If you've lost your job in the past year, you might be a little depressed come tax time. But those out of work might also be in luck, because it's perfectly acceptable to write off the costs of trying to find a new job. "Huzzah!" you might exclaim. "Now is the perfect time for me to ditch this lame computer programming gig and write off the cost of trying to become a paleo nutritionist to the stars."
Not so fast. The IRS is not in the business of paying for your dreams. First off, you can only write off the cost of a job search in your current occupation. It also has to be a reasonable period of time between switching jobs -- no big breaks to travel to Thailand and "just chill to get in a good headspace." First jobs don't count either; you're not going to get away with deducting your expenses from the age of 12, when you first decided you wanted to be a paleontologist.
But as long as you meet the requirements, there are quite a few items to expense. If you're working for a temp firm while you're trying to find work, you can deduct any fees. You can even deduct the cost of putting together your resume. Even travel expenses are subject to deduction if you're scouting for a new job in your current occupation while you're in the area.