Tuesday, November 20, 2012

4 online resources to improve your job search

ONLINE RESOURCES: Use these to maximize the impact
of your job search process
Most job seekers are using the Internet to search for and find new jobs. But few job seekers are using it to its full potential. If you are just searching for and responding to job ads on individual employer websites or aggregate job boards, you could be missing out on some great opportunities.

There are lots of important online resources job seekers should be aware of and using to maximize the impact of their job search process. Today, we're shining the spotlight on four of them.
  1. LinkedIn for professional networking. Many students don't realize the real value that LinkedIn can provide to their job search and networking endeavors. That's why we did an entire workshop on LinkedIn this past spring, to teach students how to use it for making connections, networking, and staying up-to-date on industry news and trends. It is a fantastic tool for professional networking and connections, and can even serve as a news platform for you to see what individuals in your network are discussing and posting. Create a profile if you don't have one and start building your connections. One of the easiest ways to do that is to have LinkedIn search your email for contacts and invite those individuals to connect. Whenever you meet a professional contact, invite them to connect on LinkedIn, either right away or later that day. You never know who you might connect with that could lead to a job opportunity down the road. Also, your connections can recommend you publicly. Individuals who could be good targets to reach out to for connections include your professors, advisors, and past and current employers. These recommendations are valuable references for future job opportunities.
  2. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' "Occupational Outlook Handbook" for job market research. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the "Occupational Outlook Handbook," which includes information about the nature of work, working conditions, training and education, earnings, and job outlook for hundreds of different occupations. It can give you a handle on which industries are growing now, as well as where they are going in the future. The Handbook is released biennially, and the current edition includes employment projections for the years 2010-2020. It also gives job search tips, links to information about the job market in each state, and much more. Anyone who's considering switching industries should take a look at the Handbook before making that leap.  
  3. The Career Rookie website for finding internships and entry-level positions. Career Rookie connects students and recent graduates seeking internships, part-time jobs, and entry-level positions with employers across a wide variety of industries. Users can also post resumes, get the latest news on companies and industries, sign up for automatic job alerts, find local career fairs, and tap into advice on everything from writing resumes to on-the-job success.
  4. The Pennsylvania Statewide Career Coach website for finding Philadelphia area jobs. Career Coach highlights jobs that are local to the Pennsylvania area. Since most of our students hail from this state, the site gives an overview of what industries are growing and where job seekers should be looking. It also presents job opportunities that are tailored to your education, skills, and experience.
I hope these four online resources can help improve your job search. What online resources do you use in your job search? I'd love to hear about it in a comment below.