Are you looking for a head start in finding a well-paid job where you can work 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.
We’ve been using Virtual Vocations for several years now, and regularly log back in to check what kinds of work from home jobs are available. Read on to find out exactly what we think.
Let’s get straight into it:
What is Virtual Vocations?
Virtual Vocations is an online job board specialising in telecommuting jobs where you can work from home. While there are some global jobs on the platform, the service is primarily focussed on remote jobs for those in the US.
How does Virtual Vocations Work?
It’s important to understand what Virtual Vocations is, as well as what it isn’t. The service compiles jobs that are listed elsewhere, and also provides help, advice and various extra career services.
Signing up to Virtual Vocations won’t magically win you the perfect remote job. It’s down to you to use the available features to find something suitable, then apply. However, if you want to find lots of home-based jobs in one place, using a service like this is undoubtedly easier than doing a manual search.
I will take you through all the features shortly, but let’s cover some key questions first:
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 most of the job details) is only available to paying subscribers.
There are some exceptions to this. Once you’ve signed up, there are some “free” jobs that all registered users can access, even with a free account (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. You can do so here.
Is Virtual Vocations Worth the Money?
Whether Virtual Vocations proves worth the money for YOU will depend entirely on whether you find a suitable job on the platform, and go on to successfully apply.
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. It’s worth remembering you can try out the basics with a free account too.
Is Virtual Vocations Legit?
Virtual Vocations is a legitimate site that’s been in operation since 2007. Virtual Vocations lists many different flexible jobs, across 45 different industry sectors.
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 new 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 new 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.
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 new work-from-home job, you’re free to do the legwork yourself. We have an article on tips for unearthing remote jobs, a remote job board on this site, and a podcast on the subject here.
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
Free Accounts vs. Paid Accounts
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 within six months – but this depends a lot on your own mindset.
There’s a 100% money back guarantee too.
Using Virtual Vocations
The core function of Virtual Vocations is a job search engine for work from home jobs.
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. You will find both full time and part time jobs on the platform.
The ability to search job postings by “date posted” is handy too, to help ensure you’re only looking at new 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 October 2020. I tried a search with three filters:
I looked for IT jobs, 100% remote, and posted in the past 24-hours.
I found 12 pages of jobs to flick through. Notably, they were almost all relevant to the search parameters I set. This is notable because almost all job boards (including ours!) struggle a little with categorisations. It’s inevitable that some jobs find their way into the wrong categories sometimes (usually due to how the searches work), but most of these were accurate.
It’s certainly worth playing around with the options and filters for the best results.
Applying for Jobs
When you’ve found a suitable job and click “Apply,” you are taken to the site where the job was originally listed. This can mean another job board or a firm’s own website.
How you apply will depend entirely on the procedure for each individual job.
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. Some of these are high-level positions for people with very specific experience
However, don’t lose hope if you’re in the early stages of your career. Every time I’ve updated this Virtual Vocations review, I’ve also searched for more “entry level” roles. There are plenty for job seekers to pick from, including pages and pages of listings for searches like “customer service” and “call center.”
It obviously helps that in the current climate, more and more companies are allowing staff to work to work from home.
Virtual Vocations doesn’t claim to specialise in freelance jobs. Having said that, I still found plenty of jobs when searching for “freelance” or “independent contractor.”
Virtual Vocations wouldn’t be my first choice of place to look for freelance roles. Having said that, just one good find could justify the subscription fee. However, you’d probably be better off using sites like Upwork (reviewed here) to find gigs.
Virtual Vocations is a telecommuting site, first and foremost. But if you’re curious, you can do a basic search with the free version, without making any financial commitment.
As an additional feature, Virtual Vocations 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 for 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 for job seekers, such as resumé reviews, LinkedIn profile revamps and career coaching sessions. These are offered at a reduced price to those with a paid subscription.
Member prices are reasonable, starting at $34.99 for a cover letter review and $43.99 for a resumé assessment. It’s also pleasing to see that the prices have been reduced slightly since our last review update.
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.
How Much Can you Earn on Virtual Vocations?
It’s important to understand that Virtual Vocations doesn’t recruit directly for the positions it lists. How much you earn – if anything – will depend entirely on the remote job you find, apply for, and win!
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 site 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 option. 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. While some companies that will take on people elsewhere, such as the UK, do creep in, 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 for job seekers, 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 more confusing interface, with a lot of clutter and superfluous features. It does redeem itself with supplementary information, with lots of extra content for job seekers.
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 any potential new jobs, 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. The Virtual Vocations BBB listing is reassuring too. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and a 4.17/5 average review score at the time of this update.
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.
Virtual Vocations 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, full time or part time, 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 of information 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. Check out the full pros and cons table below.
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.
Virtual Vocations Review: Quick Summary
Worth a Look - IF You are In the US
Virtual Vocations is definitely worth looking at if you are US-based and looking for a telecommuting job. If nothing else it’s wise to sign up for a free account and have a look around before committing. The service isn’t so good for freelancers or those living outside America.
- 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.