Friday, June 1, 2007

Successfully applying to telecommuting jobs

Okay, lets be blunt here. There are rules to successfully applying for and gaining a work-at-home job. Listen closely, and follow it to the letter or you will spoil it for everyone (including yourself).

The fundamentals of getting a virtual job

1. Don't send your resume to companies that have no openings.
It's a waste of time and your resume ends up in the garbage (or deleted if submitted electronically).

2. Don't ask a company for the generic "telecommuting" or "work at home" job.
There is no such job title. There are jobs that allow you to telecommute. Basically, these are regular, everyday jobs in which the employer has kindly offered a flexible work schedule -- telecommuting. It should be treated much like health and dental and eye benefits that the employer may or may not offer.

3. Don't beg employers for a job.
Don't tell them that you need to work at home because you are a mother of eight. That you need to work now because you may lose your home. This is not going to endear you to an employer, in fact, it may do the opposite of what you intend (to get the job) because the employer really doesn't want to deal with personal or familial problems. They just want the job done. In simple terms, no one wants desperate, they want "qualified." And talking about qualified . . .

4. If you can't do the job, don't apply.
If you are not qualified for the job (have the skills, experience or knowledge to fill the job -- please, please, please -- for all our sakes) don't apply. Employers want the job done, they do not want to "train" someone to do the job. Do you know how hard it is to train someone at a distance? It's pretty hard, believe me.

5. Professionalism means putting the employer first.
Make sure your resume and cover letter focuses on what you can do for the employer, not what the employer can do for YOU. It's not about YOU. It's about what type of value you can give the employer for the exchange of a salary.

6. Telecommuting is like health insurance.
The fact that the job allows you to work from home is a footnote. It should be discussed after the employer offers you the job. Your focus is to get to the point where the employer wants you to fill that job. Focus on that first.

Why are you listing the obvious?

I know . . . I know. There are many of you that are complaining because this is rudimentary information to you. But believe me I get dozens, if not hundreds, of e-mails from people begging for a work-at-home job and asking why employers are not answering their requests. And each and every time, I find out that they are doing one (if not several) of the "Do Not's" I've just listed. One guy I know, after listing an ad for a part-time clerical position, got 4,000 responses of which many were not even qualified! So, I thought I would save everyone some time and effort and make sure we were all on the same page here. That said . . .

This is what you do:

1. Conduct your telecommuting job search as you would any other job search. If you don't know how to conduct a proper job search, Google this topic and follow all the good advice out there.

2. Get your resume together and know what type of position you want to fill. This is very important because it saves time and increases your chance of success. Applying to any and everything that has "telecommuting" or "work at home" on it will get you no where fast. You will just quickly become known as the new "cyber-pest."

3. Find job openings that you can fill. (Don't worry, I plan to help you with that.)

4. Read the job descriptions and qualifications carefully and address your cover letter to the requirements and needs of the employer. Nothing impresses an employer more than an applicant that can address, point-by-point, how their experience and skill meet each requirement that employer outlined in the job description.

5. Send your application per the instructions of the employer. If the employer wants it faxed. Fax the resume. If they only accept e-mails, send the e-mail. Follow the directions to the "T." Many employers watch carefully to see if applicants can follow directions and use it as a screening process.

6. Don't bother the employer with phone calls and e-mails, move on to the next job.

7. Have a goal to send out a certain amount of resumes each week to better your odds. Yes, Virgina this is a numbers game. Send out enough well-focused arrows and you will soon hit your mark.

8. Research the company and find out if they offer their employees flexible-work-plans and schedules. If they do offer the possibility to work at home, then look at non-telecommuting jobs they have listed. If you fit their qualifications -- apply. There is a chance that after they offer you the position, you can negotiate your way into making it a work-at-home opportunity.

Picture by Veoflexible schedule, work from home, work at home, home-based, virtual, alternative work, telecommute, telecommuting, remote worker, telework

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