We can all use a little help when it comes to job hunting. This can be especially true when your job search is a work-from-home one.
From where to look to dodging scams and beating out the competition, it really is a full-time job finding at-home employment.
And while it can be labor intensive to secure scam-free, home-based employment — it’s not impossible.
To give yourself the best chance of finding one quickly, here are five tried and true tips you can implement today (yes, today!).
Make Your Resume Remote Friendly
If you’re using the same resume to apply to remote jobs as you would to in-office ones, stop! It’s time to dust off your resume and make it remote friendly.
Employers want telecommuters who are self-disciplined, motivated, reliable — you know, able to get the job done even when no one is looming over their shoulder. One of the benefits of working remotely is the greater autonomy it affords. But this also means you need to prove to employers that you can (and will) do your best day’s work even when you’re out of the office.
And since working remotely requires you to be relatively tech savvy (you are, after all, your own IT department), you need to demonstrate your ability to navigate a home office flawlessly. Program not working? No problem! New software to learn? Easy peasy. Minor troubleshooting? Piece of cake!
You don’t have to be an expert in all things IT but you do need to be comfortable on a computer and able to learn new technology quickly.
Keywords to Consider
So how, exactly, do you show potential employers you’ve got what it takes to work from home? Your resume! This one document will make (or break) your chances of getting an interview — make it the best it can be.
Since most resumes are scanned with applicant tracking software before reaching a human, this means including relevant keywords. With the right keywords in your resume, you increase your chances of getting that oh-so important callback!
Some of the more common keywords found in at-home job advertisements include:
My favorite tool to help you match your existing skills with the required keywords in ads is Job Scan. This handy online tool scans an ad and finds relevant keywords as it compares to your resume. Based on the matches, you’ll find out how well your resume fits the needs of the open position — super simple.
If your score isn’t great, no problem. You can easily go back and tweak your resume until it’s a better fit.
Note: You get up to 5 free scans a month. If you need more than that, you’ll have to sign up for a paid/premium account.
If you’re feeling stuck how to incorporate the most keywords into your resume and still make it easy on the eyes, check out this sample resume for inspiration:
Expand Your Job Search
I know looking for a remote job is a full-time job (and then some). And that’s why many people turn to work from home bloggers to share daily job leads with them. And this is great — and super convenient. But you should also take a little initiative and find your own leads. Not only will this increase your odds of finding the right job, but you’ll face less competition when you source jobs that aren’t only listed on popular sites and social channels.
So, where should you be looking?
Some of my favorite places to scout for job leads include:
Bookmark these sites and visit them often. You just never know what remote positions you’ll find posted on any given day. And the sooner you act the better — competition is fierce for many work-at-home gigs. You need to throw your hat in the ring before it’s too late!
I know freelancing isn’t for everyone. But have you even considered it? You may be a good fit for freelancing if you’re looking for the most flexible way to earn a living.
Remember, as a freelancer you get to choose who you work for and when. Oh, and did I mention you get to set your own pay rate?
Sounds a little too good to be true, I know. But the truth is there are many six-figure freelancers out there who earn a living working from home (or Bali or Starbucks or wherever). And there’s even more freelancers earning a comfortable living doing the work they love.
To get started, you can check out one of the many freelance sites or you can set up your own freelance service site and start selling your skills directly to clients. Really, there’s no right or wrong way to go about freelancing. Do what makes sense for you.
Have I piqued your interest? I knew I would! If you really want to give freelancing a go, read The Freelancer’s Bible. Better yet, download the free Amazon Kindle App and sign up for a 30-day trial of Kindle Unlimited. That way you can read as many freelancing ebooks as you can in a month’s time — for free. This is how I got my “freelancer education” and was able to start earning a living online within 30 days.
Turn to Social Media
The next time you’re pinning, posting, snapping, instagramming or tweeting, take a second to look for job leads!
Popular hashtags can make your search easier on Twitter and Instagram. For example, #workfromhome is an easy way to filter through home-based job leads and tweets sharing helpful remote work tips. Plus, it can lead to some really great connections to those who are already working remotely — and it never hurts to network. After all, people love to work with people they already know. And you can easily get to know someone through social media — so start connecting!
And if you’re not on LinkedIn, go ahead and sign up. Whether you’re thinking of freelancing or are on the hunt for an at-home career, you can build some valuable connections on LinkedIn and gain access to many telecommute jobs in the process.
Simplify Your Search
Even though you should take the initiative to source as many job leads as you can, you shouldn’t drive yourself crazy tracking down every single lead. Instead, sign up for (and accept) all the help you can get!
Indeed Job Alerts
Once you sign up, you’ll get a daily digest of work from home jobs delivered directly to your inbox. That amounts to an average of 40 (yes, 40!) every day conveniently delivered without having to manually search for them.
Thanks to this free and simple tool, you’ll spend less time searching and more time applying — giving you a better chance of landing a work from home job.
We know Craigslist can be a great source of legit jobs — large companies like Amazon, Groupon, and Nordstrom often post their leads here. But the problem is, companies will likely post their job openings on one or two of the larger markets.
For example, Amazon may only list their home-based agent jobs on the Austin, Boston, and Los Angeles Craigslists. And if you don’t live in these areas, you may not make it a habit to check them on a daily basis.
It would take a couple hours to go through each of the 200+ individual cities. Instead, use a handy classified search tool like SearchTempest.
With SearchTempest, you can search every single Craigslist site for telecommute jobs like so:
This quick search will deliver all the jobs on every Craigslist site that are marked “telecommute.” Granted, not every job returned will actually have a telecommute option and some many require you to live in a certain state. But still, with a few clicks, you can quickly and easily see who is hiring remote workers without having to individually check all of Craigslist.
Finding Work from Home Success
The only surefire way to land a work from home job is to keep on keepin’ on! It can take some time to find the right job for you and, longer still, to get a job offer. But don’t give up! It is possible to work from home. In fact, about 24% of employed Americans did at least some telecommuting in 2015. You can too!
Questions? Hit me with them! firstname.lastname@example.org
For more tips on landing a work-from-home career, check out The 10-Second Commute. It’s a complete guide to helping you find a remote career with a credible company — one that offers benefits and actually pays the bills!
This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend products and services I trust. Learn more in my disclosure statement.
Free Resource Library
It's time to kick your cubicle to the curb!
Join the movement -- sign up to get instant access to my library of free resources for out-of-the cube thinkers like you.
You'll also get the weekly Happiness Digest with even more exclusive freebies for subscribers.
So, go ahead, make your inbox happy.