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Advice/Advice for Work From Home Warriors & Wannabees/Get a Work From Home Job

Can I apply for remote jobs in another state?

Can I apply for remote jobs in another state?

how to apply to a remote job in another state

I usually distill longer questions from readers down to a single sentence and address the nuances and details from the original in my answer. However, with this one I am compelled to add the entire question because it floored me.

Q: “I attended a webinar by [REDACTED  – but it was a popular job board that also lists remote work] that I can’t be hired for remote work outside of my state for tax reasons. Is this true?  I didn’t apply to several good jobs recently because they weren’t in my state.”

First, if you also attended one of these webinars please contact me. I am interested to know how far this damaging information has spread. When I received this question I was angry that it caused people to miss out on opportunities. So before we go further here is the definitive answer:

You can apply to remote jobs in any state no matter where you live in the United States.

Furthermore, if you have a US work visa or are a US citizen, you can apply to jobs inside the United States while living abroad (as digital nomads know very well). You can also apply to remote jobs based in other countries, depending on their labor laws.

All of this is fundamental to remote work. You are no longer limited to living in a town with a big employer nearby and companies no longer need to base themselves near large cities with a compatible workforce. But how could this person have come up with this idea? They didn’t just make it up, right?

I have not spoken with the individual who presented the webinar, but I suspect that they heard or read several different pieces of employment law analysis and came to an incorrect conclusion. They may have heard that hiring employees in multiple states increases the amount of paperwork that companies need to handle and there are some laws about vacation time and other benefits that can result in one employee being allowed to roll over their unused vacation time but others losing it at the end of the year. For most companies, the benefits of hiring a remote workforce vastly outweigh the additional paperwork. Besides, much of this is handled by outsourcing HR duties, so there is hardly an additional burden.

It’s also possible that they meant to say that SOME remote positions come with geographic limitations for a variety of reasons. They simply flubbed the explanation and left the impression that this was true for all remote jobs. Unless a company declares up front that they are only looking for candidates “near Chicago” or “in the Eastern time zone”, the position is theoretically open to all legal applicants no matter where they live.

If you heard the same incorrect information and also missed out on opportunities for remote work, I am sorry. If you have questions about remote work click the ASK button at the top of the page. If you are having trouble finding remote work and want some guidance, email me with details. I can help.

Always get the best advice first. 

Advice/Get a Work From Home Job

Do companies still provide a computer and phone for remote work?

Do companies still provide a computer and phone for remote work?

Do you have to supply your own computer to work from home?

I probably hear this question at least once a week on average coming from current remote workers who think they are receiving a bum deal, office-trapped professionals looking for a better life and my parent, who can’t remember what they ask me from week to week.

In the dozen years or so that I have been working remotely as a professional in the tech industry, I have seen a few trends build over time. One of these is how managers and CEOs of companies employing a partial or fully remote workforce view their valuable distant employees. There was a time when remote workers (work from home, telecommute, telework, nomad, etc) were thought of as satellite offices sprinkled around the country and the world. When hired you would find a pile of Fedex boxes on your doorstep containing every office contraption short of a watercooler. You were expected to recreate their office in your house.

My wife experienced this as a remote editor for a large publisher. Within a few days of her bondage in the virtual slave galley that is publishing (if you have never worked in publishing and want to know why this is an accurate analogy, go to your nearest dive bar, find the most permanent alcoholic denizen swaying on a barstool at the far end and ask them. If it is just beer they are drinking, they worked in magazines/periodicals. If they are downing a beer and a bump then they were an editor for a newspaper or an expensive daily B2B newsletter–but I digress), she received the following…

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Advice/Get a Work From Home Job

Why is it Hard to Find a Job Online?

Why is it Hard to Find a Job Online?

why is it hard to find a job

I have heard a variation on this question twice in the last few days and I wanted to scream from the highest hilltop that it’s not hard. It’s the way most people apply to jobs online that makes it hard.

Most people see job ads on a giant job posting website and apply by diligently copying and pasting in their resume and sometimes a cover letter into the online form then waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

They repeat this over and over again to make themselves feel productive until the disappointment from not hearing back slowly creeps over them. One day, months later they desperately take the first job offer regardless of whether it’s really right for them.

With a little bit of effort, nearly every job application will produce a positive result. All it takes is digging a little deeper.

Find out who the manager is over the position. Who is the decision maker? If this sounds hard, it’s not. The information is out on the Internet and sometimes listed right on the company’s own website. Do a Google search for the position and likely titles for the immediate manager. LinkedIn results often come up along with Twitter accounts and blog posts. Get the email addresses and phone numbers of the most likely individuals.

If you do have more than one possibility, pick the most likely person and email them your cover letter and resume. In the email explain how you applied through the job posting as instructed but you wanted to talk to someone about the job. Don’t be pushy but be direct and polite. Thank them for taking the time to respond.

Give them a full business day to respond. If you don’t hear anything, call their business phone and leave a message if there is no answer. Use what you said in the email as a starting point. Be brief and polite and you will either get a call back or a response to your original email.

If they weren’t the right person, chances are they will forward your email and/or voicemail to the person who is. If you still don’t hear anything back and you have other contacts that may be the manager, repeat the process. If it was the only contact you have give them a couple of days and follow up politely via email and phone again.

Be sure to make every action count by including something positive about yourself in the emails or voicemails that is applicable to the job you are applying for.

Assuming you were a decent candidate to start with, most managers will see your reaching out as a positive sign and add you to the short list. Every once in awhile you will come across a manager who is offended that you aren’t sticking to the rules in the job posting. Seriously consider if you’d want to work for such a person. They may even feel threatened by your actions.

Wouldn’t you rather work for someone who appreciates your initiative and drive?

Don’t miss the new webinar on landing the best work from home jobs without any previous experience. Add your email below to receive an alert message before the next webinar fills up.

Advice/Advice for Work From Home Warriors & Wannabees/Get a Work From Home Job

Are there entry-level work from home jobs?

Are there entry-level work from home jobs?

get an entry-level work from home job

Almost any job that can be performed in an office, can be done from home as long as you have the right mindset and drive to work independently and without a supervisor hovering over your desk.

It sounds strange but a lot of people can’t focus without their boss nearby or their co-workers offering constant support. For those who can successfully break free of the office, working from home is amazing, but that’s not the topic of your question. You want to know how you can make a good income working from home.

How are your skills?

Are you organized? Are you comfortable on a computer using Excel, Word, Google Docs, etc? Do you know something about social media? Can you research topics online? If so there are plenty of jobs where these core skills will get you in the door. Some require experience or training in additional areas but the internet is full of training options as well. Here are a few that often have entry level and higher positions available to work from home.

  • Customer Service Representative
  • Project Manager
  • Sale Representative
  • SEO/Marketing Assistant
  • Social Media Manager
  • Program Manager
  • Account Manager
  • Medical Coder/Remote Coder

Recently, Forbes published a list recently of the 20 most common work from home jobs (The 20 Most Common Work-From-Home Job Opportunities) and some of those appeared on the list so they are definitely out there waiting for the right candidate.

Of course, competition for these jobs is intense. Many applicants already have work from home experience. But even if you have little work at home experience or none at all, don’t worry. You can still land the job you want by gaining a little knowledge before applying.

With a couple of days’ research over coffee you can prepare yourself to sound more experienced at working from home than you currently are. Take a look at my related article with more information.

Of course, for a work from home job, this is only half the battle. Want to learn how to convince an employer that you can do the work from home? Then get an alert for my new webinar starting this summer on landing the best work from home jobs without any previous experience. Add your email below to receive an alert message before the next webinar fills up.

Advice/Get a Work From Home Job

What are the best work from home and remote job sites for 2018?

What are the best work from home and remote job sites for 2018?

best work from home job sites

In 2018 the job listing websites have finally begun to catch up with the needs of the work from home employees and remote companies. Not only have the broader job boards finally added dedicated categories and search features to locate 100% remote jobs, but the number of dedicated websites to work from home job listings has exploded. Here are the sites reported as most useful so far in 2018.

Flexjobs.com

Remote.co/remote-jobs

Weworkremotely.com

GoRemoteJobs.com

CareerBuilder.com

Indeed.com

Jobspresso.co

Authenticjobs.com

VirtualVocations.com

EuropeRemotely.com

Keep in mind that the best remote jobs are flooded with responses as soon as they post but most people tend to just apply and wait. They never hear back because the people who came out on top learned how to show that they were the best candidates. For them, the resume slush pile is for other people.

To learn how they did it, I offer webinars on how to get the best work from home jobs from anywhere without previous experience. Add your email below to receive an alert message before the next webinar fills up.

Advice/Get a Work From Home Job

What are the most important steps for landing a work from home job?

What are the most important steps for landing a work from home job?

how to get a work from home job

The best way to land a work from home job involves three critical factors:

  1. Skills Qualification
  2. Getting past the application slush pile
  3. Showing you can work from home

Skills Qualification
Showing that you have the skills required to do the job is fundamental to landing any job regardless if it’s in an office or remote. Managers searching for the best candidates to work from home tend to look a lot closer at past experience, education and skills than office-based managers since they can’t actually watch you doing the job when hired. Gut feeling and trust plays more of a role in the hiring process which means that along with being very clear about your qualifications you should do everything you can in your written and verbal communication to project confidence in yourself and skills. When I interview candidates I can hear a clear difference between “I think I can” versus “I know I can.” Be the candidate who “knows.”

Getting past the application slush pile
You know you are the best candidate for the job but what if I told you that there was a 98% chance that your application, cover letter and resume will never be seen by a human and you will be rejected because a computer program’s matching algorithm was only configured to match on a very specific pattern in every resume and yours was 1% off. Would you even bother applying?

Don’t trust the first layer of bureaucracy, human or machine, to recognize the perfect candidate (which is you, of course). Instead, use your Google search skills to track down the email address and phone number of the person at the company who is most likely to be responsible for the position you applying for.

It’s not as difficult as it sounds and you can probably find them in fewer than 5 minutes. Email them an introductory email and include your resume. Explain that you have questions that you would like to discuss before applying. If it’s not the right person, they will usually send you to the person who is. Don’t underestimate how helpful people will be for someone who is politely and professionally reaching out. If your email doesn’t receive a response, call them. Be polite, respectful and persistent.

Showing you can work from home

Before you get deep into a discussion with a potential employer and long before you get that first interview, learn how you can show that you are more than capable of working remotely without constant supervision. If you have never worked from home before, learn about the ups and downs and successful tactics of people who work at home full time. Quora is an amazing resource and packed with helpful threads on this subject. This step is often overlooked and is responsible for many people losing out to another candidate who may not have better job qualifications but could convincingly demonstrate that they could manage themselves from home.

This process works. Period. You will get a great work from home job if you can address these three points. If you’d like more help with landing the perfect work from home position, I offer webinars on how to get the best work from home jobs from anywhere without previous experience. Add your email below to receive an alert message before the next webinar fills up.

Advice/Get a Work From Home Job

How do I make applying online work for me?

How do I make applying online work for me?

how to make applying online work for you

Online job sites are helpful when seeking a job but they won’t get you very far if you rely on them alone. Once you locate an open position that you are qualified for, you should go ahead and follow the instructions for applying exactly as they are written. Be certain that you don’t miss a step or leave out any required information. However, you aren’t going to stop there.

In order to be one of the few who actually land an interview, you need to reach out to the appropriate person in the company directly. Research who is mostly likely the supervisor over the position you are applying for. This may seem difficult at first but it really isn’t. You can usually find the right person’s name and contact information within 5 to 10 minutes. Start with the company’s contact us or about us pages then try searching Google, LinkedIn, etc.

Once you have an email address that seems most likely, send an email with your resume attached and explain how you are the perfect candidate for the job. Also let them know that you followed the instructions in the job ad but you were so interested in the job that you wanted to speak to the person over the position directly.

If you are feeling apprehensive about reaching out personally to the company you just applied to, remember that if you did get the job the person on the other end will likely be your new supervisor. Why not start talking to them now?

While you are job hunting, be sure to keep an eye out for work from home positions. They provide a fantastic lifestyle, lower stress and the greatest flexibility. I offer webinars on how to get the best work from home jobs from anywhere without previous experience. Add your email below to receive an alert message before the next webinar fills up.

Advice/Get a Work From Home Job

How to get a work from home job with an empty resume

How to get a work from home job with an empty resume

work from home job with no experience

You know you can do the job. You know you would be an excellent employee. You look at your resume but you don’t see much. What can you do?

Turns out there is a lot you can do. This situation can be broken down into two scenarios. Whichever one applies to you, you can come out on top.

Scenario 1: The job is entry level or requirements are very basic

In this case, the employer isn’t looking for much. What separates you from everyone else applying for the job is your enthusiasm and strategy.

Either you have enthusiasm for the type of work involved in the job (e.g. you like learning new things and the job requires performing a lot of internet research) or you have an enthusiasm for the company or its ethics (e.g. you only buy sustainably made clothing and that’s the primary goal of the company). Showing plenty of enthusiasm in your cover letter, resume/CV and conversations for one of both of these will put you ahead of most of the other candidates. Astonishingly, most people never make the effort.

Scenario 2: The job lists experience or special educational requirements

It’s not impossible to get a job that requires specific experience or equivalent education without either of those. I have done it myself. Like in scenario 1, displaying large amounts of enthusiasm for the work and/or company is important, but you need to give the potential employer something additional to select you for. They may even need to justify hiring you to their own boss.

To get that extra something, you should research the details on that particular job or similar jobs at other companies. Find out the details of every job responsibility listed in the job ad or at least be able to talk in general about what goes into fulfilling that responsibility (e.g. creating multi-tab spreadsheets in excel then producing graphs of the results). Also, every job has a vocabulary associated with it that you can figure out before you apply. Being able to “talk the talk” in your cover letter and interview will almost assuredly get you on the short list.

Finally, the advanced and almost foolproof tactic for dealing with both these scenarios is to make your resume/CV the least important part of your job-winning action plan. First, do everything you can to cover the two scenarios above. When you feel confident in what you learned about the job and the company, track down the contact information that isn’t in the job ad.

Chances are, the ad directed you to go fill in some form or send your information to a generic email address. Do this, but don’t stop there. Find out who the likely manager or decision maker over this position is. Their name is out on the internet somewhere, possible along with their photo on the company’s web page. Also try LinkedIn or Twitter. Once you have identified the right person, or got as close as possible, get their email address and phone number.

You next and most crucial step is that you are going to contact them directly and show off your enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to “talk the talk”.

Send an email with your resume/CV attached and explain why you are perfect for the job. Point out that you applied through the requested channel, but you were so interested in the job that you wanted to speak to the person over the position directly. The day after you hit send, call them and do the same thing. This may seem unusual, but it works. Even if the person you contacted wasn’t the manager over the job, the right person will find out that you reached out. The person you contacted might even send you the correct contact information.

If this strategy makes you feel nervous, remember, this person is going to be your boss if you get the job. You might as well get used to talking to them now.

Of course, for a work from home job, this is only half the battle. Want to learn how to convince an employer that you can do the work from home? Then get an alert for my new webinar on landing the best work from home jobs without any previous experience. Add your email below to receive an alert message before the next webinar fills up.