Work from home imagery of a desktop computer and notebook
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A College Student’s Guide to Finding a Work-From-Home Job

From the ability to work with social distance to having a flexible schedule, online jobs are appealing for many workers. Here’s a guide for graduates and near-graduates to help them land their dream WFH position.

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Work from home imagery of a desktop computer and notebook
Image via Pixabay

From the ability to work with social distance to having a flexible schedule, online jobs are appealing for many workers. Here’s a guide for graduates and near-graduates to help them land their dream WFH position.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the amount of available work-from-home jobs skyrocketed. Even after some employees returned to the office, many companies and individuals have still opted to work remotely. As a result, remote jobs have grown in both demand and availability. Working remotely is appealing and beneficial for people with a variety of lifestyles; whether their lifestyle is that of a stay-at-home parent, a person with a disability or simply someone who wishes to travel without the constraint of a set work location. Work-from-home positions drastically shift the typical work-life balance and give people the ability to live life outside of their job instead of around their job. In fact, research has shown that companies may no longer be able to ignore remote trends, such as digital nomadism.

In particular, college students may find remote work attractive because of its ability to reduce commute times, which allows students to focus more on their studies. However, is it more difficult for a student to find a job working remotely if they have limited work experience?

Best High Paying Jobs for College S...
Best High Paying Jobs for College Students

Highly Competitive Hiring Pool

In a 2022 CNBC piece, Michelle Fox details that employers look for remote employees who have remote experience, and are “incredibly good at self-management.” While experience is helpful regardless of the job, remote jobs may receive resumes from thousands of applicants at once. Having relevant experience, a good story and a good degree may not be sufficient to stand out in the work-from-home arena. Unfortunately, many college students lack relevant work experience, as they do not yet have a degree and may be quite young. Even those who have a small amount of non-relevant work experience still find it hard to land an entry-level remote position.

Entry-level Jobs are Scarce

LinkedIn detailed in 2021 that around 35% to 38.4% of “entry-level” jobs posted online ask for some form of prior experience. Most of these postings requested that applicants have around 2 or 3 years of experience, making the “entry-level” job title rather deceiving. To make matters worse, because young graduates are finding it increasingly difficult to find jobs in their chosen field, the odds are even slimmer for someone who hasn’t graduated yet. It is increasingly challenging if they also have little to no work experience. However, some have found that a well-crafted resume may be the key to finding that perfect work-from-home position as an undergrad.

Fix Common Resume Mistakes

When students find themselves submitting application after application but only receive a few responses, they should re-examine their resumes. Experts often recommend tailoring a resume to the job qualifications, as well as refraining from re-using the same resume and cover letter for each job application. In reality, time spent researching the company, its values and its unique needs is necessary for writing a resume that demonstrates the qualities they are looking for in an employee. Above all, students who craft their resumes for a work-from-home experience must make sure to demonstrate an ability to work well remotely. Excellent time management and motivational skills are a must when someone is working from home. Students who have experience managing non-work projects from home — including completing a class in a remote learning environment — may benefit from putting that on their resume.

Even without relevant work experience, college and university students can still find characteristics and activities that demonstrate their positive attributes on a resume. These may include:

  • Examples of school projects, especially if the class is relevant to the job.
  • Portfolios of work from side projects and hobbies.
  • Job responsibilities and experience from unrelated fields.
  • Participation in student government associations or other leadership roles.
  • Clubs and college societies the student may be a part of.
  • Awards from pre-college days that demonstrate commitment and going the extra mile outside of school.
  • Volunteer work, internships and community projects.

Additionally, if a student is not affected by time constraints for getting a remote job, they may consider applying for remote internships to better their resume.

Remote Internships are Impressive

Whether it is a paid or unpaid internship, undergrads should aim to find one that gives them the chance to develop the skills necessary to work from home. Internships may be considered “the new entry-level,” and applicants are often encouraged to have experience from more than one before entering the workforce. With one or two remote internships, students can demonstrate that they have the self-determination and self-control to conquer distractions and get their work done from an independent location. This can be especially helpful when they need to stand out among a competitive pool of candidates.

Don’t Be Discouraged!

Even without a degree or relevant experience, students should not give up on their hopes of landing a job where they can work from home. Successful applicants may need to step up their game by working hard on resumes and cover letters, securing the right internships and doing all they can to show that they are worthy candidates who can get the job done.

Writer Profile

Kane Howard

Harrisburg Area Community College
Communications with a Concentration in Journalism

Kane Howard is a communications student at HACC in Pennsylvania who hopes to go onto York College after graduation. He has experience with writing both fiction and non-fiction works.

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