Searching for a job can be a financially challenging time. While your priority may still be getting out of debt, with other expenses and no income, managing finances can become even more cumbersome. In today’s economy, a job search may last longer than anticipated. The whole process can be very expensive, from buying or refreshing your professional attire to traveling for interviews to revamping your résumé, etc. You may even have to dip into your hard-earned emergency fund during this time or live off income from a side gig. Therefore, it is best that you find ways to save money wherever you can.
Managing Finances During Your Job Search
Free Résumé Writing Tips!
Your first thought when looking for a new job might be to revamp your résumé to make sure it is up to date and professionally written. This should definitely be a priority since it gives the first impression to your future employers. There are many résumé writing services out there. However, the internet is a great resource pool in itself. Therefore, use the internet for free résumé-writing tips. This is a good way to not add up even more consumer debt when managing finances during a job search.
Network for Free/ Low-Cost Career Related Advice
If you live close to the college you graduated from, pay a visit to the college Career Services Center. As an alum, you should be entitled to free career-related advice and assistance. You can also reach out to your alumni network or association for support, advice, and opportunities. Another option is to visit low-cost community job centers funded by your local government. These centers offer computer and internet access. Many also offer photocopy services. All of these are great resources for help with résumé preparation and networking.
Find Free Ways to Improve Your Skills
Seek out free online classes that are applicable to your field. Check out your local library for any classes they might be offering. Learning or improving on a new skill will enhance your résumé and increase your odds of landing a job (hopefully, in a shorter period of time).
Avoid Spending Too Much on Professional Attire
If you don’t already own a suit or some snazzy professional attire to wear to your interviews, don’t go out and spend a small fortune. As always, first shop your own closet. But if you must make a purchase, watch for sales and discounts, shop at outlet stores, and purchase classic pieces that will last. Also, be sure to take advantage of free tailoring services. Many stores, such as J. Crew, offer free or discounted tailoring services if you are purchasing a suit in the store. Also, consider borrowing pieces such as shoes, ties, dress shirts, briefcases, etc. from a friend or family member.
Claim the Tax Deductibles for Job Search Expenses
It’s important to know that some job search expenses may be tax deductible. So, save your receipts. However, the IRS has many requirements. You must be looking for a job in the same occupation as the last one you had (or the one you still have). This does not mean the job titles have to be identical, but the nature of the work must be comparable. For more specific information on the requirements, check with these guidelines outlined by the IRS.