With so many new resources popping up on the Internet, it can be challenging to stay abreast of all the tools available to job seekers. But in this tough job market, knowing what online resources to use, and when, could help you maintain a competitive edge in your job search. Here are four online trends, tools, and resources worth familiarizing yourself with:
TWEETING. Using the social networking site Twitter to post a tweet, or a short message containing 140 characters or fewer, has become so commonplace that the word tweet was recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary. By sharing your thoughts and ideas with an online audience, tweeting can help you solidify your professional reputation, expand your network, and get your name out there. And in doing so, it may even lead to job offers.
ONLINE INTERVIEWS. The job application process moved online a long time ago, and the interview process has begun to follow suit. In addition to asking for your résumé and basic information, online applications are increasingly asking applicants to answer essay questions. Some questions found on online applications include the following:
Please summarize your past experience with (insert specific job requirement).
What are your hobbies and interests?
What would others consider to be your greatest strength?
What would others consider to be areas where you need improvement?
What do you see yourself doing two years from now?
Although this process gives you more time than in a traditional interview to contemplate and compose your answer, it also means that you will be expected to have a polished response.
INFOGRAPHICS. Not only is the information available on the Internet diverse, it is also available in many different formats. Increasingly, information is appearing as infographics, which are visual representations of complex data. When done effectively, this can be a great way to summarize a lot of information in a short amount of space. Consider ways that you can highlight your skills and expertise in an infographic.
LINKUP.COM. Tired of searching for job openings on individual websites of employers you’re interested in? LinkUp.com, which has become the job search engine of choice for many recruiters and hiring managers, indexes jobs listed on corporate websites, and it currently includes over 1.5 million jobs from more than 37,000 employers. There are no postings from temporary employment agencies, recruiters, or duplicate postings, which means that you don’t need to waste time tracking a job through multiple sources to find the actual hiring company. The listings on the site are updated automatically when the source company’s website is updated, so all search results are as accurate as the company’s own website.
LinkUp.com also allows you to set up alerts for new jobs matching your specific requirements. This is a great way to stay aware of opportunities in your field and watch for hiring trends that may impact your future career plans, such as a new skill that many employers are looking for.
If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to take advantage of the latest tools and techniques. Spending some time familiarizing yourself with what’s available on the Internet can help you keep your professional toolbox full of new ideas.
Get Involved In The Discussion. The ACS Career Tips column is published the first week of every month in C&EN. Post your comments, follow the discussion, and suggest topics for future columns in the Career Development section of the ACS Network (www.acs.org/network-careers).