Handy Tools for Streamlining Your Job Search

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Job hunting can be so time-consuming, it’s practically a full-time job unto itself. To do it right, you need to promote your brand, research companies, customize resumes and stay on top of your contacts and activity.

Fortunately, there are plenty of Web tools, plugins and mobile apps to streamline the process. Here are a few that make job hunting easier and faster:

Resume Optimizers

Do you waste time applying for jobs that aren’t a good fit? Does your resume have a knack for disappearing into black holes? Using online tools such as Jobscan or Resunate can alleviate at least some of those problems.

Jobscan uses an applicant tracking system (ATS) algorithm to rank the match between your resume’s content and a job posting, explained James Hu, the firm’s co-founder and CEO. If your resume receives a low score, you can either modify its contents to get past the ATS or choose to pursue a more suitable position. “Jobscan cuts the time needed for resume tailoring in half because you can see at a glance the keywords or job titles you need to add or change,” he said.

You can save even more time by using Pocket Resume or Resume Maker On-the-Go to change out your resume’s keywords right from your mobile device.

Organizers

Following up after you submit your resume can set you apart from the competition. Whether you prefer browser extenders, mobile apps or Web tools, there’s always a handy implement to jog your memory and keep tabs on your activity.

44score is a browser extender that keeps track of applications and other paperwork, and reminds you when it’s time to follow up. JibberJobber and jobaware offer similar functionality (as well as online and mobile versions). Other options include Startwire, which claims to be America’s number one job-search organizer, and JobHero, which integrates with most major job boards including Dice. If you’re looking for a mobile solution, check out GoodWire.

Of course, you can adapt almost any CRM tool to manage your activity. Hu recommends Streak, a Gmail plugin that lets you track resume submittals, phone screens and interviews right from your inbox.

Brand Builders

If pounding the digital pavement seems fruitless, why not make it easy for employers and recruiters to find you? Having a strong online presence elevates your brand and catches the eye of recruiters who look for candidates on the Internet. However, unless you happen to be a Web developer, building a personal website or portfolio from scratch can prove a daunting endeavor.

With branded.me, you can create a personal website optimized for tablets and phones; you can also connect or set up a customized domain name and email address. Getting started is easy—simply transfer the information from your online profile. “Branded.me provides analytics so you can see how often your site is coming up in searches and who’s viewing your site,” said Hannah Morgan, a job search and career guide based in Rochester, N.Y. “And because the information is highly sharable, having a personal website or portfolio extends your brand’s reach.”

Morgan also recommends Spiceworks, a portfolio builder that caters to the needs of tech professionals, but there are dozens of tools to choose from that offer similar turnkey packages.

Hidden Job Finders

Applying to jobs advertised on Dice and employers’ websites is an integral component of a comprehensive search strategy, but some positions go to opportunistic candidates before they’re publicized.

How do you deal with such conundrums? Hidden Jobs tracks and reports hiring and expansion announcements from newspapers, online media and company press releases; acting on those tips and information can help you get the jump on the competition.

Research Tools

Whether you’re trying to find the name of an elusive hiring manager or prepping for an interview or salary negotiation, these tools can simplify and accelerate the research process:

  • Craft is a free, open information platform that provides data on dynamic sectors, companies, teams, people and open positions.
  • ZoomInfo provides information on people and companies.
  • AnnualReports provides annual reports in one single location.
  • Job Search Intelligence compiles salary data and compensation from 130 million workers.
  • Salary Expert provides salaries, benefits and cost-of-living information.
  • Interview Simulator Pro lets you record answers to interview questions and critique your performance on your mobile device.

Good luck!

Image Credit: Gazlast/Shutterstock.com

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