20+ Free Career Resources You Need To Know About

by | Career Growth, Finding A Job, Resumes & LinkedIn

There are countless free career resources available for job seekers, and weeding through them can be stressful, especially when you’re already busy looking for a new job. Consequently, I developed the following guide to consolidate the best free job search resources available.

Continue reading to uncover the top free career podcasts, videos, books, activities, and more to propel your job search.

A Word Of Caution On Free Career Resources

Before diving in, remember that anyone can call themselves a coach, as the industry is unregulated, and with the rise of social media and influencers, new “job search experts” and career coaches are popping up daily.

It’s easier than ever to distribute free — and at times misleading or false — career advice. As a job seeker, you must conduct your due diligence and proceed with a healthy dose of skepticism before following tips you find online.

Free Career Podcasts

Because there are so many career podcasts on the market, which makes it difficult to decide which ones are worth listening to, I decided to start the guide here.

1. Find Your Dream Job Podcast

Mac's List Find Your Dream Job Podcast

One of the best career podcasts out there is Find Your Dream Job with Mac Prichard, because the episodes are action oriented. Each week, Prichard brings on a different job search expert to break down a relevant topic into bite-size pieces that you can immediately apply to your career.

Here is the link to my episode of Find Your Dream Job, where I discuss how to identify what makes you fabulous. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!

2. Mac’s List Of Top Career Podcasts

Mac’s List Of Top Career Podcasts

Speaking of which, Prichard compiles an annual list of top career podcasts. He argues that this Top Career Podcasts Guide serves as, “A single source for the best shows dedicated to helping professionals look for work and grow their careers.” I concur with Prichard; this is a powerful guide to finding some of the best free career podcasts out there.

Free Career Videos

If you’re more of a video person, I’ve got you covered with several of my favorite free career videos:

3. What I Learned From 100 Days Of Rejection

Jia Jing TED Talk

Jia Jing’s TED Talk, What I learned from 100 days of rejection, has been viewed more than 10 million times, and for good reason. Jing shares his journey of trying to get turned down for 100 days and the power of desensitizing yourself to the fear of rejection. This is a great video to watch when job searching, since rejection is inevitable, and it helps to get used to it.

[Read: How To Write LinkedIn Networking Messages That Get Results]

After watching the TED Talk, I undertook my own “rejection therapy” journey, which challenged me to try and collect nos. I collected many more yeses than I expected. I also served as a beta tester for his Rejection Therapy app.

4. Brad Yates’ EFT Tapping Videos

Tap With Brad Yates Screenshot

The job search process can be incredibly stressful and anxiety-producing. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping, can be helpful in reducing negative self-talk and learning how to better accept yourself.

Brad Yates has a YouTube channel with hundreds of free videos. Some of the ones that I most often send to job seekers include:

[Read: How To Manage Career Anxiety: 10 Expert Tips]

Free Career Books

And now let’s talk about career books, which are likely available at no charge from your library. (Please support your local branch!)

5. Designing Your New Work Life

For starters, Designing Your New Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness—and a New Freedom—at Work, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, is one of my go-to career books.

The authors, two Stanford University professors, offer highly interactive design thinking activities that you can immediately apply to your job search and career so that you can find meaningful work and happiness.

[Read: How To Find Meaningful Work]

6. You Are a Badass 

Next, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero, is a helpful resource if you need a no-nonsense pick-me-up. While not a traditional career book, Sincero empowers you to identify self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that are standing in the way of living the life you want.

7. The First 90 Days

Lastly, if you’re starting a new job, you’ll want to pick up a copy of The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, by Michael D. Watkins. Every time a client lands a new role, whether externally or at their current company, I recommend they take a look at this powerful reference guide to ensure they hit the ground running.

[Read: 10 Tips When Starting A New Job]

Free Career Discovery Activities

If you’re feeling stuck in your career and not sure where to go, there are a plethora of free career activities you can try in order to gain clarity and bolster your confidence. I’ll share two of my favorites, one focused on internal reflection (manifestation journaling) and the other on external reflection (Mini 360).

8. Manifestation Journaling Activity

When you have a career goal but aren’t sure exactly how to get there, or simply want to iron out the details, I recommend you try manifestation journaling. This fun career activity empowers you to create the future you want by first expressing your values, dreams, and goals, then transforming them into step-by-step actions you can take to make them a reality.

Note: When manifestation journaling, you want to write in the present tense, like you already achieved your career goals, so you can begin to imagine them becoming a reality.

If your goal is to land a job in tech, for instance, you would choose a date in the future and perhaps start your journal entry with, “Today is the first day at my new job at [tech company] as a [job title]…” You would then explain your job in depth, how you feel, and the steps you took to land your position.

You can learn more about manifestation journaling, as well as uncover additional prompts, in this article.

9. Mini 360 Activity

The Mini 360 is another free career discovery activity you can deploy when you want to gain greater clarity, and it can be used in a variety of instances with minimal time investment.

If you’re stuck as to what type of career path you want to pursue, for instance, you can ask people you trust the question, “What types of careers can you envision me succeeding in?” Or if you’re unsure what companies to target for your job search efforts, you might inquire, “Where can you see me working?”

[Read: “Why Can’t I Decide On A Career?” Answered]

Free Job Search Guide

If you’re like most job seekers, you might struggle when it comes to focusing your time, energy, and effort. This can be particularly challenging if it’s been 5, 10, or 20+ years since you last looked for a new role. A job search guide can help you prioritize your efforts.

10. CaffeinatedKyle.com Free Search Launch Guide

CaffeinatedKyle.com Free Job Search Launch Guide

My free job search launch guide teaches you where to prioritize your time, energy, and effort so you can find a job faster and have more confidence. Because the job search can quickly become overwhelming, I’ve broken this down into an easy-to-follow, 5-step process to help you get started:

  • Step 1: Clarify Your Target Companies
  • Step 2: Identify & Own Your Fabulousness
  • Step 3: Articulate Your Career Accomplishments
  • Step 4: Update & Optimize Your Career Documents
  • Step 5: Caffeinate Your Job Search®

Free Job Search Tracker

Speaking of which, there are a lot of moving pieces in a modern-day job search, and it can be challenging to stay organized. A job search tracker can help you keep the moving pieces in place.

11. Streak

Streak For Google Free Job Search Tracker

Streak is one of my favorite free tools to organize your job search because it’s easy to use and highly customizable. Streak has a pipeline designed specifically for job searching, and as a bonus, it integrates directly into Gmail.

Free Resume Proofreader

You only get one first impression when looking for a new job, so you want it to be free of typos.

12. Grammarly

Grammarly Free Resume Proofreader

While you’ll need to apply a critical lens, you can use Grammarly to review your resume, LinkedIn profile, and other career documents. You can also use the platform to edit your emails and networking messages. Plus, Grammarly now integrates with Chrome, as well as other software.

Free Career Level And Salary Calculator

There are also many free tools and resources available to help you determine the right career level and negotiate your salary — which I cover in-depth in articles like this one and this one I wrote in Forbes — but below is one of my favorites.

13. levels.fyi

levels.fyi Free Career Level And Salary Calculator

Because I specialize in the tech industry, I often recommend levels.fyi to job seekers looking for an all-in-one free resource for comparing titles and salaries across companies.

levels.fyi is unique in that you can compare roles — and salaries — based on scope and responsibility. Additionally, you can view user-reported total compensation, broken down by salary, stock grant, and bonus.

[Read: Total Compensation: 10 Great Things To Negotiate Besides Salary]

Free Estimated Paycheck Calculator

When deciding between job offers, it can also be helpful to get a sense of what your take-home pay will look like. A free estimated paycheck calculator will tell you just that.

14. ADP Salary Paycheck Calculator

ADP Free Estimated Paycheck Calculator

Whether you get paid weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or semi-monthly, ADP’s free salary paycheck calculator allows you to estimate your take-home pay. The platform also allows you to factor in not only federal and state taxes, but also pre-tax benefits like medical, dental, vision, a healthcare FSA, and retirement contributions, so you can get a more accurate idea of what your paycheck will look like.

Free Cost Of Living Calculator

If relocation is involved in your job search, you’ll also want an idea of the cost of living in your new city, and a cost of living calculator can help you understand how far your dollar will stretch.

15. NerdWallet Cost Of Living Calculator

NerdWallet Free Cost Of Living Calculator

NerdWallet’s free cost of living calculator allows you to compare living expenses across hundreds of cities. Beyond housing costs, you can also evaluate the costs of transportation, food, entertainment, and healthcare. Additionally, you can review the average public school ratings.

Free Courses To Improve Your Skills

What about improving your skills? There are a lot of free courses on the market to improve your skills, bolster your resume, and make you more competitive, but they’re not all created equal. The following are three of my favorites.

16. edX

edX Free Courses To Improve Your Skills

edX is one of my favorite massive online open course (MOOC) providers, as they offer free courses from top institutions like Harvard University (HarvardX) and Cornell University (CornellX).

17. Coursera 

Coursera Free Courses To Improve Your Skills

As of writing this article, Coursera is the largest MOOC and markets thousands of career development courses free of charge. The platform also offers an array of free short courses you can complete in a single day.

18. Udemy

Udemy Free Courses To Improve Your Skills

Udemy is another popular MOOC and offers more than 500 free courses. Some of Udemy’s most popular course categories include design, development, marketing, IT, and software.

Free Career Coaching Services

Working with a career coach can be a significant investment. However, if you’re on a budget, there are also several free career coaching services available to you:

19. American Job Centers

American Job Centers Free Career Coaching Services

American Job Centers (AJCs) are a no-cost resource that offers career counseling, job postings, employment services, and additional no-cost resources for job seekers. You can click here to find an AJC near you; there are more than 2,200 locations across the United States.

Many job seekers are unaware of AJCs and the valuable free resources they offer from experts like me. For example, I have presented many LinkedIn workshops to job seekers and career management professionals at one of the job centers in the San Francisco Bay Area to give back to my local community.

20. University Career Centers

If you attended college, your university is another great resource, as it likely has a career center with resources available to alumni. The types of services available will vary depending on your university as well as how long it’s been since you graduated.

[Read: What Is A Career Coach? (And How To Tell If You Need One)]

Additional Free Job Search Resources

21. Best Facebook Groups For Job Seekers

Facebook groups can be an additional helpful resource when looking for a new job. This article includes some of the best groups on the platform to support your job search efforts.

22. Best Websites For Tech Job Seekers

Finally, if you’re looking for a tech job, you’ll want to read this article I wrote that compiles the best websites for finding a job in the industry.

[Read: How To Find A Job In Tech Online: 7 Tips]

Final Thoughts

The job market is constantly changing, so I’ll be sure to update this list as often as possible. Also, if there is a free job search or career resource you believe should be added to this list, please contact me. I’m here for you! You’ve got this!

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

Dr. Kyle Elliott is the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. His expertise is in Silicon Valley and high-tech. As a result of working with Dr. Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other tech giant you can imagine.

A trusted career expert, Dr. Elliott’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He has been recognized as a Best Career & Interview Coach, Best Resume Writer for Silicon Valley/Tech Managers & Executives, and LinkedIn Top Voice (the platform’s highest honor).

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