Are you wondering whether signing up to Virtual Vocations will increase your chances of landing that dream work-from-home job? This detailed Virtual Vocations review will tell you all you need to know about the service.
Let’s get straight into it:
What is Virtual Vocations?
Virtual Vocations is an online job board specialising in jobs you can do from home. It’s a service focussed on remote jobs for those in the US. While there are some global jobs on the platform, America is definitely the focus.
While there is a Virtual Vocations free trial available – in the form of restricted access to the site – this only really allows you to see some information about the listed jobs. If you want to find out more and apply to them, you have to pay up for membership.
Is Virtual Vocations Any Good?
Virtual Vocations compiles listings of genuine flexible working jobs across a large number of categories. Whether joining Virtual Vocations proves to be a good move for YOU will depend entirely on your skills and experience, and whether you find a suitable job as a result of signing up.
Is Virtual Vocations Legit?
Virtual Vocations is a legitimate site that’s been in business since 2007.
Is Virtual Vocations a Scam?
Virtual Vocations is not a scam. The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and boasts an A+ rating.
However, as with many online services, there are some negative reviews out there. These primarily relate to misunderstandings around exactly what Virtual Vocations provides. The service compiles listings of remote jobs, which means it’s sometimes possible to find the same jobs listed in other (free) locations. What you’re paying for with Virtual Vocations is to have all of these job listings curated in one place.
Is it right to pay to search for a job?
The controversy around paying to find a job is something that doesn’t seem likely to go away. Some people have a moral objection to it, but I think it’s important to keep things in perspective.
Yes, there are scammy companies out there that exploit job hunters by charging for (sometimes non-existent) opportunities. VirtualVocations isn’t a scam, and nor is FlexJobs. These companies are charging to curate job listings of roles you can perform from home.
While there’s nothing to stop you looking for these jobs manually, you’re never going to unearth thousands of companies willing to take on remote workers by casually surfing the net. This is akin to refusing to pay for an album (or for Spotify!) and stubbornly waiting for the tune you want to hear to come on the radio instead.
Nobody has to sign up to these services; If you feel strongly about paying (a pretty tiny amount) for some help with tracking down a desirable work-from-home job, you’re completely free to spend your time ranting on social media about the business model being “just wrong.”
But, to be honest, unless you have a lot of time and dedication to hunt down suitable remote jobs, there’s nothing wrong with paying around ten bucks a month to streamline the search.
I also feel inclined to point out that the reason these sites offer memberships for multiple months is that, for some, it’s a question of waiting for suitable jobs to come along. I’ve seen comments from people disappointed not to see an exact match for their skills on the first day of membership – and think they may be missing the point a little.
Virtual Vocations Review: Pricing
As mentioned above, Virtual Vocations does offer a free membership tier. It’s a nice gesture, but it’s kind of pointless, because you can’t see which companies are recruiting for the jobs, or apply for them.
One thing that is notable, however, is that there are some decent downloadable free resources, such as telecommuting guides and lists of “entry-level” jobs you can do from home.
Ultimately though, if you want to actually find a job with the help of Virtual Vocations, you’re going to have to stump up some cash.
The Virtual Vocations cost is $15.99 per month if you want to pay monthly. Prices go down if you commit to longer, with a six-month subscription costing $59.99, which is almost exactly $10 per month.
Once again, I feel inclined to say that $60 isn’t much if you find a good job on the service within six months – but I know some people will disagree with that…
Using Virtual Vocations
The core function of Virtual Vocations is a job search engine. It’s well organised, and there is a large number of filtering options, including job categories (i.e. accounting, consulting, customer service and many others), employment status (permanent, temporary, independent contractor etc.), and weekly hours. The latter is particularly useful for those seeking evening, weekend or fully-flexible work.
The ability to search by “date posted” is handy too, to help ensure you’re only looking at recent jobs and not older listings that may have already been filled.
There are plenty of jobs up for grabs on Virtual Vocations. For example, I did a search with four filters, looking at IT jobs, 100% telecommute, no travel, and posted in the past 24-hours. I had 12 pages of jobs to look through. Most importantly, they were accurate and relevant (more accurate than those on FlexJobs when using filters there).
That said, I wouldn’t describe the search functionality as perfect. A search for “data entry” roles yielded some unrelated results. It’s certainly worth playing around with the options and filters for the best results.
I also noticed, as I browsed through the listings, a few well-known companies recruiting for roles. This was reassuring.
What kind of jobs are on Virtual Vocations?
Like FlexJobs, Virtual Vocations definitely excels when it comes to specialist jobs for people with experience. There are plenty of jobs in sectors like IT, accounting and healthcare, for example.
A pleasing thing to see was also a strong selection of customer service jobs. Virtual Vocations seems a little stronger than FlexJobs for these kind of “entry-level” roles.
Where Virtual Vocations is weak is when it comes to “independent contractor” gigs – in other words, freelance positions.
In fairness, this isn’t what Virtual Vocations claims to provide. When Michelle wrote up our previous Virtual Vocations review, she was underwhelmed by this side of things too, concluding that “in two plus months on the site, (she) only found one writing gig opportunity (she) heard back from that (she) hadn’t known about from elsewhere.”
If it’s freelance writing gigs you’re looking for Virtual Vocations isn’t the best place to find them. You’ll find some better places here.
One feature I particularly liked whilst conducting my Virtual Vocations review was the “Companies” tab, which profiles firms known to employ remote and freelance workers. If you’re someone who wants to be really proactive about your job search, this is something you could delve deeply into, and it’s all sorted by industry sector.
There’d be nothing to stop you reaching out to the firms directly if you were particularly interested in working for them.
The other key features are based around managing your job search, your CV, and your job applications.
There’s nothing at all wrong with these features, but I struggle to get too enthusiastic about them. Yes, you can choose to use Virtual Vocations as the central place for your resumé, send potential employers a public link to it, and – in some cases – apply directly through the platform. But, in reality, you’re generally likely to end up applying direct and using a CV you already have “offline.”
Features that keep track of which jobs you’ve applied for are more useful. I like the fact you can report on jobs that are “Expired,” “Miscategorized,” “Broken Link” or “Not Telecommute.” Outdated or incorrect jobs are always at the top of the criticism list for those who dislike jobs sites like this, so at least something is being done to reduce them.
Downsides of Virtual Vocations
Nothing in life is perfect, and Virtual Vocations has a few downsides.
The first, for me, is the number of emails that the company sends out. Although you can manage your email settings and turn these off, it does feel like you’re being hounded a little if you don’t. This is especially true if you merely sign up to the free service.
I also don’t like the fact that the site has a “Career Services” section, but when you look at it you just discover a collection of “upsell” services, such as those for resumé review and creation, and chargeable work on your LinkedIn profile. While these might be great services (I reserve judgement), paying nearly $300 in “member prices” for a new CV and LinkedIn profile is too rich for my blood! (If you’d like a cheaper way to revamp your CV and LinkedIn, you may be interested in checking out Jobscan).
The fact Virtual Vocations is almost entirely limited to US-based jobs is a shame too. While FlexJobs is quite US-centric, there are sufficient global jobs on the platform to warrant at least a look from other locations. Conversely, Virtual Vocations is really only worth subscribing to if you’re in the US.
All in all though, if you can get past the fact Virtual Vocations costs a little money, there’s not really that much to criticise. If you feel services like this should always be free, that will be the inevitable downside for you!
It’s inevitable that people will compare Virtual Vocations to FlexJobs – they’re remarkably similar services. Having now personally reviewed both for HomeWorkingClub, I think it’s fair to say that they’re both relatively inexpensive and both worth looking at if you’re looking for remote/telecommute jobs. Both contain some gigs for freelancers and independent contractors, but I wouldn’t say either are particularly strong in this area.
So it comes down to a few other deciding factors:
Price wise, both services are within a dollar of each other if you pay for a single month’s subscription (c. $15). The difference occurs with longer subscriptions. Whereas Virtual Vocations hovers around the $10 per month mark for a subscription of six months or more, FlexJobs is much cheaper. If you use a voucher code like the one in our review, you can end up paying as little as only a few bucks per month if you commit to a year.
So, FlexJobs is generally cheaper.
When it comes to user experience, however, Virtual Vocations has the edge. While neither site is completely perfect in terms of search facilities, as discussed in our review, FlexJobs has a confusing interface, with a lot of clutter and superfluous features.
Then it swings a little the other way when you look at online reputation (discussed below). FlexJobs comes out slightly on top there due to overwhelmingly positive Sitejabber recommendations, including plenty from people who’ve actually found a job using the service.
Jobs wise, it’s impossible to say which will serve you better. Both feature jobs from household name companies. There’s also every chance there will be jobs duplicated across both services.
There’s inevitably a lot of luck involved in finding a remote job that’s suited to your skills on the day(s) you’re looking! If you really want to make sure you don’t miss a single opportunity, you’ll probably want to try out both – and spending $15-20 per month in total isn’t really that big a deal if it results in you finding the remote job of your dreams.
Virtual Vocations Reputation
The Virtual Vocations Glassdoor reviews are all positive, but there are not that many of them at the time of writing.
Generally, however, Virtual Vocations has a decent online reputation, with criticism largely focussed around those aforementioned people who firmly believe companies shouldn’t be able to charge for job search related sites. The company is also very active in the remote work industry, periodically releasing interesting studies and reports.
Virtual Vocations Review: Final Verdict
If I was based in the US and looking for a home-based position, I personally wouldn’t moan about handing over $15 to try Virtual Vocations for a month.
Thanks to the free tier, you can at least take a look at the kind of jobs on the service without spending any money, but you will have to cough up if you actually want to apply for anything.
Like FlexJobs, Virtual Vocations is best for those wanting a remote position with a single company. It’s not so good for freelancers. It’s stronger on jobs for those with solid skills and experience, but it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility to find entry-level roles here too.
As already discussed, if you object to paying money for a service that curates home working jobs, you’re unlikely to shift from that stance. But if you truly want to work from home whilst maintaining the security of traditional employment, you should probably give yourself the best chance of finding something suitable.
You could well find that something on Virtual Vocations – or its competitor, FlexJobs.
Virtual Vocations Pros and Cons
- Decent user interface.
- Plenty of jobs.
- Good job filtering options.
- Jobs at both expert and entry level.
- Very much US only.
- Too many emails!
- Not much good for freelancers.
Other Places to Look for Work
- For writing work specifically, take a look at ProBlogger Jobs, or one of the sites recommended here.
- If you’re after freelance jobs, check out this huge list of sites.
- Read freelancing jobs for beginners to find out about how these job boards work.
- Look at our detailed FlexJobs review for a similar alternative to Virtual Vocations.
Great for telecommuters, not so worthwhile for those seeking one-off freelance gigs.
- Ease of Use
- Earning Potential