If you're looking for a job, there are a few things you'll absolutely need for your search. Here they are, along with some ideas on how to get them for cheap.
1. Updated Resumes
Focus on creating a simple, easy-to-read resume. This means you need to trim the fat wherever it lies. Potential employers don’t want to see 20 bullet-pointed job positions with a paragraph of description underneath each. Instead, use a bold font for each job heading and limit your work duties and accomplishments to one or two lines at most. Also, put a digital copy of your resume on a portable flash drive and carry it with you. You never know when you might need it. You can buy one of these for $10 to $15 at office supply stores like Office Depot.
2. Professional Clothing
We’re not talking extreme makeover here, but you should take a realistic look at your wardrobe. If you haven’t purchased a basic black suit in 15 years, now is the time to make a smart investment. But you don’t have to spend a fortune. Major retailers like Target (Stock Quote: TGT) are now selling designer suits for well under $100 for men and women.
3. Reliable Transportation
Whether this means your own car or public transportation like buses or the subway, you need to be the master of maps and city layout. Getting lost or running out of gas on the way to an important interview is not the way to make a great first impression.
Also, regularly check your car’s tire pressure, gas level and oil to ensure that you will always have an operational vehicle at all times. Be sure to keep track of your mileage so you can take advantage of tax deductions at the end of the year.
If you take public transportation, keep a log of these expenses and buy discounted monthly rider passes where available.
4. Computer Access
If you don’t already own a computer, it is imperative that you find one near you that you can access on a regular basis. Most public libraries offer free Internet access and word processing software so that you can update and print resumes.
5. Online Resources
Use free Internet resources to expand your job search possibilities. Job networking sites like Linkedin are great resources that connect you instantly to people in your field of expertise. This site is free and can be used by anyone. Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are also helpful social networking sites that can help connect you with industry peers. Be wary of including too much personal information or using risqué language on these sites, however. You never know which potential employer is looking at your profile to learn more about your personality.
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