Give yourself a career makeover
Give yourself a career makeover
Dress for success

The best-looking people earn an extra $250,000 over their careers, reports economist Daniel Hamermesh. A snappy outfit can take you a long way; $1,000 worth of ideas, from Kathryn Finney of the Budget Fashionista:

For a man:
Designer suit ($400 at Nordstrom Rack)
Custom dress shirt ($90 at
Oxfords from Allen Edmunds ($279 at
Leather messenger bag ($258 at

For a woman:
Classic sheath dress ($150 at WhiteHouseBlackMarket)Gabardine wool suit ($370 at
Leather handbag ($322 at
A great haircut and color ($150)

Beef up your skills

Project management, public speaking, and web technology skills are sought after in almost any career, says Stephen Viscusi, author of "Bulletproof Your Job."

A continuing education class at your local college or university is likely to cost $1,000 or less. Northwestern University, for example, offers a Foundations of Project Management course ($995) that teaches you the tools you need to efficiently -- and cost-effectively -- take a large project from beginning to end.

Got a few bucks left over? Join an industry group and talk up your new skills at the next gathering.

Redo "Brand You"

Buy two sessions with an executive career coach ($800). "The biggest impediment for people in their career is how they tell their story," says Penelope Trunk, author and founder of A good coach will not only rewrite your résumé but also teach you how to talk about it. Get referrals from colleagues and friends, or visit

Next, broadcast your new identity to the world: Register and buy a year's worth of web hosting through ($80). Hire a junior designer (try to help you set up a simple, easily updatable site with your résumé, bio, skills, and contact info ($100 to $150).

Last updated October 17 2011: 1:41 PM ET
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