I’ve always been a lover of history. I think the past offers something beautiful and mysterious, a connection to those who came before us and their ways. I sometimes catch myself daydreaming about what things were like many years ago. And as a career coach, I inevitably drift over to wondering what it must have been like to look for a job in the past.
Many things about the job hunt haven’t actually changed much with modern technology. Networking and developing your skills have always been integral to finding the right job. Networking, after all, is just a version of cooperation or helping one another out. These types of social supports date back to ancient times to when the stakes were much higher than a salary negotiation. Many experts believe that our social structures have not changed all that much since we were living in small communities as hunter-gatherers, fighting for survival. Networking is part of that survival process, and the desire to connect is hardwired inside all of us.
But obviously new technology has afforded job seekers infinitely more potential to optimize their searches and find the perfect job. While a select number of remote jobs posted in 2020 were location-specific, 80% were available to workers in any location.
I’m sure we’re all grateful that we don’t have to circle classified ads anymore. But what are the best tech tools at your disposal for finding the perfect job?
Here are 8 of the best online tools to help in your job search.
This is almost such a no-brainer that I didn’t include it. But then I had a thought: how many job seekers are really utilizing LinkedIn to its fullest? LinkedIn offers some amazing features that may not be known to most users.
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For a lot of people, LinkedIn is kind of a weekly check-in type of site. You might log on, scroll a bit, give a quick “like” to your middle school friend who got promoted, check your messages, do a casual job search, then migrate over to something more stimulating, like a Buzzfeed listicle or the latest celeb gossip.
If that sounds a bit like how you’ve been using LinkedIn, it’s time to step your game up.
To start, did you know that you can add media to the “Featured” section of your profile? Creators, I’m looking at you. Maybe you’ve done a killer brand video, or you want to share a reel of media appearances you have made. Or perhaps a photo from a keynote you made at a conference.
All of these will make an impact and boost your LinkedIn profile up from being a dusty online billboard of your resume, to a compelling advertisement for your skills and accomplishments.
Having trouble uploading a video because it’s too long? You’re in luck, there’s a work-around for that.
Are you wishing there was a way to combine your networking connections from LinkedIn with your other work contacts? Did you know that you can export your LinkedIn connections as a spreadsheet?
Most people who are doing job searches on LinkedIn just plug in relevant keywords and locations. But the search features on LinkedIn have much more to offer. You can save searches and set up alerts for relevant postings.
If you feel that searching for jobs on LinkedIn is turning up results that are too general, don’t match your specific skills and desires or don’t relate to your connections, you can utilize the LinkedIn advanced search features to filter for much more precise searches for listings.
Even if you treat LinkedIn as your first and last stop in your job search journey, it is worth spending a little more time on the site to really get comfortable with the ins and outs. It can truly be your most valuable online tool.
Glassdoor is another immensely valuable asset to anyone in the job search, and I absolutely loved my recent interview with their CEO right here. This tool is especially useful when researching potential jobs and employers, or when entering into the interview stage and considering offers with a certain company.
If you are unfamiliar, Glassdoor is a database for jobs listings and applications, as well as a portal where current and former employees can anonymously rate their experience in working for a certain company across many metrics, and provide information like salary and potential interview questions. Through analysis of this data, Glassdoor creates ratings and metrics on specific companies.
If you are interested in the company culture, revenue or size of a potential employer, or you are looking for an inside perspective on what it’s like to work for a certain company, Glassdoor should be your first stop.
In recent months, Glassdoor has also risen to the challenge of addressing the very pressing issue of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. With new products and features, Glassdoor has begun allowing users to share demographic information and rate a company based on its handle of issues of diversity within the workplace.
This is such an essential issue, and Glassdoor is a leader in creating greater transparency and accountability when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion in the job search and in the world of work.
Large influencers like Glassdoor have the power to change workplace culture, and establish new norms in society. It is fun to see them caring about these big issues and taking action!
3) Jobscan Resume Scanner
If you’re reading this article, I have a feeling you’re someone who has put a lot of time into your resume. But did you know that often, when you’re applying for a job, your resume may not even make it to a real person?
This is because many recruiters and hiring managers are utilizing an application track system (or ATS). In my recent book You Turn, I actually refer to applicant tracking systems in a header called “Applicant Tracking Hell”—and there’s a reason for this! Navigating the ATS is challenging, and knowing your resume may never even encounter a human being is disheartening. As a matter of fact, data shows that up to 75% of resumes never make it to a hiring manager.
You may have done a great job of highlighting your professional experience on your resume, but you’re just using the wrong words or formatting. This is where Jobscan comes in. Jobscan uses algorithms and AI to scan your resume and compare it to a specific job listing, giving you feedback on how to best tweak your resume to work well with an ATS.
Here are some things that you might find out have been preventing your resume from getting through the ATS filters:
- Descriptions of your work experience do not match up to the job descriptions. Even if you are super qualified, if your resume doesn’t match up with keywords in the job description, you could be preemptively disqualifying yourself. I tell job seekers in my online courses to make sure they sprinkle terminology from job descriptions as though it’s fairy dust throughout their resume. Sprinkle away!
- You’re not using standard formatting. While clever and inventive ways of formatting your resume may show off your aesthetic acuity, and your creativity with design, they may also prevent your resume from making the ATS cut. Non-standard formatting can confuse the AI, and lead to your resume being processed incorrectly, or not at all.
- Too much flowery language. You may think that using headings like “Selected Professional Engagements” and “Secondary School and Collegiate Alma Mater” makes you sound smart. But, I hate to break it to you, complicated and word descriptions are not working in your favor when it comes to ATS. Stick with standard headings that will ensure that the ATS processes your resume correctly. Think: “Work Experience” and “Education.”
Trust me, Jobscan ATS will definitely give you a better shot at acing your resume for a specific job description. They even provide excellent resume templates for various careers and roles.
4) Slik email finder
Slik is an amazing AI-based service that was originally designed for those working in sales as a tool to find leads and connect with prospective clients. Slik has become a major asset for many sales professionals, including those on sales teams from Dropbox, DocuSign and Slack. And if the major players in tech-based work solutions are using it, you know it must be good!
Gosh, I just love a quick little email finder. I must be a career coach, huh?
Slik allows you to search emails and other data sourced from LinkedIn profiles. You can save searches and compile data. This information can be extremely valuable if you are a salesperson, but also fantastic for anyone who is hoping to connect with a specific person or department while doing exploratory networking or in the hopes of sending a letter of interest.
One of the hardest things about networking is that you never really know if someone you are reaching out to will be happy to connect, or if they’re truly interested in making the connection and lending a hand in your career journey.
Shapr is an amazing social networking app that takes the guesswork out of networking. It’s designed to connect professionals and help users network in their field with others that are excited and willing to connect.
What makes it so valuable for networking is that all of its users are opting in with the intention of meeting new connections and sharing their ideas and insights. So no more wondering if the person on the other side of the LinkedIn chat is rolling their eyes and exhaling deeply. On Shapr, everyone is there for the same reason: they are excited to network.
Shapr works kind of like some of the major dating apps. Don’t get too excited, this one is for professional connections only! You create a profile that highlights your interests, skills, location and relevant information about your career. You can browse other profiles or search for people that match specific criteria.
From there, a connection is made in a way that will be quite familiar to a lot of folks. You swipe on profiles that you are interested in connecting with. If there is mutual interest, you have a match! From there, you can chat with your new connection, and see if a great professional relationship blossoms.
Shapr is a fresh and modern take on networking, and an excellent way to bolster your professional network.
Are you tired of pouring through page after page of jobs that are close to what you want and qualified for, but just not quite right? Well, Jobseer will help you pinpoint the right jobs for you, cut through the wrong ones and stand out from the pack. And, bonus: they help you easily get access to people’s email address!
JobSeer is a free Extension app for Google Chrome that is compatible with most of the popular online job boards. The beauty of Jobseer is that it uses AI to streamline your online job search.
Once you’ve created an account, you can input information into your Jobseer profile that will help you find jobs that are a good match. The first step is your resume. You can upload your resume, or even multiple resumes, that will be scanned by Jobseeker for relevant skills, experiences and qualifications, and compared to relevant job listings to help you find the perfect fit.
Your resume will be utilized in a customized “smart search.” You select job titles that are relevant to your search, and input your skills to help with the specificity of your job search. Jobseer also recommends skills that are matched with the job titles you are searching. You also select other parameters such as location, experience level and job type.
All that sounds pretty standard, but once you start searching, you’ll see the magic of Jobseer. For each job you select, Jobseer will give you a customized score based on how well you fit the job description. Additionally, you can look at which skills are aligned with the job description, and areas in which you do not fit qualifications.
The information you gather from Jobseer will be relevant not only to help you find job listings that are a great match, but also in tweaking your resume to fit specific job descriptions.
As if that wasn’t enough for incredible features, Jobseer also gives you insightful information about the job and company, including insights on the companies’ size and revenue, as well as a projected base salary for the role that you are exploring.
Jobseer also offers you access to five free email addresses per day, attached to their insights on the job listings, which will allow you to reach out to recruiters and even employees that you already have a connection to.
Check out this quick video to see how Jobseer works, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be quickly adding it to your browser. It will definitely level up your job search game and help you optimize your chances of matching with the right job.
These days, it feels more important than ever to be working for a company whose values reflect your own. If you’re someone who is hoping to work within the nonprofit sector, or to find a mission-driven job, Idealist is a great place to direct your search.
Idealist is a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 with the goal of connecting individuals to jobs and careers at nonprofit organizations that focus on charity work and social impact.
Their site functions much like other job boards, however, all of the listings they post are from verified nonprofit organizations. You can search for listings based on keywords or get more granular with specific metrics about what types or listings you are interested in.
Idealist also offers resources for those who are hoping to level up their career goals within the social impact space with a higher degree. They have resources for those exploring graduate school, with information to help candidates navigate the application and selection process, and details of programs to assist individuals in finding graduate schools that fit their interests and aspirations.
Idealist is also a great site to visit if you are not necessarily looking for a new job, but want to get more involved in community work or contribute to a cause. They also have many listings for volunteer opportunities, with many options to meet you where you are in your desire to commit time and energy to volunteering. You can even find remote or virtual volunteer work.
Idealist also helps connect users to mutual aid networks. While you might have been hearing this term a lot more over the last 12 months, the spirit of mutual aid goes way, way back. In a sense, it’s about neighbor helping neighbor. There are many different types of mutual aid networks, but this is the common thread: they are spaces for people to connect and share resources. You might financially contribute to a fund in order to support those with need or who have been affected by a crisis, or you can find information on how and where to make helpful donations. Given the challenges of the past year, we would all be served by lending a helping hand to one another.
I saved the most obvious one for last. In fact, Google is so obvious, that I think its features are often overlooked in the job search.
To start off, when you enter the job market, you have to be aware of how you appear on a search engine. You should expect that a hiring manager will look you up online, especially your social media. Data shows that 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates. Coming across badly online can really hurt your job prospects, with 54% of hiring mangers admitting that they eliminated a candidate based on their social media presence.
But if you think plugging your name in the Google search bar, like we’ve all done more times than we’d like to admit, is enough, you had better think again.
To start with, you should log out of your Google accounts, and go into “incognito mode,” or a similar private browsing option on your preferred web browser. Google saves your search data, and will give you a specifically tailored Google search based on your past searches and location. You want to see what a stranger would see if they put your name into google.
According to online presence management specialists at ReputationDefender.com, you should Google yourself once a month—that way you can keep track of your online presence, and if something should appear that reflects you in a less than positive light, you can get on it quickly.
Beyond keeping track of how you appear online, Google can actually be a great asset for staying organized and on top of your job search. Google Jobs is actually a super functional job platform that allows you to search for jobs, save specific listings and searches and even set alerts based on job criteria. Google Jobs aggregates listings from most other job platforms, making it the best of all worlds.
However you choose to go about your job search, I hope this brings you up to date on the latest resources to help you put your best foot forward in the brave new world of online job hunting. Dive on in, and happy hunting!