Locating a Telecommuting Opportunity... As easy as shooting a
watermelon out your nose!
I can say that getting a solid telecommuting opportunity is not
an easy task. They're out there, but locating them can be
extremely difficult and time-consuming. Even with all the
e-books, reports, and telecommuting packages you've probably
purchased, it just doesn't happen overnight.
--- What can I do? ---
The best way to break into a telecommuting situation is to
locate an office job that can be performed anywhere. This will
help you develop a reputation as a self-motivated, reliable,
professional worker. Information-based jobs with a minimum
amount of required face-time are good prospects. Also, look for
jobs that are physically portable---that is, whatever the
telecommuter needs to do the job can be accessed over a phone
A few of the job categories best suited for telecommuting
include: Advertising & Marketing, Architectural and Computer
Aided Design, Artists and Writers, Billing and Collections,
Credit and Collections, Customer Service, Clerical and
Secretarial, Data Entry and Transcription, Engineering,
Photography, Programmers and Database Administrators, Sales,
Telemarketers, Translators, and Web Designers and Developers.
--- How do I smell? ---
Whether you're face-to-face or over the Internet, your cover
letter and resume are essential. In fact, they're your only
tools when locating and applying for jobs on the Internet!
The cover letter can make or break the possibility of getting a
job. It gives the employer an idea of what you can do for them
and what you're looking for in an opportunity. Remember, what
you want and what they offer have to match or you're out. Your
objective is to find a job you want to do, not something you
feel that you have to do.
Once they get past the cover letter, they will usually read the
resume. Employers want to hire people who can do the job. Make
sure that your resume is complete and reflects your abilities to
handle the position. To enhance the presentation, tailor the
resume to the opportunity to show an employer what you know and
what you can do. After all, you're going to get a job---it's
just a question of which one.
--- Locating Opportunities ---
Locating a job is easy. Just go to one of the thousands of sites
that are out on the Web and start looking. It should only take
you about three or four years to search them all. I'm sure you
have that much time!
The best way I've found to search for a job is to follow these
- Make a task list that outlines your daily job-search
- Find several well-known job sites and post your resume. Search
the lists of jobs and prepare the site's job agents to help you
locate various jobs.
- Keep track of all employers you contact, the date of your
contacts, people you talk/e-mail with, and special notes about
- Apply to multiple companies on a given job site to save time.
- Always have a resume and cover letter ready to upload whenever
a lead comes your way.
- Follow-up leads immediately. If you find out about a job late
in the day, contact them right away.
- Tell everyone you know that you are looking for job. Stay in
touch with friends and contacts. Follow-up new leads immediately.
* Search Sites
Keep in mind that many job sites replicate data from other
sites. Some sites even post the contents of the USENET job
groups on their sites as potential job opportunities. This leads
to the point that out of 1,000 jobs that you search on the Web,
more than half are duplicates copied from one or more other
sites. The easiest way to search for a telecommuting opportunity
is to stick to a few of the primary search resources. The
primary sites that I've found beneficial are shown in the
- work --- http://www.ework.com/ - eLance ---
http://www.elance.com/ - FreetimeJobs ---
http://www.freetimejobs.com - Workaholics4Hire ---
http://www.workaholics4hire.com - Guru.com ---
http://www.guru.com - IC Planet --- http://www.icplanet.com -
Jobvertise --- http://www.jobvertise.com - Headhunter ---
http://www.headhunter.net - Monster --- http://www.monster.com -
Net-Temps --- http://www.net-temps.com - Brassring ---
http://www.brassring.com - JobOptions ---
Some of the more relevant keywords I've successfully used in my
searches include: freelance, telecommute, telecommuting,
telecommuter, , work at home, work from home,
telework, off-site, offsite. The keyword includes
any keyword that would apply to your field or any field of your
* Other Resources
An additional resource is the USENET newsgroups. USENET provides
60,000 or more newsgroups that contain thousands of postings.
Several groups contain important job postings that can
potentially lead to a telecommuting contract opportunity. One of
the primary sites that provides a searchable front-end to USENET
is Google (http://www.google.com).
Other useful tools for Web and newsgroup searches are the
WebFerret and NewsFerret by FerretSoft
(http://www.ferretsoft.com). Another great tool is Copernic by
Copernic Technologies (http://www.copernic.com/). These
applications provide user-friendly front-ends and search several
servers simultaneously from your local machine. I use these
tools all the time for job searches as well as research for my
--- Make Yourself Known ---
Many employers search for potential employees on the various job
boards around the Web. It's essential that you have an
up-to-date resume posted at these sites so you can be found.
Some of the sites for successfully acquiring jobs through resume
- eWork --- http://www.ework.com - Dice --- http://www.dice.com
- Guru.com --- http://www.guru.com - Headhunter.net ---
http://www.headhunter.net - Net-Temps ---
http://www.net-temps.com - Monster.com --- http://www.monster.com
It's also a good idea to create a Web site that shows your
portfolio of work. Provide a couple of resumes targeting your
desired jobs, a few samples of your work, and an explanation of
the type of job that interests you. Promote the site and place
the URL in your e-mail signature so that prospective employers
can locate the site and get a glimpse of your abilities.
--- The Interview ---
One thing I always do before an interview is to learn as much as
possible about the company from their Web site. I learn about
what they do and find out about their key players. If the
company doesn't have a Web site, they're probably not going to
Another way to find out information is to do a Web search on
various keywords associated with the company. For instance,
searching for their name, their product, or their industry
topics will usually provide quite a bit of background.
Once you learn about them, prepare a small statement that
summarizes the company. Also, prepare some questions related to
your target job. When you're asked if you have questions, state
your summary to the interviewer and flow into your first
question. This let the interviewer know that you took the time
to do research. Make sure that you ask for examples of what
you'll be doing as well as information on benefits for
--- Landing a Job ---
Many potential employers will tell you that you'll have to spend
time in their office. For the most part, that's not entirely the
case. Realize that many companies are still in the mode of
having people in-house.
You don't have to accept every job that comes your way. For one,
if you take on too many things, you'll never be able to finish
anything to the proper level of care required. Keep moving
forward in your direction and your search. Just remember, you're
looking for a telecommuting opportunity!