Gone were the days that you need to walk-in from buildings to buildings in Makati, Ortigas, and BGC to submit a resume. All you need to do to look for a job these days is just browse job portals on the internet. But, not all job portals have a vast resource of openings for home-based jobs or virtual assistant positions, and you might even wonder if these vacancies in job portals are even legit.
Time to make a move
So I was excited and scavenged the internet to look for job openings for work from home jobs. I kept searching the depths of Google to look for job portals that offer online work, and I came with a bunch of sites such as Upwork, Freelancer, Onlinejobs.ph, Jobstreet, Linkedin, Facebook, and others I don’t remember anymore since I am not even sure if they were even legit. So I was filling up several registration forms to create an account in these sites, and then the job hunt began. So I created my online resume using Google Docs and filled out the necessary information as required by these job sites. I kept submitting resumes every day, day and night I would look into these sites and see if there was a position that will suit my skills. I have zero experience as a virtual assistant but I used to be an admin assistant in our business where I dealt with administrative tasks, operations, sales, and marketing. So somehow, I knew my skills were related to any online job since I have work experience in these fields.
Almost but not quite
I have to say, my application days were really tough, since I have submitted several applications and a lot of them were either declined or not responded to. I don’t even recall how many times I have submitted an application, I think it took me about a 100 times or even more on submitting applications — I was so desperate. Funny thing is, applying for a job, taking exams, and attending interviews became a job for me for 6 months.
Though I had some applications that were scheduled for an interview, but that was just about it, It never went through. Then one day, I believe I got the job posting from Facebook for a Real Estate VA and I got scheduled for an interview twice and I got lucky to be accepted! It wasn’t a direct-hire and it was under a Manpower agency, but still, I was happy that I got the job! That was my first success on landing an online job. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t exactly the position that I was expecting since it requires me to do Voice Calls and doing calls is really not my cup of tea. But I still took the opportunity and attended the training just to get the feel of what was like doing an online job as a Real Estate VA. The schedule was a graveyard shift, I think it was from 12 am to 9 am, lunch break included. Well, I only lasted about 2 days of training and then I quit, I told them that I wasn’t interested in a Real Estate Position because of Voice Calls. I didn’t really learn any technical skills yet during the 2-day training period, it was more of an introduction of the agency, what it does, and what the actual work was. So mostly, it was basic training, like they shared a presentation on how to communicate with Americans and gave us a reviewer on the Real Estate background in the US, it was too much information for a short span of time since the training was only good for about 2 weeks. Nevertheless, I was happy that I had an introduction to what was like to work online, but never would I apply for a real estate position or any position that requires voice calls.
So I went on again and kept applying for jobs. And I noticed that most of the employers who responded to my applications were through onlinejobs.ph. So what I did was I just focused on that site and kept searching. Again, a lot of my applications there were either declined or ignored. But one day, an employer who runs an e-commerce company that sells on Amazon US scheduled an interview with me. The first phase of the hiring process was a written exam that he sent to my email, it was all about basic data entry in a spreadsheet, writing emails, writing copywrites, research, and then writing an email marketing campaign. I was fortunate enough to have passed the first test, then we have scheduled a final video call interview through Skype.
Even though I had several experiences with job interviews, I was still nervous. I was nervous not because I wasn’t prepared, I know what I have to say since all I need to do was to be honest with myself and my skills. But the thing that made it difficult for me was my conversation skills since English is not my first language, so I had a hard time structuring what I have to say. Now, that night, I really prepared myself, I wore a long sleeve (no tie), black suit, and basketball shorts! Since he won’t be able to see whatever pants or shorts I was wearing anyway.
So next, I received the call, and it really wasn’t I expected it to be. I thought it was going to be a formal one, like him wearing a suit and tie and have this serious game face on, like what is commonly practiced in the corporate world here in the Philippines. But he was just casual and laid back, he was just sporting a collared gray shirt, rustic looking blonde hair like Matthew McConaughey, and the first thing he said was “Hey Luis! You look smart!” That broke the ice and I got comfortable on the first few minutes of our conversation. And the talk was just casual, I believe that’s how Americans are, they just like it casual but courteous and professional at the same time. So he just asked a lot about me, like what I do, what were my work experiences, if I am currently employed, where I am in the Philippines, do I know anything about Amazon or e-commerce, etc
Actually, job interviews here in the Philippines are much more difficult than having it with a foreigner. Then, he told me about his business and what he expects from his employees, what were the tasks involved, etc. It was a fun conversation and we ended the interview with him saying he’d call me back once he made his final decision. I believed I waited around 3 days and then I got the call, I got accepted and he asked if I am available to start the next day for the onboarding. I was excited and game, and that’s how I ended up having my REAL online job.
I hope my experience can help you where to look for online jobs, I really suggest applying through onlinejobs.ph since most of them are legit, and I got 2 jobs there already. Also, for those who don’t have any experience yet or is a first-timer, I hope my experience gave you an idea of what is like applying or being in an interview with a potential employer. I’d be also discussing what I did with my resume and my applications in this blog here. And I won’t be copying any resources on the internet for tips or guides on drafting that resume! Since you can always research that on your own. I want to share the real and actual thing I did during my applications, it’s not perfect or even ideal, but not everyone who lands a job has the perfect resume or ideal approach right?
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