Getting Hired For Work At Home: What You Need To Know
February 28, 2017 | Paula Reuben Vieillet
Work At Home has become a booming industry because it often opens doors for job seekers who otherwise would have major barriers to employment. Even though there are many similarities between applying for on-site jobs and virtual positions, there are also significant differences that job seekers should know.
Must Be Tech Ready
Be sure you have the essential technical requirements, including a landline telephone and use of a computer. Most Work At Home companies will not accept satellite or wireless internet or computers with Windows XP or Vista. Employers will often have a software/speed compatibility test that can be accessed through a link.
Read Job Description
Don’t assume anything about the hours for Work At Home. Every company is different but many require nights, weekends or full-time training, even for part time positions. Make sure you are prepared to take a job if it is offered.
Typing Test Typical
For Work At Home positions, typically there is a typing test for speed and accuracy which often is timed. The minimum is usually 35 words per minute with 95% accuracy. (You can practice beforehand at www.typingtest.com to improve your score if you are rusty.)
Unlike local jobs in your community, almost all Work At Home employers will not take phone calls or e-mailed resumes, but rather, require the application to be filled out and submitted online. This submission tells the company that you have access to a computer and you have a specific skill set to use the internet and follow detailed instructions.
Virtual First Impressions
First impressions count in the virtual world too! Be sure your e-mail addresses and voicemail are professional. Don’t use something like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is better to create another “job-hunting” e-mail address. Always listen to your voicemail as if you were a hiring manager.
Unlike applying ‘in person,’ technical issues can sometimes happen with on-line applications.
Be proactive! Before starting the application, make sure your computer system has all of its updates and check and see if the company suggests a “best browser” to use. Then be sure to clear out any cookies or caches from your browser.
If you do run into any technical difficulties, try changing your browser. For example, if you are applying using Google Chrome, try Firefox or Internet Explorer instead.
If problems still persist, wait an hour or two and try again. Maybe it is the employer having technical issues.
Read Questions Carefully & Proofread
Take your time with your application answers and proofread every step of the way to avoid skipping a question or submitting it with typos or grammar errors. This shows that you pay attention to detail.
Saving & Submitting Applications
Protect your progress by saving the application frequently (if that is an option). Remember, also, even if you have been saving all along, you will typically still need to officially “submit” your application. Therefore, be sure to actually hit the SUBMIT button.
Then be patient! It may take a minute or two on their end to fully process the form.
Confirmation Is Essential
By all means, do not close your browser until you get a submission confirmation either directly on the screen or via immediate e-mail. You can also take a quick screenshot of the completion screen and save it for your records.
Response By Phone or Email
Just like applying for a local job, if you are chosen for an interview, you will hear from the company by telephone or e-mail. Be sure to check your e-mail a few times a day and if you don’t hear from the company, be sure to check your Spam or junk folder!
Some Work At Home jobs are conducted as a group interview and others are individual interviews. You will need a phone and/or computer and sometimes a USB headset for this interview. The employer will send you a phone number to call or provide you a link that will connect you.
Group interviews usually consist of one Human Resource professional and 8-15 other applicants. If they do a Skype interview and can ‘see’ you, make sure you look well-groomed on your webcam. Initially, they will inform you more about the job, hours, shift schedule and responsibilities to make sure you still want it. Have the job description available and take notes.
If you are offered the job from home, (Way to Go!), most W2 employers will also pay for your training. During training, you will be learning their proprietary software and procedures. Depending on the complexity of the job, training can range from several days to many weeks. You will have assignments throughout the process and your complete attendance and participation is mandatory.
Where to Apply Online
Be sure to only apply with legitimate companies. If you are a person with a disability receiving SSDI or SSI, consider the Ticket To Work program – which provides free job placement services through a network of authorized service providers. Try to find one who specializes in Work at Home since many are strictly local community placement.
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Paula Reuben Vieillet is President and Founder of Employment Options Inc., an authorized Social Security Administration Employment Network in the Ticket to Work Program – specializing in national Work at Home Employment, as well as, local community job placement in 47 states. She has authored three career workbooks used by individuals, vocational professionals, schools and career workshops.
Any questions about Employment Options’ free Ticket To Work job placement services and current job openings can be answered at www.MyEmploymentOptions.com. The website also has a list of helpful resources for all people with disabilities and other challenges.