Every long term gain entails some amount of investment. This especially applies when you are looking for a job. You spend a lot of time and effort for these: drawing inspiration to make sure you have written your best application, battling with your ego and self-esteem regarding the most appropriate photo to send, materials you need to produce your resume, resources to send them to different employers or agencies, encouraging yourself to at least try applying for a job despite having occasional fear of rejection, and looking for the right job offers in the first place.
Transportation and attire costs are also to be taken into consideration as well if and when called for a personal interview. Sounds normal, as nothing great that lasts long can be acquired by just batting an eyelash. In some cases when you are coming from a faraway area and you do not end up getting the job, you are even reimbursed by the company for the travel expenses. That's if you are lucky.
What if you pay for a passport and travel expenses to go abroad, for example? For the shame of asking if you will get reimbursed before even getting interviewed, you keep your mouth shut. So you end up spending again and investing all of yourself into this emotional roller coaster of a process.
As an act of concern for its users, Locanto
shares some information on how to detect if you are investing too much in a job application that it is now considered a scam (that's if it's still not obvious to you).