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Smart Job Search Spending Tips - Articles Surfing

Often times when we are changing jobs, whether it is voluntary or from a layoff, our first instinct is to be very money conscious. Why not? With no paycheck coming in, it can be a very scary or unsettling feeling. While good budgeting is always a good idea, be smart about your job search budget, as it can often help or hinder your efforts to land that new position. As the saying goes, sometimes it takes money to make money.

Here are a few key areas you want to invest in during your job search:

1. Clothing / Grooming

Whether you like it or not, what you wear to an interview will immediately set the tone and give your prospective employer an idea of who you are. Research shows that over half of all interviews are over before they start, simply because of improper dress and grooming. In fact, in some industries, such as financial services and sales, interviewers will sometimes simply ask you to leave if you are improperly dressed.

With that in mind, investing in your appearance can be vital. Not every interview requires formal dress, but overly formal is always a safer bet. For office jobs, no matter the level, a suit is recommended. If the suit in the back of your closet is looking a bit dated, updating your look doesn't require a fortune. Deals abound at discount clothing stores ' you can even find designer brands at rock bottom prices. One simple touch that can add a bit of class: get a shoe shine ' they're cheap and say a lot about your attention to detail.

With clothing under control, don't get cheap on the grooming. If you have impending interviews, get a hair cut! Most strip malls have walk-in hair salons that charge $20 or less for a decent cut/styling. Men should be properly shaved, and ladies might want to hit the department store cosmetics counter for that free makeover the morning before a big interview.

2. Your Resume & Cover Letter

Good resumes and cover letters can make or break a job search. If you don't feel you have the skills to create a strong resume and/or cover letter, then paying a professional is money well invested. Make sure you do you research; because here being cheap can cost you. Look for reputable companies, either online or not. You want a resume makeover, not just someone to spell-check what you already have. Most services will cost at least $150.

Once you have a good resume, make sure you present it in proper fashion. Invest in high quality paper. Local office superstores sell great heavy-weight paper for modest amounts ' often you can buy these papers in smaller quantities (of 25 or 50), instead of having to spend more for a whole ream of 500. Look for paper with a watermark for that extra touch of class.

3. Networking

Connecting with the right people can catapult your job search, so spending money on joining the right organization can be a wise investment. Professional organizations, chambers of commerce, and business networking groups in your area are great resources. This category will not apply to everyone, but if you can find the right organization for your industry, this can be a very fruitful investment of both time and money.

4. Getting Organized

Organizing your job search can greatly improve its results. Buying a day planner or PDA can help you get organized, whether it is setting your interview schedule or keeping track of business contacts.

5. Education / Certifications

Spending on education doesn't mean you have to invest thousands in a new degree. For some, education may just mean learning more about the job search process by buying a good career book. For others, you may already have the know-how and just have to prove yourself. If you are in an area where certification is valuable, such as technical or vocational employment, the right certification can be worth big bucks. I have seen programmers spend $250-$500 to take a certification test which resulted in a $25,000 increase in income. You may feel that you have the knowledge and you don't need to spend money on a piece of paper that proves it, but employers often times will demand that simple piece of paper. Spend money to make money!

Submitted by:

Bryan Lewis

Bryan Lewis is President of http://www.NorthBayJobFinder.com, a top career resource specializing in jobs for Marin, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties in Northern California.



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