The Free Job Search: Find a Job Quickly Without Spending a Lot of Cash
I am constantly amazed at how much people are willing to spend on what they think will help them get a job. They assume, wrongly, that they can find a job more quickly if they throw money at the problem. Let’s set up a job search budget that you can use to help you find a job quickly without overspending your shoestring budget.
Whether it’s because of the economy or because of individual job seekers’ situations, I hear it all the time: I don’t have the money to spend on my job search. Let’s break down the costs of your job search and help you define your boundaries to get you to your new job quickly.
photo credit: Alina Sofia
Essentials for a Free Job Search
- Free use of a computer. If you are not searching for jobs online and using e-mail intelligently, you are putting yourself out of the game. Luckily, most public libraries have computers that are free for the public to use. Printing on their printers costs very little, perhaps $.10 to $.25 per page. They often have open source software, which you can use to save your documents in Microsoft Word, the document format of choice.
- Free email. You don’t need to pay a service to get great e-mail. Sign up for a professional email account with Yahoo!, Gmail, or Hotmail. You can access this account from any computer connected to the Internet.
- Free job clubs. Most cities these days have job clubs that are run by experts in job search. These might meet monthly or more frequently, and they might be run in a church, synagogue, public library or community center. They all give their participants a chance to learn new strategies about job searching and opportunities for networking.
- Free resume assistance. You can get free resume assistance in person from your local Workforce Services in addition to the myriad other services they provide. If you need samples of excellent resumes that got people the interviews they want, then sign up here http://eepurl.com/cGxMo for my free e-book on resumes and cover letters that got the interviews.
- Your local Department of Workforce Services. Get free advice on job search, access to job opportunities in the public and private sector, and free assistance with job search tools.
- Your personal network. Reach out to 10 people every day; ask them about what they do in an informational interview. Ask for recommendations from them for additional people to connect with via LinkedIn or on the phone.
- If you’re a relatively recent graduate, your professors. Many academics have close ties with industry. See about getting in on a research project or securing a critical introduction from a trusted academic mentor.
Are Free Professional Resume Writing Services Worth It?
As for free professional resume writing services? Don’t expect much from them. Only hire an expert to do the complex work of crafting your personal and professional brand in a resume. In other words, don’t waste your money on the cheap resumes that don’t work. Ask for credentials, such as the Certified Advanced Resume Writer credential, which I have (in addition to an MBA and Master of Arts in publishing). Successful professional resume writing is not cheap, and it’s not free. But it is likely cheaper in the long run than it will cost you day by day to delay your deserved success.