Saturday, April 7, 2007

Leverage Web 2.0 For The "Heavy Lifting" In Your Job Search

I've met many people in transition that search for opportunities on the web by visiting a variety of major job boards and running search queries each time they visit a site. Additional time is spent visiting company sites, checking often to see if positions they are interested in have been posted.

This can be very time consuming and can take time away from more important activities such as networking. There is a technological solution that can help. The web has become more interactive through Web 2.0 applications.

Job seekers can leverage the power of these applications to help reduce much of the "heavy lifting" involved in online job search.

The strategy here is to use vertical job search engines that "scrape" jobs from all the major job boards as well as many company sites. The results show up in the search engine with links that will take you to the actual postings.
A few of the top rated vertical job search engines are (in no particular order) Jobster, Indeed,or SimplyHired (my favorite . Also, websites such as Craigslist and Google Base should be utilized.

Upon running a search query at any one of the sites listed above the user is typically afforded the ability to get automated email alerts for specific job search queries on a daily basis. This is helpful but it can quickly overload an email in box. The answer to this problem is to utilize the power of XML or RSS feeds to bring relevant content (specific job leads) directly to a user's desktop.

Before running a job search query at any of the vertical search engines or other sites mentioned, an
RSS Feed Reader or Aggregator should be set up. There are many out there including IGoogle and My Yahoo! - both of which are free

If you are going to use either of these you will need to register and set them up. Just follow the directions. Once your account is set up, visit the vertical search engines mentioned above. Next, run a search query and then scan the page for a link called RSS FEED, XML or click on the little orange box.

You will be asked if you want to add the feed to a feed aggregator. Various feed aggregators will be listed, including My Yahoo! IGoogle or Favorite Feeds in Internet Explorer (version 7.0 or better). Follow the onscreen instructions to add your search query information to the feed aggregator that you have previously selected and set up. If you are using My Yahoo!, change your internet browser homepage to My Yahoo or IGoogle and let them serve as your launch point. Now all the position postings that meet your search criteria automatically come to you. No more heavy lifting! Here is an example of what your homepage can look like:

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