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• Jul 17, 2023

No matter if you are a recent graduate or a long-time participant in the labor market, the cost of a job hunt can add up. The expenses for a new interview-worthy suit, subscriptions to job and networking boards, and services, such as career coaches, can be a hardship, particularly when finances are tight.

Here’s how to cut costs and save along your job hunt, without hurting your chances of landing that dream position.

Ask employers to cover travel expenses or go virtual

Some employers expect job candidates to travel to interviews outside their own cities. This expenditure can cost hundreds, even thousands, in airline, hotel, transportation fees, and more. But job candidates can push back on these expenses, politely requesting the future employer cover all or part of them. If the employer can’t or won’t, they can also ask for a virtual interview option, which has become much more typical since the pandemic.

Save on resume writing and editing

Though resume writing and editing services can cost over $1,000, they don’t have to with some careful research and due diligence. Depending on your industry, and your level of experience, most career professionals would recommend investing in a top-notch resume that fully represents your skill set. However, not all resume writing services are created equal, and it’s worth investigating whether you really need to shell out hundreds to achieve the perfect resume.



First, consider those in your immediate circle who might be able to help for much less money — do you have any friends in human resources or other hiring positions who review and analyze resumes frequently? They might be willing to help. In addition, read reviews and talk to those who have used services before paying for higher-cost resume services.

DIY networking

Sure, online networking is one of the most valuable resources on the job market, and in professional circles. But keep in mind it’s not the only way. Instead, you can connect with and use the free version of LinkedIn first to its maximum potential and remember there are other social media platforms where you can connect with and interact with networking contacts. In addition, old-fashioned networking through friends of friends, word of mouth, and happy hours or coffee meetings might lead to more connections than a cold online outreach anyway.

Limit unpaid tests, trials, and time away from work

One of the most overlooked costs of the job hunt is using personal time to pursue your new position, sometimes resulting in unpaid or lost wages. In addition, some employers ask candidates to engage in unpaid tests, trials, and excessively long interview processes along the way.



In addition, old-fashioned networking through friends of friends, word of mouth, and happy hours or coffee meetings might lead to more connections than a cold online outreach anyway.

Limit unpaid tests, trials, and time away from work

One of the most overlooked costs of the job hunt is using personal time to pursue your new position, sometimes resulting in unpaid or lost wages. In addition, some employers ask candidates to engage in unpaid tests, trials, and excessively long interview processes along the way.



Though it can feel difficult and awkward, saying no, or pushing back against asks for unpaid work, or work that will result in missing too many days of your current job, can help you weed out companies that don’t value your time and worth. Sometimes, it’s a simple ask to rectify the situation by saying, “I’m happy to do a paid trial regarding X, at the rate you will be offering employees if they secure a position.” You can also try to move these tasks to weekends or evenings, if it fits your schedule better, to avoid missing additional workdays and wages at your current job.

You don’t need to always pay to further your education to look attractive to employers

The internet has changed the game when it comes to career development. Instead of investing in thousands of dollars of career education courses, you can look to highly regarded free alternatives instead. For example, Google Career Courses, which helps workers in a wide variety of industries access online certification courses, results in 75% of graduates reporting a positive career change outcome within 6 months.

Sure, the job hunt can be stressful, but with these tips, you can keep your budget on track to prevent adding to that stress. With a little proactive communication, thriftiness, research, and thinking outside the box, you can land your dream job without a major hit to your wallet.

For more on personal finance topics

If you have more questions about other personal finance topics that matter to you, visit the Learning Center on TD Bank’s website. You can find out more information about TD Bank's services at td.com

We hope you found this helpful. This article is based on information available in July 2023 and is subject to change. It is provided as a convenience and for general information purposes only. Our content is not intended to provide legal, tax, investment, or financial advice or to indicate that a particular TD Bank or third-party product or service is available or right for you.

For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

Links to third-party sites do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by TD Bank of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. TD Bank bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Any third-party trademarks or service marks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content. See our website Terms of Use for more information.

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