Budget Resumes – How to Build a Cost Effective Professional Landscape

Job hunting is at least a part time job in itself. Between scanning the job opportunities, making sure you have proper attire, resume & cover letter building, going on interviews, and writing thank you notes, job hunting can demand quite a bit of your time. Creating, reviewing, and revising your resume is just one aspect of the job hunt that is a major time consumer itself. And a great many people look at developing a resume as the “monster in the closet,” a dreaded chore. It is easy these days to hand this task off to a professional, especially if you don’t know where to start. Unfortunately, handing off your resume, and relying on someone else to provide a quality product for your career can be both risky and costly. Developing a resume on a budget is possible with a little bit of quality effort, using some old-fashioned resources. Starting with a “grass roots” campaign & getting back to basics can help you develop a cost effective and competitive resume.

Networking can provide a viable alternative to paying a professional resume writer. If you belong to any professional associations, or attend professional seminars, odds are you will run into someone that works on resumes. Colleagues generally offer their skills to help because they’ve been in the same position at some point in time in their careers. If nothing else, by mentioning you are in need of resume help, another association member can refer you to someone with the appropriate skill set. Professional associations often set aside a few minutes on their agenda for people to network for jobs. Use this time to find help for your resume. Also, mention your needs to friends & family. Maybe, unbeknownst to you, a friend or family member is comfortable doing resume work. The most important aspect to remember is everyone can serve as a second set of eyes once you have a draft of your resume. It is easier to start working on your resume than you think.

Visit your library or local community center. Your local or regional library holds resume resources that run the gamut from books to seminars that are open to the public. Checking out book on how to write a competitive resume will help you reach your objective, as well as help you build your knowledge. On occasion, especially during periods of economic downturns, regional libraries will host seminars by career development professionals focusing on resumes. Several of my friends have used this as a resource to review their resumes for improvements from an outside source. Community centers often hold similar presentations to offer assistance for area residents.

Tried & true resources such as networking & the library or community center can help you be successful in developing your resume. Using your personal network of friends, trusted work colleagues, and professional association members can help you find cost effective resources for creating your resume. The added bonus is that most advice you will receive will be from people who know you, and are looking out for your best interests. Searching out resources at the local library will also help you defer the potential costs of developing a resume. Borrow a book instead of buying it, and check the public announcements board (yes, they still exist!) to see if there is an upcoming resume seminar on the library’s calendar. You may feel like you are “in the weeds” when you start working on your resume, but by using these familiar resources, you will be able to cultivate a competitive resume without utilizing a most important, and sometimes scarce, resource pool unnecessarily – your money.

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