Financial Literacy - Careers
21st century job-hunting techniques

"It's great if you want to research. You can get their background, but it's not a good messaging site. So I would say that Facebook and Twitter are really social messaging sites, or tools," he says.

Epstein's Facebook application enables job seekers to connect with people who have some kind of connection to the company they would like to work at.

Whether they currently work at the company, worked there previously or just interviewed there, the aim is to construct "a community of users who want to help each other with jobs," says Epstein.

Try Twitter

A relative newcomer to the social networking scene, Twitter was started in 2006.

The messaging service can be used from handheld mobile devices, cell phones or the Web. It basically consists of short messages you can send out to all of your followers. You decide whether or not your messages are seen to the rest of the Twitter-world.

Jaimie Croft, a graphic designer in Tuscaloosa, Ala., began using Twitter about a year ago to update friends, but then found he could garner two or three new clients a week.

"Believe it or not, Twitter is a great place to look for work. I am a graphic designer, so I am able to see what people need and respond to them almost instantly, ready to help them," he says.

"Instead of just sending out, 'Hey, I'm a graphic designer, let me design something' updates, I look for people that are actually in need of a designer. That way, it's not like I am just shouting out to Twitterland that I am a designer. I am actually able to respond to them via Twitter that I am able to help them," says Croft.

Using all the available avenues of connecting with other people can smooth your job search and uncover opportunities you may not have been aware of. At the very least, your efforts may result in contacts you can follow up with once you've sent your resume to the company of your dreams.

Hone your Internet resume

Even as the job search has gone digital, a well-written resume is still a well-written resume. Writing for the Internet has not drastically changed the process of crafting one. However, one aspect that has changed is the almost mandatory inclusion of keywords.

"With the advent of technology and scanning resumes, there are programs that basically analyze the resume for keywords and content," says Martin Weitzman, executive resume writer at Gilbert Resumes.

"Resumes have to be structured so that all the keywords that people would be looking for, for specific types of positions, are in the resume somehow. They do not need to be in a section called 'keywords,' but they do need to be in the resume," he says.

For workers who want to be on the leading edge of resume technology, companies such as VisualCV can help you make a Web resume with embedded videos, pictures and graphs.

"The actual format is somewhat of a cross between a traditional resume format and what you might call a multimedia profile like you might see on or other social networking sites, using some of the same sorts of technology," says Phillip Merrick, co-founder and chairman of VisualCV. "But it is a controlled safe and professional environment, so it's a little bit different in that way."

To apply for a job, would-be employees can send their prospective employer a link to their resume on the site. Some employers and recruiters have signed up with VisualCV to specifically accept resumes in that format. VisualCV currently has more than 700 companies enrolled.

 "We've found 100 percent acceptance of it from employers regardless of whether or not they've signed up at our site," adds Merrick.


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