Friday, April 29, 2005

Member Q: How do I design my resume so that my work at home job applications don't go unnoticed?

This one has come up so many times, I wrote an article about it to help de-mystify the way one should develop their telecommuter's resume.

Here's the article:
Telecommuting Resumes: Tips and Tricks to Create A Professional Home Office Image

Yes, your resume must be different when you are applying for work at home positions. There is an element of trust that goes beyond the in-office position, because your prospective employer may never meet you in person. You must focus on what tasks you can perform, and how you plan to do it without supervision.

For me, I can't stand resumes, and I rarely ever ask for one. But, most employers aren't like that, and they need to see something familiar, but unique, that sets you apart from the rest of the applicants.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Member Q: How soon should a response be expected when I apply for work at home jobs?

I'm so glad to see that people are taking an interest in this blog. We've already had some suggested topics come in to the help desk, and I'm glad to see it. I decided to respond to this particular one, because we had 5 people asking the same thing.

The question was..."Why don't people respond when I apply for work?"

That really is a terrific question. The fact that people ask it so often tells me that many are looking at work-at-home jobs as having the same "rules" as local jobs. The fact is, the entire process is different,a nd to be successful in finding work-from-home jobs, you must wrap your mind around the idea that it is uniquely different and cannot be approached the same way.

Actually, I'll pull the answer out of my book, "You Can Work In Your PJs", where I went in depth about this issue. Hold on, let me go find the excerpt...

*Whew* I found it! OK, here goes...

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What you should expect from the employer

I've had so many people tell me that their biggest frustration with applying for home-based positions is that employers never respond. I agree that it can be pretty frustrating, but it doesn't surprise me in the least. After all, I've been on the receiving end when I've needed to hire people, and I know what happens.

Whenever an employer places any position listing online, the employer receives literally thousands of resumes within a few days, and worse than that, keeps on receiving them for months or years after the position has already been filled. Why? Because there are so very many sites that grab job listings from other sites and post them in their database, without the employer's permission!

Worse yet is when you've paid a fee to access those listings that are entirely outdated. It is no surprise that so few people ever hear back from an employer after they've submitted a resume and cover letter.

It seems that the majority of the responses people see will be from the scammers. Aren't they eager to respond with "Please insert $$ here to get this job" emails? Most good employers will not respond, unless they plan to interview you. Sending follow up letters is pretty pointless, but if you really feel like sending a follow up letter, send a brief and professional one 2 - 3 weeks later, and not a minute sooner.

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Ladies and gents, work at home job listings are not like regular jobs in the newspaper. In most cases, employers cannot afford the manpower to respond to everyone. I know I can't. We're a home based business too, and staff are already overworked (that's why we need to hire people). I would rather staff pay close attention to our customer's needs, and risk the wrath of the jobseekers, because it is the client's happiness that ensures more jobs, more work for everyone.

Any thoughts? *ducking in case someone is throwing a shoe*

Work At Home Job of the Day

Job Title: Help Research Fascinating Crime/Humor Book
To locate the full listing, just log in to the free telecommuting jobs database, and search for Job ID# 20364, using the Search feature of the database.

"Writer seeks hyper-smart assistant/accomplice to aid in the research and preparation of my upcoming book, (Name of Book) The book takes irreverence and parody to new levels by posing as a rated career guide for seekers of illegal jobs. Beyond deadpan, gallows humor, (Book) actually provides the most encyclopedic, incisive, mind-altering hard data on criminal endeavors yet assembled."

Rewards:
* Credit as "Contributor" or "Contributing Editor" to a major mass market book which could receive considerable media attention.
* Very humble stipend (negotiable based on hours/productivity/skill level).

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This one sounds like a lot of fun just to apply to. *s*

To get experience or to get your foot in the door you may want to consider a job that offers only a modest stipend or your name as credit on a project.

When looking for such a position you'll get reasonable hits for jobs using the search terms 'intern' or 'internship.'

Refreshing and surprising

Over the past few days, I've been busy with handling interviews and calls with new freelancers. When I sent out the email to the Workaholics4hire.com members, inviting applications for a few work at home positions we're opening up, I'll admit I was a little reluctant to send it out. After all, it was "tough talk" and I was very concerned that people would misunderstand me and think I was cold or impersonal. In fact, I was happily surprised that the vast majority of response we received was positive and refreshing to read.

For once, I was looking forward to seeing the comments people had, and as a result, am hiring more people at once than we've ever done before.

As it turns out, the people who actually read all the way through the email, and reviewed the available positions, and thought through how they would word their applications, were exactly the type of people we want around here. Hard working bunch, I tell you!

Sure, there were 2 or 3 who had a knee-jerk reaction to the wording, and felt the need to berate me, mainly because they didn't realize that what I was talking about was prioritizing your life so that BOTH family and client will get everything they need.

Hey, I'm a mom, and my kids are very important to me. They are exactly why I need and want to work from home in the first place. But if I put the client last on the list, there wouldn't be a job for me, nor would there be jobs for everyone else here either.

In the end, I'm thrilled with the applications, and am refreshed and revived at the knowledge that there are so many wonderful people out there that understand how to establish their careers.

Monday, April 25, 2005

How busy is too busy?

I've had a lot on my plate lately, as is often the case. Too much to do, too little time. We have some of the most amazing clients in the world who we've worked with for years, and they have truly been the reason for our success. They tell anyone they can about our services, and as a result, we have more work pouring in every day.

As wonderful as that is, I don't want to lose the essense of what makes us good at what we do, and that is the personal service and attention our clients expect from us. If we keep going the way we are, without making radical changes, we're going to lose that, and it is simply unacceptable. Quality over Quantity, I always say.

So, I need to clone myself. Since modern technology has not yet reached a level of actually being able to clone myself, that means I have to let go and hire a few people to fill specialized roles, replacing me in a few positions.

That's what I'm working on right now, and the reason we need to hire a few people who can help fill in the gaps. The recent mailout to the members, with all the jobs listed was my way of doing that. If you haven't seen it, here is the list of positions we need filled.

The next few weeks are all about making sure I don't need to work on actual projects anymore. It is the only way we can grow and bring more jobs to you. I need to let go of my obsessive tendency to do everything myself, and I need your help to do that. It isn't easy to let go. You need to convince me that you're ready to take on the challenge and do the work as well as possible.

My first priority is that our customers get the service they deserve, and that means we have to do more than is expected of us. Our reputation is built on it. If we work together, rather than as single isolated units, we can reach that goal and none of us have to be more busy than we can handle.

What are your thoughts on this...?

Now what is she doing?

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Sylvie Charrier, and I'm the head honcho at Workaholics4Hire.com. What is Workaholics4Hire? It's a unique place on the web, which started in 1999 as a simple discussion forum where people who were interested in working from home could get together, chat about how to find jobs, and basically, feel a lot less alone in the world.

Well, over the years, we grew, and we grew, and we grew, and I've had a nagging feeling that something was missing. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, until recently when it hit me like a lightning strike. We got so busy and created such an efficient way for people to get jobs, that we forgot about the equally important need of the people, to have a hang-out, a place to talk, a place to comment, a place to share their views. Sure, we had a discussion forum, but due to spammers, we have needed to spend too much time blocking people from posting, and the discussion forum just wasn't fun anymore.

So, one day, it dawned on me. How can I create a place where our members and friends can hang out, without opening up the floor to spammers? The answer came in the form of one of our own clients, who we handle customer support for. His product is all about blogging, and the more we learned about blogging, the more I liked the idea. It is the perfect way for us to get our word out there, chat directly with the members publicly, and have a real community where you are free to post comments on everything we post here.

Here's what I'd like to see happen here.

First, I really get busy with the projects we handle, and sometimes it's a little isolating. I'd really like the opportunity to talk more, directly with everyone here, and give you some insights into what makes me tick, what I do everyday, and share some insider's secrets for getting real work at home jobs.

Second, I'd also like to use this to let you know about the internal jobs we need filled, but these will only be posted after being sent to the members first.

Third, I would like to know what you have on your mind. If you have questions about anything to do with working from home, send it to us at Support@workaholics4hire.com with "Please talk about this on your blog" in the subject line, so we know what it's about. I, or one of our very capable staff, will do our best to respond to the issue here, by creating a blog entry for it. This way, you all can have the benefit of learning all together.

Fourth, I want this to be an interactive experience. I want your comments! Speak your mind, tell me what you think, I really want to know. Remember to keep it pleasant and no swearing or ads are permitted, but apart from that, feel free to say whatever you like about the posting. Let's see if we can make this truly the place where we all want to hang out every day!

That's about it for now.

Sylvie