“Can Filipinos apply?”

From time to time I share high paying job leads (they usually range between $15 to $150 per article) in online groups or in my Facebook feed. These job leads aren’t even the super high paying jobs (more than $200 per article), yet I sometimes get these types of responses:

  • “Do they accept Filipinos?”
  • “Baka naman pang US lang yan…”
  • “Can Filipinos apply for this job?”

And this just breaks my heart.

Here’s why: they are disqualifying themselves from the very beginning.

I make sure that none of the job ads I share have location-based criteria like, “Must be in California” or “You must be a US resident”. And even if they didn’t know that about my selection process, IF they read the ads they would see that there was no location-based criteria on the ad.

Because you know what? Most clients don’t care where you are or what your nationality is. I’ve been freelancing online since 2003/2004, and do you know how many clients asked me about my nationality or location upfront?

ZERO. They did not care.

Sure, there were maybe 2 to 3 who emailed me “Hey, by the way, where are you from?” but they only did this after-the-fact and out of curiosity, or to settle timezone differences.

Second, strategic people know that criteria like location and nationality are just tiny details. They know that they are skilled at what they do - note that I said “skilled” and not “the best” - and that at the end of the day, this is what’s important. Nationality? Location? Gender? And even educational attainment? These things don’t matter if you are the one who can do the job.

If you’re skilled and reliable, especially if you have proof supporting this (testimonials, stats, etc.), you KNOW that it usually doesn’t matter where you are. If you’re the right fit for the client, the job is yours. It’s very difficult to find good candidates, why would a client disqualify you just because you live in another country? For most knowledge work, it doesn’t matter.

The worst thing that can happen when you apply is that they don’t accept overseas workers, they just forgot to put it in their ad. These are rare cases, though.

This means that your worst case scenario here is:  they might disqualify your application, but will thank you for applying anyway. That’s not so bad!

What’s worse is if you disqualify yourself from the very beginning. If you think that just because you’re Filipino that disqualifies you from an opportunity, then you’ve already made sure 100% that you won’t get it.

So rather than asking “Can Filipinos apply for this job?” ask instead:

“How will I apply for this job?”

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6 thoughts on ““Can Filipinos apply?”

  1. Jovell

    Thanks for this post Celine! This mindset is similar to what fresh grads have. Fresh college graduates usually think they can’t apply for certain job positions because of their lack of experience. And if we think about it, how will these new grads move forward and have a career if they let this thinking stop them from applying for current job openings. You really never know when someone in the position to hire you will see your worth and take a chance in hiring you or better, believe in what you can offer. It’s better to try and apply than always wonder “what if”.

    1. Celine (Pinoy500.com) Post author

      Thanks! Great point. Even seasoned workers sometimes automatically disqualify themselves from opportunities that they’re actually qualified for. I’m still guilty of that sometimes.

  2. Imelda Habitan

    Nice article. I will just share my own experience which I think can be connected to this post. I have submitted an application for VA position and got a response from the Support Team. First response said that I have been shortlisted and asking for my availability for interview. There have been couple of e-mails after that confirming the interview schedule. So everything has been cleared and I was supposed to have a phone interview with the CEO at 3:00am PH Time so I waited. No call at 3am. I still waited. At 3:15am, I received an e-mail from the support team stating that they decided not to consider applicants outside the US. I was like, “Okay, eh bakit ngayon lang nagsabi? Nabasa naman nila siguro resume ko at nakita location ko prior to e-mailing me that I was shortlisted?” Of course I felt down kasi it was a great opportunity sana to get a client na wala sa mga bidding sites. But it’s fine. Inisip ko na lang na it was given to somebody who is much more deserving and qualified. Siguro nga it’s really not for me rin. But yes, they have thanked me for applying and said that if they have opening for other nationalities, they will inform me. Of course I don’t expect for that anymore. Siguro may mga clients talaga who would “prioritize” their own people. Pero we don’t need to feel degraded especially if we know we are competent enough for the position.

    1. Celine (Pinoy500.com) Post author

      Thanks for sharing your story, Imelda.

      I have a similar story. I was contacted by a Fortune 50 (US-based) company to work with them on a small project, but when it came to the technicalities they almost backed out. Because they were a big, traditional company, they weren’t as agile and their payment systems were still through paying contractors via paper checks. I said I couldn’t be paid that way (matagal ang international mail, paano pag nawala pa yung check etc.)

      At first they thought baka di na lang ituloy yung contract, but they eventually found a way out (the project leader could pay me via her company credit card and count it as a business expense). So we pushed through. But I know that it was a hassle for them to pay me anyway. They didn’t express it pero nahahalata ko naman na nadidisrupt ko yung company processes nila.

      Sometimes it’s not necessarily about clients prioritizing their own people. May mga legal, fiscal, logistical, or accounting issues that still sometimes get in the way. So sometimes it’s hard to say why they back out at the last minute. But at least businesses slowly overcoming that and hiring remote overseas workers is becoming more common.

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