What mom doesn’t dream of finding the perfect work at home job from time to time? Most Mom’s I know of would love to supplement their income with a stable employee position from home. Many of these highly qualified moms are being passed over for great work at home roles – and it’s their own fault! I have personally received work from home job offers from companies like Apple, Amazon, and American Express. I know what it takes to get the offer you are looking for. So, it’s my hope you can learn from my early mistakes, and become hirable again this year!
Here are the top 6 reasons companies don’t see work at home potential in you.
Your Resume is Swimming in Inaccuracies
Did you know that most hiring managers never even look at your resume because it is missing certain key words? You should never lie on your resume, because truth always comes out. Work from home jobs are flooded with applications just like yours. They will not take the time to read your experience if the words “from home” are omitted. Most people believe that work from home agencies aren’t hiring them because they don’t have at home experience. This usually isn’t true. I used to professionally format resumes and it was extremely rare to find people without work from home experience.
Your previous position might’ve had nothing to do with telecommuting, but have you ever worked on call from home? Did your job ever send you home with the company phone and laptop on the weekend? Were you ever expected to create high-quality reports or spreadsheets outside of the office? If so, these things belong on your resume! When you are interviewed for your work from home position, explain the extent of these responsibilities in detail. Most interviewers just need to know you are capable of completing tasks at home in a timely manner.
Your Work Environment is Sloppy
In an interview I did with Apple (a position I was offered, and declined). I was required to interview in my home office. My home office consisted of a bedroom, a small desk, and a chair. Prior to this interview, I knew it was important to clear the room entirely. I unpacked boxes, I folded and hung laundry in the closet. The bed was made, and the nightstand was completely clear.
This was hardly a typical “office”, however, it was quiet, neat, and orderly. The interviewer asked me to pan the room with my laptop to ensure it was a safe space, and had no hesitation offering me the job! They saw the room was safe, ergonomic and not distracting. This is incredibly important because when you are hired as an employee from home and not a contractor – the company is subject to workers compensation claims. This means you could actually file a workers compensation injury claim for something as simple as tripping over your own clutter!
Your Interview is Unprofessional
Your resume passed the first test, and you got called for a video interview which is the hardest part. Some people still fail to get the job because they are sloppy interviewers! I suggest practicing your interview ahead of time. Connect your computer to the internet and set up in the exact spot you plan to interview. Turn on the camera, plug in the headset and make sure the frame is clear. Then hit “record” and record a small sample of yourself speaking. When you play back the recording, the audio speeds should match the video without cutting out or breaking up. If your children are young, keep them out of the house while you are practicing and while you are interviewing.
Another thing to consider is your interview outfit. Make sure it is clean, ironed, and well-fitting. Don’t get lazy and wear jeans or flip flops! Sometimes your camera might show more than you can see in the small thumbnail. Your interviewer might get an eyeful and know you are not taking the position as serious as they are. Mostly, you need to remember that this is a first impression just like any other, you can’t offer a firm handshake or confidently walk into the room. So, make sure you are tidy, engaged, and smiling an appropriate amount.
You’re Asking for too Much
Another common faux pas, is asking for more than the position is worth from home. Companies don’t hire workers from home for your convenience – they hire at home workers for their convenience. They are looking to save money. This doesn’t mean you can’t make a great income. What it does mean is you need to scale back expectations. Consider the fact that your business attire costs will be lower, your transportation costs will be lower, the company may also pay for your home phone and internet so that bill will go down.
You will be receiving benefits, you will not have to call out for every little sniffle. All of these things save you a lot of money in the long run. Instead of looking for a salary to exceed what you earned outside of the home, calculate the savings and set the bar a tad bit lower. If you absolutely cannot compromise on income, then you will need to compromise on hours – some companies will hire you to work second or third shift with a great shift differential. But it is rare to find a position working first shift that pays as much as a brick-and-mortar equivalent position would.
You Applied to the Wrong Position
American Express is a great example of this. They hire at home travel agents, collectors, customer service agents – and the list goes on. If you apply for one role, they typically will not take the time to match you to another role because they have such a vast pool of applicants. Each of these three jobs are incredibly close in nature, but applying to the wrong one could be a costly mistake. If your only collections experience is in student loan collections – you might be better off applying for customer service, due to the fact that credit card collections, and federal student loan collections are vastly different.
Likewise, if you have experience as an administrative assistant in a call center, you might be accustomed to booking travel arrangements for the company – this would make you a great fit for the travel agent position, but not the customer service position. It is incredibly important to read the job descriptions thoroughly and see where you would best fit and apply accordingly. You will likely find that once you are hired – switching to a role you are more interested in at a later time will come much more easily.
You Left out a Cover Letter
I have to admit, I always found cover letters to be useless when I worked outside of the home. They basically reiterate the exact information in your resume with a more conversational tone, so why duplicate your efforts? What I learned early on in my work from home journey, is that applying to work from home meant a lot more job competition. My resume alone might’ve been enough for a staffing agency that was willing to sort through it. But the applicant pool for work at home employee positions typically runs far deeper. You need to set yourself apart by including a cover letter. I suggest no more than two paragraphs, include relevant experience you want the company to see, and express your desire to team up and help grow their business. This should be more than enough to warrant a second look from the hiring manager in most cases.
Which mistakes were you making?
Becoming a work at home mom comes with a steep learning curve. But it is completely attainable and worthwhile if you start implementing the best practices I have listed above now. Of course you could always leave the rat race and try starting a blog like me! What mistakes have you been making, and how do you plan to change it going forward? I’d love to hear about your best practices for becoming a work at home mom in the comments!