Job Search Tools

job search toolsRewind to four years ago. I was a new job seeker trying to figure out what the heck a job search was (actually, I was really just trying to figure out how to get a job, but no one was falling all over themselves to offer me a job). I knew about job boards, of course, and figured that's where my job leads would come from. I knew I needed a resume (hard to apply to a job without a resume). I knew I should network (ugh). But that's about it - as a job seeker that seemed to be all I had that I could call a "tool."

Today I have a better understanding of the job search, and tools you could use. Here are tools I recommend:

1. - this is the website I designed during my job search. I used an Excel spreadsheet but I quickly outgrew it, and longed for a web-based solution based on a salesperson's CRM technology. JibberJobber allows you to organize and manage your job search.

2. LinkedIn - if you believe in networking, and you want to network into a company or hiring manager, LinkedIn is your first stop. It should be a significant tool during your entire job search.

3. Your brand - not to overuse the idea of "personal branding," but think about how you communicate who you are and what you bring to the table. Too many times we miss the opportunity to put our value proposition in front of the right people, which can be communicated with an elevator statement, a five second "bumper sticker" statement, or your email signature.

4. Blogs - don't worry, I'm not going to try and convince you to write a blog, but you should find blogs that are in your profession or industry and start reading and commenting on them. Hiring managers, recruiters and other professionals might find your comments and want to reach out to connect with you.

5. Network meetings - there are different kinds of network meetings to go to, of course. I encourage you to find a local network group of professionals in transition. It's kind of weird to meet with other unemployed people since they aren't in a hiring position, but there is immense value in networking with them. From learning from them to getting networking introductions, there is value there!

6. Emurse - mix up the letter of emurse and you have resume! I liked emurse from the day it came out, and was happy for my friends when it was acquired by AOL. Why use Emurse? Put your resume online, with proper security, and allow people to get it in various formats (html, pdf, doc, etc.). I cannot image the day when resumes are not important anymore, and your LinkedIn Profile is NOT your resume.

This list can go on and on. It isn't my intention to list 1001 tools - these are six of my top recommendations. What do you recommend?

Jason Alba loves career management, only because when he got canned he had done nothing to prepare for it. Now he runs, a website that helps job seekers organize their job search online. He also authored the book I'm on LinkedIn -- Now What??? Follow Jason on Twitter: @jasonalba

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