Lifestyle

10 Awesome Tools Every Job Seeker Needs To Know About

The last stretch of the year is here already; and some employees have been planning all year for their moves to greener pastures and the next phase of their career. To make the transition painless and hopefully short-lived, we’ve done the work for you and neatly tidied up the resources to keep you well-put-together and on top of things.

Having been through quite a bit of the job search process ourselves (being young professionals with perpetual stars in our eyes and restlessly going for the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow), more of us are experiencing ‘mid-life crises’ in our 20s and 30s; but we digress. According to survey results early this year by American job community website giant, Glassdoor, 9 in 10 people job seekers rely on their mobile phones in their job search, a progressively definitive increase from last year.

In view that there are restructurings to the job labour market with the tightening of the pool of foreign labour, including Singapore users being certified number one in smartphone adoption according to Google study; plus the announcement just this week that a first-ever Council for training, education and careers progression has been set up – we at Vulcan Post proudly present to you the top ten job search ‘weapons’ to sharpen and amass for the relatively optimistic job climate forecast.

1. Job Aggregator Sites

It simply makes ‘economical’ sense to use useful existing job aggregator sites, just like how there are aggregator sites for coupon deals (that’s another life hack kind of tool) which are très useful in narrowing down the job seekers’ preferred industries,  skillsets, locations and other unique requirements for themselves in a jiffy.

Unlike the usual and more well-oiled job search portals which charge their clients a fee in posting up decently presentable ads, the aggregator sites pull informational data from various places: such as the portals, companies’ job boards, recruiters’ pages, etc; and link them as an external party. This is because they rely on other sorts of advertising for site maintenance funding. In the murky and wild pool of job ads online, aggregator sites are the centres of calm.

Established and preferred job aggregator site, in terms of their global outreach, are Indeed.com – specially designed versions for use in 19 countries, and SimplyHired.com with various applications to tap on social media and for use in 17 countries. You can also peruse this eye-opening summary by the folks at Sandbox Advisors of the use of job aggregators sites in our local Singapore context.

2. Go Deep with Major Job Portals

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Get way familiar with major job portals favoured by the companies and recruitment companies in your area or country. Furthermore, the more you use them, the more familiar you would be with the features offered: Get comprehensive users-only access to the existing market rate and average salary for the positions you’re mainly interested in, look at rival applicants’ resume details and asking salary, as well as their job application history (and which you can have leads too).

Some job portals even have the very cool feature of stating upfront the salary range offered, right next to the advertised job posts (provided the job posters turn them on). Furthermore, at your own profile homepage, one could fiddle with the site tools included to create a more personalised algorithm and purposefully narrow down the type of jobs to fit one’s requirements as close as technologically possible. Start headfirst pronto at JobStreet.com, the number 1 job site in Singapore according to Google Trends and Monster.com, the oldest job search engine around which is reinventing itself this year by backing powerful and trendy search tools of its own for users.

3. GlassDoor – A Bonafide Employee’s Look Behind the Hiring Door

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Defining themselves as “the world’s most transparent career community”, GlassDoor’s website is a gateway paradise to insider information about real companies by actual employees. From the much-coveted information on salary range and workplace culture, to employee benefits and interview techniques by hiring managers, this is open-market information flow at its best. The site is mainly concentrated for the US market, but a quick research for information  on other countries under the ‘Location’ tab serves up a few nuggets of local results. GlassDoor is available in mobile app form on smartphones.

4. Operation Facebook

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Image Credit: grammarchicblog

According to this article over at Forbes on using Facebook as a job search tool, job seekers rely heavily on Facebook, the social media site, in comparison to other sites.  By consciously using Facebook to job search, every relevant news feed and ads that the user clicks on, will lead to the site churning out related suggestion links –  that are intelligently attuned to the job seeker’s Facebook activities. Just like how any company that’s worth their weight and pride has a Facebook page, job seekers can ‘like’, ‘follow’, ‘friend’, comment, reach out and even message the company’s reps directly.

Place your Facebook profile discreetly or obnoxiously in their radar. Facebook is meant to be wholly interactive! Several companies, such as publishing and media firms, immediately and consistently post internship opportunities, and a collection of other available job positions on Facebook. Announcing news on social media first thing is the norm now.

A tip: it pays to monitor the past behaviour, that is, social media posts of companies which are in your radar. One can hit paydirt if the company is especially active on social media outlets. Daily Facebook job seekers can consider using the Beknown app on there to separate their professional and personal profile identity.

5. Get Your LinkedIn On

Image Credit: Forbes
Image Credit: Forbes

Being currently the most prominent general social media outlet for professionals at the moment, with more than 332 million members in over 200 countries and territories, the LinkedIn website would ideally like its users to be actively networking with one another. LinkedIn is a social media site (and app) which is primarily used for blowing one’s own trumpet in terms of their achievements and strengths. Maintaining an account on there basically sends a message to the public that one is serious about their professional path, on the look-out for opportunities and steadily stockpiling their portfolio.

At the very least, having a basic account, rather than not having one entirely, allows the user some form of access to other members’ deliberately resume-ish profiles (there is an additional in-house resume builder tool) and vice versa. Go forth and attempt reaping from this ‘shameless’ virtual networking or covert snooping for planning your next career move, or poaching your next protégé. Here are some cool advice about how to maximise the potential usage of your LinkedIn account over at Business Insider Singapore.

6. Go Wide with Government

Image Credit: liberatecabal.com
Image Credit: liberatecabal.com

In every county, there would be some sort of government job board network up and running online somewhere. Locate which ones are functioning up-to-date and how to navigate your way around them, particularly for those looking to go into the public sector. Bear in mind that the government is the largest employer or backer of numerous privately-run firms, and if one plays their cards right, they (usually local residents) can make use of the established and more trusted national job board systems and resources. A quick Google search throws up USAJobs.gov and Us.Jobs for the US, Nationwide for the UK and JobSearch.gov.au for Australia. In Singapore, at jobs fairs which features governmental companies, job seekers are always told to log on to Careers@Gov and in July this year, another major milestone for state job portals came in the form of Jobs Bank, backed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency statutory board.

7. Industry-specific Sites

Image Credit: yo6688.com
Image Credit: yo6688.com

Sometimes, it’s pretty wise to hit up the sites that your peers aka masses are collectively perusing. For fresh graduates for example, such industry-specific sites could be very ripe for your picking. It goes without saying that such sites are also good in getting a general sense of the job market in certain niches. There are various sites which cater to different segments of job-seekers, such as Internship sites, Technology-focused job boards, Publishing-specific job boards run by major media corporations for example, and the list goes on.

8. Business Card Readers (BCRs)

Image Credit: microsoft.com
Image Credit: microsoft.com

Go clutter-free for real with Business Card Reader apps for scanning and extracting information from business cards. Be it for amassing contacts for future job opportunities or other business purposes, these apps will electronically build up your database of business contact information. Popular apps are: CamCard, the leading BCR app, with 100 million users currently, or Abbyy, a BCR which captures business card information in 21 languages and counting. If you are still on the fence about this app, check out this introductory list of BCR apps on ZDNet.

9. Interview Simulators & Personality Tests

Image Credit: Prometheus Comic
Image Credit: Prometheus Comic

There are numerous apps on the open-source market. One could start with those on popular social networking or job sites. More knowledge means more power, in terms of preparing for your next interview or cover letter when it comes to emphasising one’s strengths and skills, and impressing the hiring people with your self-awareness and slick self-presentation. Browse personality test options on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test as the go-to for a majority of Fortune Companies (as expounded by Business Insider Singapore), or the 16 Personalities and iPersonic tests as read on Mashable.

10. Job Centre Services

Image Credit: wraltechwire.com
Image Credit: wraltechwire.com

To keep up with the latest hiring trends and expectations of major employers, it is prudent of job seekers to tap onto the traditional job centre services. By signing up either for their mailing lists/job alert services or being referred to groups or programmes by one of the consultants at these centres, having their services at one’s fingertips would be useful in keeping busy and maintaining one’s morale during this sometimes indefinite, window of time. Do note that some job sites double up as online job centres too, such as JobsCentral and GlassDoor, with referral services of third parties for workshops and events.  Keep one’s finger on the job market pulse with established job centres and portals like the WDA and E2i in Singapore; and National Careers Service in the UK.

The best person for the ‘job’ of landing one a desired and respectable job position, is none other than yourself. Together with the list of sites and tools we’ve oh-so-nicely put together, one is highly encouraged to work the ground and get your name and ‘looking for’ status out far and wide. Reach into your existing networks, make connections both new and old through interviews, alumni association resources, recruitment agents and agencies, career centres, former internship workplaces, networking mixer groups and events such as on Meetup website; and business or job-related seminars and workshops.

Unless one has a titanium-solid position reserved just for them in a wholly-trustworthy company, nothing is set in stone except one’s convictions and job-searching priorities during this transitional, and likely, life-changing period.

Also Read: What can I start doing now that will help me a lot in about five years?

 

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