July 22, 2018

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No Telecommuting Experience on Your Resume?

Q: I have been investigating telecommuting for many months now, and still I am drawing a blank at finding a job. I have learned a lot about scams and know what to avoid. However, the legitimate jobs I have seen all require years of experience. I don't have a lot of things to put on a resume. I know I can do the work, any suggestions?

A: Here is something that all job seekers should know when conducting a job search: you don't have to list a "job" in which you used your skills. You just have to show your competence. That means you can list other forms of experience on your resume other than a job. For instance, you can list "life experience" or "volunteer work", or even "freelance work".

Somehow, somewhere, you must have acquired some type of work experience or life experience. And the key to finding opportunities is to know that everything you do is a skill and is experience; you need to assess what you have done with your life. Everyone has done something to occupy his or her time.

For example:

Before I found my job, I did a lot of Internet research for my friends, and myself but never for an actual employer. When I began looking for a telecommuting job, I sat down and wrote down all the things that occupied my time. Researching topics on the Internet and at the library was one of those skills on my list. When I found that there were opportunities to do this for employers, I quickly asked my family and friends if they needed any research work done. I then called non-profits, membership organizations and other volunteer opportunities and offered this type of work. I began keeping track of my work and asking the people I helped for references. Then I applied for an Internet Researcher position. I was very proud to provide actual experience and references.

Now following the example above, I need you to explain to me just what you have done, what projects you have worked on, what volunteer work you did in these areas, and how you practiced and learned these skills. If you can effectively explain this to me, then you can explain it to an employer.

If your explanation still comes up short then there are two ways you can gain experience that would better suit a potential employer . . .

  1. Volunteer your services and ask that the only payment or "thank you" would be a reference for future jobs.

  2. Do some work for friends, family, or religious organization and in return ask for good references.

  3. Register with a freelance website like or and bid on projects and work on a project-by-project basis until you feel you have enough experience and references under your belt to impress any employer.

The sad news is you must have some type of experience if you wish an employer to entrust you to do a good job - especially while working remotely. Employers are already un-sure and shaky about remote workers. They must know for a fact that they don't have to take valuable time from their schedule to train or hand-hold remote workers in their job duties.

Now, let me point out to you. While you are doing the three suggestions above, don't forget to network. What I mean by "network" is to tell everyone you meet that you are looking for a permanent, paying telecommuting job. The people you volunteer for will be your best allies in your job hunt. Keep in touch with these people even after you find the job you seek.

Happy hunting!

-Rosalind Mays
Copyright 2000 Rosalind Mays. All Rights Reserved.
Best-selling author of "The Real Deal on Telecommuting", and co-author of "Get Your Money Back! Stop Scammers and Save Your Dollars"
Go to to learn more about her books. She may be reached via e-mail at

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