Conducting a job search isn’t just stressful; it can also be expensive. Buying interview clothing and traveling to interviews can be additional costs that are hard to afford, especially if you are looking for a new opportunity because you are unemployed or are fighting with a tight budget.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make these expenses more manageable. Here’s how to get started.
Building a Budget-Friendly Interview Wardrobe
What you wear to an interview is important. Usually, the hiring manager sees you before they speak to you, so having great attire helps ensure your first impression is positive.
However, buying an interview outfit can get expensive quickly, particularly if you need formal business attire. But there are ways to keep the costs down, and it only takes a little time and effort to use them.
First, check your closet for any pieces that may work. See if you have slacks or a skirt in a neutral color that is suitably professional, a blazer that fits well, or even a nice shirt or blouse. Anything you already own can serve as the foundation of your outfit, allowing you to purchase less.
Next, head to discount stores or thrift stores to find other pieces. If you head to thrift stores in affluent neighborhoods, you may be able to locate some quality options for significantly less than retail, especially since most people donate to stores near their homes.
If you have a little time, you can also look for used items online. Check out Poshmark or thredUp for name-brand clothes at reasonable prices. However, only use this approach if you can deal with potential delays because of shipping, which can happen.
Reduce Transportation Expenses
Driving to multiple interviews can increase your fuel costs dramatically. Plus, if you are looking for opportunities in other cities or states, the cost of buses, flights, and hotels can add up fast.
If you are applying to jobs out-of-town, see if the hiring manager is open to a video interview during the first round. This allows you to meet face-to-face without the expense of traveling.
Alternatively, you can look for gift card deals to help lower transportation costs, helping you save on long trips or merely driving across town. Some retailers, like grocery stores, offer discounts or bonuses to loyalty card holders, which can work well for gas station gift cards. You can also check gift card resale websites, like Gift Card Granny, to see if there are any deals available.
Also, consider public transportation if the option is available. Sometimes taking the bus, train, or subway is more affordable. However, only use this approach if you know you can arrive at your interview on time.
By using the tips above, you can make your job search more affordable. If you are looking for more information or are seeking new employment opportunities, the team at CPS Recruitment can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our skilled recruiters today and see how our job search expertise can benefit you.