ABSTRACT FOR 756 WWW Susan Rand
It costs $39 per year to subscribe” to VA, but you get a lot for your money.
In seeking work I could do at home, I must have visited 50 websites, most of them of the “Make $1,000 Overnight,” or “Make $1,500 per Week Stuffing Envelopes at Home” variety. Each featured a long blurb on how much money (they said) you could make, and what you could do with it (“Buy that new car you’ve been wanting!”) – obvious ploys to sucker the reader in. Every site required you read, then page through four to six pages of like content before you came to any actual information. Some required a fee to be paid, or a lengthy “registration” or “application” form to be filled out (want to buy an email list, anyone?), some even demand you give your credit card number before they tell you anything. I actually did fall for one of the “envelope stuffing” scams, paid $35 for the “information kit” they sent me, and eagerly awaited its arrival in the mail. When the kit showed up, I found it to be a few pages, poorly constructed and printed text that basically said, “Do what I did, suckah.”
After playing this game for a time, I stumbled upon virtualassistants.com. What a relief! It charged to “join” also, but it told you what you’d get for the money, and it turned out to be a lot.
VA (as I learned to call it) claims to be the top resource of work-at-home-jobs on the Net. Once you sign up you are admitted to the Members Only page, where you can access the actual jobs. They are arranged under what I assume are the most lively categories: Accounting, Computer and Technical, Secretarial and General, Medical Transcription (which includes Legal), and Sales and Telemarketing. Within these categories you will find a wide variety of jobs: customer service representatives; many telemarketer positions posted under such euphemisms as “Appointment Setters;” accountants, administrative assistants, travel associates, house sketcher wanted, nurses, translators and news monitors, among many others.
Email addresses are furnished for contacting most of these employers, but for some you have to go to their website to apply, and I’ve found a few who wanted resumes submitted by snail mail. In some cases, enough information is supplied to give you a good idea of what the employer wants (and sometimes, even what they’ll pay!), but with some, only the bare essentials are there – many of these are posted by private parties, like authors who want someone to type their manuscripts.
Both paying and non-paying markets are featured. Forums on the site allow members to discuss their job-finding successes and failures, and network with each other.
From 6/13/05 to 6/24/05 virtualassistants.com posted 400 new jobs, in a variety of categories, on their “Telecommuting Job Board.” They do not advertise any site that charges a fee to get a job, no inflated income figures like those stated above, no scams, no multi-level marketing (pyramid) schemes, nor jobs from old, stale lists. If you find anything like that on their site, you can report them, and they will be removed.
Other than the Telecommuting Job Board, the site offers other helpful pages such as a list of employers that often hire telecommuters; classified ads where you can place an ad featuring your skills (with photo, if you like) and editing, renewing and deleting features. Resources such as help with resumes, VA certification programs, On-Line Courses, and other aids are featured on the home page, as are bonuses and extras aimed at helping you get a job. A “scam test” is offered, plus articles on how to avoid scams, a certificate you can print out, and an affiliate program.
I have to admit, the competition is fierce. I applied for around 40 jobs before I connected. I took on a no-pay to get some clips, and ended up writing and editing for that site for nearly a year. Also wattch for ads marked “St. Louis area only,” though they sometimes only say “L.A. area.” I have reported a number of ads that after exploration proved to be dead, no longer taking applications or obvious scams. In each case, I have been thanked by the administration for ferreting these out. When I became a moderator on the forum, I received a free year’s subscription.
This is my favorite job site – well worth the money in the long run. If you don’t get a response right away, don’t worry – you will.