Searching for a job can be discouraging, especially when it seems like you’ve submitted dozens of applications and not had a single response. It’s easy to throw in the towel and just give up.
But, if you do that, you’re missing out on the incredible opportunity of working from home. If you’re feeling down about your job prospects, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Put on some uplifting music (Fight Song, anyone?) and believe in yourself.
You can get your work-from-home job search back on track and find the perfect position. Here are six tips to help you recover emotionally and reboot.
1. Evaluate What You Bring to the Table
You are unique. There is no one else on earth with the same skill set, experience and personality as you. That means you bring to the table something no one else can: you!
But, if you don’t believe in yourself and the value you bring, no one else ever will. Take time for some serious evaluation of your education, skills, and experiences. Get out a piece of paper and a pencil and jot down:
- Every position you’ve held (from manning the concession stand back in high school to being a stay at home mom, everything counts!)
- Your educational experience
- What you’re good at (if you’re not sure, think about what people ask you for help with)
- The things you enjoy doing
- Hardships you’ve overcome
- Key personality traits
- Skills you’ve developed to an excellent level
By now, you probably have a pretty good list started. That’s great! It gives you a visual reminder of exactly how much you offer. Now, the key is to take all this random stuff and figure out why it makes you a good fit for the job you want.
2. Refine What You’re Looking For
What kind of job makes you giddy inside? What would you LOVE to do? Just looking for a job is ho-hum. But searching for a job that fulfills your passion is a whole different story. It ignites a fire within you and energizes you to keep searching.
Now, you may not be able to find your dream job right off the bat. But, is there something you could do to get your foot in the door? If you’d love to design graphics for a major company, could you take on some small freelance jobs first? Or work for a smaller company?
Try to think through a logical path from where you are now to where you want to be. Look for positions in the same industry. Or within the company you dream of working for.
If flexibility is key for you, make that your focus. Maybe you won’t find exactly what you’re searching for, but if you prioritize one or two elements of the job, you can increase your odds of finding something closer.
When you have a list of the types of jobs you’d enjoy, it’s time to make sure your application materials are ready to go.
3. Dust Off Your Resume and Make It Sparkle
Did you know that most hiring managers stare at each resume for less than a minute? If yours is blah and looks exactly like all the other ones, your chances of getting the position just plummeted.
So, how can you make your resume shine? What can make it stand out?
The days of investing in a ream of resume paper and professionally printing them by the scores is over. Resumes are no longer one-size fits all.
You’ve got to make sure the content is superb. I’ve discovered that the traditional resume, that just lists your experience and education, won’t cut it in today’s marketplace. Unless the job you’re searching for is an “obvious” next-step from the position you currently hold, hiring managers aren’t going to see the connection based on random job titles.
That means your job is to spell it out for them. Make the education and experiences sections of your resume smaller. Add in a Skills and Accomplishments section and make this one prominent. Here, your job is to show how what you’ve done in the past makes you the perfect fit for doing this job you’re applying for.
Now, as you can probably see, you can’t just do this once and call it good. Instead, you need to proactively change your resume each time you send it out. Update the objective on top, along with the wording of your skills. You want to mimic some of the language you see in the job description.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re applying for a customer service position, and while you don’t have any experience as a customer service rep, you do have experience as a babysitter. In your role, you often had to help toddlers calm down after a tantrum. This is good practice for a customer service job! Your job is to show the hiring managers why. You can say something like this in the skills section of your resume:
Experienced in the art of communicating with irate people and diffusing high-tempered situations
You just took something that you’ve done and shown directly how it applies to what you’re going to be doing. You need to connect the dots, for every job you apply for.
But, never, ever lie on any application material. Don’t make stuff up. And don’t embellish. You can change the wording around and pick out specific skills from jobs or life. But don’t ever lie, okay? It’s a serious offense that can cost you deeply.
4. Invest In Yourself
Now that you’ve taken a good look at your experiences and shown how they have prepared you for the position, you also know what you’re lacking. Are there any courses you can take to help you improve? Do you need to refresh your writing or design skills? Are your computer skills lacking?
Think honestly about where you can grow.
And then invest in yourself. If you’re broke, you may not have money to use to buy a course. But, you can read blog posts and take free courses. You can read books from the library and do your best to improve.
You are worth investing in, with your time and your money!
You don’t have to go to college for many professions, so don’t let a lack of degree be an excuse. There are other ways to learn the skills you need if you’re willing to invest in yourself. Here are some of my favorite work-from-home courses.
Who you know is really important these days. Turn to your network and let them know what you’re searching for. You never know who may know someone else and be willing to introduce you.
A simple post on your Facebook page can get the ball rolling. It’s a great way to put out feelers and get your name out there in the minds of people who already know you.
Make sure your post is shareable, in case someone wants to send it to another friend.
Don’t feel limited to Facebook. Make sure you’re on LinkedIn, and that your profile is optimized. Many businesses are hiring from there these days. Have someone take a nice picture of you for your profile shot (no selfies here!)
6. Take a Part-Time Job to Fill the Gap
Finding the best at home job takes time. But, if you’re completely out of money and don’t have enough to pay the bills, you need to do something now. You don’t have the luxury to sit back and wait for the dream position. You need to do something to get money flowing.
If this is you, the best next step may be to take a lower paying job that you don’t love, on a part-time basis. A little money is better than no money. Here are some of the top online part-time jobs from home.
So go ahead and sign up for a contract gig teaching English to children around the world, even if you really wanted a job with benefits. Or take that call center position, even if the hours aren’t as flexible as you were hoping.
These experiences will help strengthen your resume and give you good stories of perseverance to tell.
Once you have a stop-gap position, don’t stop your at-home job search. Continue looking and keep applying.
The work-from-home job that you’d love to have is out there somewhere, so don’t give up! You can do this, and I’ll be over here cheering you on.
And, if you’re still in the searching phase, here are some of the best places to find a remote job:
- Job leads on my website
Good luck with your search! You’ve got this.