end of 2002, don't list the months you worked. You could just put the year next to the job you did instead, and it will just look like you were employed both years. If you're lucky, no more questions will be asked.
If you didn't do any volunteer work or go to school while you were unemployed and you have gaps in your history that extend for more than a year, there aren't a lot of ways to “fix” it. Some people do fill in the gaps with information on what they were doing while they weren't working. For example, you could list that you were a stay at home parent during your hiatus. This does work out for some people — many companies are a lot more understanding than you might think when it comes to parental responsibilities.
Hopefully you will get a chance to explain the gaps if you're asked about them.
Have you had too many jobs?
Job hopping doesn't look much better than going for long periods of time without a job. If your resume shows that you've had several jobs that you haven't held down for very long, that could make the person doing the hiring think you won't be around long at their company, either.
A way around this is to avoid listing every single job you've had. It's not a rule that you have to do that, anyway. Just list the jobs that would be most relevant to the one you're applying for now. You may want to consider not listing jobs you only had for two or fewer months unless they are extremely relevant to the position you're applying for now.
What do your social media profiles say about you?
Don't think for one minute that a potential employer won't take the time to look you up on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Sure, there's a chance they won't bother, but there's also a good chance that they will — especially since they can't meet you in person and this would give them a feel for you and your personality. If you have anything publicly displayed that seems rather unprofessional, get that cleaned up before you apply!
And speaking of social media, set yourself up a professional profile on LinkedIn and provide the link somewhere on your resume. If you do a great job fleshing out your LinkedIn profile, this could actually help you land a job.
Are you staying on top of the “work at home” world?
Learn everything you can about the industry you're interested in. Know what companies hire people to work from home and how they operate. Definitely read forums like WAHM and Work From Home Arena regularly. Job leads get posted on those sites all the time and sometimes potential employers also post at those places to get the word out that they are hiring. I learned a great deal of what I know about working from home just from being active on those two boards.
Also, keep up with my blog as well as the other sites I recommend here.
I would also recommend paying the $14.95 monthly to get a membership with FlexJobs. They list hundreds of work at home job leads from reputable, legitimate companies every day that are scam-free. I've been a member and found it to be well worth the money, but it's easy to cancel and get a refund if you don't find it benefits you at all.
You will have an advantage over other employees if you educate yourself on working from home and make an effort to keep yourself informed and up to date on what's happening in the work at home world.
Have you furthered your education?
The more you know, the more appealing you will be to potential employers. Whether you've been to college or you haven't, there's no harm in learning a few new skills to get a better-paying job.
I get a lot of emails from job seekers that want work from home jobs requiring no special skills. Unfortunately, there are very few jobs like that out there, and the ones that do exist more or less pay slave wages. If you want to make good money working from home, you have to have the skills that will benefit the employers who can afford to pay well.
I created a list of resources to help you learn new skills online so you can learn some of the skills employers want. These are quick and easy, and you don't have to leave your home to participate.
Don't Give Up
Sometimes you can also just blame it on bad luck. But luck does turn around eventually, so for sure keep trying. There's no question telecommuting is on the rise, so I expect that there will be more and more home-based jobs popping up all the time.
Also — I come across a lot of volunteer, non-paid internships on Craigslist and places like that. While you're searching for home-based employment, it might not be a bad idea to do some of these because it can give you experience in fields you may be wanting to break into and it also looks fantastic on your resume to show that you've volunteered at anything. And you can list the work you did as experience.
Please feel free to share your thoughts below. Do you have any tips that might help another person land a home job when it seems that they can't?
P. S. Kiss the “Monday Morning Blues” goodbye! The perfect job awaits you. Start living the life you've imagined. Grab Leisa Good's opportunity sheet today!