25 Percent! The Basic Requirements for Online Work

08 January 2011
It's not rocket science, but there are just some people who forget that they have "25 percent" of their smarts to adapt to new situations.

cat with a pen
Chilli from Cat with a Garden brainstorming
According to high school teacher Vivian Timtim, 25 percent simply pertains to an individual's common sense.

Everyone who's considered "normal" is supposed to use common sense in day-to-day situations. Searching for online work is no exception.

Some job seekers and aspiring writers never even reach first base when they apply for online work. That's because they're missing out on a few rules of thumb.

Employers who need web content writers and work-from-home assistants won't bother with your application when you lack the basic requirements:

1. Manners. Asking the employer to contact you is way too obnoxious. I've come across many applicants who respond to a job posting this way: "I'm a writer. Email me at ABC@mail.com."

Reality check: The employer's not going to chase after you. It's the other way around. If you have questions, specify them and then thank the person ahead for an anticipated response. 

2. Your own e-mail address. If you don't have an e-mail address, sign up for one right away! Registering for an e-mail account with Yahoo, Hotmail or Google is free, easy and useful in your job search. 

3. A Yahoo Messenger or Skype account. Online interviews are commonplace. Some potential employers prefer chatting over e-mail correspondence. They want to check how spontaneous you are with the English language or how fast you type.

4. A PayPal account. Getting one is just like signing up for an e-mail address. You'll need to get a PayPal account to receive payment for your work. Overseas customers don't know what G-cash is anyway, so spare them the inconvenience of adjusting to your demands.

Note: Don't worry if your PayPal account is unverified. You can still receive payment. However, take note that verification is necessary to withdraw your earnings and transfer your PayPal funds to your bank account or credit card. I'll dish the details on how to verify your PayPal account some other time.

5. Your work portfolio. With few exceptions, online work opportunities rarely require a resume. Be ready to support your claim as a writer. Being a newbie is no excuse not to present anything which will showcase your writing abilities.

Advice: Be wary of employers who will ask you to submit customized samples. These individuals might just be out to get free work from you. Compile your best write-ups and publish them online, or showcase them in your personal blog. This way, you leave a trail of your work and avoid potential scams. 

These basic requirements for online work are not difficult to secure. Do you have all 5? Do you have 25 percent? If so, then I believe you're ready to try your luck with web content writing. Gambatte ne!
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