Helpful Tips for Job Hunting on a Budget

The economy is down,  unemployment is up and it's impossible to find a job. These phrases are being uttered daily by disgruntled Americans and job seekers. However, with some planning, your job search experience can go from grueling and taxing to smooth and focused, especially if you're on a budget. Parchment resume paper, envelopes, stamps, professional attire, a computer and transportation by car may put a squeeze on a job seekers' budget in today's economy. Before delving into your job search, consider these tips:


Show me the money: If you are unemployed and searching for a job. Please visit your local employment office to file a claim for unemployment benefits if you qualify. These benefits may help with living expenses until you find another job. 


Stop before you shop: Inventory items needed for your job search (i.e. a computer, interview attire, a résumé, transportation, telephone access, e-mail address). Identify what items are truly essential before making a purchase and investigate whether these services are available in your community at little or no cost. For example, you don't need to purchase a computer in order to create a résumé or apply for jobs online. Instead visit your local library or the Alabama Career Center. Job seekers can register for employment, use the computers with internet access and basic software, send faxes and use the phone to converse with prospective employers and access their e-mail account as well as review printed job openings and resource materials. 

Consider public transportation: Opting to use the bus may lower fuel costs associated with driving a car. If public transportation is not an option, try to schedule appointments on the same day to help lower fuel costs.  Also, opt to do your job search online. Most employers prefer that applicants submit a resume or application electronically. To learn more about local public transportation, please visit .  "Snail mail" is also an option. However stamps, paper and envelopes can add up. 
Résumé: Ax the fancy résumé paper. Most employers aren't concerned with the fancy, colored resume paper.  Basic white, ivory or bright white 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper will suffice.  In fact, most employers will spend an average of 20 to 60 seconds on a résumé. Your résumé is simply a teaser to get an interview. So make your résumé count!
Dress for Less: Buying the latest fashions isn't necessary when searching for a job. If you are in need of professional attire for an interview, consider consignment shops or second hand boutiques. You could find interview clothes at reasonable prices. In fact, check out magazines and visit websites to learn how to dress for less.