Past Issues

November 09, 2009

When To Spend Money To Find A Job

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When To Spend Money To Find A Job

Tim Tyrell-Smith, Spinstrategy Blog

If you have recently found yourself out of a job, or if you have been searching for several months with no luck, it's time you put a new strategy and job search plan in action.

First you need to decide how much you are willing to invest in your job search. Experts advise that no matter how much you spend, spend it early in your job search process.

Here is a list of the things you can spend money on along with my advice as to whether the payout is there:

1. Resume writing services: You absolutely need a great resume. If you are not a strong writer or are new to the search process, find some help. This is a place to spend your money.

2. Resume distribution services: These services take your resume and "blast" them out to a huge list of employers - some are better at targeting than others. Probably the best service I've used is at, a service that distributes your resume to all the top job boards and career websites.

3. Job search seminars: If you are new in your search, if it has been a while since your last search or if this is your first, a job search seminar is a good investment. The key to job search success is in having a plan. A good seminar can provide you with the basic structure and is recommended.

4. Paid online search: If you are looking for a higher paying job ($100k plus) there are sites like "" where you can pay a monthly fee to introduce the active job seeker to hiring managers and recruiters who control the job market. It works two ways. The first is increasing the number of hiring managers and recruiters who see the member's profile and resume. The second is helping the Premier member stand out from the pack through preparation, personal branding and their proprietary job search program that guarantees your resume will be indexed by all the major search engines.

5. Career coach: This can be your biggest expense and one that you should really think about in depth before a decision. Most good career coaches will offer a free first meeting. Look for a career coach who not only offers a full service plan but also offers their services in a menu approach so you can pick and choose the services you need. Career coaches are not cheap. A good coach can cost a few thousand dollars all the way up to $10,000 for an executive program. This is why you make the investment up front and make sure that you've chosen one with good recommendations.

Another piece of advice? If you are being laid off, don't forget to negotiate these services as part of your severance agreement. Many companies already offer transition services - ask them to customize them for you or provide you with a budget to identify your own custom plan.

In addition to the paid options above, please make sure that you first have a solid base of FREE-Job-Search Services under your belt.

Free--job search services:

a. Local networking groups (e.g. Meetup)
b. Appropriate use of recruiters
c. Informational interviews
d. Your personal network of neighbors, friends, family.
e. Networking business cards
f. Career assessment tests

So, what calms the nerves when money is tight and the offers aren't yet pouring in? The answer is - have a strategy. One that includes your objectives, your financial plan and a specific list of tactics that you will use to identify and arrive at that great new job.

Tim Tyrell-Smith is a classically trained consumer products marketing executive. With 20 years of successful experience in food, beverage, computer accessories and automotive, he has a proven ability to drive revenue, improve EBITDA and build strong brands across a diverse set of industries.

Tim started his career with one of the great marketing boot camps in brand/product management - Carnation Company owned by Nestle USA. Tim has applied this experience and skill at a number of smaller, more nimble companies with a focus on brand revitalization and strong top line growth.

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