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Dear Bev: I've heard about new sites and applications for networking and job search. Are there any you'd recommend?

Dear Bev: I'm constantly reading about new Web sites and applications to help with networking and job search. Are there any that you'd recommend?

 

There seems to be a steady stream of online tools, widgets and apps that are launched regularly. The challenge is sorting through the information and picking a few that will be genuinely beneficial, not only for your job search and personal branding but with social networking related to that search. Below are a few suggestions and tools worth checking out.

 

Online Resumes: Today's Gimmick or Tomorrow's Must Have?

Multiple Web sites are now offering tools to create a virtual resume.  While you still have to do the work of writing a compelling CV, design features and expanded content capabilities are what these sites are all about. Virtual resumes potentially allow you to stand out in a sea of job seekers.

 

Some of the sites charge a fee, but I liked the free one, VisualCV.com, which is growing at a monthly rate of 20%. Begin by importing your LinkedIn profile or upload the word or PDF resume you currently use. That's just the beginning. What sets virtual resumes apart is the ability to feature videos, photos, a portfolio of your work, employment history, charts, graphs and more. Instead of sending an attached file, you send a URL to your online resume. For potential employers, that eliminates printing and computer memory usage -- and it's green.

 

Will virtual resumes be the new standard? That's tough to say, but it's worth some time and experimentation in its early stage.

 

Social Networking Made Simple

Social networking is now an acceptable job search tool. I've done a column on my favorites, which include LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, but the latest trend is simplification. Here's a quick reference chart on some of the sites I've found useful in bringing multiple sites together with one app and saving time by not having to constantly log-in.

 

 

Tools

Details & Features

 

Works with...

Works on...

Pro's

Con's

 

 

 

Digsby

 

 

 

7 instant messagers, and chats, E-mail, and 4 Social Networks

 

 

 

 

Windows (Mac and Linux coming soon)

IM client that allows you to see notifications of new emails, new messages, new status updates and to chat all in one small desktop portal with one easy log-in, allows you to respond to emails right in the IM window

Doesn't give full access or search capabilities on social networks, can give you tons of un-welcomed notifications per day if not customized properly

 

Adium

 

15 different instant messagers and chats

 

 

Mac

IM Client allows you to chat and view contacts in one small portal with one easy log-in

 

Doesn't have access to social media or e-mail

 

 

 

Tweet Deck

 

 

 

 

Twitter and Facebook

 

 

 

 

Mac, Windows, Linux

Desktop Browser with full access to Twitter, customizable appearance and lay-out, allows grouping of contacts by type (i.e. work or social), view tweets in real time, update your facebook status and follow friends, receive notifications of updates

Only allows access to two networks, doesn't allow full profile access on Facebook. Is really most useful for those whose main focus is Twitter

 

 

 

Skimmer

 

 

 

Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and Blogger

 

 

 

 

Mac and PC

 

Desktop application with a very streamlined style, allows for larger images and easy photo sharing, no advertisements

Is applicable to a few networks that are less business-oriented than others, may be better suited for the photo and video-oriented user.

 

 

 

Ping.fm

 

 

 

 

Over 40 social networks

 

 

 

 

Via the internet and mobile

Allows an update on all of your networks (including with photos) with one click, largest selection of social networks, used via internet saving memory space on your desktop, many applications available via networks and mobile devices

 

 

 

Does not allow access to other aspects of networks such as search or browsing

 

 

Online PR Free for 30 Days

If you're looking to promote your business or brand during these tough times, take a look at PitchEngine.com. Create a press release online that gets pitched out to a collection of hungry writers and eager readers who subscribe to the site. It offers a more conversational approach to PR, and you can engage readers with multimedia content, instead of plain old text, that will be shared on GoogleNews. Your release is free for the first 30 days. After that, you have to pay a fee.

 

These are just a few of the applications out there and for now, may be useful in increasing your job search efficiency and digital presence.

1 comment about "Dear Bev: I've heard about new sites and applications for networking and job search. Are there any you'd recommend?".
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  1. Shirley Edbrooke from The Edbraham Group, LLC, May 12, 2009 at 9:52 a.m.

    As an Executive Recruiter in the DM space, we find the two most useful tools to be LinkedIn and The Ladders. If you do nothing else, make sure your LinkedIn Profile is complete, includes references, and you have invited everyone in your professional network to join. Regardless of what tools and apps you use, your priority should be to spend at least 80% of your week networking.

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