Identifying Handy Websites

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Daily (Updated often – that’s the plan)

JOB BOARDS

Tips:
– Try different search terms related to the job you want. Eg. I’m looking for journalism, but I try various keywords to do with writing and digital media.
– If you think you’ll forget to check the sites often enough, or if you just want to make it easier for yourself, sign up for e-mail job alerts – whack in your key terms and frequency and voila!

Often, jobs are repeated on each, but the benefit of being across all three (or more) is you’re able to catch the ones specific to each.

NETWORKING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Think of Twitter as a ‘cocktail party’ and LinkedIn as a business conference.

(Above quote from “At last! How to describe Social Media to your mum” – includes great little layman’s explanations of all popular social media sites)

With 4 million members and counting on the Australian site alone, LinkedIn deserves a post all to itself (I’ll get on that later). It seems everyone who’s anyone (professionally) is a member, including 4 out of 5 Aussie professionals. So, if you’re an Unemployed Grad and you’re not a member, CHANGE THAT IMMEDIATELY!

When I first started the job-hunt back in Feb, two friends of mine (one in the UK and one in the US) separately encouraged me to update my LinkedIn profile and start networking with professionals. Once I had the basic gist of it, I upgraded from the basic package – it costs money, but provides greater access. Two of the meetings I’ve had so far are thanks to my subsequent efforts. Of course, not everyone I’ve tried to contact has responded, but that’s the way it goes. While it hasn’t changed my life (or resulted in a job) yet, it did for this guy (includes great tips, like Career success takes a network and you never know what meetings or weak ties will lead you to the outcome you want”).

Check out: Pamela Vaughan’s ‘The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn’.

As well as being a handy networking tool, your LinkedIn homepage hosts interesting content (a lot of them are in list-form e.g. ‘5 ways to…’) from a variety of sources, based on what you indicate as your interests/what areas or industries you want to keep up with in your profile. I recommend getting on the site every day and having a look at the headlines. Sometimes I don’t click through to anything, but there’s usually something that takes my fancy. It’s a great way to keep up with trends and big news.

When I was setting up my profile, I read a lot of articles about what does and doesn’t work. One tip was particularly useful: engage with the material. With individuals, companies, groups, and use the ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ feature. Often I’ll come across an interesting article on Twitter that I’ll share on LinkedIn, and vice versa. Lately, I’ve enjoyed a series, ‘LinkedIn Influencers Share Best Career Mistakes. BUT, don’t just do it for the sake of it  – actually read the article, and share it if you think others would like reading it, too.

I also use my LinkedIn profile as a way for contacts to find out ‘More Info’ about me – stuff that doesn’t fit (for space or not-quite-appropriate) on my CV or cover letter. For example, I can go into a more detail about my time in New York City (the skills I picked up, how it related to what I did at uni when I returned), and some of my other interests (martial arts).

On business cards… 

Sure, you don’t have a job yet, so there won’t be much info to put on it. The essentials are: name (obviously – and triple check spelling!), mobile phone number, (professional) e-mail address. My cards have a fair bit of white space in the middle, giving me room to write different things, like my online portfolio address or blog address. Of course, these can be printed on the card, but think about relevance and longevity: how often are these sorts of things going to change? I purchased 250 cards and probably won’t hand them all out this year – my portfolio is only hosted online for 2012.

Gennifer Delman’s The Dos and Don’ts of Business Cards is a valuable read. Her list includes:

  • DO Give out as many as you can.
  • DO Keep 5 in your wallet. From me: This has been beneficial for me so many times, you never know who’ll you’ll meet! So many people have been sympathetic and supportive when I explain my job-hunt, and even if they can’t help me, they’ve asked for my card to pass along to someone they know who might be able to. I’ve also given some to my Dad, Mum, and sister, as they’re always singing my praises to help me, too!
  • DON’T Bedazzle your design. From me: I agree with this to a point. My card is very simple and classic, but there’s a great example of a jazzed up business card here belonging to a woman representing’Her Campus’ (host of the article) — so there’s flexibility depending on what industry you’re trying to get into. If in doubt, less is more!

This article recommends adding a job title like ‘Software Engineer’, but I didn’t do this as the job’s I’d accept are so diverse, and I don’t want to limit my chances by naming something specific.

Further reading…

On making a killer LinkedIn profile:

12 Ways to Spice Up Your LinkedIn Profile

21 Steps to The Perfect LinkedIn Profile

13 things that really annoy people on LinkedIn

On networking:

7 Tips from Professional Networkers

Why career-smart graduates always carry business cards

MISC.

I subscribe to most of these sites via their newsletter-style updates, delivered to my e-mail inbox, and/or follow on Twitter.

Brain Pickings (@brainpickings)

A delightful collection of randomness; a bit literary and arty, with a firm nod to creativity. E.g. the ‘Must Reads’ section includes ‘The Daily Routines of Famous Writers’ and ‘How to talk about books you haven’t read’. The current top article on the site is ‘How to pack like Nellie Bly, Pioneering Journalist’, about Matthew Goodman’s ‘True Story’ book about Bly’s quest to circumnavigate the globe in 75 days (thus beating Jules Verne’s record 16 years earlier) Nellie Bly is one of my heroes – but more on that some other time. I subscribe to the “free weekly interestingness digest”.

Editor Maria Popova is on Twitter @brainpicker

DesignTAXI (@designtaxi)

“Driving you to bright ideas for the past 10 years”. I am a regular re-tweeter of this site’s stuff. For an idea of the type of content…’Star Wars Characters Re-Imagined as Chinese Imperial Warriors’, ‘Cute Doodle Characters In Blue Ink Add Fantasy To City Photography’, ‘Joyous, Fun-Filled Scenes From International Pillow Fight Day’.

Similar to Brain Pickings in creativity, but less high-brow.

Mashable (@mashable and @mashablejobs)

Great for Gen X and Y, this site is all about being and staying connected. Content is all about digital innovation, online news, social media, etc. Some of the stuff is too tech-y for me, but the site’s still worth a look weekly.

Flavorwire (@Flavorwire) 

If you put all the above Misc. websites in a blender, Flavorwire would be the result! It”s “a pop culture website that covers film, TV, art, books, and music the world over. Highbrow, lowbrow, and everything in between: if it’s compelling, we’re sharing it.”

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