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4 ways to invest in your job search and why you should

how to be strategic in your job search
Has submitting resumes and cover letters yielded zero responses and demoralized your spirit? Job searching is tough business, and if your current modus operandi feels like an ongoing failure, change is mandatory. 

Truly invest in your job search in the following four ways:

1) Build a Portfolio Website

Having a strong online identity can greatly improve your your career prospects. A quick Google search for your name by a recruiter or a glance at your LinkedIn profile review by a hiring manager can determine whether or not your resume deserves a closer look. Control your online presence with a personalized digital home where an employer can learn more about you as a professional.

An online portfolio can serve as an impressive way to share your accomplishments, tell your story and post recommendations made about you, says Andrea Coombes of MarketWatch. Think of employers as mining the Web for nuggets about you. Your online portfolio will enhance your visibility. Think of it as an online, "ongoing career accomplishment folder," says Co-founder of consulting firm CareerXroads and staffing expert Gerry Crispin.

Use Squarespace as your personal platform to create your online persona and display your work. Your site gives you a voice to connect with the digital and professional world. Take a tour of Squarespace and check out templates to start marketing your personal brand online. Make sure your online portfolio is consistently branded with your other online social spaces and that any links that you share aren't broken or out of date.

2) Secure a Commute

invest in your job searchThe cost of the daily commute greatly influences a person's quality of life. A study published in the British journal "Urban Studies" revealed people who endure at least a 45-minute commute are more likely to divorce than people with shorter daily commutes, reports The Huffington Post. No doubt a large part of such marital strain is due to the high cost of wear and tear on your commuting vehicle.

Help save your marriage and money with a reliable car that can serve as your trusty commuting companion, especially if you're applying to far away jobs. Forbes marked the Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE and Volkswagen Golf TDI as top cars for long commutes. 

If you're unemployed, you have budget-friendly car financing options with a used car dealership. Keep in mind a reliable car will be your transportation companion for making outside sales calls or traveling for business.

3) Commit to Professional Development

Continuing education keeps you competitive in the job market, whether you want to grow your skill set or change careers. Taking an online class or attending weekend training seminars also expands your professional community, which can serve as a beneficial networking opportunity. Although online education has a credibility stigma, a 2013 national distance education survey by the Instructional Technology Council reaffirms that online student enrollment continues to outpace student enrollment at traditional colleges and universities, according to ITCNetwork.com.

Before you delve into grad school or join 10 professional organizations, analyze your situation. Take time to perform a self-evaluation to determine what you hope to achieve and where you want to be by earning a professional certification or taking a Coursera class.

Investing in a high-performance, versatile laptop or tablet will serve as a valuable learning and communication tool for interacting with other students and even interviewing via Google Hangouts with a long-distance company. TechRadar.com recommends the best laptops for students, including the Samsung Series 9, Lenovo Yoga 11S and MacBook Air.

4) Design a Job-Searching Sanctuary

Nobody ever claimed job searching to be enjoyable — it's a means to an end. Finding a new job can be an exhausting and discouraging experience, but designing an inspirational space can be a motivational force. Invest in a decorated space reserved for your career endeavors to help cultivate a positive attitude and determined mindset.

Adorn your desk with a potted plant or flowers in a mason jar vase to energize the environment. A desk plant has been proven to boost productivity, cognitive attention and happiness. Also, free your workspace of distractions and clutter; organization will help your efficiency.

Color can have the most impact on your job hunting venture. Add blue for brain stimulation, use yellow for creativity and go green for calmness and tranquility, according to the color system of color psychologist Angela Wright.

Related Articles

Changing career fields
Job seeker's lessons learned
The 15 exact steps to land a job
Using business cards in job search


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