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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    High Tech Realm

    As another school year comes to an end, many college graduates are about to enter what is the worst job market in recent history. Despite the grim outlook, there are many Internet services and websites which greatly reduce the odds that you’ll be flipping burgers or collecting unemployment right after graduating.

    LinkedIn is essentially the business equivalent of Facebook. Rather than focus on job searching, LinkedIn places an emphasis on networking and building business connections.

    The main difference between the two is that with the LinkedIn, you build business relationships which can lead to jobs in the future, whereas with the conventional job search sites, you just ask for jobs up front. While you might not get a job immediately, networking is important because about 80 percent of employees find their jobs through personal connections, while only 20 percent are recruited through cold calls.

    When using LinkedIn, there are some points worth noting. The following is by no means a tutorial on using the site, meaning I will be skipping over tons of material.

    Starting off – LinkedIn is a business network, meaning you need to keep things professional. Using common sense is sufficient for this requirement, so going into detail is not necessary, however I will say that for your profile photo (if you choose to add one), make sure it is of you in a business appropriate outfit or suit. For more information on networking in general, the Career Center here on campus is an excellent resource.

    While on the topic of networking, “Twittering” is gaining popularity as a way to snag a job. For those who have not heard the term before, Twittering isn’t something you do when your ADD kicks in. Twittering is just posting messages to Twitter.com ; a popular micro-blogging service which lets you post messages as long as they are under 140 characters. How can a 140 character message get you a job? You see, just like LinkedIn, Twitter is a way to get your name out to the world and connect with others. While there is no set guide on how to use Twitter, generally the people sharing useful information — related to their field of expertise — are the ones who have the most influence and respect (indicated by their number of followers).

    Unlike LinkedIn, Twitter can be used for fun, business, or a combination of the two (assuming you exercise common sense-The Facebook status feature can be utilized instead of Twitter for things that should be kept private). When you create an account,a photo is a must, as accounts without photos are viewed as spam. Also, fill your biography section with information that is relevant to your education and/or work experience. If possible, try to use your full name as your Twitter ID as it will make it easier for employers and the public in general to find you. Tweet My Jobs.com is a service which delivers job postings in your area to your cell phone via Twitter. An advantage to using this service is that you are notified as soon as the job is posted.

    A useful site for finding top Twitterers is Twellow (Twellow.com) which calls its self “The Twitter Yellow Pages.” The site constantly adds Twitter users to its database and then sorts the users into categories. Visitors to Twellow have the option to find users by browsing categories or searching. By default, the results are sorted by follower count, so the most popular users will be at the top. While the previously mentioned sites are great alternatives to conventional job search sources, sites like Monster.com, HotJobs.com, and CareerBuilder.com still are frequented by large amounts of employers and hiring agencies. While registering with job sites can be difficult, time saving meta-search engines now allow users to search hundreds of sites at once for job listings. One such site is Indeed.com. Although the site has a simple layout, it proves to be a powerful tool due to sheer number of sites it checks for jobs. Indeed supports RSS feeds for your searches so you can always stay on top of the latest job postings without having to constantly check the site.

    It should be noted that Indeed only directs you to job postings (just like Google does with websites) and does not handle the actual registration/application process, meaning that you will need to register with the individual sites hosting the job postings. Still, Indeed helps to narrow the number of sites worth using – especially by showing duplicate job listings that appear on multiple sites.

    Last but not least – actually compared to the other services it is the least impressive feature wise, but it cannot be beat for quick entry-level employment. Craigslist is the digital equivalent of the classified ads in your newspaper. While the site is not as elegant as the major job search sites, Craigslist is filled with plenty of opportunities, so if you’re looking for a quick way to make additional money, you definitely should give the site a look

    When searching for a job, regardless of where you look, keep in mind that if a job offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is. If that isn’t enough to make you think twice about paying $50 to learn how to, “MAKE $12,000 PER MONTH BY WORKING AT HOME!!!,” ask yourself, “If this program really worked, then why are people still working at conventional jobs?”

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