Graduation is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to get a job. Whether or not you’re just getting through a college/graduate-level degree or just looking for something temporary to tide you over, the job hunting experience is the same: Frustrating, tedious, and cruel.
But it doesn’t have to be. Social networking has made a lot of things less professional, but it’s also brought with it a slew of career-focused websites and applications that can help alleviate job-seeker exasperation. When you’ve reached your wits’ end shuffling through Craigslist and sending out cover letter after cover letter, it’s time to supplement your search with these resources.
You may not have heard much about About.me since it was acquired by AOL four days after its launch, but it continues to be a heralded site for opportunity seekers. About.me is all about you, as its tagline explains, and cuts down on the unnecessary aspects of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. About.me wants to wrangle in the various identities you create through these platforms via one richly formatted, personalized page dedicated to you and linking to your relevant profiles. Users also get an analytics dashboard that breaks down how effective and viewed their page is. Sign-up even includes free (except shipping) business cards.
JobSpice is the brainchild of former Facebook designer Andrew McCollum and co-founders Dane Hurtubise and Keller Rinaudo, who grew tired of playing the Microsoft Word resume game. So once you’ve formatted and reformatted your own resume to the brink of your sanity, give JobSpice a try. The site designs a custom resume and lets you fill in your information or import it from LinkedIn. You can choose between free and premium custom designs –sort of like a career-minded version of Tumblr.
Combing through Twitter for employment possibilities is a hassle very nearly worth avoiding – but thanks to TweetMyJobs it doesn’t have to be. There isn’t much to it: You select what types of jobs and location (or “job channels” as the site refers to them) you’re interested in, and you will be instantly notified via Twitter each time a matching employer posts an open position on the site. You can create a custom profile and upload your resume to speed up the application process. It’s a great method for Twitter addicts to stay up on the job hunt.
If you want to wade in the widest job pool out there, you might think Craiglist or Monster are your first stops – but you’d be wrong. Indeed is the biggest job search engine in the world, and while there isn’t anything fancy about it, the site gets the job done. You can create a profile, upload a resume, and begin searching anywhere you like by jobs or even salaries. It’s no frills but it doesn’t have to be – it’s got some legs (in the form of hundreds of thousands of new job postings a week) to stand on.
Let’s Lunch launched (our apologies for the unavoidable tongue twister) in February 2011 and has since become a vital resource for careerists who want to take action. It’s easy to become dependent on the web and hide behind a profile or e-mail address during a job hunt, but Let’s Lunch focuses on that crucial thing college advisors keep telling you is so important: Networking. The site pulls information from your LinkedIn profile, asks for your availability, and schedules lunch with similar professionals in your area. The site also has a merit system based on your positive experiences, which earns you an increasing credibility that potential employers will be able to see.
The recession seemed to bring out the desperate college kid in all of us. A depressing and fruitless job search can easily land you in the fast food industry all too quickly. But MyWorkster wants to help you utilize something you gain from a college education besides a degree – and that’s your school’s alumni. The site originally began as a tool for connecting alumni with students or soon-to-be graduates and has transitioned into a job fair event planner. Check and see if MyWorkster is holding any events for your school and make use of the “Who’s hiring?” section to note what businesses you’re most interested in connecting with.
Sure, it’s significantly easier to create a job network these days, but putting it into action is more difficult. You know all those people you connect with across various social sites and that “social graph” you hear so much about? Jibe wants to make them useful. The site taps into your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts to assess your work and education background and create your own Jibe profile. Then you can browse the sites’ job board and you’ll be able to see who you know at the listed companies – and then it’s up to you to leverage that connection in your favor. Sometimes it really is who you know.