How Can I Find Real Work-from-Home Jobs?

work from home jobs by Beth Braccio Hering, Special to CareerBuilder

From parents to retirees to employees fed up with daily commutes, there are many people out there who would like the chance to work from home -- and scammers know it. Christine Durst, co-author of 'Work at Home Now: The No-Nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-Based Job, Avoiding Scams and Making a Great Living,' has found that there are 60 scams out there for every one legitimate opportunity. How can job seekers separate the good from the garbage? Here are a few suggestions:

Start with your employer

Convincing your current employer to let you telecommute is one of the most effective (and safest) ways to obtain a work-from-home job. When approaching management about the possibility, Durst notes that the number one rule is "Have a plan, not a request. It's important that employees understand that telework must be beneficial to the employer if it is to be accepted." Some of her recommendations for creating a solid proposal include:

  • Drafting an attention-grabbing opening statement.
  • Outlining the benefits to the company.
  • Breaking down your daily tasks and commitments.
  • Proposing a schedule and highlighting your flexibility.
  • Suggesting methods for quantifying your productivity.
  • Reminding your boss what a valuable asset you are to the company.
  • Describing your home-based workspace and equipment.

Search as you would for any job

Think of looking for a telecommuting position simply as a new job search, just with "home" as the location of where the work will be performed. Search on reputable general and/or industry-specific job boards using keywords such as "telecommute," "independent contractor," "virtual," "remote," "freelance" and "offsite."

Just as with commuting positions, many work-from-home opportunities (especially legit ones) aren't advertised. Networking can be critical to finding these openings, as well as for gaining credibility with a potential employer by having someone who can vouch for your abilities.

And be prepared to present your qualifications; legitimate employers are out to find the best candidate for their needs. Take some time to research the company and tailor your application accordingly to demonstrate that you're interested in the actual career opportunity, not just working from home.

Play detective

"There are definitely some red flags that job seekers need to consider to determine if a home-based job opportunity is legitimate or not," says Sara Sutton Fell, an expert in the job market since she first founded JobDirect (sold to Korn/Ferry International in 2000) who currently runs a job service that specializes in telecommuting and flexible jobs. Questions she recommends asking include:

  • Is the company's name listed in the job listing?
  • Does the e-mail listed match the company's domain ( instead of
  • Is the job title a real job title, or is it an attention grabber? ("marketing coordinator" is a real job title; "WORK FROM HOME!" is not.)
  • Does the listing sound too good to be true?
  • Are you asked to provide personal identifying information like Social Security or bank account numbers?
  • Does the "employer" require you to pay to be considered or to apply for the job?

Durst adds to be wary of ads that don't ask for a résumé or that claim no experience is necessary. "In the 'real world' all jobs require you do something, so it stands to reason that a legitimate ad will tell you what it is you need to be able to do."

Beware of the unsolicited

As if by a miracle, an ad for home-based work lands in your e-mail inbox. How could this man from Romania have known you were looking for home-based work?

"Miracles do happen, but not via spam," Durst notes. "If you receive unsolicited job offers in your e-mail, it's probably the result of a scammer having 'harvested' your e-mail address from another location frequented by people who are seeking work. Move it to your trash file without using the 'remove me from this list' link you're likely to find at the bottom of the page. These links are often used to confirm that your e-mail address is active, and using them can result in even more spam."

Do your homework

If you believe you have found something worthwhile, still check it out as much as possible. "The more research you do upfront, the less likely you'll fall victim to telecommuting scams," Sutton Fell notes. Good tips for researching a company include:

  • Looking at its website.
  • Searching for the company name and the words "complaint" or "scam" to see if others have voiced concern.
  • Checking with the Better Business Bureau to see if the company is rated.

And if your gut's in doubt, throw the "opportunity" out!

Next: Five Great Work-From-Home Jobs for Retirees

Beth Braccio Hering researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for Follow @CareerBuilder on Twitter.

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Katie Malone

I found a great company that focuses on living a natural and healthy lifestyle. While being able to earn an income staying home with your kids. Take a look at

January 29 2014 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chelsea Szczerba

I've been working as a referral agent for Motor Club of America which is similar to AAA. They pay you $80/ referral once your a member and refer others. They pay weekly by check or direct deposit. People are making very good money with MCA because the benefits aren't that hard to sell. Sign up for your plan at and you'll be provided with your referral link immediately. They only accept debit, credit or bank draft as payment, no prepaid debit cards. Contact me at or 3027151188

October 01 2012 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have been working from home for 12 years and love it! Contrary to popular believe, there really are thousands of free, no scam, no mlm work from home, telecommuting jobs out there. The key is knowing where to find them and following two important rules.

First, never pay for a job, they should pay you plain and simple. Second, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Now, where do you find the jobs? There is a wonderful no scam, no fee online job database called the "Legitimate Online JobDirectory" at I do freelance work for many of the companies listed there.

Another place to find good work from home jobs is as mentioned above. You can also search the major job sites like Careerbuilder, Simply Hired and Indeed. Just be sure to follow the rules above.

I hope this helps!

August 21 2012 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Meyer

Work at home jobs, companies like AMAZON, U-HAUL and more. Over a dozen companies offering work from home jobs.

No fees, no “joining”, just jobs ~ no strings. Not MLM, not network marketing, not copy, paste and hope, not envelope stuffing, not party beg your friends but companies that actual employ that are not asking you for a refundable investment “up-front”. for the list plus many more resources for the stay at home worker. I’ve spent years researching and putting this together. Hope it helps.

May 15 2012 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's sad that there are so many work at home scams. I have been scammed myself three times sadly.
My girlfriend who has a small child also applied for home assembly work and she was scammed. I felt so bad for her because she really needs the income. I really hope the proper authorites will crack down on all these scammers. It seems like they are getting away with it.

April 22 2011 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I recieved this job offer with Careerbuilder logo and no contact information. What is going on?
Ann Smith

March 08 2011 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
J Ketzele

Ihave worked from home for 27 years and eventually over time, my business grew to a six figure income. Here are some tips.

1. What can you do with the training you already have? Answering phones?
Great, you can start your own business as the owner of an answering service. Many people, especially physicians, use answering services. You don't need training, just good people skills, computer skills, and a polite nice voice. Have clients sign an agreement and don't be cheap in what your charge. A physician once told me that if people don't charge what they think they are worth, he won't work with them. If potential clients think you charge enough, you don't want their business. You pick and choose who you want to work with. In these hard times, clients want to know you are available rather than getting a voice mail with prompts. Send a letter to everyone you know and if they don't need their services, ask for referrals. If they use your service, ask for referrals. Keep a folder of written documents of satisfied clients. Get feedback. Are they happy with your service or what could you have done differently if they fire you? Why are they happy with your srvice? For every on person who is happy, there are ten people, on the average, that are potential clients, waiting to be contacted.

Check out your competiton; what do they charge. Find out something personal about your potential clients and use it! Send birthday cards, anniversary cards and even newsletters. Give a discount or "finders" fee, like a dinner certificate to clients who refer. People like to know that you are still thinking about them. If I can do it, so can you!

February 20 2011 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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