5 Online Tools to Help You Land a Job

By Craig Kessler on 21 October 2009 (Updated 1 March 2010) 3 comments

Growing up, there seems to be a standard progression from year to year that makes up the path of your childhood into the beginnings of your adult world. Sure, some stray and create their own paths, but the majority of us hold on to the security blanket that is the path.

The path I am referring to is from education to job: Elementary school to middle school, then high school, then college, and finally on to job. This path has been embedded in our mindset growing up, but with the recession in form and the unemployment rate tingling just below 10%, the security of this path from education to job has been threatened and has a lot of college aged kids worried.

College graduates of the past year expected to enter the job market in open arms. Instead, many are fishing for any type of corporate job just to start-up and get going, even if they are qualified for better and deserve more money. But despite the times, these students should not be worrying.

In fact, they should be blessed with the opportunities they have to land jobs, and they actually have a better chance of landing a job than those of past generations in this situation.

How can this be, you ask? There are social media tools out there that — when utilized properly — are a great resource to build a personal brand and online portfolio, as well as to network for a job (unlike the traditional practice of submitting a resume to a generic contact form, which will most likely get stacked with the hundreds of others in some big pile somewhere).

What if you could directly contact a specific person in the company? Or even better, what if they came to you? Here are some tools that can help you network and build your online portfolio so you can land your next job.

Blogs

Building and maintaining a blog is like running your own small business. You play many different roles such as editor, designer, maintenance technician, customer support, and PR/marketing all in one. It takes time and commitment, and starting one (especially in college) is a huge resume boost and a great online portfolio of your work and skills. Start a blog revolving around content in your major or start one about a hobby you have a passion for. Either way, you will learn a lot of valuable skills, develop experience, and have so much to talk about during an interview.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business professional's network where you can show off your skills in an online resume format. You can also get recommendations from others which could attract companies. More companies are using this network to look for potential job prospects, so having an up-to-date profile that enhances your skills could give you the edge. There are also groups where you can participate and engage with others offering help and showing your expertise. This networking could lead to you receiving a job opportunity or a contact. If you know the company you want to work for, find people who work there and try to connect with them. Send a message and maybe they will respond to you with the correct person to contact or set a time to talk further. By doing this, you are bypassing the generic contact form and are showing initiative.

Twitter

Maybe some people strictly use it to follow what their favorite celebrities do, but Twitter is a great networking tool. Begin to help others within your industry and connect with those you want to try to build relationships with. After being active and engaging, you may be able to learn of a job opportunity from networking through Twitter.

YouTube

Create a short 1-2 minutes elevator pitch on YouTube about who you are, what you are looking for, and why you deserve it. You never know who may find it and pass it along.

Online Resumes

Buy your domain name if you can. Include all the links to the social networks you belong to, video resume, written resume, and any articles, projects, or videos that you have worked on. Developing this centralized online portfolio is an added bonus for job seekers. When prospective employers search your name in Google, they will find you easily and most likely will be very impressed. This can help give you the edge over other people.

Job hunting isn't easy, especially now. It takes time, patience, and a little bit of luck. But with these tools, it puts finding new opportunities or contacts in your court, making it easier to land that next job.

This guest post is by Craig Kessler, marketing director at BudgetPulse, a free personal budgeting software.

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Guest's picture
Shannon

This is really great advice for recent graduates, as well as everyone who has recently found themselves out of work. It's all too easy to get caught up in feeling like you can't find work, no matter what path you follow or job search methods you try. I want to make a suggestion for another online tool that is already helping individuals be found for jobs. I work for OneWire.com, a revolutionary site that matches recent grads and professionals to open opportunities in finance. All that you have to do to be considered for any position on OneWire for which you are qualified is create your detailed profile. Then, OneWire does the matching and the rest of the work for you. OneWire puts you in direct contact with decision makers, so it saves time and is more practical than an old fashioned job board. As you mentioned, searching for a job is tough right now, so OneWire is a great resource to add to anyone's job search tool box.

Guest's picture

Thanks for the timely reminders Craig.
I find it is so easy to get negative when things are not working out as I think they should.
Doing something positive as you have suggested in this post can often be a catalyst to get moving along.
I was interested that you did not suggest using facebook. I have found that facebook is an amazing place for connecting with old colleagues and friends and can often be a starter to finding out about opportunities in a wider circle of people.

Guest's picture
Craig

@Andee You are right, Facebook is great at connecting with old friends and can open up your circle. The reason I left it out is because I feel it is still widely used more for social and personal connections opposed to networking. If you network and develop those contacts and it can work its way to Facebook that is great, but I don't think it should be a high focus for networking for jobs. Usually you have to reach a certain level of a relationship before Facebook comes into play.