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Using the Internet to Your Advantage

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With the economic recession resulting in layoffs for industries across the board, a number of people will be polishing their resumes. Given the Internet's ability to open up new opportunities for employees and the fact that hiring personnel are using the Web extensively for background checks, enhancing your online presence is not only advisable, but necessary. Recruiter Monique Chin of iVedha recently reported to Spock, ''I have to admit I use Spock everyday to look for potential candidates...for a recruiter competing with larger organizations, your site is an amazing equalizer.''

<<If you're looking for a new job, it's important to use the Web as an important strategy for both conventional and unconventional purposes. The following tips will help you increase your chances of finding your dream job.

Show Yourself Off -- Create a webpage or blog in order to post your resume and any other useful information such as past projects, or any independent research. Be sure to add some personal information about yourself such as hobbies or a list of your favorite travel destinations. At Spock.com, for example, we recently received a resume which could be opened by solving an easy SODOKU puzzle. Much like a personal essay for grad school, it's important to distinguish yourself for reasons other than your past work experience.



Along with showing additional interest in your area of expertise, a blog or webpage will make you more visible on search engines such as Spock, Google, Monster and Yahoo. For SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, you're going to want to focus on certain specific keywords in the title of your blog and unique tags for any posts. You will also want to link back to your blog or webpage in as many places as possible. Making comments on other people's blogs is perhaps the easiest way to do this. Not only will you be able to link back to your own page, but you will increase readership as well. As always keep in mind that unless made private, what you've posted will be visible to anyone.

Network, Network, Network -- Not enough can be said about the importance of networking in the world today. Even if you have a job that you're satisfied with, you should always be trying to expand your network. Luckily in today's world, networking can be easy and fun. Your first step should be establishing a presence on a professional, resume oriented site. Some good ones include Spock, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, and Plaxo. While you can utilize sites such as Facebook, Tagged or Myspace, unless you're in a band, for professional purposes it's best to focus your energy elsewhere. Keep in mind that people are naturally drawn to visual images, so make sure to post a picture of yourself.

While the Web can be an easy way to network, there's still something to be said for face-to-face contact. The best way to do this is to attend any conferences that come to your area. You can avoid an expensive upfront cost of attending by keeping an eye out for free or reduced priced day passes. These are often offered a few months in advance, so even if you're undecided you should sign up. If you plan on printing out business cards, make sure you list a link to your blog or homepage.

Research Everything -- One of the great things about the Internet is that it provides numerous ways to anonymously express your opinion. Sites such as Yelp, Craigslist, Jobvent, and Criticat have become huge for consumer and employee reviews. Because of the anonymity, people are much more likely to give an honest opinion on something. Use this to your advantage and look for any negative things said about companies to which you're applying. As always take anything said with a grain of salt; however if there's an overwhelming theme to the negative reviews than it's safe to assume there's some truth behind a claim.

Looking for a job can be stressful enough as is. It's important to be aggressive and to use all your resources so that you don't miss any opportunities.

About Spock.com
With a third of all searches online people-oriented, Spock has over 14 million site users, with 4 million new monthly visitors– making the site the market leader in people search with the world’s largest people index. Since its launch in Beta in the Fall of 2007, Spock has indexed over 300 million unique people with over 10 billion data elements. Hailed by Wired.com as one of the ten start-ups to pay attention to in 2008 and “a product and company to watch” by tech guru Tim O’Reilly, Spock is the fastest growing and most popular niche search engine on the web today. Spock is located in Silicon Valley and funded by Clearstone Venture Partners and Opus Capital. Visit us at www.spock.com


About the Author
Jay Bhatti is the co-founder and VP of Marketing at Spock.com. Jay has given his insights and thoughts on the future of search and has been featured on NBC, ABC and Reuters TV, BusinessWeek, and Forbes, among other media outlets. Jay has presented and spoken at numerous technology conferences about the search market with an emphasis on vertical search. Prior to Spock, Jay was a product manager at Microsoft. Jay received his MBA from the Wharton School and his undergraduate degree in Engineering from Rutgers University.
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