The Average Job-Search Expenses

by Ashlyn Etree

Job-search expenses can weigh heavily on the minds of job seekers. From Internet access to job interviews, the costs associated with finding employment can quickly mount. However, there are ways to curtail some expenses, and according to the Internal Revenue Service, many job-search expenses are tax deductible, including resume services, employment agency fees and some travel costs. A basic rule is that your new job must be in the same field as your current position. Deductions are not available to job seekers with a substantial break between new and previous employment, nor to first-time job seekers.

Employment Counseling

Employment counseling offers job seekers self-assessment testing, job-training information, resume-writing resources and interview tips. While private employment counseling firms can be costly to the unemployed, job seekers can save money by visiting their local American Job Center, formerly known as One-Stop Career Centers. Utilizing free and low-cost resources will enable you to cut your job-search expenses. For example, public libraries offer a variety of employment-related books, which include information provided by career counselors. Prospective and recent graduates can often find free career counseling at their college or university career center. Many nonprofit career centers and libraries provide free access to computers, printers, telephones and fax machines.

Employment Agencies

Employment agencies match job seekers with available positions. Some employment agencies require an upfront fee, while others only require payment if you are hired. To avoid agency-related expenses, contact a recruitment agency or headhunter. These businesses are paid by employers to find qualified candidates to fill open positions.

Travel and Transportation

Traveling to interviews with prospective employers is a potentially costly job-search expense. If you are considering relocating far from home, airfare and accommodations could cost several hundred dollars. Try to secure interviews with several companies in the area to increase the cost-efficiency of each trip. Whenever your job search requires driving, keep track of your mileage. It may be tax deductible.


Networking is the number one way job seekers find a job, according the Department of Labor's American Job Center. Networking is simply talking to people about your job search and career goals. The costs vary depending on the networking activity. Examples of networking activities include lunches with past clients, reconnecting with former colleagues online, and attending professional meetings and seminars.

About the Author

Ashlyn Etree was all business as a PR professional for 10 years, but she loves rolling up her sleeves volunteering at animal rescues. She writes for various publications, specializing in business, career and pet-related content. Etree earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Central Florida.

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