3 Ways to Cut the Costs of a Job Hunt with a Little Online Ingenuity

Red Swingline Staplerby Thursday Bram (how awesome is her name btw?)

These days, we’re expected to be always on when it comes to searching for a new job: even if you’ve got a pretty good gig, you probably wouldn’t turn down something better.

That means keeping a close eye on what job opportunities are out there, as well as networking and sending out the occasional resume. You can always wait until you actually need a new job to start looking, of course, but given that the average job hunt these days can take months of searching, a head start is a very good thing.

There is a drawback to the always-hunting approach, of course: it isn’t cheap. If you were taking a traditional approach to looking for a new position, a whole stack of expenses would be adding up: employment agencies, printing resumes, postage and so on. Luckily, we’re in the digital age, and an email inquiring about a new position is as cheap to send as that Neiman Marcus cookie recipe that still seems to be making the rounds.

Here are a few ways you can cut the costs of a constant job search by working online.

  1. Virtual career coaching: Ever desperately want to get out of your current job, but not know what career paths would actually be more enjoyable? A certified career coach can help you find options that won’t give you an ulcer, but most of them aren’t cheap. However, more and more career coaches are offering their services virtually – and if you’re willing to talk online, you can get help for a lower price.
  2. Networking: You can pay $75 to go to a networking lunch, where you may or may not meet someone who will be in a position to hire you down the road. Sure, there are free networking events out there, but they tend to be even bigger crapshoots – the odds of meeting someone worth your while are only slightly better than your chances of meeting someone you can date at a family reunion. But you can discover who’s already in a position to handle hiring at companies you want to work, as well as connect with them, if you’re willing to invest some time on LinkedIn, corporate blogs and other sites that allow you to connect. Best of all, it’s free.
  3. Virtual assistants: Maybe the financial cost of your job hunt isn’t the real problem for you; instead, maybe the amount of time you have to spend on each step on the process is getting to you, especially if you could be using that time for something far more enjoyable. You can always farm out the tasks of your job hunt to a virtual assistant and free up some time to do something more enjoyable. You can hire an assistant inexpensively – in some cases, so inexpensively that you won’t feel bad about reading lolcats rather than conducting your job hunt yourself – especially if you’re comfortable working with someone overseas.

Thursday Bram is a full-time writer who covers business and personal finance topics for WiseBread, WebWorkerDaily and many other websites. Her ebook, “Discover Your New Job Online,” is now available from Lifehack. You can find more info. about Thursday at her website: ThursdayBram.com.

(Photo by TedsBlog)

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  1. Young Mogul April 15, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    Yes, nothing beats the internet for job hunting these days. But, it still rings true, network, network, network is my motto for any job hunt.

  2. J. Money April 15, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Oh yeah. And with Twitter/Facebook these days? And LinkedIn? Shoooooot….you can get the scoop on jobs F-A-S-T. The first thing I’ll do if/when our joint closes here will be to spread the word online. Unless I decide to blog full-time! :) But yeah, networking is KEY.

  3. lenciB April 15, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    Well, I don’t know how I’m going to find a part-time job. I don’t know if I’m up for spending money to network or finding a coach! I’m just now making a resume after a few years of not working in the real world (been in the acting world: commercials mainly).

  4. J. Money April 15, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    Woahhhh really?! An actor? I think you’re pretty anonymous online here, but if not you should drop us a link to one of the commercials ;) Or maybe you can write up a guest post for us on the inside scoop? I’m fascinated by other more “glamorous” type jobs.

  5. Smarter Spend April 15, 2010 at 11:44 PM

    How about googling for job fairs around you? These attract hundreds to thousands of employers and you can land a job on the spot.