Your job search has begun. You are a recent graduate, simply looking for a change of pace. Or maybe you have been seeking out a job for a bit longer than you'd like. In any case there are ways to make the process a little easier on your wallet. Below are steps toward a more cost effective job search.
Build your emergency funds
According to Crossbridge Financial Group, the first step to any job search is to make sure you have emergency funds at hand. Unemployment insurance won't be enough to help you get by, especially in the case of an unfortunately protracted job search, so make sure you have funds ready to dig into in case things get difficult financially. Crossbridge recommends you slash costs and build the fund until it is equal to about three to six months' worth of expenses. This account should be used only for essentials and in case of emergency.
Your job search may be tax deductible
According to Monster.com your job search may be tax deductible. There are three basic deductible job search expenses.
Outplacement and Employee Agency Fees: If you paid for an agency to match you with hiring companies or for job counseling, then the expenses may be tax deductible unless you are reimbursed by your employer.
Resume preparation: This isn't as applicable in the increasingly digital world as it once was when reams of paper and stacks of envelopes and stamps were prerequisite to any job search. However if you do incur expenses for the sake of an impeccable resume, remember you can expense it.
Travel Expenses: However you travel to your interview, the costs of transportation may be deductible. This doesn't mean your month long vacation to Hawaii, including the interview you managed to squeeze into the vacation itinerary, falls into this category.
However, there are several factors to consider. You must be looking for a job within the same occupation as your former, and you can not be looking for your first job. Additionally, your job search expenses must exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income, and you can not take a substantial break between your previous job and your current job search. Hang on to your receipts and keep in mind what your spending money on, because once your hired you could get some of that cash back.
Stick to free services for now
Plenty of services offer assistance with your job search, but at a price. It is possible to take advantage of some of these services though, without paying. Some, such as LinkedIn, offer free trial access to their premium services, while others may always be free. While a headhunter, resume service or networking site that costs money can be useful, Salary.com suggest that you begin with free services and see how it goes. Only after the free services fail should you begin spending money on assistance. Crossbridge suggests that you seek out resume advice within your professional network. Whether from employees at your current job or past coworkers, the advice of others is often free, and there's a chance it could be just what you need.