Friday, February 28, 2014

Career Outlook For Virtual Assistants

Government career outlook predictions aren’t developed yet for the Virtual Assistance industry, whether that’s because it’s a relatively new field or because the tasks done by VAs are as varied as the VAs themselves remains to be seen. One has to examine similar fields and skill-sets to see how VAs will fare in the years to come. By looking at these similar fields, you can see that the growth outlook for Virtual Assistance is above average. The question of “Will this job still be around in 20 years?” can be answered by looking at the services that a specific VA is offering and closely-related “traditional” employment fields.

With many businesses restructuring and downsizing (getting rid of middle managers), companies are utilizing more and more secretarial and administrative support staff to take over those duties. If you offer administrative support as a VA, and market yourself as an off-site solution to those downsizing companies, your “job security” looks pretty good. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you will have competition from on-site employees for these positions.

If you offer more specialized services than administrative support, you have different chances for sustaining an ongoing career. Here are two examples:

If you offer Public Relations (PR)services, your occupational outlook is rosy. With so many different types of organizations — such as businesses, nonprofits, universities, hospitals and more – looking for media specialists and PR specialists to do more than just “tell their story.” Creativity, initiative, good judgment and the ability to communicate effectively are some of the skills necessary to succeed in this job. There’s lots of competition in this role, but employment/contracts for PR specialists is expected to grow faster than average, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

If you offer Desktop Publishing services, your occupational outlook is also great. Many companies are beginning to outsource these services, as opposed to having in-house staff. With experience and/or a degree in graphic design or a related field, desktop publishers have a variety of different organizations to market themselves to. VAs offer an affordable alternative to hiring a graphic design firm.

Whether you specialize in desktop publishing and graphic design or public relations or another niche specialty, it’s clear that Virtual Assistance is catching on and the VAs who are out there aren’t going anywhere. With more and more employers and companies looking to outsource projects turning to offsite personnel to fulfill these needs, the view of using “virtual” workers is changing. It’s no longer as common to hear objections such as “How do I know you’ll really be working?” when proposing using a VA to someone who never has before. Many people have heard of VAs now or know someone who uses theirs. In most cases, once someone has a VA on their team, they don’t turn back to in-house staff to fulfill those duties.

The most important thing to remember, though, is to keep current with technology and software that can progress your business. If you only know outdated technology, then you and your business are outdated and your clients may go elsewhere for service. Keep adding to your services and learn everything you can about your niche market and what they currently need.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Can Full Time Mom Makes Money From Home

I found this article online and thought it's interesting! Read on!

After a lifetime of working in various offices as a secretary, I suddenly found myself in the position of trying to figure out how to make money from home. Going from being handed a paycheck to creating one on my own required a total mental transformation. Was I up to the task? I had to be!

Mom and I had always been close (as the youngest of four, I think I’m her favorite!), so for me, it was a simple choice. I’d been brought back home for a reason, and the reason was now quite clear. Mom needed me.

My husband’s meager laborer paycheck just wasn't going to cut it. Mom’s pension and Social Security incomes were quite limited, as are most of them. As I would no longer be able to work outside the home, I put away my resumes and began to explore my options.

I thought a Virtual Assistant, typing for people by way of the Internet, sounded pretty cool. But there were deadlines to meet and I couldn't always be sure my home situation would mesh with that scene. After all, if Mom’s in the hospital and I need to be with her, my “virtual boss” might not be too understanding about why my assignment wasn't completed as promised.

OK, enough of this. I wasn't brought up with a “can’t do” attitude. I put away the thoughts of what I can’t do, and switched to the other side of the ledger. What can I do to make money from home? That’s when the fun really began!

From all the pop-ups, banners and junk e-mails I’d received through the years, I knew somebody was making money on the Internet. Could I do that, too? After a great deal of research, I finally found a program that was right for me.

Can you imagine how liberating that felt? I was no longer a victim of the “poor me, stuck at home” mentality. I’m blessed with the privilege of caring for my mother in the comfort of her own home, accompanying her to the end of life’s journey.

I’m doubly blessed to actually be contributing to the family income instead of feeling guilty that I’m not “doing something.”

Are you “stuck” at home, too? It’s truly a privilege, you know, to be a caregiver to a loved one. You are a Very Important Person in his/her life. Instead of turning your financial frustration into resentment, turn it into a lucrative career on the Internet! You can name your own hours, work as little or as much as you want, and still have a big part in making your family’s financial dreams come true. Do your research carefully, but rest assured–you, too, can make money from home.

My husband and I were already living with Mom, keeping her company after Dad died, doing the “heavy stuff” that she could no longer do. I happened to be between jobs when Mom was diagnosed with bone cancer, then her heart began acting up and she was reduced to the unenviable position of looking for a nursing home or being cared for at home.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Building A Professional Image For Data Entry Jobs

Brand image of any business activity encompasses a broader spectrum, which is the overall image of the business which includes the interior design, exterior design, marketing materials used, the web presence and also the staff members of the business. Data entry jobs too require image building to be successful.

Data entry jobs are abundant and so are the people who are doing it. Like the individuals searching for a reputed company, the same way the companies too search for quality and competent people who can finish the job on time with greater precision and professionalism. Hence, it is very important to build a professional image to stand apart from others who are in the same field to get data entry jobs to be done at home.

Steps involved in building a successful professional image for data entry jobs done from home:

The first step for the person doing the job for data entry from home is to analyze the key strengths and talents and jotting them down in key words or phrases. Unique features and values of his doing business should be highlighted. Then it has to be shaped in to a brand statement incorporating the uniqueness and advantages for the clients in getting the work done by him. This brand statement can be printed in all the business communications and displayed in all the ways to speak about the professionalism of the person.

Apart from doing all the above, it is very important to maintain a personal, professional image. The way the person presents himself before clients and customers matters a lot. He needn’t always be in formal attire while performing jobs from home, but at least should adhere to the dress code when a formal meeting is scheduled. It conveys the message, that the person has not taken the job lightly but is serious about the profession.

When changes like diversification or added services are included, the personal brand statement should be changed accordingly. If spending on building a professional image is required, it should be done without any hesitation, as it is only an investment rather than an expense.
A professional image is very important as it involves the decision making process of customers whether to do business with the company or individual, or not. The heart of the business is their logo. It signifies and represents the kind or nature of business and the activity which is carried on. The image or brand is the foundation for all the advertising and marketing efforts made and if the brand image is weak, the advertising and marketing efforts will go in vain. It is the identity to the business. Many entrepreneurs mistake the marketing, advertising and promotional materials as mere expenses, but actually speaking they are all investments. It the first impression created to boost the business. Logo and brand are totally different. Where logo is only a representation of the business and brand is the experience created with the customer or client right from the inception till the end of the business process.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Know How to Budget Like Mom

Budgeting is truly the turf of most mothers. Aside from the traditional role imposed on mothers as the one who budgets the family finances, mothers have the instincts and foresights on what might happen in the future. 

1. She clearly knows where all the money goes. Usually it goes to child care apart from the housing, health insurance, food and clothing. It is unlikely for her to cut cost on her children.

2. She studies all options given to her in terms of child care. Before she decides, she examines all aspects like safety, health and education.

3. To understand more, she talks to local child-care specialists and works out schedules with her employer for bonding time with kids.

4. For working moms, it is double the effort. They take care of the house and the children and at the same time work. She incorporates practical ways to accomplish both roles.

But how do moms really stretch the budget? She neither uses complicated formulas nor magic tricks but simple ingenuity and common sense. Peek in through moms’ secrets in budgeting and learn. Role modeling is a good way to encourage attitude, especially towards money.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Becoming A Virtual Assistant Frequently Asked Questions

What is the growth prospect of Virtual Assistant profession worldwide? 

The virtual assistant industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Initially there were only few Virtual assistants, but, now there are at least one million people situated globally. Virtual assistants both collectively and individually are spreading this concept and many are joining them daily. Many administrative assistants, office managers and experienced professionals have recognized Virtual assisting as an achievable and viable option for them.

Why people choose to become Virtual Assistants? 

The reasons are many. Many people think that it is a lucrative option to earn extra income, while others consider it as an option to have a control over their destiny and some take up because they can spend more time with their family, while some take due to illness and health problems. The internet revolution has enabled people to work from home. Many people become virtual assistants due to their aspiration to earn more, due to their experience and knowledge and also due to the potential of the Virtual Assistant industry.

Does any one need a business license to become a virtual assistant? 

It depends on where he lives. In States like Georgia, every independent contractor or Virtual assistant needs to possess a business license while other States does not require. It is better to check with the local county and state to be sure of all the legal protocols before setting up a Virtual assistant business.

Is training necessary to become a Virtual assistant? 
It all depends on the person. Some would have got all the experience from the previous jobs, while some require to undergo training to gain confidence and knowledge to handle certain issues and tasks. As the virtual assistant industry is growing day by day, the competition and the business require to undergo a training to stay successful.

How can the Virtual Assistant business marketed effectively? 

Virtual assistant business can either be marketed via Internet or offline. When opting the offline method, brochures, flyers, business cards, press releases, postcards, advertisements in yellow page and writing articles are very effective. Through internet, websites and online ads can be used to advertise effectively.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Avoid These Resume Mistakes

It is a mistake to think of your resume as a history of your past, as a personal statement or as some sort of self expression. Sure, most of the content of any resume is focused on your job history. But write from the intention to create interest, to persuade the employer to call you. If you write with that goal, your final product will be very different than if you write to inform or catalog your job history.

Most people write a resume because everyone knows that you have to have one to get a job. They write their resume grudgingly, to fulfill this obligation. Writing the resume is only slightly above filling out income tax forms in the hierarchy of worldly delights. If you realize that a great resume can be your ticket to getting exactly the job you want, you may be able to muster some genuine enthusiasm for creating a real masterpiece, rather than the feeble products most people turn out.

The good news is that, with a little extra effort, you can create a resume that makes you really stand out as a superior candidate for a job you are seeking. Not one resume in a hundred follows the principles that stir the interest of prospective employers. So, even if you face fierce competition, with a well written resume you should be invited to interview more often than many people more qualified than you.

Set aside at least three hours (that’s an average length of time to complete a resume if all goes smoothly). Before you start, print out the following set of notes and tape it to your computer, on the wall next to your desk, or someplace where you’ll see it throughout the process.

Resume Tips:

Your resume is about your future; NOT your past.

It is not a confessional. In other words, you don’t have to tell all. Stick to what’s relevant and marketable.

Don’t write a list of job descriptions. Write achievements!

Promote only skills you enjoy using. Never write about things you don’t want to repeat.

Be honest. You can be creative, but don’t lie.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Are The Best Job Candidates Getting Away

All firms of all sizes in all areas of business want the best candidates for the jobs they have available. However, in recent years, the employee-candidate paradigm has been reversed. Because of a shortage of talented candidates, there is more competition between companies for the talent that is available. So, rather than the job candidate having to sell him or herself to the company, the Hiring Manager’s responsibility is to “sell” the quality, financial stability, and advancement opportunities of the company to the candidate.

It is now essential that firms revise their recruiting procedures and do not let the best candidates get away. Some simple adjustments should be enough for your company to stop those high quality candidates from going elsewhere.

Quick Response

Once you decide to fill a position, be committed to that decision and make hiring decisions quickly. View the hiring process like a project and ensure you meet your goal of hiring the “best candidate” in the shortest amount of time. Indecisiveness, time delays, budget reviews, etc., send a message to the candidate about the company’s lack of focus. If you wait two weeks following an interview to make an offer, your ideal candidate may have already accepted a job offer from elsewhere – even from one of your competitors.

Streamline the Hiring Process

Do you really need second and third interviews ? If you ensure that all the participants in the hiring process are available for the first interview, then decisions can be made quickly and effectively, ensuring that your firm has a better chance of recruiting the top talent.

If You Want The Best…

If you want the best…then you will need to pay the best. It may not be what most companies want to hear but it happens to be true. Don’t misjudge the pay rate, benefits, perks, etc., necessary for the best quality candidate to accept the position; don’t play games with lower than market rate offers.

Keep abreast of changing salary scales, and price your jobs competitively. If you don’t know what the current market rate is, hire a recruiter who does and who can advise on all aspects of the recruiting process.

Get The Right Help

Bringing a professional recruiter in at an early stage will help prepare your company for the hiring process. A top-notch recruiter will ask the right questions to help you identify your company’s needs and will also help you identify human attributes (personality, communication skills, corporate culture, etc.) that the “right” candidate should possess, including “must-have” attributes and “preferred” attributes.

Choose a recruiter to work long term and they will soon be attuned to the exact needs and requirements of your company. Include the recruiter on your company’s hiring team. A preferred recruiter is very helpful in structuring job descriptions so they stand out. And finding the recruiting angle that will draw superstars and in presenting the job offer to the candidate so it will be accepted. In addition to recruiting top talent, good recruiters possess skills to help candidates evaluate and accept good offers. This “third-party-input” to the candidate during the decision is critical to avoiding turn down and defusing counter offers.

With a streamlined recruiting procedure and the right approach to the top candidates, your firm will be one of those getting the best talent while your competitors are still wondering how that perfect candidate managed to get away.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Writing An Effective Resume

Your resume is your sales person. Long before you personally get to meet a potential employee or have an interview your resume will be fighting your corner on your behalf. It is essential, then, that you create an effective resume. Your resume will be one of hundreds, if not thousands, that employers will see so you should ensure that it really stands out and promotes your services. The exact approach your resume will take will depend on you and your circumstances.

On the other hand if your experience has been gained in the work place and you have little in the way of formal qualifications then you should use your employment history to your advantage. Talk about the roles in a little more detail and describe the tasks you undertook. The more advanced or the more trusted a particular role was, the more you should draw upon that in your description.

A highly effective resume will also include an accomplishment section with each qualification or job section that is relevant. You can include graduation, or you could include particular work related accomplishments. Remember, there is a chance that somebody else has equal skills or qualifications to yourself but by using your accomplishments as your main benefit you will still stand out and make a positive impression. As well as your covering letter your resume is the most important thing you have in your bid to win a job.

School leavers and graduates will not have very much in the way of work experience to place on a resume. If you fall into this category then you should pay particular attention to your academic achievements. Point out any other facts pertaining to your school life and the rest of your life that can be drawn on when you get a job. If you successfully completed work experience then include this and give details of the tasks you performed.