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Friday, December 24, 2010

Job Surfing - Snagging that perfect job with online tools

Now that that 13th-month bonus is (or will soon be) safely in our pockets, some of us might be thinking of seeking greener pastures. The thought of starting the tedious job search process might fill you with dread, but it doesn't have to be this hard. Here are some online tools to propel you towards that dream job.

Emurse (

Many online resume-building tools require you to pay to download the resume you have created. One good free service we have found is Emurse. It helps you to write and format your resume. Once you have signed up for a free account, you can start filling in the blanks on the page. There are little tips for fields like Work Experience details ("Talk about the relevant skills you gained") to guide you along. Apply one of the simple layouts, and you are all set to print, download or email your sales pitch.

What sets Emurse apart from downloadable resume templates is that it can create a website to host your resume, along with your contact details, profile, and several file formats for visitors to download your CV in. You choose whether to keep it password-protected or public. It shows you statistics like the number of times your CV has been downloaded and viewed, too.

Alternatively, LinkedIn users can go to sites like CeeVee (, which can pull the information from LinkedIn and save you some of the hassle. (

Unless you have been headhunted (lucky you!), one of the first steps in your job hunt is to look for openings. Besides scouring well-known sites like (, JobStreet ( and JobsCentral (, you can try search engines like which help you to comb many local job sites at the same time. It is still in the beta stage, but we like the uncluttered layout and the useful features it already offers - you can search by location right away (instead of filtering results), and run an advanced search to only show jobs that are, say, 10km from Chinatown. A handy left column lists one-click filters for dates of postings, full-time or permanent jobs, and so on. It saves your past searches, too. If you get yourself a free account, the site will give you access to all the posts you visited or saved.

Personal Branding Blog (

Founded by personal branding guru Dan Schawbel (who has more than 94,000 followers on Twitter) and maintained by a group of more than 10 contributors (so you know you are not just getting one opinion), this blog dishes out tips and advice on how to present yourself in the best way, online and offline. It covers a range of topics, from how to write a distinctive cover letter to email etiquette, and the founder's Twitter success story.

Besides the main blog, there is also one specifically targeted at students, with articles like five things to do in your final year (e.g. write guest posts).

The starter guide on the About page is a good place to begin. (

If you are looking to go one step further than a hard-copy resume and have a multimedia showcase cum up-to-date resume online, look to sites like VisualCV.

Grabbing an account lets you access its free services. Its interface takes a little bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you can add all the information and portfolio items you wish to share on your personal CV website (which you can choose to open up or keep private). YouTube videos are supported, so the more extroverted can have a video introduction on their site, or get creative with a multimedia presentation of their works.

Most other similar websites we tried required us to fill in endless forms about our education and work history, but this one allows you to do so later - a nice touch if you just want to try out the site's features.

Once you have finished fiddling with your VisualCV, you can share it via email to contacts pulled from popular email services, or post it on your social networks. Include a link to your online resume on your Facebook or LinkedIn profile to widen its reach. VisualCV also allows you to export it to a PDF file.

source: TODAYonline


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