6 New Tools to Propel Your Job Search Forward

Are you finding yourself in information overload? Need a way to clear the job search clutter? Here are six new tools getting good marks for helping job seekers find their way: 1. Google Reader & Google Alerts: Clear the Clutter of Job Search Overwhelm These Google tools help clear the clutter from your job search by bringing the relevant info to you. With Reader and Alerts you can stay up to date with industry news (subscribing to them rather than resorting to browsing daily) and set Google Alerts for companies or keywords such as “resume tips.” (That's a good idea prior to an interview or when exploring target employers.) 2. ChaCha: Social Crowdsourcing Q&A Site Currently outperforming Yahoo Answers, ChaCha is a social search engine that enables you to reach people, not websites, who have answers to your specific questions. And, believe it or not, ChaCha guarantees an answer to each and every question. They achieve this nearly unthinkable task via a team of paid “guides” now 63,000 strong. (Want to join them? They’re always looking.) To date, ChaCha has answered more than 1 billion questions, and while they don’t charge for their service, they do add the disclaimer that “message and data rates may apply.” ChaCha may be particularly useful for job search questions that require a very quick response. 3. ClearFit’s Career Finder: Predict Your Success in a Job Before You Land It Free to job seekers, Career Finder by ClearFit allows you to compare how well you fit with different jobs, see your top career attributes and, of course, get a personalized career report. But, that is not what differentiates it from the masses of assessment tools on the market. This one uses a “normative" survey which compares your scores against top performer scores in that role to accurately predict future performance. Now, that’s cool. 4. StartWire: Escape the Application “Black Hole” According to Chris Forman, CEO and founder of Startwire.com, “The mission of StartWire is to close this ‘application black hole’ by providing job seekers with free, automatic updates on job applications." Among the other features are the ability for Startwire to help your clients get weekly status updates that aggregate all job search activity, get automatic updates on job applications via e-mail and text and unlock hidden job search connections of trusted friends and colleagues through sharing features that streamline network engagement. The feature is now available for more than 2,100 employers and growing daily. 5. Vizibility: Create an Accurate Google Search About You Vizibility is getting some great press and there’s good reason why: it allows you to manage what people find about you on Google. With more than 80% of recruiters “Googling” as a part of a candidate screening process, it’s essential this data does not negatively impact employment. Vizibility’s PreSearch™ is a proactive strategy where users pre-select the information they want displayed in search results, and yields a SearchMe™ link, which can be added to résumés, presentations, business cards, and any other printed or online materials. 6.Google+: Google’s version of Social Media While not open to the masses yet, is generating a ton of buzz in its first few weeks of field testing. Perhaps because I’m an organizational nightmare, one of my early favorite features, Circles, allows users to neatly organize contacts into buckets because allowing us cautiously select what we share with whom. (Of course, by now we all know Facebook has a similar, but clumsier, feature.) I can envision this becoming especially useful for folks in a confidential job search. Hangouts, allows users to video chat simultaneously with multiple friends, and enables each of them to see the other Google+ users. And, yes, there a mobile app for that, but you won’t be able to access it until you are part of the “club.” Laura Labovich, founder of Aspire! Empower! is a job search career coach & seasoned HR professional with over 15 years of experience in HR at Fortune 100 companies, including Flagship companies such as Walt Disney World and AOL Time Warner.Photo credit: Shutterstock

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Work is important to a lot of us. And we all have egos. The trick is to balance our own view of work and success so that the ego remains a helpful source of support and not a tyrannical master. One is the road to relative contentment, the other to continued misery. Have you struck the balance?

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