Are you looking for a head start in finding a well-paid job you can do from home? Virtual Vocations claims to “revolutionise” your hunt for a remote job, and this detailed Virtual Vocations review looks at whether that claim is true.
Let’s get straight into it:
What is Virtual Vocations?
Virtual Vocations is an online job board specialising in telecommuting jobs you can do from home. While there are some global jobs on the platform, the service is primarily focussed on remote jobs for those in the US.
Is Virtual Vocations Free?
It’s free to sign up to Virtual Vocations and begin to browse jobs. You can do so here. However, access to the majority of the site (and the job details) is only available to paying subscribers.
There are some exceptions to this. Once you’ve signed up, there are some “public” jobs that all registered users can access without payment (the link to get to those is here). Jobs from certain Virtual Vocations partners are free to all as well.
Effectively, signing up but not paying a subscription is like a free trial. It gives you enough to see what you can expect. There’s certainly little harm in doing so and having a look around.
Is Virtual Vocations Any Good?
Virtual Vocations is a company with a professional team behind it and a solid reputation. It 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. Average reviews on that site have a 4/5 rating at the time of writing. There are also positive job-seeker testimonials here.
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 vetted, and 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, its main competitor.
These companies are charging to curate job listings of roles you can perform from home. You are paying for convenience, and not paying much. A month of subscription costs about the same as a take-out pizza.
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 free to do the legwork yourself. We have an article on tips for unearthing remote jobs, and even a remote job board on this site.
To be completely 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.
I think they may be missing the point a little. We discuss this on Episode 2 of our podcast – Pros and Cons of Remote Working.
Virtual Vocations Review: Pricing
As mentioned above, Virtual Vocations does offer a limited level of free membership. This includes the ability to browse all the listed jobs. However, to apply for the majority of them, you need to pay for a subscription.
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 even $60 isn’t much if you find a good job on the service within six months – but this depends a lot on your own mindset.
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. These include 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, when I last updated this review in March 2020. I did a search with four filters:
I looked for IT jobs, 100% telecommute, no travel, and posted in the past 24-hours. I had 23 pages of jobs to look through, the majority of which were relevant to my search. I also spotted some household names among the listings, such as Sophos and Autodesk.
I wouldn’t describe the search functionality as perfect. A search for writing roles brought me mostly suitable jobs, but there were also ads for a Virtual Assistant, and an “anatomy and physiology expert.”
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.
That said, I still found plenty of “entry level” roles. For example, searches for “cutomer service” and “call center” yielded plenty of options.
Where Virtual Vocations is weaker is when it comes to “independent contractor” gigs – in other words, freelance positions. There are some of these dotted around, but you’d be better off using sites like Upwork (reviewed here) to find those.
In fairness, Virtual Vocations isn’t claiming to specialise in freelance roles. It’s a telecommuting site, first and foremost.
Virtual Vocations also boasts an extensive library of company profiles – over 20,000 at the time of writing.
These provide data on companies known to offer remote jobs. You can learn what the companies do, and read research findings on things like whether their jobs are location-specific and what remote tools they use.
This is actually very useful to those being truly proactive about finding the perfect job. For example, you could start out with one of the categories, such as healthcare or tech, and really learn about the companies in the industry and how they work.
Extra Virtual Vocations Features
The other core features in Virtual Vocations are a mixed bag. At the underwhelming end of the scale are the places to manage portfolios and related documents.
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 managing your job hunt. But, in reality, you’re generally likely to end up applying direct and using a CV you already have “offline.”
More useful is the ability to set up customised job alert emails, and the features that keep track of which jobs you’ve applied for.
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 job sites like this, so at least something is being done to reduce them.
Also worth a mention is a significant library of email courses and eBooks, all freely available. As you can see below, some of the presentation here is on the dated side, but these extra resources will no doubt be useful to some people.
Virtual Vocations also offers a selection of add-on services, such as resumé reviews, LinkedIn profile revamps and career coaching sessions. These are offered at a reduced price to those with a paid subscription.
Prices are reasonable, starting at $39.99 for a cover letter review and $49.99 for a resumé assessment. However, I’ve not personally tried these out, or had a chance to compare what’s on offer with products from dedicated companies such as Zipjob.
Downsides of Virtual Vocations
Nothing in life is perfect, and Virtual Vocations has a couple of 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. That said, if one of those emails leads you to your dream job, you probably won’t complain.
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, then I doubt there’s anything anybody can say to convert you.
It’s inevitable that people will compare Virtual Vocations to FlexJobs – they’re remarkably similar services.
Having personally reviewed both for HomeWorkingClub – several times each – 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.
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). However, the differences become more noticeable beyond that.
For starters, while Virtual Vocations hovers around the $10 per month mark for a subscription of six months or more, FlexJobs can be much cheaper. There are often voucher codes out there (including one in our review), so you can sometimes 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. Neither site is completely perfect in terms of search facilities, but as discussed in our review, FlexJobs has a confusing interface, with a lot of clutter and superfluous features.
When it comes to online reputation, there’s little to choose between the companies. They’re both well-rated on the Better Business Bureau, and have largely positive reviews.
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. 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
Virtual Vocations Glassdoor reviews are all largely positive.
Generally, 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.
As you can sign up free, you can take a look at the kind of jobs on the service without spending any money. There are also some (as mentioned) that are available to non-paying members. However, you will have to cough up if you want full access, and the ability to apply for everything.
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 there’s plenty here to dive into if you’re willing to invest in yourself.
If you find your dream home-based job, that subscription fee will feel like a drop in the ocean.
Virtual Vocations Pros and Cons
- Decent user interface.
- Plenty for dedicated job hunters to work though, with useful company profiles.
- Lots of jobs – at both expert and entry level.
- Good job filtering options.
- Very much US only.
- Too many emails!
- Not much good for freelancers.
Other Places to Look for Work
- Another place to look for remote work is the free HomeWorkingClub job board.
- Check out our podcast episode on the pros and cons of remote working.
- 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. FlexJobs is better for non-US job hunters.
- Ease of Use
- Earning Potential