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10 Job Search Mistakes to Avoid: Solutions Included (Part I)

Прочети на Български ==> Read in English (US)

As I have worked for a long time in freelance, I've encountered many people who asked me for details about my job.

Some of them got really excited when they heard about my schedule (in other words, the lack of it) and all the perks and bonuses I get.

Then this excitement turned into a desire to join and get on board with remote work. They asked me how they could start and to recommend them to my company.

They hoped it would be easy if it was so exciting and relaxed. I was thrilled the first few times this happened to me, too.

I could be helpful, guide them, show them the correct information, and lead them to live the life of their dreams.

find remote jobs

Sometimes we wish things happen as magic. No effort, no time to invest, a few minutes, and you get what you want. Life, however, proves otherwise.

The patience and time pay off in the future, not the rushing and the slacking. I see this all the time, people give up on remote work because they need an understanding of the whole process.

They think it's easy, and it is, in a way. Once you get on your feet, you get used to the tension and the type of work you choose. It becomes repetitive and predictable.

But before that, you are entering a new reality and must learn the rules to survive. In this article, I'd like to provide the solutions to the most common mistakes candidate freelancers make and equip them with the knowledge they need to flourish working from home.

Here we go:

1. Afraid to Apply

I see this particular behavior quite often and am guilty of that, too. Why are people afraid to apply?

There can be three main reasons:

    — They are not sure they will get approved (fear of rejection);

    — They are not confident the company is trustworthy (fear of being scammed);

    — They don't trust their skills (fear of incompetence).

As you can see, all the causes are based on fear. It's natural and normal and will also slow your job search.

Afraid to Apply: Solution

Fear of rejection

Sign up for tasks that don't require approval. It's as easy as that. However, there is a detail you should know.

Websites that allow you to sign up and earn without any approval or with instant approval will usually pay less.

It's your solution until you gain courage and face rejection. Such companies will give you the confidence you need to believe you can make money online.

Making your first $10 daily will feel like a small win. Then you will want to make them $10 per hour, $20 per hour, and so on.

That happened to me and keeps happening to other freelancers I've worked with. It's common to see a successful freelancer quitting a thriving project for another higher-paying opportunity.

It keeps people wondering:
Really??? You will quit an online job that pays $20 per hour?
It is an excellent paycheck on the outside. People need to see that this person already has the skills to earn double or triple that, and he probably got an offer for it!

You would choose the better-paying job if you were in his shoes! You can start working immediately by trying the microtasks offered on different platforms and then upgrading once you know what remote work feels like.

Here are my recommendations:

Remotasks: You create an account with them, and once you pass their training, you can start working immediately.

Taking Surveys: Various websites send out many paid survey opportunities once you create an account and subscribe to receive the offers in your inbox. You can learn more about particular companies and the steps to follow when answering the questions in my post about online paid surveys.

Fear of being scammed

The fear is based on the fact that dishonest people can offer you fake jobs and try to steal your money. It's justified, and happened to many people, including myself, when I started looking for remote work 15 years ago.

You can solve this by gaining knowledge about scam jobs online. The more you know the tricks scammers use, the less you will fear as you learn to recognize suspicious behavior online.

It takes practice, as the schemes are sometimes complicated, but we freelancers are brilliant and can't allow others to mistreat us. Adapt this mindset, and soon you'll laugh at scammers instead of stressing out.

Fear of incompetence

When you first start looking for a job, it's common to feel you need better qualifications. I've been through that.

I have degrees in other areas different from all my jobs, but still, they pay me a lot and allow me to have an excellent standard of living.

I don't have any official certificate or an exam passed about my exact English level. Still, I work in English, blog in English, and communicate freely in English with many people every day.

In fact, I almost stopped in my third year in university because I struggled to pass my Business English exam.

A wise man once told me:
It's not important how smart you are; it's important how smart people believe you are.
He was right. Your competence matters little. What is crucial is your dedication to growth, ambition, and hard work. If you put in enough effort, you can achieve anything.

2. Write a mediocre cover latter

As I already mentioned in step one, you must take the time to prepare and fully provide the maximum to achieve the desired result.

Nowadays, everybody can be mediocre as this tends to be more accessible. Only some people, however, can be unique and diligent.

Have you experienced meeting people who are super cheerful, smiling, and enjoying being around them?

This type of people I call "fresh air". In a world where you always hear complaints about various matters, having a "fresh air" person in your surroundings can increase your energy.

Why do I tell you all this? Because the same goes for the cover letter you will write for a company you apply to.

You want to be the unique one, the "fresh air", and when your potential employer reads it, he will think:
Wow, this applicant truly went the extra mile!
How to achieve this effect?

Tip 1: Be your best self

Add a unique and positive part about yourself that cannot be found in templates online. You want to write about how you can help the company and how your skills fit into its culture and values.

Focus on collaboration instead of solely on yourself. It's what matters in the job, how you match the employer, and what results you achieve together. Your future manager will love this!

Tip 2: Quick reminder to check your grammar and spelling

It's easy to forget that, especially when writing on your phone. Using grammar tools becomes a more significant challenge on a smaller screen.

Remember that error-free cover letters will significantly impact your reputation as a professional in the employers' eyes.

It is worth spending the time and seeing the rewards it will give you. I've experimented with time and effort in the past, and there is a clear relation I noticed:
time spent + effort made = desired results
The more I put into editing and writing my cover letter, the better ideas came to mind and the higher my chances of approval. Doing it in several days is even better for allowing your thoughts to grow overnight.

3. Unprofessional resume

Just like you need a cover letter, you also need a touched-up resume. Do you know how many resumes employers check out before they choose someone suitable?

Some only read part of the resumes they receive and choose just a bunch to invite for an interview. If you are in their pile of selected, you want to end up on the side of the set for a remote job interview.

How do you achieve this? You write a resume that counts. Here is what to do:

        → Add information relevant to the company you are applying to. It's an extra effort from your side, but editing your resume to fit different companies' requirements will make a big difference. You will want to send a document to get you a strictly chosen job.

        → Leave out details you are confident about but only matter to you. I have seen some terrible resumes from people who had no idea how to write them correctly. The key is relevancy when you choose what to put in the details.

Relevancy resume example

You can be proud of your category C driving license, but since you want to work remotely, that doesn't matter to your future boss, and you can skip it.

        → No typos! You know this already, same thing - being professional requires checking your files for errors, which makes an impression of someone who cares about his job.

Vice versa - being careless with the files you send gives the idea of a person who is unattentive with his work. What first impression do you want to make?

4. Rush through the application process

Applying for a company may involve many steps. Some or all of the below can be required:

        🗹 Checking information about the employer - their culture, values, reviews, and communication.

        🗹 Writing up a relevant resume and a cover letter

        🗹 Discovering their preferred method of applying - through a job board, their official website, or an alternative option.

        🗹 Some companies ask you to add information about your personal details/education/work experience in addition to attaching your prewritten documents (this is an extra step for you and takes time)

        🗹 If you have chosen to apply for five companies in a day, you need to complete some or all of the steps above four times more.

It's understandable why you can lose patience and start skimming or passing on fields that can help you provide a better picture of yourself. Rushing is a behavior you want to avoid in your job hunt.

Luckily you can use easy tricks to keep yourself motivated:

            1. Take a break as soon as you need one. Go out, talk with somebody, have a meal, do anything that can distract you. The next time you return to work, you will concentrate better and be able to control your impulses.

            2. Realize the importance of your work. Yes, work, because applying is also counted. Unfortunately, it is unpaid initially, but it will quickly pay off once you start your first remote job.

The question is, how fast you will get there. Giving your best and maximum will help you achieve your goals quicker and help you maintain the right mindset.

            3. Practice. Every new skill takes time for training and practice before you can do it automatically. The first 3 - 5 applications will be challenging.

Then the 6th one, you will start to think: "Oh, I know how to do this already!": you will have new ideas on how to simplify the process or improve your search.

Your mind will help you do the needed job, so let it. If you resist this new skill, this might prevent you from learning it and fast-forwarding it.

5. Ignore relevant opportunities

When you search for your first remote job, allow a larger pool of options to choose from. You still need to gain experience and can only have it when you start working.

The best jobs and highest-paid jobs are for the most experienced freelancers. Don't worry, you will get there. In the beginning, focus on achievable jobs.

If a job has 5 out of 8 criteria covered, you should consider how major the three that don't match are. If you can do without them for the first year, you should apply for the job and pay attention to it.

The perfect job will come once you know the market and how things happen remotely. Then you will know exactly what to add to your resume and cover letter and highlight your remote worker experience.

an image with a woman sitting next to a laptop and the photo is related to job search for remote work by


Some people land their dream job quickly and do it on their first application. I know people who did that, and it's possible that you also experienced the same.

However, if it doesn't happen to you, that is also expected and only means it will take longer. Keep impressing with your hard work and excellent skills, and you will see how things change in your favor.

This is the first part of people's most common mistakes when they enter the remote work market. I will continue with the rest of the list in my next post.

I've made some mistakes and seen people do them regularly as beginners. Can you relate to any of these? 

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