Whether you’re looking to make a few hundred dollars a month or want to build a small-scale business you run from home, becoming a virtual assistant is a smart choice.
The demand for virtual assistant services is growing at a steady pace. Plus, you can pick your own hours and work with your choice of clients.
But finding your first client isn’t as simple as browsing job postings and submitting a resume. You have to know the right sites for finding good virtual assistant jobs, as well as the best practices for applying.
In this article, you’ll learn what a virtual assistant is, the eight best sites for finding virtual assistant jobs, and tips for getting hired on each particular site.
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
There is no one overall, comprehensive definition or job description for the role of virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants are sometimes equipped with basic interpersonal and organizational skills, but sometimes have highly specialized experience and proficiencies.
Because of this, the pay rate can vary widely. If you have unique skills and provide value to your client, your hourly wage can be quite high.
But even basic administrative tasks like time management, scheduling meetings, making phone calls, and handling travel arrangements can earn you well over $20 an hour if you find the right employer.
Executives and business owners hire virtual assistants to reduce their workload. Tasks they may hand off to you may be administrative, technical or creative duties. You’ll provide these services online instead of heading into a brick-and-mortar office each day (that’s where the “virtual” part comes in).
Because there’s no concrete job description, this position can be anything you make it.
Don’t limit yourself. Feel free to think outside the box and stand out from the crowd. That could be the difference between making a decent living and a great one with a legit online job earning $40,000 or more a year.
Resource: Read our guide on how to become a virtual assistant, then check out Esther Inman’s Virtual Assistant Internship program, a popular VA training course that has helped hundreds of people get started in the field. Esther offers a free online workshop that provides a ton of information, and you can click here to see when the next session is taking place.
Requirements to Become a Virtual Assistant
The beauty of being a virtual assistant is that there are no set requirements. Every virtual assistant job possibility will have different skill and experience requirements, and those will vary widely depending on whether the role is considered entry-level or senior-level.
But there are some general skills that make for a great virtual assistant. Those include strong communication skills, reliability, resourcefulness, efficiency, and motivation to do your work quickly and well. People with basic technical proficiency (think Excel and PowerPoint) will also fare better.
You should also be able to work independently without asking too many questions, because you don’t want to create more work for your employers than you’re taking off their plate. That would defeat the purpose of having a virtual assistant.
Not sure what kind of services people are looking for from their virtual assistant? Get up to speed with Esther Inman’s free online video series: How to Work From Anywhere as a Virtual Assistant. It will help you figure out what services people need and are willing to shell out money for.
Here are then a few tips to keep in mind:
- Aim to specialize in an occupation that’s growing in demand. Fields growing in demand tend to offer higher wages and more opportunities for career development.
- Review any career aptitude tests you’ve taken in the past. Look at your strengths, and — just as importantly — understand what you don’t like doing. A career test that I’ve personally found very helpful is StrengthsFinder 2.0.
- Check out a few sample job posts. Review the requirements employers are asking for, such as years of experience, typical salaries and more. Make sure they match up with your expectations and goals. For instance, if you’re looking for a work-at-home job that provides steady income yet can only find positions in your niche with varied hours or seasonal demand, it’s not a good fit.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of services, here are eight websites to check out for virtual assistant job postings.
8 Websites to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs
FlexJobs is a website for remote jobs that screens every listing to make sure it’s legitimate. And there are plenty of jobs listed – more than 30,000, in fact.
FlexJobs isn’t a free site though. You will pay a fee of nearly $24 each month to use the service. But because they offer higher-quality opportunities, that fee may be justified.
You can also sign up for a 14-trial for just $2.95. That sneak peek will help you determine whether you want an ongoing subscription.
Tips for getting hired on FlexJobs:
- Remember, when applying for jobs like this fortune favors the bold. Don’t be afraid to apply for virtual assistant jobs where you don’t have all the listed requirements. A job description is more of a wish list than something written in stone. So, put your name out there and see what happens.
- Instead of sending out a standard submission for each job, spend some time personalizing each one. If you craft a killer job submission, you’ll have a much better chance of getting hired. Yes, you won’t be able to send out as many applications, because they’ll take extra time; but you’ll land a higher percentage of the ones you submit.
Upwork can be highly competitive, but there are a ton of jobs posted daily. The work is out there, whether you’re looking to make $10K a month or just trying to make a little extra income.
The opportunities on Upwork range from low-paying to high-paying, so you have to be selective. There are plenty of non-phone jobs if you don’t want to spend a lot of your time making calls.
One thing to keep in mind when you’re applying on Upwork is that the platform hosts a large number of overseas clients, in addition to those based in the U.S. You’ll find that the former tends to pay much less than the latter, so you’d be better off trying to land U.S. (or U.K.) clients.
If you’re a U.S. citizen, Upwork has a filter to make your search easier: you can set the filter show only jobs posted by U.S. clients.
Tips for getting hired on Upwork:
- Quality over quantity. You have to stand out in the crowd because there are so many freelancers on this site.
- Take a unique angle. Look at your hobbies, not just your work experience and skills, when you’re looking for a virtual assistant job here. Sometimes your hobbies might give you the edge. If your potential client owns a metal detecting company, it might help you land that virtual assistant job if he or she knows you’ve dabbled in metal detecting.
- Build your profile. The key to moving up the food chain on Upwork is to take some lower-paying jobs and do them well enough to get good reviews and feedback. This will lead to a high “Job Success Score,” which gives potential clients more confidence in your abilities. That will lead to better success at landing higher-paying work. I wouldn’t do this for too long — just long enough to get a couple of positive reviews. That’s enough to bolster client confidence and start charging more for your services.
- Record a video proposal. Record a video of your proposal and post it on YouTube. Then, share the link. This is something you can do for every job site here, and it worked well for me when I was a freelancer. It shows that you’re willing to take an extra step, and that will get you noticed.
We cover the tips above (and others) in more detail in this guide to getting your first client on Upwork.
Toptal is another big freelancing platform aimed at linking businesses with the talent they need. Some of the jobs offered here include software engineers, designers, and consultants, as well as virtual personal assistant roles.
Tips for getting hired on Toptal:
- You need to apply, and the site can be fairly choosy about the candidates it accepts. But that’s a good thing! It shows to your potential bosses that you’re qualified for what they throw your way.
- Don’t worry about calling yourself a virtual assistant on this site. Instead, apply with your greatest skill. If you have a niche, showcase it. Look at the competitors and see what skills you have that aren’t listed as much. Maybe you have SEO proofreading or software experience — both of which are extremely valuable.
- Learn new skills as you see what’s most marketable on this site. Invest in yourself — it will pay off.
Before you rule this one out, give it a chance. Yes, you can find virtual office assistant work on the same site you’d use to sell your old workout equipment. Craigslist has a bit of a bad rap, but if you’re careful, you can find quality jobs here.
Tips for getting hired on Craigslist:
- This site features many local entrepreneurs who are looking to hire assistants. And yes, you can still work from home with many of these gigs — just because your boss is in your town, that doesn’t mean you’ll need to physically show up to an office.
- Plus, there’s no reason why you can’t search for a job in other cities and pitch the idea of a virtual personal assistant to prospective employers.
- Watch out for scams, because they seem to plague Craigslist more than other sites. Watch out for broken English or poorly written posts. And stay away from people who say they need to meet with you right away.
Indeed is a massive site that lets workers search jobs postings and upload their resumes for free. This site gets a lot of traffic, with 250 million unique monthly visitors.
Tips for getting hired on Indeed:
- The best thing about Indeed is the supply. There are so many jobs that, with a little creativity, you’re bound to find work.
- Don’t search for only virtual personal assistant jobs. Use different keyword combinations, based on your skills, so that you’re not looking at the same jobs as everyone else. Know what everyone who wants to be a virtual assistant will search for? Virtual assistant jobs. But not every potential client will list their work that way.
- Set up alerts, and then submit a customized proposal. Make sure it doesn’t read like a form letter. Highlight the kind of solutions you can offer the potential client.
Tips for getting hired on LinkedIn:
- Update your LinkedIn profile to make it current.
- Make sure the photo you upload is a quality, professional portrait. This isn’t the time to use a blurry photo of you holding your cat!
- Have a well-written summary where you talk about what you’ve accomplished. Make sure to mention specific achievements — not just your job title. Have you helped a client gain new customers? Did you have a role in increasing sales? The more specific information you provide, the more impressive your profile will be.
- Ask your close contacts to consider giving you a skill endorsement.
Fiverr allows you to sell your services, including virtual office assistant work, to customers throughout the world.
When considering virtual assistant platforms, you might initially shy away from this one because it has a reputation for listing only $5 jobs. But the days when Fiverr only offered those small-fee gigs are long gone. Now it runs just like any other freelance work site — you can charge whatever you want for your services.
Tips for getting hired on Fiverr:
Fiverr is a large job platform, but it’s also highly competitive. To stand out from the crowd and get hired for a job, you need to focus on:
- Offering a quick turnaround and delivering your jobs on time.
- Getting some good reviews under your belt. That may mean performing your first few jobs at a lower rate. It may not seem like it’s worth your time to do so, but if it leads to higher-paying jobs down the road, it definitely is.
See also: How to make money on Fiverr.
Belay hires virtual assistants to manage a variety of tasks for their clients. Specialties include bookkeepers, executive assistant positions, web specialists, and content writers.
75% of Belay contractors have a bachelor’s degree and previous experience in administrative support.
As their clients are based in the United States, you’ll need to be available during their business hours.
Tips for getting hired on Belay:
- Belay posts available virtual assistant positions on its website, as well as on Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkUp, ZipRecruiter, Monster, Facebook, Flexjobs, Remote.co, and Virtual Vocations.
- Expect the interview process to take time. Applicants report multiple rounds of interviews over the duration of four to five weeks.
How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a High-Paying Virtual Assistant Job
Tip #1: Increase Your Value
Having a few marketable skills can help you land your first virtual assistant jobs. But you shouldn’t stop there if you want to grow your income and your business.
Invest in yourself by taking classes or teaching yourself some highly-marketable skills that will bring in more money. There are even many certifications that require no investment. For example, if you want to become a webmaster for WordPress websites, Google has a free Google Analytics course and certification that can set you apart from other applicants.
You can also ask your employer to provide virtual assistant training. If you learn just one new thing from each of your clients, you’ll expand your knowledge base and your business.
Tip #2: Don’t Market Yourself as a General Virtual Assistant
Don’t limit your search to just general virtual assistant work. It can be very competitive, and you could be missing out on some great opportunities.
Instead, find the skill you have that pays the most, and find a job that can utilize that skill. Don’t put yourself in a box. Branch out. Then, let your new employer know you can handle other tasks.
As you bank more virtual assistant jobs, be thinking about ways to add value for your clients by expanding your skill set and finding what you can offer that not everybody can. Anyone can call themselves a virtual assistant, but if you can say with confidence you’re an SEO expert or that you have experience managing others, you’ll open more doors.
And you’ll earn bigger paychecks because of your specialization.
Tip #3: Specialize in 2 or 3 Skills
It’s good to be a Jack of all trades. But it’s better to have skills fewer people do.
If you can target highly sought-after skills that pay well, and focus on two or three of those, you’re going to take your career to the next level.
Here’s an example of why specialization is important: data entry jobs have a ceiling. You can only earn so much with these jobs, because they can be easily outsourced overseas.
But other skills, such as social media management, can pay very well.
By specializing in high-paying skills, you’ll earn more money for less work. That’ll give you a more satisfying work-life balance.