Five Free (or almost free) Ways to Help Your Job Hunt

Whether you are a job seeker or not, free is free. There's no such thing as a free lunch, but we've found some really cheap suggestions to help anyone trying to save a buck and stay connected.


1. A cup of coffee

Depending on where you live, coffee can run 50 cents to three dollars. But where you get this cup of coffee is key. Doing homework on a company you'd like to work for is essential. But to get some inside information, you can hit the nearest coffee place near the company. These days, many companies don't serve free coffee anymore. Employees stop at delis, Starbucks, McDonalds, or Saxbys on their way to work. Sometimes they chat on line about the business, goings on, or even just gossip. You can gain some great knowledge just by keeping your ears open. (This works even better during lunch, but like we said, lunch is rarely free!)


2. Business Cards

Business cards are still an important networking tool for face-to-face interactions. You might want to make a couple different ones if you are looking at different industries or want to send different messages: one more formal, one more casual. At Vistaprint.com, 123print.com you'll pay less than $10 for 250 cards.


3. Haircuts

Many salons will have "Student Nights" where newer stylists will fashion hair for free in exchange for the practice. Students are watched by experienced stylists, so you rarely have to worry. Cost? Just the tip, which is at your discretion, but figure around $10. BumbleandBumble salons call it the "Model Project." Cosmetology schools offer free haircuts too. But with that opportunity, if you have a complicated haircut, you might want to leave it to a graduate.


4. Free Networking

Organizations like NetParty.com arrange events that are FREE to attend. The company has chapters in 23 cities nationwide. The catch--make sure to RSVP or you will have to pay a cover charge at the door. Different cities have their own websites with events, such as AtlantaEvents.com. Lectures are your friend--there is usually a discussion or mingling opportunity afterward, a perfect opportunity to meet people. And no, there's no free lunch here, but you might find a free hors d'oeuvres or two.


5. A college library at your fingertips

If you are researching industries, companies, and places to relocate, of course any search engine will return thousands of sites. But the Internet Public Library filters subjects for you to use your time more wisely. Information is well organized on a very user friendly site. In fact, you can ask an actual librarian questions to help you find what you seek. Another bonus--periodicals all available free through the site. Nine colleges and universities pool their resources to keep it current.


If your wallet is a little lighter after buying presents or making charitable donations, these are cheap ways to make some progress, look great in person and on paper, and shake things up.

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Bopco

Kimberly89... I guess there is some truth in sarcasm??? I wrote that comment after an old friend was fired and after months of job hunting, finally landed a decent paying factory type job, then abruptly quit??? Her words were, Quoat, " to keep my $12 an hour new job, it was pretty much expected that I'd have no complaints about sleeping with my Boss. If I'm going to have to Fu*k for my salary, I can get paid more for doing it, working at a Strip Club, without assembeling the lawn sprinklers too... Degrading Yes, but think of it this way, I'm a Guy, so when I got fired, I took a job at Wallmart and now food stamps help feed my once spoiled Kids... The Bad News, however, is that even Vivid's profits are Way Down!!! Who do you think paid for the Vids they have for sale, with our once large paychecks???

January 10 2010 at 9:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kymberlyc89

Whoever Bopco is, they're sorta right. I read an article where lots of corporate types of women who can not get re hired in the corp. world are now heading towards strip clubs. The article I read did a story on two women who lived in the Chicago area, were once professionals and then lost their jobs. They said they could not pay their bills on unemployment, had a college degree and could not get hired anywhere. So, this is what they resorted to and wound up making in one weekend what they had to work a week or two to make previously. Not saying this is the answer and I don't think I could do this myself, I think alot of these women have to be on something to be able to get up there and do that but some I believe feel forced to do this..what if you have no family/ husband to help you out and you do have a kid to take care of?? then what? It's also not something you can do forever but unemployment is half of what your currently salary was..and most were struggling to begin with..unemployment is nothing..you can pay a bill or two with it and it's gone in a day..I feel so badly for people who don't have a working spouse or family to help them..this is the sort of thing they now resort to. So sad. When these women were back in college, thinking they were securing their future, who would've thought, years later in their 30's some even 40's, that they would be hitting the stripper pole to support themselves! It's ashame but the one thing that will never suffer no matter how hard the economy has been hit is the sex industry. sad but true. Just ask people like Steven Hirsch, ceo of Vivid Ent.rolling in it!

January 10 2010 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rickie

if this is for real, what other company's are there.. I have yet to find a real work at home bussiness that is not a scam.

January 07 2010 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tanya

i just got laid off this week and before that i was jobless for 2 months and am having trouble finding anything.

January 07 2010 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rickie

Jieshaopy... I checked out your website *** DoctorMIllionaire*** you are woman not a man, and not a dr.
and this is a scam website.. Just so all the others know....

January 07 2010 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marlene Marshall

Employment agencies are fake; they posted jobs on the internet and lurred the job seeker into the office, have the candidate fill out many employment forms, interviwed the candidate and then tell the candidate he/she (the recruiter) will keep in touch........went to two employment agencies who posted jobs on Indeed.com, expressed an interest was enticed to the office, the first recruiter called in sick, the other agency told me the opportunity that was posted was cancelled but dhe wanted to meet with me anyway........I am living in Long Island, NY the weather was freezing, could not afford the Long Island Rail Road ticket ($9.25), one way; so I took a local bus to the subway in Jamaica NY, took the E train to 53rd and Lexington and the the #6 to these agencies and was disappointed.

January 07 2010 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Marlene Marshall's comment
kymberlyc89

Most agencies I have been to want me to pay them a fee of a few hundred dollars upfront before they can "find anything" for me and this is "so worth the money" because "I am so employable!" I bet you I had more skill than the nitwit behind her messy desk telling me this crap! Never mind the fact she looked as if she was just scrubbing her kitchen floor and then came into work. But yet, she had a job...go figure..You're still better off trying to find your own job, it shouldn't cost a dime to go back to work..other than maybe a few key pieces to your wardrobe but not a few hundred to find a job! I walked out..so disgusted.

January 10 2010 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shell

Katherine
Do most companies really not have free coffee for employees anymore? We do.

The only company i've worked at that did not have free coffee was when I worked for Walt disney World last year they charged us around 2 dollars for a small plain coffee and seeing how you could not leave property for lunch and only made 7.00 an hour it kinda sucked ,I just brought a thermos becuase I started around 5 am but still I thought it pretty cheap of them..

January 07 2010 at 6:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michelle

Thanks for the tips. But one thing about vistaprint. I went there and yes they do have cards for under $10. But by the time they charge you for shipping and such as they call it. It is closer to $50. You may want to confirm before you spend the 4 hours creating the cards like I did. What a gimmek.

Best of luck

January 07 2010 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob

(Not the same Bob) On the news recently they said these work at home ideas are the biggest scam going now. With so many people out of work and working part time they are easy prey for these sharks.

January 07 2010 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TIna

Nothing will help land a job if there are NO JOBS to begin with! Michigan needs jobs! There are thousands of us hard working blue collar people here that need jobs NOW! We're losing our homes and we're sick with worry over how we're going to afford our house notes, meds, utilities and everything else we need to live. It's not fair that in our great nation this is happening! We need people to stand up and bring jobs to our state! Keep jobs in OUR COUNTRY! We should focus on AMERICA for once and quit policing the world! Sure it's nice to help others but we need help and we're RIGHT HERE IN THE USA! This is so depressing! Unemployment will be ending and then what? We have no jobs here which means one of two things. We have to move out of state or go on welfare. Both ideas are disgusting and disturbing! I love where I live! I don't want to go anywhere! I just want a decent job!

January 07 2010 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to TIna's comment
kymberlyc89

I agree with you and not only that but how are you supposed to move out of state if you don't have any decent money coming in? IT costs a small fortune to move...

January 10 2010 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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