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A. Resume Posting
There are 11,000 job sites on the Internet. Most of these jobs allow the posting of resumes. With the magic of Internet mail programs one can a resume in these 11,000 sites in seconds. But, it is not enough to post resumes. Since most employers are not actively seeking teleworkers, more a more aggressive job search is needed. It is, however, important to use these sites. When a Filipino posts a resume, it says to the world, “Look at the Philippines. They have an employment presence on the Net. The are competing for jobs internationally. We want employers to think “Philippines” when thinking of teleworking employees. As telework is a just emerging as an employment option, Filipinos must be visible from the start to position themselves as net ready and available for telecommuting jobs. Posting resumes is just one of the many ways to position the Philippines in the mind of international employees as a source of teleworkers. Unfortunately most will have no success from a posted application. A majority of jobs are filled by word of mouth not by posting resumes. There are several more important ways Filipinos can involve themselves in word of mouth efforts internationally.
B. Pinoys on the Web
Fortunately, because of the pioneering work of many early Filipino netizens, there is an existing database that contains hundreds of Filipinos working overseas as well as here in the Philippines. This database is called Pinoys on the Web, and contains data including the e-mail address of hundreds of Filipinos who have Net access. This is a fast growing list with new listings added daily. A marketing strategy needs to be developed to encourage those on the list to promote the Filipino as a teleworking employee to overseas employers. This can be a fertile source of employment opportunities for local Filipinos through their kababayan’s working in other countries.
C. Networking through Mailing Lists and Newsgroups (Accessing the hidden job market)
Internet Mailing lists provide networking opportunities. It is another way to access the hidden job market. Close long term friends can be made fast because when you discover someone on a mailing list of special interest to you. You and they already have at least one substantial interest in common by virtue of belonging to the same list. More often that not, there you find that you hold other interests in common.
These lists are not unlike private clubs, and some are, in fact, closed to the general public, reserved for members of a certain profession. Or, membership may be cut off after a certain number join.
A quote from The Natural Life Cycle of Mailing Lists says that in the initial stage of a list “People introduce themselves, and gush a lot about how wonderful it is to find kindred souls.” People are happy to find people with like interest and quickly bring them into their circle of close friends. This happens even though they have never met in person, and may they may be living thousands of miles apart, as they are only seconds away by e-mail. The degree of empathy, understanding and closeness that can develop on these mailing lists and in off list exchanges is astounding. Emotions on mailing lists can run as high as in close families. Marriages have been made and small wars have been fought. Participation on these lists can make a job seeker known to key people all over the world in a very short period of time. The “good old boys” network has been replaced by these mailing list. The only ones who are excluded now are those who do not have access the Lists or those who do, but chose not to participate in the list. Establishing rapport with others on these lists that are in a position to help access employment opportunities is essential to success for teleworkers. Mailing list is an excellent place to show and sell a teleworkers skills. Since there are 25,000 of these lists concerned with every imaginable interest; there is something for everyone.
Many lists are devoted to occupations. They can be invaluable as employment opportunities. For example, I belong to a mailing list of biofeedback professionals, mostly psychologists, nurses, and sports medicine practitioners and a few lurkers. (Lurkers are those who “listen in” but don’t openly participate in discussions.) I post frequently on the mailing list, asking for information, sharing what I have, and I am careful to thank those who provide information to me. From this list, members have sent to me free biofeedback equipment worth hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars. But more importantly, they have provided me with an extensive education in biofeedback and contacts all over the world. I exchange greeting cards with many of the list members and I consider some as close friends, though we have never met. While I am not seeking a job as a biofeedback professional, I know that I would be offered one if I sought it. Sitting here in the Philippines and entering the list as a comparative novice, I have established myself as a player in the area of biofeedback. And any one could have done the same thing in any occupational area where they have interest and just a little skill.
True, biofeedback does not lend itself to telecommuting any more than carpentry. I only use this as an example. Had I been interested in desktop publishing, computer programming, graphic art, journalism, sales or any another type of work that could be performed by telecommuting, I feel quite sure I would already have had job offers by now, in those fields.
Just recently, I saw a posting on a list called International Trade. A U.S. company introduced itself as one who helps students get in to U.S. universities. After some discussion with one of the owners of the company, I was offered a “partnership.” This company is providing me with business cards and stationary, a web page with maintenance by their web page designer, providing mailing materials and other marketing support and guidance to me in marketing their services in the Philippines. I was not looking for a job. I only have a friend who’s daughter is having problems getting into a university in the US she wants to attend. My commission is substantial as are the prices of their services. I hope to quickly turn the job over to someone else here, who will have more interest in it than I do. And this job came about not as a result of a resume posting, but because of conversations with another list member.
It is important for Filipino teleworkers to become involved in these lists/newsgroups. Besides being educational and fun, they are the employment network of the Internet. Aggressive teleworkers will use these lists wisely to succeed in their employment search. Finally, the hidden job market is open up to all with Internet access. Others are denied.
It is important that Filipinos seeking telework join and participate.
The Newsgroup, alt.soc.filippino is also another way of enlisting support from Filipinos overseas to assist in telework search efforts. Everything said about Mailing Lists applies equally to Newsgroups. There are 25,000 of them.
Every time someone writes an e-mail message they have the opportunity to include a signature block. The signature block can include a message that sells your teleworking services. This is a common practice and should be used at every opportunity by every teleworker.
“Spam” is intrusive advertising and is a very controversial way selling. People hate spam but it works. It consists of “off topic” advertisements to a mailing list or news group or sending unsolicited advertisements. It is easy to get millions of exposures for very little money, and advertisers dream. But you incur the wrath of those who are not interested in getting your advertisements right in the middle of their conversations about something else. Spam is rude. If spam is used, it must be carefully thought out, and use very sparingly so as to disrupt as few as possible. Spam cannot be allowed to injure the reputation of the Filipino teleworker. A firm policy on spam must be made and enforced.
F. Temporary Employment Agencies
A rather aggressive strategy for marketing Filipino telecommuters is to contract with a large established international employment agency like Kelly Services, to take on this task. Kelly or others might be interested, after seeing a list of Filipinos available and their qualifications, in marketing their telework services. If international agencies are not interested to the extent they will not even do a pilot program, it will be incumbent on the Philippine Government to initiate the marketing program. But, a strong presentation to a major temporary employment company might relieve the Government of much of this task, and kick start the project.
G. Job Search Procedures
When a telecommuting candidate is selected there needs to be a procedure for him/her to follow to advertise him/herself. The occupation having determined, postings to certain Internet areas will be basically the same for every candidate in an occupational group. Some planning and pilot work needs to be done to determine the best places to post for each occupation.
H. Special Tactics
One interesting special tactic for finding telecommuting jobs posted on the European Telecommuting Marketing List was:
Ben Fairweather wrote:
My thought is that newspapers like to run advertising specials from time-to-time. If a newspaper can be persuaded to run such a special for teleworking opportunities, then they will also have an incentive to contact potential employers of teleworkers to solicit ads. European Telework Week looks like a decent 'hook' on which to hang such an advertising feature.
Also, the following post from a seasoned teleworker graphically illustrates the need for a teleworker or teleworker’s agent to aggressively pursue work.
From Kari Burns, European Telework List says:
Show companies how much they can save by contracting out. Even in America only a handful of employers, allow a few employees telework, the number is increasing but the opportunities are few and far between. They primarily exist for employees that have already been with companies for a long time.
Contracting out can be so much better any way. You can charge a much higher hourly rate and the employer is still saving. Contract and subcontract with small companies other and other teleworkers. Support cottage industry. You are saving on overhead and your clients ultimately benefit.
Put together impressive looking portfolios, make your talents work for you and sell yourself.
Initially, I spent years waiting for the government agency I worked for to give me teleworking options. They promised them for 7 years but they never came through. I tried desperately to find other companies that would hire me as a teleworker with no luck. I was quite amazed at how easy it was getting contracts and business once I finally hung out my cybershingle.
I guess I should clarify "easy". I probably spend 60 hours a week tracking leads and 40 hours a week working for which I probably bill for 10-20 of them to clients (with luck). My billed hours I bill $50.00 but as you can see by the above I really do give more time than I bill for.
We spent years looking for better job opportunities, sending out hundreds of resumes/cv, applications etc every week. Relatively speaking, finding contracts was much easier than finding jobs.
I. Search Programs
In addition to the 11,000 job sites on the Internet, there are two interesting search programs that can help find jobs. Reference.Com and the Vigilant Information Filter both allow one to search news groups for keywords. By using “telecommuting” + “desktop-publishing” you can search for jobs in desktop publishing that might not otherwise be posted. Creative utilization of these programs will bring results in the form of job postings from newsgroups.
J. Marketing Agents
A group of people can be trained in the most sophisticated of the Internet research skill. They can act as agents for those who don’t have the time or expertise to search for jobs themselves. Since job search for teleworkers is continuous, because their jobs tend to be temporary, this option deserves strong consideration.