Virtual Professional jobs are highly lucrative as a career option as they allow the flexibility and freedom to work part-time, from home and even as a side hustle. In fact, with the rise in digital services, now is a great time for moms to be virtual service providers and capitalize on their skills in their time. But how do you get that VA job?
While Virtual Assistant Jobs are immensely desirable, they are also highly contested. It can get disheartening when none of your applications garner a consideration, let alone the actual job.
So, how can you be the one to get selected as a virtual assistant? What are the work skills of a good Virtual Professional that gets you a yes from the get go?
Winning ways to demonstrate your Virtual Professional expertise
Find out what qualities top entrepreneurs and hiring pros look for when they hire a VA. These 14 qualities of a good VA that show clients that you are the right fit and help you nail that Virtual job .
Make a strong first impression
Samantha Milner of Recipe This has great advice to add. “For me the first thing to look for when hiring a virtual assistant is the quality of their cover letter. Quite often if you are using online platforms like Upwork, there may be spammy applications too. Looking for a quality cover letter that is free of typos is the first place to start. I first remove responses with typos, or with no cover letter. And then from what is left, follow them in the order of the best cover letter first.
On average, I will receive 600 applicants for a job opening. Of those, 400 will be spam or ones where they have not read the job opening or they can’t write properly in English. From the remaining 200, I choose 20 based on the quality of their opening/cover letter, pricing and of course, past experience.”
You have the skills! We have the jobs!
Ace the test
Adrienne Glusman, founder at Delegated Divas adds, “I always give my VA applicants a “test assignment”. If you follow my directions explicitly (you’d be surprised how many people don’t do simple things) & show you’ve put time into the assignment is definitely a bonus.”
Whether it’s an actual assignment or hypothetical questions like ‘how will you deliver this solution…?’ responding with clarity and purpose can convince them of your capability right away.
Show that you can read & follow directions
Sounds easy, right? Despite being so obvious and doable, it’s amazing how many applicants overlook this simple requirement.
“There are many qualities to look for in a VA, but the most crucial one for me is being able to follow instructions. That’s the first major obstacle to getting hired and being a good VA,” says Kian Hadje, founder of Drbodygadget. “If they follow your instructions to the point and seek clarification if needed, it means they have read the instructions. A that they are thinking about the job at hand rather than just going through the motions.”
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Reassure with the right setup and infrastructure
To get a VA job, it’s a good idea to highlight positives such as the right office setup – a quiet place with a stable internet connection, a good PC, a Skype id etc. Show clients that you have a designated place to work and store your materials. This indicates that you are serious about your virtual work.
Showcase Specific VA knowledge
You should be the one highlighting what you are best at. Whether it’s your portfolio of work, recommendations etc, highlight your specialization. Be the go-to VA for social media, WordPress, SEO or get even more granular with specific tools – Mailerlite, Asana etc.
Niche always wins over general so choose how you will demonstrate your virtual professional expertise. Rather than aiming to know everything, pick something, or a couple of things, and become an expert. Building on your strengths is always easier than building on your weaknesses. You can still offer the other general VA services, but pick 1 or 2 specialties.
Find out the 15 vital soft skills for Virtual Professionals in business (to get hired and re-hired)!Here’s a tip!
To articulate your strengths, a good idea is to glean the customer’s pain points from their job description and use their exact words to explain how you’ll help them! If you are still learning the ropes, saying you offer “General Admin work” would be a lot clearer than saying “I am a VA.”
Someone is looking for your expertise right now!
Be factual and tangible (wherever possible)
If your previous work yielded definitive results, you need to reflect that depth of work in your correspondence by being more specific. There’s a clear difference between posting on social media and creating clickable content.
Include statements backed with facts. Rather than saying – I can create social media graphics, share details and outcomes. Something like – I worked with a lifestyle blog to create graphics for their Instagram account that resulted in a 300% increased engagement within two months.
Educate yourself. If you claim to be a certified marketer, then have at least some basic knowledge of marketing jargon like Strategic Content, KPIs, Copy Conversion, Sales Funnels, etc.
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Loren Howard, President of Prime Plus Mortgages says, “When we look into hiring a VA, the most important thing that stands out with us is prior experience in a remote environment. Working virtually is far more challenging than most people think, and finding self-starters is tricky! We want to make sure that the VA can be consistent, reliable and require minimal supervision.”
Pre-empt common questions
“Another good to know is what times do you work, and do you provide time and task reporting? Get that VA job with the right systems in place. This tell me that you are a professional and have clearly thought through what it means to be of reliable service,” says Lizabeth Wesely-Casella of L-12 Services.
Here’s another tip to demonstrate your virtual professional expertise. If you’ve worked previously and had a good way of reporting on tasks, garner brownie points by sharing that too.
Real clients and employers share their hiring secrets!
Pay attention to Language skills
Study the tone & formality of the virtual professional job ask, the company and the individual and then tailor your response to match. And most importantly, proofread your communication.
As Darren Cottingham, General Manager DT Driver Training elaborates. “We use VAs primarily for content. Language skills and diligence are the two most important factors we look for. As our market is Australia and New Zealand, a VA that understands the idiosyncrasies around how we talk to one another and the vernacular we use is extremely important and they must be able to write concise, accurate copy. Plus, it must have zero mistakes – no typos and no formatting errors.”
Highlight Systems & organizational ability
Take the opportunity to share your processes from the onset. Mentioning the systems you have in place for work, builds trust and allows customers to give up control. As an example, if you document notes during an introductory call, add a link to a Google doc with conversation points and action items, if any. This gives them an idea of your methodology, and it also makes you look in control.
Price your work right
Alexander M. Kehoe, Co-Founder of Caveni Digital Solutions shares a great point. “To really stand out in the hiring process you need your work to be really excellent. You should also offer a cost to quality ratio that makes hiring you seem reasonable, despite lower rates from others. Companies are willing to pay for quality if you can deliver it.”
From pricing to branding and everything in between, get answers for your business via 10 impactful business Podcasts for Virtual Professionals
Go beyond the ask
Glusman adds, “Outside the box is good! If I’m looking for someone to help with my social media say, offer value and send me some posts you’ve created for me; if I’m looking for someone with copywriting experience, write a sample blog post, based on other blogs I’ve written…talk about wowing a business owner is to driver value off the bat!”
Demonstrate how content approval is part of your social or email workflow. Inquire about brand appropriate language and phrases.
Major steps that are essential to any successful VA business!
Make sure you link to a polished website and/or profile on LinkedIn. Then add details on certifications and memberships in an industry association, along with examples of your work if applicable. Even as a behind-the-scenes service, it is totally possible to create an impressive portfolio.
It also definitely adds to your credentials if you have a decent, well designed website. It can be a couple of pages, or even a resume site, but it should look like a professional put it together.
Don’t forget References and Testimonials
Testimonials from credible sources can often seal the deal and should be be prominently visible on your website and social platforms.
As Lindsay Stead of Gilded Blooms Communications elaborates, “For me, the key things in hiring a new VA are the ability to communicate effectively, be reliable, hit their deadlines and have high integrity when it comes to the quality of their work. While all of these things are not obvious at the onset, obtaining references should unearth the key components of your ideal VA.”
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Conclusion – Get that VA job
There are numerous ways to demonstrate your virtual professional expertise and experienced hirers know them all.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember, that it’s people working with people that makes some projects so much easier and more enjoyable than others, says Bryan Durkin, Author of Stuck On First. In more than 20 years I have had issues with expectations on both sides. If you are able to share and they are able to understand what success looks like you will enjoy working with those teams. If you expect them to understand what you are thinking without clear communications, you will disappointed and frustrated with your experience.”
As Sam Wilson, Co-Founder, Virtalent concludes.
“Choose to work as a Virtual Assistant as a career choice. It should be a deliberate career path, not a temporary stop-gap.”
Whether you are self-motivated, independent or a virtual superstar, adapt your strengths to the outcome you’ll deliver, and you are sure to be the one they call.
A Designer, Entrepreneur & US Patent Holder, Aditi graduated from a top design school and subsequently started her own design and merchandising business. Co-founder at Maroon Oak– the Free Business & Career Networking Platform for Women, she has over 17 years of business experience with Two Dotts, her design consulting company and an Etsy store which serves as an outlet for her gifts and patented product designs.
A mother to a teen and a tween, she enjoys running, dancing and raising her dog, a Bichon named Miltie.