Top 10 Technology Tools for Job Seekers

keyboardI know what you must be thinking (or at least I’m going to pretend like I know): this blog is supposed to be about education! Why is she writing about technology and job hunting?

There are many different kinds of education, just like there’s many different ways to learn. Finding, applying for, and obtaining a job can be a significant learning experience. And in this job market, there’s a steep curve.

This process is one that interests me, and I am actually pretty good at getting hired in traditional jobs. Self-employment is a different, and in some ways more challenging, learning experience.

Anyhow, as someone looking for a job, you want to make sure you do things in a cost-effective and overall efficient way. Today, job seekers have lots of shiny tools to help in the process of finding that perfect job. Many of these tools exist on the Internet. But there are so many websites out there, it’s hard to determine the best tool at the right time. I’ve narrowed those resources down to the top 10 you might want to pay attention to.

  1. Monster.com –Monster is a huge database of jobs that allows you to look by keyword, location, or job type. It can be kind of overwhelming at times with all the job options, but there’s also an iPad app for it. The iPad Monster app is actually a bit more organized and easier to deal with (in my humble opinion). Monster also comes with a whole host of articles about resumes, cover letters, and job hunting in general. The articles may, for people in certain professions, be more useful than the job database.
  2. Idealist.org –Idealist is an “ideal” job database for people looking to work in the non-profit sector or have a job helping people. I personally have used Idealist a lot looking for jobs in the education field. I would find job ads for non-profits all over the country and all over the world. Idealist also has a great list of fellowships that can be useful for college seniors or recent college grads looking for a gig to last one or two years before graduate school.
  3. Snag a Job.com –Snag a job is a website that I usually recommend for high school students looking for a job because they offer a search option for teens. It’s a site filled with mostly retail and part-time jobs. It’s well organized and easy to sort through.
  4. Linked In –LinkedIn is a social media platform similar to what Facebook is, except it’s for professional people looking for professional connections. LinkedIn is based off of the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The connections you build with colleagues, friends, former supervisors, and other professional connections can lead to new connections and new job opportunities. Linked In also has a job board where people can post job opportunities within their companies.
  5. Craigslist –I’ll be honest. I went back and forth and back and forth about putting Craigslist on this list. But I think for certain types of jobs, Craigslist does work. For instance, organizations like Sylvan Learning Center and other education related jobs only post their job openings on Craigslist. Craigslist can also be a good site for people looking for administrative assistant positions. It’s not right for every type of job, but it can be useful for some. Be wary of posts without company names and posts that request something from you other than a resume, cover letter, or writing sample. Anything that asks you to pay a fee or give some money is probably a scam. Internet safety, people!
  6. Google (Google Maps, Google Docs, and Gmail) –Google is now more than just a search engine. Heard that a company in your area is hiring? Check out Google Maps to see where it is and what is around it. Google Docs offers a way to keep track of the jobs to which you apply. It’s crucial while job hunting to keep track of the jobs you have applied to so that you don’t re-apply to the same job. Google Docs is an easy way to do that and it can be accessed on any computer and most tablets.
  7. Twitter–Believe it or not, Twitter can be useful for job hunting if you know how to use it. I use Twitter to post about various projects I am doing so that potential clients know what I am up to. I also “follow” various organizations that post job opportunities. Follow companies that you might like to work for, so you will be among the first to hear any job opportunities. This site offers a video on how to find jobs on Twitter.
  8. Microsoft Office or iWorks— I once helped a friend who was looking for a job and did not have a word processing program on his computer. He put together his resume in a text only document with no formatting or anything. It’s no wonder he wasn’t getting any call backs! His resume did not have a professional look. Now, you do not need fancy paper or perfume (see Legally Blonde) or fancy colors. But formatting is usually necessary to set you apart as a serious, competitive applicant.
  9. Search Engines — Sometimes job databases like Career Builder and Monster are not enough. If you know of a company or a kind of company that you would like to work for, Google (or Bing or Yahoo) them. Check their website directly to see if they are hiring. This kind of search is oftentimes more effective than using a site like Monster or Career Builder.
  10. Blogs — In today’s economy, people all over the country are switching professions and stepping outside of their comfort zone in order to find a job. Blogs can help in a number of ways. It can help expose job seekers to different professions and different perspectives. I read all kinds of blogs about writing because it gives me new ideas for what I can do. Search WordPress.com and Blogger.com to find blogs that may interest you. Hopefully this one is one of them!

What other technology tools do you use in job hunts? This question is for everyone–employed and unemployed. 

(Photo Credit: espensorvik on Flickr Commons)
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