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By: Sylvie Fortin

If you're tired of searching for those elusive, legitimate work-at-home jobs, it's time you became a super sleuth as you find the jobs no one else is looking for.

Looking for telecommuting work can be a full-time job in itself! However, the telecommuters I've met who have been most successful don't spend much time looking for work. Their biggest success and skill is that they know exactly where to look, they don't waste time researching the wrong places, and they don't spend time applying for jobs they know aren't legitimate. They are, very simply, highly-targeted and efficient jobseekers who know what they want and they know how to reach out and grab it!

You can be one of these skilled jobseekers too, if you learn a few simple tricks to cut down on your time wasted in the pursuit of the wrong job types. Here are the top 3 ways you can fine-tune you job search for total success.

  • Know what you are looking for: As silly as it sounds, many job searchers throw a wide net out into the world and just hope that a good-sounding job might come up. To make the best use of your time, you need to determine a) what you really want to do, and b) choose your list of search terms carefully before you start searching online databases or search engines so you can target the types of jobs you want.
  • Have all your materials ready before you search: Make sure you have your resume, cover letter templates, and portfolio samples ready to go before you start searching. This will dramatically cut down your time and allow you to simply apply for positions and contracts instantly, without having to spend a lot of time fiddling with your materials. Remember, you're not making any money when you're searching for jobs, so you want to be as productive and prepared as possible.
  • Choose your search tools carefully: With the number of work-at-home scams out there, you need to be incredibly cautious when choosing your search tools. To help get you started, we've listed some of the most popular search tool types and how best to use them.
    • Work-at-Home Job Databases. Select 2-5 trusted and reliable work at home jobs databases where you can search each day for the positions that are listed and updated regularly. Make sure you are familiar with how the sites work so you can narrow your search to only new jobs posted today. Do not spend more than 10 minutes a day searching work at home jobs databases.
    • Freelance Project Boards. Select 2 reputable and free or low-cost freelance project posting sites, where you can scan for new projects posted that fit your skills. Have all your materials ready beforehand and don't apply for projects you aren't entirely familiar with. Never apply for jobs you aren't qualified to do. Do not spend more than 10 minutes a day searching freelance project boards.
    • Standard (Mixed) Job Boards. Select 1 high-traffic mixed job board. Use only your pre-selected search terms to find the jobs you want. Do not spend more than 5 minutes a day searching mixed job boards.
    • Local Newspaper Classifieds. Locate your city's online version of the career classifieds and run daily searches, being very careful not to waste time applying for any kind of “pay to work” scheme. Searching your local classifieds is an excellent way to get home-based employment, but there can be a lot of scams to filter through, so make sure you know the difference. Do not spend more than 5 minutes a day searching your local classifieds.

Once you've put in your 30 minutes, spend the rest of your day working on projects! If you don't already have a job, then spend the rest of the day learning a new skill, networking with potential clients, building a home-based business, or volunteering your services to worthy charities. Using your unpaid time wisely will lead to lots of opportunities to get work. Hard work always draws more hard work to itself. That's the way life is, so get busy and watch the work come in!