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Job Searching on a Budget

When you’re hunting for a job, pinching every penny is important. Here are a few simple tips to help you tune up your financial literacy, and learn how to job search on a budget.

How long is your Runway? Career Expert, John Heckers, encourages the recently unemployed to take a realistic look at how long they can stay current with their bills before touching savings, retirement, or total liquidation. Although hard to hear, this number of months is your budget window for finding a job. What should you do to make the most of this time and how can you stretch your Job Search budget to maximize results?

Professional Help: You do not have to pay someone to assist you with your resume and other marketing materials because the Business and Job Center at Richland Library is free and open to anyone! Need some career guidance as you transition from one career to another? Our Career Coaches can offer assistance with job searching, social media, networking ideas, career assessments, and anything else you need, again, for FREE!

Professional Attire: No one needs to spend a lot on professional looking clothes for interviews and networking. Second-hand stores like Goodwill provide a myriad of options in style, size, and color. On average, a professional outfit (dress, jacket, shoes) may cost less than $20 at Goodwill. Also, you can get a clean haircut from Cosmetology schools for as little as $2.50 if you hunt the right promotional offers. The ideal is to have one good, clean, well-fitting, pressed, interview-ready outfit and to have a professional look that is fresh and clean.

Research and Learning: Do not spend money on costly subscriptions and services for company information, job sites, career preparation and testing, GED classes, or computer classes. The library has all of this and more for FREE!

Computers: Before spending money you don’t have on a laptop and expensive monthly internet, visit your local library for free access to desktops, laptops, iPads, nooks, and wifi. In the Business and Job Center at Main, we have 18 computers designated for job hunters and you do not have to have a library card or even live in Richland County to use them!

Save on Gas: Instead of taking several trips for interviews, to pick up applications, or to take advantage of a class or service, plan your day so that you can make several stops along the way. Or, time your trips with the public transit or carpool with another job seeker. Also, be sure that you are targeting the right jobs that you are truly qualified for so you are not wasting your time, energy, and gas budget on dead ends