Job hunting these days is a battle. With fewer jobs available in certain industries, one needs to be efficient, streamlined and spot on in their quest for employment. Below are some things I personally use or have used to keep abreast of possible opportunities. Even if you are happy in your current career or company, it is never bad to be prepared in case you find yourself in need of a job.
1. Google Docs
Google Docs is a great place to design, store, and collaborate with other people on your resume. Your resume can be exported as a PDF, RTF or a Word document for easy viewing by your potential employer. With hundreds of easily customizable templates for both resumes and cover letters, this is a easy choice.
It is a good idea to keep your resume up dated. If you set a reminder in the calendar of your choice to update your resume quarterly, you will have less work if a lay off strikes. Another benefit to updating your information often is you are less likely to omit important details about your accomplishments.
Ingboo is a service that gives you a way to aggregate search results from a huge number of sites. In the job tab; Simply Hired, Craigslist and Hotjobs are 3 of the 11 sites from which you can be notified of newly posted job opportunities. The updates can be emailed in a daily digest, as soon as new results appear or at a selectable time of the day. Ingboo also can send updates right to your Twitter account. If none of these methods to view the results are appealing to you, going to Ingboo.com to see the results is always an option too. Ingboo is working on a Blackberry app which will help you keep up with your searches while mobile.
If you are using an RSS feed reader for viewing new posts on blogs and websites, using it for your job search will be a piece of cake. If you are not using any kind of RSS feed reader, Google Reader and iGoogle are good options to those who have a Google/ Gmail account. If not, other services for Mac, Windows and mobile devices are available.
The way to use RSS for a job search is simple. Create a search the same way you are accustomed to on a site like Monster.com. Instead of saving the search, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click on the RSS feed button.
You will be prompted to choose what reader you want to use. Once subscribed, all of the new jobs will arrive in this feed within moments of being posted. Here is what a feed would look like on your iGoogle hompage.
If you are looking at a specific company’s career page, the odds of them having an RSS feed with job updates are pretty slim. In this case, you can set up a Google alert for when a page changes (if a job is added). The results can be emailed to you weekly, daily or as soon as a change happens. This is done with some advanced Google search formulas like these:
if you were looking for a job at Apple
(inurl:job OR inurl:jobs) site:apple.com
if you were looking for a job anywhere in Denver, Colorado.
(inurl:job OR inurl:jobs) denver
(inurl:career OR inurl:careers)
These alerts work well because most companies post job openings on a page with [job] or [career] in the URL. By adding in a site:operator or a location, the search is narrowed and becomes more useful to you.
5. InSide Job
Usually apps on Facebook aren’t thought to be very useful in the search for a job. Granted Facebook can be a good way to network (when you aren’t distracted by Farmville or Mafia Wars); this is one application however, is making a good argument to be on Facebook.
Here is how their webpage describes the app:
Inside Job lets you contact people who have interviewed, worked, or are currently employed at the places you want to work at next!
InSide Job users can also:
-Get the inside scoop on their prospective employer before the interview;
-Network with people in similar fields; and
-Find the right people to hire as service providers.
6. A Blog
A personal blog is a good thing to keep up on whether you are working or not. Many free blogging platforms (WordPress.com, Blogger, Typepad…) give you an avenue to let people and potential employers get to know you. You can choose to display work accomplishments, personal stories, your thought on your industry news or anything you would like others to know about you.
The more positive information is on the web about you when a client or potential employer is looking you up on the web, the better. Job hunting is a full time job. You need to market yourself and control your online profile/ information in a way no other generation has before.
Leave any job searching tips and tools in the comments below.
Image credit bjmccray