At the end of the week, do you feel like you have spent hours and hours looking for an at-home job only to be no farther along in your search than when you started?
You are not alone, my friend.
While the internet has greatly improved access to remote opportunity leads, it can also be a black hole.
One links leads to another.
You find a job description that sounds vaguely familiar. Did you already apply for that? Should you apply again
You run across a company you think you’ve heard of before. Was that the one…?
Man. Those job requirements and responsibilities sound really close to a gig I applied to last week. Too bad I didn’t save that resume and cover letter.
With so much information and so many opportunities coming at us, it’s no surprise we can find ourselves online for hours every day looking for a work-at-home gig.
When I first started my work-at-home job search back in 2007, I had one hour per day to do it – my lunch hour at work. This meant I had to be diligent and remain undistracted if I wanted to accomplish anything within that small window. But I got it done!
Follow the simple tips outlined below to maximize your efficiency and find the work-at-home job you’ve been dreaming of in less time and with less stress!
1. Create a Few “Go To” Resumes
As a first step, save time by investing into the process of revamping your resume for the online world. Stay out of the black hole and make yourself stand out. Tools such as Jobscan and Resunate can be utilized to scan your resume and highlight areas that need modification, and keywords that should be changed.
Once you have a suitable resume, create a “go to” draft for the main categories of jobs to which you are applying. Ex. One that highlights your customer service experience to use when applying to customer service positions and another that features your writing skills to use when applying to freelance writing positions.
These drafts can be saved on your desktop, and easily amended and tweaked between applications depending on the job listing.
2. Create Templates
Why brainstorm every time? Spend your energy creating email, cover letter templates, and follow-up correspondence. Utilize and tweak these drafts as necessary to fit the job that you are applying for. You will save both time and effort being able to reuse content.
The links below offer advice, tips and sample templates to help get you started!
3. Keep a Job Log
For every job listed, approximately 118 people apply! The length of an applicant’s search will depend largely on a variety of factors, including experience level, network, demand, and skill set.
Undeniably, you will send more applications than you can remember. Therefore, it is imperative to stay organized. A great organizational tool to help you with this feat is to create a job log.
Develop and use a spreadsheet to track the jobs you have applied for and update the contents with the status of the application process, contacts, and follow-up reminders.
Include as much information as you feel would be beneficial, but start out with the title of the position, location, company name, and salary. The date applied and contact information would be advantageous to include as well.
4. Narrow Your Search
One of the biggest misconceptions when applying for a job is the broader you cast your net, the more you will bring in. While in actuality this may prove true, scams and positions that do not fit your criteria are in abundance today. Narrowing your search, and casting a smaller more specific net, may produce better results.
Utilizing filters and search criteria, such as a salary range, location or experience required, will yield more tailored fits.
FlexJobs makes this easy with their advanced job search. See my full review here.
5. Verify Job Sources
We have all come across that seemingly perfect job. Work from home! Make your own hours! Endless compensation! No experience needed! Only to find out it’s a complete scam trying to get into our bank account.
Verify the authenticity of the position being advertised by vetting the company prior to applying. Utilize sites such as Glassdoor for company and employee reviews, company websites, and links included in the listing to authenticate the offer. Steer clear of job listings that do not list the hiring company, use vague language, are too good to be true, have search results that do not align or require you to provide confidential information.
6. Turn on notifications for “job alerts”
We talked earlier about one link leading to another. Often, that link black hole begins with your favorite job search engines like Indeed or FlexJobs.
Thankfully, most job boards offer email notifications for your favorite searches. Instead of heading to the site each day and then having to dig through both new and old listings, you can have the latest leads of interest deliver straight to your inbox.
Another benefit to this is that you can apply in a more timely manner. As mentioned previously, most work-at-home job openings receive over 100 applications for every one position available. You have to be at the top of your game or these openings will be gone before you even come across them.
A perfect example of this is Amazon customer service positions. These positions are so highly coveted when positions are available the listing is usually taken down within two days of posting. If you aren’t receiving email notifications or checking job boards daily, you will probably miss it.
7. Bookmark Your Favorite Links
Whether it’s your favorite job boards, work-at-home websites or information you want to remember about a company when it’s time to apply, bookmarks are your friend.
Rather than hitting up Google every time you want to pull up your favorite site, saving – and organizing – your “must have” links can save you time when it comes to job searching. They can also help you make sure you are hitting the right site. Some companies host their job boards on different site. Sometimes scammers set up shop at a similar domain. Bookmarking will make sure you get to the right place every time.
If you use Chrome as your browser, you have a great bookmark organizer built in. You can also save your favorite links through other means such as Pinterest, Facebook Saves and more.
Whether you are looking for a full-time work-from-home position or simply something to supplement your income, get organized, and maximize the one hour a day that you spend job searching. Tweaking your search process and becoming more effective will allow make the work-from-home job of your dreams attainable.