Are you skilled at typing quickly? If so, did you know that this skill is in high demand on the job market?
Thousands of companies are looking for skilled typists to help them update databases, produce reports, enter customer information, and much more. If the idea of working from home with a computer appeals to you, here’s how you can land a virtual data entry job, even if you have no experience in the field.
Virtual data entry is a type of remote work that involves typing or updating data using a keyboard and computer. Data entry clerks or specialists will usually transfer data from one source to another.
The specifics of virtual data entry will vary from job to job. For instance, data can come from paper, or it can come from another system or software. One frequent example is entering data from a spreadsheet into a customer relationship manager (CRM).
While many CRMs can do this process automatically, only humans can correct mistakes as they enter data. That’s why many employers still need virtual data entry specialists to handle these administrative tasks.
The bulk of your responsibility as a virtual data entry specialist will involve inputting accurate information into a computer database. The type of database will vary depending on the needs of the task, but some examples include:
Project management software
Some data entry clerks will be in charge of entering orders into a tracking system so that customers can receive their correct orders on time.
But typing isn’t the only task you’ll need to do if you have this job. Many virtual data entry workers will need to research information online and enter their findings in a document. They’ll also need to file documents to keep them organized.
In several cases, virtual data entry specialists will verify data for errors by comparing two or more sources. Some employers will require you to produce reports that represent a vast amount of data.
Here’s why you should consider applying for online data entry jobs.
It’s in the name: virtual data entry is a virtual position. Virtual data entry is a virtual position, which means the work takes place online, so there is no need to be in a physical office. Some employers even run fully remote businesses.
Since you can work from home, you’re in control of your work environment. If you have pets to care for, you don’t need to worry about leaving them alone for extended periods.
Unless you’re required to attend video conference calls, you can also dress comfortably. This can save you time and money since you can use what you already have in your wardrobe.
All you need is a computer and a reliable Internet connection to land this type of remote job.
You can even work from anywhere if you own a laptop — not just your home. For instance, you could travel to another city to visit your family without impeding your ability to get your work done.
One of the best parts of virtual data entry is the ability to choose what type of worker you want to be. You can get hired directly as an employee with a salary or work as a freelancer for one or more companies.
When you get hired as an employee, you may get access to benefits like health insurance and 401(k) plans. Employers also withhold taxes from your paycheck. When you’re a freelancer or contractor, you don’t get these benefits, and you’re also in charge of managing your own taxes.
But as a freelancer or contractor, you typically have more freedom to take work from other employers if you wish to.
Working in virtual data entry often comes with a flexible schedule. You can do your work when it suits you and adapt the schedule to your lifestyle.
If you have children to care for while you work and don’t have access to childcare, it’s possible to do your work when you’re not busy with them, such as during naps or in the evening.
The median annual wage is $41,950 for information clerks. Virtual data entry falls under this umbrella. But the highest 10% of earners in this category make over $60,590 per year.
Some data entry jobs pay per entry — if you type fast, you can earn more. Those jobs will usually be for contractors and freelancers. You can complete assignments every time you have some spare time while you’re at home.
If you work as an employee with an hourly wage or yearly salary, your income will depend on how many hours you work. But you’ll have the benefits that come with a full-time job, which can be a huge perk.
Do you get stressed out when you have too much to manage at work? Virtual data entry is perfect if you have a low tolerance for stressful work. The work is straightforward and unambiguous. You won’t be required to handle customers or make difficult decisions.
On the other hand, this type of work isn’t suitable for people who need variety and creativity in their work. If you feel fulfilled only when you get to express yourself at your job, this isn’t the position for you.
Most virtual data entry jobs are entry level, meaning you don’t need a lot of experience to start. But there are still skills you can develop to improve your chances of being hired. If you want to improve your chances of getting employed as a virtual data entry specialist, here are some hard skills and soft skills you should consider developing.
Since you’ll be typing information into a database, you need to have some typing skills. You’ll need to type at least 40 words per minute, but that’s the minimum. Keep in mind that if you’re paid per assignment, speed won’t affect your employer, but it will affect your income potential.
The faster you are, the better you’ll perform as a virtual data entry specialist. If you’re applying for a full-time position as an employee, hiring managers are likely to make you complete typing tests before they bring you in for an interview.
It’s not just typing speed that matters — accuracy is just as important, if not more. If you type quickly but keep entering inaccurate information, employers won’t be happy with your work. A slower but more accurate typing ability is preferable to a faster but less accurate result.
If you want to improve your typing speed and accuracy, consider learning to touch type if you haven’t already. Touch typing uses both hands and doesn’t require you to look at your keyboard while you type. Each finger has a specific role and is in charge of a set of letters. For example, your thumbs manage the space bar.
Written communication skills are important to avoid mistakes when you type. But you also need to communicate with team members and managers.
The better your communication skills, the more efficient you’ll be as part of a team. It’s important to know what to communicate and when. For instance, are you able to explain a problem you run into while you’re working on your tasks? Can you actively listen to your manager when you’re on a call? How open are you to receiving and implementing feedback?
These are just some examples of communication skills you’ll need as a virtual data entry specialist.
You don’t need to be an IT specialist to work in virtual data entry, but you do need basic knowledge of commonly used software.
Some examples include word processors and spreadsheets. But database software and CRMs are commonly used in this field. If you’re new to data entry, you may not have experience with specific software, but you should at least have the capacity to learn.
If you struggle to learn new software, take some time to familiarize yourself with free software on your own computer. You can use Google Docs and Sheets to familiarize yourself with word processing and spreadsheets if you don’t have access to Word or Excel. You can also use free versions of professional CRM software, like Hubspot or Freshsales.
Set a goal to spend at least ten minutes a day playing around with these tools. With time, you’ll become more comfortable with them. You can then add those skills to your resume before you apply for a virtual data entry position.
You’ll likely have deadlines for your virtual data entry assignments. That’s why it’s important to have time management skills.
You’ll need to know how to organize your time to work efficiently and meet those deadlines. If you work hourly, some employers may require you to meet a quota of assignments in a given number of hours.
If you tend to procrastinate while you’re at work, it’s important to work on that before you start working in virtual data entry. On the other hand, if you get easily distracted, you can use tools like website blockers to stop you from straying away from your tasks. Consider keeping your phone and other mobile devices away from your eyesight, too.
You’ll be entering tons of data if you work in virtual data entry. Errors can easily slip into your work. But if you have great attention to detail, you’ll be able to spot those errors more easily.
Do you struggle with attention to detail? Here are some tricks to help you improve this skill over time:
Take walks in places you normally don’t go and pay attention to your surroundings
Practice playing games like Where’s Waldo online
Find things to compliment on other people frequently
Include reading in your list of daily tasks
Think a job in virtual data entry is perfect for you? Here’s how you can improve your chances of getting an interview and landing the virtual data entry job you want.
Several typing speed tests are available for free online. Just type in “free online typing test” on Google, and you’ll get access to plenty of them.
Take one of these tests and note your typing speed. Consider taking these tests more than once to get a better idea of what your average speed is. Some people perform poorly when they’re stressed about the results. The more you take the test, the more you’ll relax into it.
Add your results to your resume in the skills section. When potential employers look through resumes, they’ll know you understand what they’re looking for. They’ll also be able to compare your speed to other applicants.
You can apply to virtual data entry positions even if you don’t have any work experience. Just make sure to include relevant life experiences on your resume.
For example, include any hobbies like gaming or writing short stories. Some computer games require extreme keyboard speed. Just make sure to specify why you’re including that on your resume.
If you have past work experience that requires any sort of typing, you can include those on your resume, too. Cashier jobs and receptionist tasks are highly relevant here.
An ATS is a type of software that lets employers organize and filter a large number of resumes. A good resume should be optimized for the ATS and humans.
Include specific keywords mentioned in the job listing, especially in the skills section. For instance, if the job description mentions attention to detail, include it in your resume (as long as it’s true).
Use a .docx file for your resume so that it’s more accurately parsed by the ATS — unless the listing specifies that PDF files are okay. You should also keep the formatting of your resume as simple as you can.
Whether you’ve got experience or you’re brand new at typing jobs, it’s possible to find a remote data entry job — as long as you’re able to type quickly enough.
Use Jobcase to find remote data entry jobs opportunities today.