One of the biggest challenges to getting a job is how long it takes. The most common complaint I hear from work-at-home job seekers is that they’ve been applying for a long time (sometimes years), but never get hired. In most cases, their resume goes unanswered. While I can’t guarantee a job offer will come quickly, there are things you can do to speed up the process and increase your chances of getting hired.
1. Clean up your digital dirt. Employers will do a search of you on the Internet and what they find may influence their decision to hire you. If they find lots of great stuff, particularly items related to your skills and expertise, it will boost your chances. But if they find highly charged, controversial rants, inappropriate photos and even negative comments about your boss, that could get you weeded from the applicant list quickly. Clean up your digital dirt by deleting all the bad stuff. Because the Internet never forgets, even the deleted stuff is stored, replace it with good items.
2. Apply far, wide and often. If you want a job quickly, you can’t submit a resume and then wait for the response. You maximize your effort by searching and applying for jobs every day.
3. Tailor your resume or application. Matching your skills and experience to those asked for by the employer is the best way to stand-out and show you’re ideal candidate. Further, focus your resume or application on the employer and how you can help him (benefits oriented). Instead of saying I can type fast, say “I type 60 words a minute to get your documents written quickly and accurately.” In this statement you’ve indicated a skill (type 60 wpm), shown that you know what the employer needs (documents written) and given a benefit (quickly and accurately).
4. Use Keywords. If you’re looking for a specific type of job, use keywords in your resume, LinkedIn profile, and other online materials used to seek work. So if you’re looking for virtual support work, use terms such as virtual support, virtual assistant, etc.
5. Follow directions. The biggest peeve given by employers is applicants’ failure to follow directions. You want to stand out, but not in a bad way. Not doing what the job announcements says shows you don’t know how to follow directions, which isn’t something employers want to hire.
6. Prove it. Whenever possible, back up your qualities with proof. Did you win an award? Do you have great references or reviews? This is what makes LinkedIn so great. You can post your achievements as part of your profile. Or consider building a resume-blog and post all the great stuff that can help you get a job, but would take up too much space in a resume.
7. Follow up. You don’t want to be obnoxious or rude, but following up is acceptable. If the job announcement provides a date or time frame for hiring, wait until after that date or time before contacting the employer. If no date is given, wait a week or even two weeks before following up. When you email, use the persons name if possible, and inquire about the receipt of the resume or application with a reminder of when it was sent and something special about you. For example, let’s say Judy Va saw a job for a virtual assistant for a Realtor, she’d follow up with:
Dear Ms. Smith,
I’m following up on my application for the virtual assistant job posted on the Boston Craiglist site on April 1, 2015. I submitted my resume per your instructions on April 1, 2015 and wanted to make sure you received them.
I’ve been a virtual assistant for ten years specializing in helping Realtors maximize their time and stay connected with their clients and customers.
If you didn’t receive my resume or need further information, please let me know.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
8. Keep on Keepin’ On. The reality is even with follow-ups you may not hear back and the work-at-home job market is very competitive. That’s why applying daily to as many places as you’re qualified to work is crucial. But even in that case, it can feel like it’s taking forever. But you won’t get a work at home job if you quit trying. So you need to keep on searching and applying. You might tweak your resume or find new places to search or promote yourself. But whatever you do, don’t quit.
Did you know Jobs Online: How to Find and Get Hired to a Work-At-Home Job, includes detailed steps on getting a work-at-home job PLUS has over 400 work-at-home job resources? It’s available in print and ebook at both Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
Other Work-At-Home Job Resources
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Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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