Troubles Finding a Job from Home

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Why Can't I Find a Work-at-Home Job?

It's difficult, if not impossible, to definitively pinpoint the reason a person who is job searching can't seem to land a job. Yet there are typically a few things that that might sabotage a work-at-home job search--or any job search. They have to do with not only with what your skills are and how you present them but also where you are applying. If you can't find a job from home, click through these reasons and consider if any apply to you.

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The companies you are applying to are not hiring at this time.

Not Hiring
Getty/Klaus Vedfelt

Many companies continue to take applications even when they don't have any open positions. This is particularly true for work-at-home jobs. A company may simply stop responding to its recruitment page, but it doesn’t necessarily take its recruitment announcement off its website.

In order to find the companies that are hiring, you'll want to cast a wide net and just keep at the applications. Carefully read through this list of companies that hire for work at home jobs. But keep searching for new job postings by checking job boards and classifieds. If a company is actively recruiting, you'll want to make a special effort there and move quickly.

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You are not presenting yourself well "electronically"

Email for Job Hunting

The fact that you will never likely interview in person--or perhaps even by phone--means written communication is the best way to make a good first impression. Problems  writing effective emails here can torpedo your chances before you ever get a virtual foot in the door. This might mean typos in your resume or application. Or perhaps you are not personalizing your cover letter or initial email.

Spoken communication is important as well. If you interview by phone or via teleconference, be sure to use good phone etiquette. Speak clearly and correctly. Pay careful attention to directions for using teleconference software, so you can use it with ease. And perhaps most importantly, keep all noise and distractions to an absolute minimum. If the interviewer doesn't have your full attention for the interview, he or she is unlikely to think you'll be focused enough to work at home.

Talent assessments can present another obstacle. Many companies that hire home-based workers use online assessments, or tests, to screen applicants. If possible, review the assessment before taking it, and at the very least, read all the company’s documentation about the assessment. Find out: Is it timed? How long will it take? Can you retake it? What types of questions will it ask? Be sure when you do take it you will have sufficient time and no distractions.

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You are not applying for jobs that match your skill set.

Online Job Search

Casting a wide net is good but don't cast it so widely that you waste your time by applying to many positions that you have no hope of getting or that you're just not qualified to do. You’ll want to put time and effort into each application—personalizing it for each job and drawing attention to how your skills match the position.

Prioritize your applications working first on those for which you are the most qualified. Companies accepting online applications for work-at-home jobs may use talent management software that automatically screens out those who don’t meet the educational or experience requirements. Don't count on your great cover letter glossing over your lack of experience because human eyes might never see it.

Find the right Kind of work-at-home job for you in this list of work at home jobs by career field. Or maybe you don't want a job at all but think you might be the entrepreneurial type, so see if you have the skills of a home business owner.

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You need different or additional skills to be competitive.

Skills for a telecommuting jobs
Dan Kitwood/Getty

If your previous work experience was in a field that doesn’t translate well into a work-at-home position, you may need to package those work skills with other more relevant skills when you present yourself to employers. Or, you may need to gain new skills.

Experience in customer service in a retail store may be helpful in a work at home call center, but you will probably need to show that you have computer skills as well. Be sure to highlight any education or experience you have with computers or on the phone. If you don't have the skills needed, your next step is to get them.

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It’s just going to take some time.

telecommuting job search takes time

Unfortunately, companies doing the hiring are rarely working with the same urgency as those who want to be hired. But while you’re waiting, double and triple check your resume for typos, keep at the applications, continue to look for new sources for job postings, and sharpen or gain new skills. In short, be sure the previous four reasons are not holding you back.

And though it takes time to find a work-at-home job that will bring in good income, there are some quick ways to earn extra money from home. They won't necessarily pay the bills, but they can supplement your savings or "fun money."

Good luck!