Looking for employment is a job within itself. It takes time, research, preparation and investment. However, job hunting doesn’t have to make a dent in your savings.
Work smarter, not harder. Take advantage of the many free resources available and follow these tips for a pain-free, money-saving job hunt.
1. There always time to apply for a job.
Applying for jobs has never been easier. While setting up new accounts does take time, make the process a breeze by having your resume and cover letters prepared. Sites like Monster, Careerbuilder, and Indeed allow users to save different resumes and cover letters, which saves tons of time when applying to jobs in varying fields. Other resources, like salary averages and forums, may be available through these sites as well.
These national job board sites, and local job board sites like Craigslist, also offer apps. If you take public transport or carpool, utilize your commute time wisely and apply for jobs via your mobile app.
2. Social media can land you a job.
Do you have a favorite company that you follow on Twitter or Facebook? Keep a look out for job postings in their feed. Some companies have a separate Twitter account for job postings. Also, search hashtags like #jobsearch or #hiring to track the latest job openings in real time.
Twitjobsearch.com is also a great Twitter search engine for job hunters.
One clever job seeker turned her Facebook into a resume. If you have the time, create a familiar and easily recognizable layout and utilize it to your advantage.
Also, LinkedIn isn’t just for congratulating your friends on their work anniversary. Lots of major companies like Sony and Google search profiles and post job listings on LinkedIn. Make sure your profile is always up to date. If responding to a job posting, attach a cover letter and apply with your profile.
3. Don’t be intimidated by visual resumes or fancy business cards.
Did you know that you can create a resume from simply importing information from your LinkedIn account for free? If you are in need of a simple, yet professionally formatted resume, Resume Builder has got you covered. It’s as easy as signing in with your LinkedIn email and password and choosing a resume format. The online editor allows the user to rearrange the order or omit sections imported from their LinkedIn account.
For those who prefer a more visual presentation, sites like Re.vu, Vizualize.me and ResumUP, are great no-cost resources that can generate resumes that stand out.
For each interview, bring a business card to leave with your potential employer. Companies like Vistaprint and Moo have free business card offers that can be at your door in a week.
4. Public transport is ideal.
Nothing is worse than running short on time and scrambling to find parking. Driving means traffic and you may need to circle the block in order to find a parking meter.
Ideally, if possible, start your job search locally and utilize public transportation. If you have a subway in your area, taking a rapid form of public transport can be faster, and cheaper, than driving. This method of transport also forces you to adhere to a schedule, encouraging one to arrive to an interview 10-15 minutes early.
5. Have the essentials on hand.
Don’t wait until the last minute to get your interview wardrobe together. Responses for job interviews can happen anytime. And companies in a rush to fill a position may request a same day interview. Don’t pass up a great opportunity because you lack the wardrobe.
Building your interview and work wardrobe over time keeps expensive, last minute purchases down and enables you to perfect a grooming and wardrobe routine. Don’t forget to check year-end sales and the clearance rack for the best deals on clothes, shoes and accessories. A blazer, a dress shirt, slacks or a knee length skirt, and dress shoes should already be in your closet.
If you happen to be short on accessories, like ties or inexpensive jewelry, there’s nothing wrong with borrowing from a friend.
6. Attend local (mostly free or low cost) networking events.
Job fairs are a great opportunity to meet with several company recruits in a single day. Print out those resumes and put on some sensible, comfortable shoes. What’s the cost? Sometimes, just an email address and an RSVP.
Also, bookmark Eventbrite and Meetup in your browser. You will be referring to them a lot for the latest job fairs and networking mixers in your area.
7. Scheduling is everything.
Scheduling one or two interviews a day is not practical. Just as scheduling interviews across town from each other is a recipe for disaster. Save time, money and headache by scheduling multiple interviews based on location.
Be sure to give yourself enough time to get from one interview to another. Account for travel time, possible traffic and estimated length of the interview. The average length of an interview is 30-40 minutes.
8. That’s what friends are for.
Ask friends, that can be brutally honest in critiques, to look over your resume, cover letters and rehearse interview scenarios.
Mastering common interview question is half the battle. But, encourage your rehearsing partner to ask some curveball questions. Problem solving and thinking on your feet is a quality that employers will be looking for.