Are you looking for a head start in finding a well-paid job where you can work from home? Virtual Vocations claims to save you “time and frustration” in your remote job hunt.
This detailed Virtual Vocations review looks at whether that claim is true.
- Why Listen to Us?
- What is Virtual Vocations?
- How does Virtual Vocations Work?
- Is Virtual Vocations Free?
- Is Virtual Vocations Worth the Money?
- Is Virtual Vocations a Scam?
- Is it Right to Pay to Search for a Job?
- Virtual Vocations Review: Pricing
- Using Virtual Vocations
- Applying for Jobs
- What Kind of Jobs are on Virtual Vocations?
- Company Profiles
- Extra Virtual Vocations Features
- Add-On Services
- How Much Can you Earn on Virtual Vocations?
- Downsides of Virtual Vocations
- Virtual Vocations Reputation
- Virtual Vocations vs. FlexJobs
- Virtual Vocations Review: Final Verdict
- More On Looking for Work
Why Listen to Us?
We’ve been using Virtual Vocations for several years now, and first published a Virtual Vocations review shortly after launching HomeWorkingClub. This latest review of Virtual Vocations was updated in January 2023.
We regularly log back in to check what kinds of work from home jobs are available and to see how the site has developed. We pride ourselves on delivering the kind of detailed and impartial reviews that are all too hard to find these days. For details on our values and ethics, read this post.
As well as being familiar with Virtual Vocations, we’re also experienced users of FlexJobs – the site’s closest competitor. Later in this review, you can find out how the services compare.
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. The site pulls thousands of jobs from other job boards, and direct from company websites, so that you can access them all in one place.
While there are some global jobs on the platform, the service is primarily focussed on remote jobs for those in the US.
If you’re elsewhere, I’ll save you some time and say that FlexJobs is a better choice. Here is our FlexJobs review.
How does Virtual Vocations Work?
It’s important to understand what Virtual Vocations is, as well as what it isn’t. The service is a job aggregator: it 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 later in this Virtual Vocations review, 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. In fact, you can look through the jobs without even signing up. However, access to the majority of the site (and most of the job details) is only available with a paid subscription.
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.
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 a Legitimate Site?
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 4.86/5 rating at the time of writing, based on 58 reviews. There are also positive job-seeker testimonials here.
Virtual Vocations Reddit threads bring up a predictable debate as to whether anybody should have to pay for (invest in?) a service to find work. We will tackle that thorny issue in a moment.
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.
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 new work-from-home job, you’re free to do the legwork yourself. We have an article on tips for unearthing remote jobs 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
As previously explained, 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, and to view the full listings, you need to pay for a subscription.
The Virtual Vocations premium membership cost is $15.99 per month if you want to pay monthly. Prices go down if you commit to longer. A three month subscription is $39.99 ($13.33 per month), and a six month subscription costs $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. When I last updated this review for January 2023, a search with no filters revealed 13,106 jobs in the “100% remote” category, and a further 160 in the “partially remote” category.
One thing worthy of note (that perhaps shouldn’t be!) is that the category filters on Virtual Vocations are pretty accurate. Many job boards (including FlexJobs, VV’s main competitor) really struggling with jobs being incorrectly categorised. While I did find a few example of that, generally speaking, the filters worked very well, making it easy to drill down to jobs that are appropriate for you.
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.
When you apply to a job, you do have the ability to log your application within the Virtual Vocations system in their “Application History” area. I’m not sure how many people would make use of this feature, but it’s good to have it there – especially if you’re firing out lots of applications.
What Kind of Jobs are on Virtual Vocations?
Like FlexJobs, Virtual Vocations definitely excels when it comes to home opportunities for people with experience. There are plenty of jobs in sectors like information technology, 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. In January 2022 there were over 400 for remote workers at this career level. There are also plenty of jobs to pick from in categories 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. When I review job boards these days, the number of available vacancies seems to keep edging up.
Virtual Vocations doesn’t claim to specialise in freelance jobs. Having said that, I still found several hundred job leads when searching for “freelance” or “independent contractor.”
Virtual Vocations wouldn’t be my first choice of place to look for freelance roles. Although just one good find could justify the subscription fee, 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 – just over 19,000 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.
Job Hunt Management Features
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.
Courses and Resources
Also worth a mention is a significant library of email courses and eBooks. Some of these are available even if you’re not paying for a subscription.
Pleasingly, since my last Virtual Vocations review, the company has worked on the presentation of these, which had begun to get a bit dated.
The fact that some of this material is available to those not on a paid subscription definitely gives you a good reason to check out Virtual Vocations, even if you don’t intend to hand over any money!
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 $39.99 for a cover letter review and $49.99 for a “comprehensive” resumé assessment.
It’s worth noting that you can still access these services without a premium Virtual Vocations subscription – you just pay more for them. While I’ve not had a chance to personally tried out these services, I would say that based on third party reviews of Virtual Vocations, the company delivers a good service.
If you’re interested in revamping your CV, it’s also well worth taking a look at:
- ZipJob (review here).
- JobScan (review here).
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. There are some downsides to highlight in this Virtual Vocations review.
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. (In fairness, when these email alerts are job alerts, you should be pleased to receive them!)
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.
In fairness to the company, there’s no pretence here. Jobs are listed by state, and Virtual Vocations isn’t claiming to be a global site.
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.
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 4.86/5 average review score at the time of this 2023 update – a slight improvement from when we last looked.
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 vs. FlexJobs
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, there’s not much to choose between FlexJobs and Virtual Vocations if you look at their average monthly cost. But there’s actually rather a lot of nuance in their pricing structures.
As of 2022, FlexJobs’ monthly subscription has gone up in price to $24.95 per month. That means that if you only want to subscribe for a month, VV’s $15.95 is notably cheaper.
However, the value proposition flips when you look at subscribing for longer. FlexJobs still does an annual subscription for $59.95 – within four cents of what Virtual Vocations charges for just six months.
It’s almost as if the companies have created their pricing structures to make them hard to directly compare(!) – especially as there are frequent discounts to further muddy the waters.
Generally speaking though: for shorter subscription, Virtual Vocations is cheaper – but FlexJobs edges it if you pay for a year. Ultimately the value will depend on how long it takes you to find the job you want.
When it comes to user experience for job seekers Virtual Vocations just about has the edge.
Neither site is completely perfect in terms of search facilities, but Virtual Vocations wins out with fewer incorrectly categorised jobs, and search filters that work that little bit more logically.
Tools and Resources
While it’s been good to see Virtual Vocations modernise its courses and eBooks, and offer some of them free of charge, FlexJobs does have marginally more to offer in terms of resources for job seekers.
In two other areas, they are neck and neck: Both include features to help you manage your job applications, and both offer paying subscribers discounts on their “upsold” career services such as resume reviews.
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 – although the fact that Virtual Vocations is US only will be hugely significant if you’re job hunting from elsewhere in the world.
Both sites 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 $20 or so 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 Review: Final Verdict
If I was based in the US and looking for a home position, full time or part time, I personally wouldn’t moan about handing over $15.99 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 legitimate 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 offer, that subscription fee will feel like a drop in the ocean. Check out the full pros and cons table below.
More On Looking for Work
- 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.
- Read our article on how to find a remote job.
- Check out our list of the best remote job boards.
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. It could well help with your remote jobs search. 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.
- A good range of free content for those not paying.
- 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.
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.