Sunday, April 19, 2020

Job Hunting in the Time of Coronavirus: Budget-Friendly Tips for Finding Work

Are you wondering how you’ll pay the bills now that your workplace has shut down due to coronavirus? 

Not only are job opportunities limited due to the pandemic, but when you’re short on funds, it’s hard to come up with the cash you need to cover job search expenses. These budget-friendly tips will help you find work during the coronavirus lockdown without going broke.

The Cheapest Websites for Finding Work
Freelancing is a good way to start earning income ASAP when you’re out of work, and freelancing websites make it easy to connect with paying customers. Unfortunately, these platforms also charge fees — up to 20 percent of your earnings in some cases!

To find clients for graphic and web design, marketing, communications, data entry, remote customer service, and other freelance-friendly gigs, look to these free and low-cost websites instead:

  • Craigslist: Craigslist is free to use, but watch out for scams. The Balance explains how to tell legitimate freelance opportunities from fake ones.
  • Hubstaff Talent: Hubstaff Talent charges zero fees to freelancers and clients, making it the cheapest freelance platform on the web.
  • Guru: With freelancer fees of 9 percent for basic users, Guru is more expensive than the aforementioned options but still one of few freelance sites with fees under 10 percent.
  • FlexJobs: Instead of a percentage of earnings, FlexJobs charges a flat monthly fee with options starting at $14.95 a month, making it a great choice for people freelancing temporarily.

Budget-Friendly Tips for a Professional Video Interview

Before you can land a freelance gig, you need to ace the interview. While working from home technically means you can work in your pajamas, it’s not the best choice when you’re hoping to impress a client over video chat. In addition to ensuring you’re well-groomed, have a professional outfit ready for virtual meetings. If you don’t have anything suitable in your closet, don’t panic. Even with stores closed, you can find good deals on professional clothing by shopping online with retailers like American Eagle and searching for AEO coupons and promo codes to enter at checkout.

How to Build Your Skills with Free Online Resources

Are you struggling to get hired online? It may be because your resume is lacking. Luckily, there are tons of online resources that let you boost your skills for free. These are the best online learning resources you can use to strengthen your resume:

  • Coursera: Coursera has some of the most diverse class offerings of all online learning resources, with course options ranging from computer science to communications.
  • edX: With access to courses from Harvard and MIT, edX provides high-caliber online education for free.
  • Alison: In addition to free courses, Alison lets users earn certificates and diplomas at no cost, making their online classes a great addition to your resume.

Not sure where to start with online learning? The Muse offers 18-course recommendations for expanding your skills.

Low-Cost Solutions for a Professional Website
A professional website boosts your credibility as a freelancer, but what if you don’t have the funds to pay a professional web designer? When you need to get a website up and running with as little time and money as possible, look to website builders. Website builders combine drag-and-drop web design tools with integrated hosting so you don’t need to be a tech wiz to set up a website. While there are a variety of website builders out there, Weebly offers the cheapest plans for month-to-month users with pricing starting at $9.

Finding freelance work is a great way to boost your income during the coronavirus lockdown, but getting started with freelancing isn’t free. Luckily, there are lots of ways to save money on the things you need to find freelance clients and build a professional web presence. Whether you freelance for a few weeks or start working for yourself full-time, these tips will help you do it at a price you can afford.

Image via Unsplash

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