It’s that time of the year again! Green grass shooting up where snow covered the ground. Early morning alarm clocks accompanied by birds chirping outside. Mailboxes filled with letters, coupons, and…what is that? That letter with the federal seal on it?

It’s your tax return! That money you’ve been waiting anxiously to arrive is finally here. But what will you do with it?

Instead of using that money to buy that expensive thing you’ve had your eye on, why not invest it back into your future?       

In this post, we’ll share ways you can use your tax return to invest in job searching tools, honing your skills, and even hiring the right people to help you secure your next position.

Pursue training and certifications

Sometimes job searchers want to slightly tweak their career path. Other times, they want to invest in a whole new map. Either way, you will need to make sure you hone your skillset if you want to successfully navigate a career change or upgrade. You can accomplish this through training and certifications.

First, read through job descriptions for the career you want to pursue. List out the specific qualifications you already have and ones that you need to acquire to become a competitive candidate. 

In the “requirements” section of the job description, there are usually specific programs and certifications listed. Much of the time, you don’t need to go back to school to fulfill these requirements. Instead, these programs simply require time to work through them. 

Your tax refund can help you with this, depending on how much you receive. Maybe you simply can’t pursue the career path you desire with the current hours you work. If possible, use your tax refund to buffer out a bit of time where you can focus solely on upgrading your career.

For example, if you want to change your career to digital marketing or simply want to appear more competitive despite having worked in it for years, you can look into programs and certifications such as the following:

Each certification is one that you can include in your resume, which will make you stand out to hiring managers.

Sign up for LinkedIn Premium

If you are looking for a new job, there are a few subscriptions you might want to check out—one such subscription is LinkedIn Premium.

Basically, LinkedIn Premium unlocks helpful features for job searchers. One of the more helpful features is the ability to see who has viewed your profile. If a recruiter is looking at your profile, LinkedIn Premium gives you the opportunity to see who that person is and where they work. If they work somewhere that interests you, then you can use another one of LinkedIn Premium’s features—InMail Messages.

If you only have a basic LinkedIn account, you’ll only be able to message those whom you’re already connected with. However, with InMail, you can message anyone on LinkedIn. In fact, according to LinkedIn, InMail Messages are 2.6 times more effective than email.

If you see a recruiter, business owner, or hiring manager look at your LinkedIn profile, then you can reach out to them, introduce yourself, and make a connection that can lead to your next position. 

Also, if you know the name of the hiring manager for a role you’ve applied for, you can use InMail to connect with them, ask if they’d like additional information, send over a video resume, or simply network.

Hire a career strategist or resume writer

As the old adage goes, looking for a job is a full-time job. That goes for you as the job seeker, but it also goes for career strategists and resume writers. 

Basically, a career strategist is someone who helps you land your next position, whatever that might be. They coach you on searching for jobs both on and off job boards, networking, interviewing, and more. Often, these career strategists have worked on the other side of the equation—in recruiting or even HR. Because of that, they have helpful insight into the process, how it actually works, and how to help you stand out from large candidate pools.

Similarly, resume writers help you, well, write your resume for specific positions. Your resume should tell your story succinctly but thoroughly, which sounds a lot easier than it actually is. Resume writers help job seekers navigate this process, so recruiters and hiring managers are able to quickly get the full story of the candidate’s history and experience.

If you’re interested in this direction, our Top Job Search Experts to Follow on LinkedIn for 2021 article highlights several experienced career strategists and resume writers.

Jobscan Premium

We are probably a bit biased here, but our final recommendation is to invest your refund in Jobscan Premium. You already know Jobscan’s tools help you tailor your resume to specific job descriptions. But with Jobscan Premium, you have unlimited resume scans

Remember, you want to tailor your resume to each job description, so if you are applying to more than 20 jobs, then Jobscan Premium is definitely helpful for you to make sure you’re including important keywords that will make you stand out from the competition.

You can find more information about Jobscan’s plans here

If you want to know what it looks like to scan your resume, we can help! Just paste your resume and desired job description below, and we’ll tell you how to make your resume a better match.