I wanted this to be another 10 commandments post so I would have an excuse to put another great picture in the features spot. But I couldn’t come up with 10 tips, and “The Four Commandments” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, you know? So I’ll just call it a tips post.
When it comes to finding jobs, Google is not your friend
Unless you’re a very sophisticated Google searcher, you’re not going to find real telecommuting jobs with a typical Internet search engine. This is because online marketers aggressively pursue search engine rankings and keywords. Employers do not. Enter “work from home” as a search term and you’ll 169 million hits (not kidding), most of them linking to a pre-sell page for data entry jobs or Ultimate Wealth Package or some other affiliate sales program.
You’ll get slightly better results if you search for “telecommuting,” but even that term is now flooded with junk ads. And it used to be that you could tell a lot about a site by reading its URL, but that is not as helpful as it once was because scammers and people trying to sell you stuff have become good at masking their real business by padding the URL.
If you must search, search wisely
Steve and I have been pointing out real work-at-home opportunities together for almost a year now, none of which resulted from Google searches. We’ve even been known to advise you to stay away from Google in your job search. But you’re going to do it anyway. It’s hard not to use Google when you’re searching for something. I even go to Google for help with my lost car keys! So if you’re going to ignore our advice about job searching, at least follow these tips to minimize the chances you’ll get burned:
- Don’t click on sponsored ads. The first links after you hit “Go” and the links on the side of the page are sponsored ads. That means someone has paid Google to put them there whenever you type in certain search terms. Real employers do not look to fill jobs this way. It’s too expensive and inefficient. If you click on a sponsored ad, you’ll go to someone trying to sell you something, not to someone wanting to hire you.
- Scroll to the end of the page. Once you think you’ve found a job link and clicked on it, scroll all the way to the bottom before reading it. Is there a Buy Now button or link and payment options? Then it’s not a job. Employers don’t charge you to work for them. They pay you.
- Try multiple keywords. “Work at home jobs” is just one keywork combination. You could also search for “telecommuting jobs,” “homeshoring,” and other possibilities.
- Don’t overlook forums. Forums are an underappreciated resource in today’s age of ever-flashier Web content. But they are amazing sources of information because people who do or have done what you want to do hang out there. I’ve seen many, many people find jobs by following relevant forums in their niche.
Once again, let me warn you: your chances of finding a genuine telecommuting job through Google are small. But you’re probably going to do it anyway. The least you can do is follow the tips above to protect yourself and keep the waste of time to a minimum.
[Update: Alert reader Willy wrote to let us know about a post on his blog that contains detailed instructions on how to use Google for job searches. I said above, “Unless you’re a sophisticated Google searcher, you’re not going to find real telecommuting jobs with a typical Internet search engine.” Willy’s instructions could very well turn you into that sophisticated searcher. Check out “How to Use Google to Find a Job.”