Getting started Tips

Read these 20 Getting started Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Telecommuting tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Get Your Goals

Figure out your goals. What do you want to accomplish working at home? Do you want to be home with your children? Do you wnat to make more money and how much a month? Set a reasonable goal of how much you'd like to make a month that works for you.
Next, figure out what your best skills are. Are you good at customer service? Office Administration? Writing? Check out job boards like www.WAHM.com, www.mymommybiz.com, and www,wplh that will give you great advice and links to jobs.
Apply, apply, apply. Apply to as many jobs in your field as you can. It takes time and patience, but with hard work and perseverance, your efforts will be rewarded.

   
How do I create a cover letter to apply for work at home jobs?

The third rule of telecommuting cover letters

Résumés sent by e-mail need a brief cover letter. Use two or three quick paragraphs with three to five sentences telling your reader where you heard about the position and why your qualifications are a perfect fit for the position's requirements. E-mail is intended to be short, sweet, and to the point. The cover letter will give the employer a brief, but to the point, synopsis of who you are and what you can offer. If an employer is sifting through hundreds of applicants, he or she is going to easily narrow down the choices based on what the cover letter says.

   
How do I create a resume to apply for work at home jobs?

Use popular keywords in your resume

One of the most essential parts of a successful telecommuter's resume is the keywords section. Many large employers have a resume scanning program which scans in your resume without anyone ever actually reading it. Create a section called Technical Experience or Skills and make a list of every software program you have ever worked with, including those freeware programs you downloaded and played with. Separate the words with commas, like this: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, etc. if your specialty is data processing, make sure you include your fastest typing speed here and accuracy level.

   
How do I create a cover letter to apply for work at home jobs?

The first rule of telecommuting cover letters

Never use a generic cover letter with only: "To Whom It May Concern." You would be much more likely to read a letter that was directed to you personally and so would human resources professionals. Do some research to find the name of the individual in charge of human resources. The name is usually found within the body of the job description, and if it is not included, visit the company's website to find the name of the Human Resources Manager

   
How do I create a resume to apply for work at home jobs?

Create a plain text resume

You will need an ASCII text resume to paste into an email or online application. If you rely only on your Word formatted resume, employers may never read it. Some email programs will automatically delete any attachments, so avoid sending your resume as an attachment if you can. If you are looking for more than one type of job description, be prepared with different resumes for different occasions. Your resume should focus on the type of job you are applying to.

   
Do I need an online portfolio to apply for work at home jobs?

You need a professional portfolio to apply for telecommuting jobs

It is important to have an online portfolio when you are searching for a home based job. If you are competing with someone for a position and you have similar skill sets and experience, the person who is going to rise above is the one with a professional-looking portfolio.

This applies to not just writing, graphics, or website design people, but research, transcription, and typing as well. Think of all the different samples you can showcase - a perfectly typed and formatted page, a sample spreadsheet compiled from topics that you have researched, a short story or article that you wrote.

Even if you don't have examples of things that you were paid to do, you can create samples that show what you are capable of.

   
How do I create a resume to apply for work at home jobs?

Use action words in your Objectives section

Your Objectives section of your resume provides a one paragraph overview of what you want in a job and what you can offer the employer. This is the first thing an employer will read, so make it snappy and exciting by using action words!

Here are some examples of great opening paragraphs...

Creative graphics design professional seeking freelance projects. Professional, experienced, reliable and accustomed to meeting tight deadlines.

Speed typist seeking work as an independent contractor or full time offsite member of your team. Specialist in medical and business transcription and an expert in producing high quality materials with a fast turnaround.

Expert internet researcher seeking projects that require accurate results and fast turnaround. Equipped with high speed cable modem and willing to work off-hours if necessary.

Programming specialist seeking projects that require my skills in CGI, Javascript, HTML and Flash. Extensive portfolio with numerous satisfied clients

Note that you should omit the typical "I want to work from home so I can be with my kids" paragraphs that some people think are a good idea. There are some very good reasons to avoid these statements. You need to focus on the highlights of your skills, rather than focusing on your desired location.

   
How do I get started looking for a work at home job?

Do you have what it takes to be a telecommuter?

Do you have what it takes to be a telecommuter? Many people decide they want to work from home, then once they get started, they find it's not for them. Why? Because they don't possess these qualities:

Self-Motivation: You need to be self-motivated, anticipate what needs to be done, and do it.

Self-Reliance: You need to be able to find the answers on your own and get the job done.

Organization: You need to be organized - your files, your desk, and your time. You cannot afford to miss deadlines because you aren't able to locate crucial files.

Optimism: Stay optimistic and keep your spirits up. When you know how to create your own work at home jobs, you never run out of work, and paychecks!

   
How do I create a cover letter to apply for work at home jobs?

Create a great cover letter

Creating a great telecommuting cover letter is critically important to your potential for getting the job! It is the very first thing a prospective employer sees when you send in your resume, and without a great cover letter, you may be reducing your chances of being noticed.

   
Do I need an online portfolio to apply for work at home jobs?

Create samples for your portfolio by designing Dummy Data samples

Get very creative and think up all kinds of dummy samples. Do your best work and show off the skills you've got! Show your entire range of skills in the form of "Examples Only" samples. You aren't lying to your future customers...you are showing them examples of what you are capable of. Employers are typically more interested in what you are able to do for them, as opposed to what you've done for others, so it is important to show them what you can do in the form of dummy brochures, logos, transcription samples, research spreadsheets and other types of samples.

   
How do I create a resume to apply for work at home jobs?

Create an HTML resume to apply for work at home jobs

You should have an online resume that is created with meta tags firmly established. Some employers and recruiters search the web for skilled personnel who have their resume posted, so make sure yours can be found online! There are many free webspace providers, but unfortunately, those resumes aren't easily found, simply because the web address is not unique. Your resume may not be indexed at all, or it may be located in the 600th spot, which doesn't do you any good. It may be worth it for your resume to be posted on your own domain or with a service which gets good search engine results. You stand a better chance of being found this way.

   
How do I get started looking for a work at home job?

Be prepared with all your materials

When you're just getting started in your work at home job search, it is important that you be prepared before looking for a job listed online. Create your resume in Word, plain ascii text and html, before you begin to search for a job. Having your materials ready ahead of time will save you the frantic rush when you find a position that you want to apply for.

   
How do I create a resume to apply for work at home jobs?

How to design the Employment History section of your resume

The most common section of any resume is the employment history section. This is where you have the chance to say where you worked and what you did there. The common format employers are used to seeing is the chronological format, with the most recent position listed first. Feel free to be excited about your experience. Use a lot of action words to describe what you did and how you contributed to the success of the company you worked with.

   
How do I create a resume to apply for work at home jobs?

Use action words in your Overview section of your resume

The Overview or Summary section of your resume should be a bulleted section which
briefly outlines your skills. Start each line with an action word, like this:


  • Designed an exciting website for a production company

  • Organized a team of sales professionals

  • Created a new advertising concept for a start up company which required
    an expert consultant

  • Sold over One Million Dollars in computers for an online business

As you can see, these types of action words get the attention of the reader
and emphasize your accomplishments.

   
How do I create a cover letter to apply for work at home jobs?

The second rule of telecommuting cover letters

Every résumé sent by mail or fax needs a personalized cover letter even if the advertisement didn't request a cover letter. Even if an employer doesn't specifically ask for a cover letter, it is important to include one. Many employers have been known to use this small thing as a test that weeds out the unprofessional applicants. All professionals automatically know that a cover letter is critically important and worth the extra time invested.

   
Should I pay for a work at home job?

Never pay for a job

How many times have you responded to a job ad, only to be told, "Great to have you aboard! Now as soon as you send in your processing fee, we'll start your training!" The fact of the matter is, no legitimate company is going to charge you a fee to work for them. If you are asked for a fee - run as fast as you can in the other direction! Seriously, have you ever been asked for money when applying for an onsite job? Of course not. Follow this rule and you'll be safe: Never pay for a job!

   
Do I need an online portfolio to apply for work at home jobs?

Create samples for your portfolio by volunteering your skills

Volunteering! - Your services are in demand at local non-profit organizations. This is a terrific way to pad your portfolio. It's also a great way to get paying jobs too! Most of the individuals who volunteer their time at local charities are business owners and prominent people. They love hiring people who are like-minded, so make sure you get out there and show your charitable side. Let the charity know that the work you do for them for free will be featured in your portfolio, and that you would like to provide their name as a reference. Non-profit organizations are happy to comply with this request, and they are often your biggest fans.

   
How do I create a resume to apply for work at home jobs?

Create a Word formatted resume to apply for work at home jobs

You will need a Formatted resume, preferably created in Microsoft Word (the most common word processing application) to send as an attachment only if the employer has specified it. Use colors to spice it up, but stay away from red! Red evokes an angry emotion, and that is not the goal! Use soft blues, grays, and soft greens to highlight the sections. You will also need this to apply by mail or fax. If you are looking for more than one type of job description, be prepared with different resumes for different occasions. Your resume should focus on the type of job you are applying to.

   
How can I tell if a job offer is a scam?

Is "Company name" a scam?

Here's a simple answer to this question. If any company asks you for money to hire you, then it is likely a scam. No legitimate employer asks employees to pay to work for them, and that includes telecommute friendly companies. Never pay to work.

   
How do I create a resume to apply for work at home jobs?

Create a telecommuter's resume

Did you know that your resume for telecommuting has to be different from your resume for regular onsite positions? Your resume for a telecommuting job has to be your main sales pitch. It says everything the employer needs to know to hire you, so having a professional image is very important. You may never have the chance to sell yourself in person with an interview, so you need to make your first impression a good one!

The standard resume has a goal of landing you an interview, while the telecommuter's resume has the goal of landing you the job. You need to include more information in a compact format that sums up your most important assets and employment history.

   
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