One question I get asked a lot is, “Every company seems to want previous telecommuting experience, so how can I work from home with no experience?”
When you are new to work at home, seeing that phrase on a job listing is a huge bummer. But you do have a few options for getting your foot in the door and finally landing your first work-at-home job!
Get an Entry Level Job from Home
There are quite a few companies and industries as a whole that don’t care if you have worked from home before. With some, you may find they aren’t consistent work (like website testing) or maybe not the best-paying (like captioning at Rev.com), but they will provide you with something to put on your résumé when applying to your dream work-at-home gig.
Here are a couple of industries that often hire folks with no experience:
Search Engine Evaluation
As a search engine evaluator, you are analyzing search results for relevancy and quality. It isn’t consistent work, but it is flexible – and, as long as you know how to work a web browser, you’re qualified! (Some of these companies often require you to be familiar with popular culture as well.)
This line of work doesn’t need much explanation. In most positions, you are assisting customers by phone. Some companies hiring for this position are more interested in your skill set than whether you have worked remotely before. They are looking for great customer service skills, no background noise and the ability to take direction. They also usually have tech requirements including a landline phone and high-speed Internet access. 2
Intern or Barter
You may know a few home business proprietors or small business owners personally. Reach out to these people and ask if they have anything you can do remotely to gain experience. If offering your time at no charge in an intern-type relationship, make sure you are clear about how many hours you are able to work each week and how long your internship will last. I would be hesitant to commit to anything more than a few hours per week – that way, you still have plenty of time to seek out and apply to paying jobs.
Another great option – perhaps an even better option – is bartering. Maybe the business owner can offer you something from their product or service lines in exchange for your work.
Play Up the Strengths Employers are Looking For
As we heard in a recent interview, “I want to work from home” is not a qualifier for a job. When employers are looking for prior telecommute experience, it’s usually because they are trying to avoid turnover and want someone who will commit to the job and the company. A few things you may want to play up on your application and résumé:
- Time Management Skills
- Ability to Follow Directions
Think Outside the Box
Maybe you do have some work-at-home experience you are overlooking. Maybe you have been a direct sales consultant. Perhaps you have owned a home business of another kind. Both qualify as experience you could highlight. And make sure you mention the important tasks and personal skills required to run your business that are relevant to the job you’d like to land.
Whatever direction you take – maybe all three mentioned above – I don’t want you to give up hope. Remember, every single one of us working from home successfully today started out with no experience. The greatest thing you can do to increase your chances of getting a work-at-home job is to apply to those jobs you want – and then apply some more!
One of my favorite places to find entry level work-at-home jobs is FlexJobs. A membership is required, but it’s inexpensive and you can cancel at any time. Once signed up, head over to the Advanced Search tab and click Telecommuting Level 100% > Career Level Entry-Level to serve up new leads.
No Experience Jobs Hiring Now
I’ve also gone out and found you some great job leads from legitimate companies, all with flexible schedules offering an hourly wage. Check them out below:
NexRep – If you’re friendly and good on the phone, NexRep may be a good choice for you. They’re hiring independent contractors to provide customer service for their clients via email, inbound calls, and outbound calls. Their clients include companies from automotive and As Seen On TV infomercials to GrubHub, Priceline, music streaming and more. You can work flexible hours with room to grow, and hourly pay reportedly averages between $15 to $25.
Alorica@Home – Working for Alorica is another job that’ll keep you on the phones, and is great for outgoing, productive people working from home. Alorica provides outsourced communication solutions to companies across a vast array of industries – according to their website, you might help with insurance billing in one call, provide technical assistance on another, to reservation and booking questions on the next. They provide paid training and offer some medical benefits, while hourly payment is guaranteed to meet your local minimum wage.
Sykes – Sykes provides companies with outsourced customer service solutions, and they do this globally. Right now, they’re looking for full-time customer service representatives to work for them from home. Their customer service reps field calls for many different industries – from healthcare providers to cable companies – and they spend their time processing transactions, resolving customer concerns, answering questions, and more. They need empathetic, outgoing people who are good on the phone, especially if those people have customer service experience! You must have a Windows PC with a high-speed Internet connection, and headsets. This position includes benefits and hourly pay reportedly averages between $9 and $10.
Direct Interactions – Direct Interactions is looking for independent agents to both make and receive customer calls via telephone. The basic requirements state you must be 18 or older, and you should have a high school diploma or equivalent. That’s it. They’re not hiring in HI, MA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, or Washington D.C. To qualify for the position, make sure you have a home landline telephone, a PC (running Windows 7.8 or 10) with high-speed Internet access, and a USB headset. You should also be very responsible, self-motivated, a great communicator, and be able to both quickly identify problems and quickly offer solutions. Pay is between $10 – $12 hourly, and they most only hire for part-time. Payment is made via direct deposit twice a month.
Sutherland – This is for my readers who love to play video games! Sutherland is hiring both part-time and full-time Gaming Support representatives to provide tech support and customer service for “one of the world’s largest gaming platforms.” In order to qualify, you should be an experienced gamer (or have experience in gaming tech support), demonstrate great customer service abilities (with at least 1 year customer service experience), be tech savvy and good at multi-tasking, etc. You should also have a high school diploma or equivalent, and type a minimum of 35 WPM. They have a few technical requirements, such as monitor size and Internet connection speed, so make sure you read the job listing carefully for all the details.
Conduent -Conduent is looking for Tier 1 Tech support advisors to provide troubleshooting for their customers. They’re keen to find people who are good at figuring out how technology works and multitasking across various programs. They’re interested in providing their customers a top-flight customer service experience, so they want troubleshooters who are also friendly and engaging with the self-discipline to remain professional while working from home. They do want their prospective advisors to have 6 months experience in customer service – but that experience can come from previously working via phone, chat, or in person. Pretty much all of us have that these days, especially if you’ve ever worked retail! Schedules are flexible, falling between 7 AM CST and 11 PM CST. This is a full-time work-at-home position with benefits.
Brighten Communications – With this company, you’ll be performing telemarketing calls from home – all business to business, focusing on lead generation. You can work flexible hours – available shifts fall between 8 AM EST to 5 PM PST (note the different time zones there). Days run from Monday to Thursday. Their clients work in industries from finance to technology, and all you need to work with them is a professional phone demeanor, and access to a computer with an Internet connection at home. They advertise their hourly wage as being up to $18.
Leapforce – Leapforce is looking for personalized search engine evaluators, which means you’ll be given tasks to conduct research, evaluation, and provide feedback on search engine results. These tasks are generated based on your personalized Google account content and a Gmail address is required to register with Leapforce. Their best candidates are active Google users with great familiarity with American social and popular culture. You must also pass a qualification exam before scoring the position, and study materials are supplied that can also be used during the test. Hourly pay is reportedly $13.
Appen – Appen is a company providing speech and technology services globally – they’re proud to offer services in more than 150 languages. They’re looking for web search evaluators, social media evaluators, language consultants, and more. Web search evaluators work to improve search results, and work a flexible schedule – on average, 4 hours per day. Their hourly pay reportedly averages $12.99. Social media evaluators have a more variable workload and pay, depending on social media project – the hourly pay for that position reportedly averages around $13. Requirements include a computer less than 3 years old with high-speed Internet access, and basic competency with installing and troubleshooting applications.
ICUC – ICUC is a social content moderation company; by monitoring and moderating online content on social media, ICUC’s Content Specialists can help protect the brands of ICUC’s clients. That means enforcing the online communities safety and usage guidelines, monitoring responses to posts on clients’ social media profiles, developing and posting interactive content to their social streams, identifying problematic behaviors and trends in the online community, and more. No previous WAH experience is required, but you should be highly proficient in the use of social media, be fluent in English, must be interested in the brand you’re supporting, have excellent communication skills, etc. They interview on Google Hangouts, and expect you to be very familiar with Google Suite (Docs, Gmail, Sheets, and so on).
Way with Words – Way with Words is looking for transcribers in the US! No transcribing experience is required; they’ll just have you do both an online and an offline assessment. You should have excellent hearing and a good understanding of US English to perform this job, along with a wide vocabulary and extensive general knowledge. They also expect their transcribers to hit their deadlines. Pay starts out at $0.40 per audio minutes, and they state their best transcribers make up to $1.38 per audio minute.
Focus Forward – This is another transcription company often looking for independent contractors! They don’t list experience as a requirement; instead, you must take and pass a test in order to be considered as a transcriber. If you pass the test, you can set your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want. (They advertise themselves as pretty busy, stating they “have a virtually unlimited supply of projects!”) Payment is bi-monthly via Paypal. It generally takes them about 2 business days to process your test. Once you start transcribing with them, you can expect to make $0.40 per audio minutes at first, but that rate may increase with your experience, depending on the project.
Berlitz – If you enjoy teaching or learning languages, you’ve probably heard of Berlitz. They’re a renowned language-instruction company with locations all over the world. They also have a Virtual Classroom environment where teachers can instruct students anywhere over the Internet. Berlitz considers instructors who have not had any previous teaching experience – generally, you should be fluent in the language you’d like to teach (for example, to teach English, English should be your first language) and have great customer service skills.
Cambly – Cambly is looking for tutors to help ESL students with their English studies. They say no experience is necessary, apart from being a native English speaker. They have students from all over the world looking to video chat with their tutors. Tutors set their own hours, and work as much as they want. Pay is $0.17 per minute, which works out to $10.20 per hour. Cambly pays via Paypal on a weekly basis.
Vicky Virtual – Vicky Virtual is looking for virtual assistants who can handle small businesses’ phone calls and provide excellent customer service. Tasks include inbound calls, receptionist duties, and booking appointments, among others. You must have a home computer and good Internet connection, and be able to take calls via your computer with a headset. Vicky Virtual has clients across many different industries and is a growing company, so you must be able to multitask and have an upbeat, engaging persona. You must be able to type at 50 WPM or higher, take accurate notes, and enter data into various programs as required. Payment is a $10 hourly wage.
BKA Content – If you’re interested in getting your feet wet with freelance writing, BKA Content may be a good entry-level fit for you. They’re looking for creative, passionate writers to add to their team of content-producers. They’re keen on fostering a team mentality with their independent contractors, to keep them motivated and producing. Beyond focusing on motivation online, they also sponsor community events, throw a BBQ every year, and often run writer initiatives like blog competitions and photo contests. Requirements include having access to Microsoft Word and the Internet, along with a Gmail address and a Paypal account. Also, BKA Content hires only US citizens currently. Pay periods are every 2 weeks, and writers average between $8 and $14 per hour.
Measurement Incorporated – From March through June, Measurement Incorporated hires Reader/Evaluators to score tests in subjects like English Language Arts, mathematics, science and so forth. No experience is required, but you must have a Bachelor’s degree in any field. They also require a writing sample before they interview you; they’ll also ask for references. Measurement Incorporate provides paid training during set hours, and then Reader/Evaluators work Monday through Friday. Confidentiality is important in this position, and you must have a secure place to do the work. You’ll also need a home computer with high-speed Internet access.
Pleio – Pleio is a unique opportunity! They’re looking for GoodStart Mentors who can help people who are just starting a new medication get into a good routine for taking it. They’d like you to have customer service experience, but work-at-home experience isn’t required. You should also have excellent reading comprehension, pay close attention to detail, be computer-savvy, and be patient and courteous. It’s important to note that you are NOT eligible to be a GoodStart Mentor if you are a licensed or registered doctor or nurse, or a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. Otherwise, they just have some technical requirements: landline telephone, Windows PC running Windows 7 or higher, and either a DSL or cable Internet connection. They give you a script to follow and have you call customers who’ve opted in to the program – absolutely no sales – and advise them how to take their new prescription. On average, they pay between $14 and $18 an hour.
Now, what are you waiting for? You’ve now got a list of 18 handpicked work-at-home job leads requiring no experience plus all those tips I gave you above. Get out there and make a living! You don’t even have to get out of your pajamas to do it – although I generally recommend that you do! (Fuzzy slippers are always fine, though.) Don’t forget to hit the comments and share any good, no-experience-required online jobs we might have missed.