Blogs, SEO, and Other Web 2.0 Job Search Tools

6 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Job Search Tools

A resume sometimes isn't enough in this world of social networking and blogs. In the new Web 2.0 world of interactive Internet, Web 2.0 tools are available that can play a role in your job search. You may not be certain who’s who and what’s what in the new social tools. (Social in this usage means collaboration with others to achieve a goal.)

Here’s a brief rundown to help you make sense of a fast-forward competitive job market:

  • Blog: Originally created as Web-based journals written by one or more writers. Today’s sophisticated versions read like mainstream media stories and columns. You can just read blogs and move on or you can post your comments for others to see. Frequencies of a blog’s publication vary from daily to weekly to occasional.

    Recruiters sometimes write blogs that job seekers can follow to pick up employment-opportunity intelligence. Additionally, recruiters may canvass blog writers for names of potential candidates who are tops in a field. Blog writers themselves may be experts in a field and become the object of a recruiter’s professional affections.

    A vlog is a blog that contains video content. A small but growing section of the blogosphere devoted to vlogs is called the vlogosphere.

  • Instant messaging (IM): Real-time communication between two or more people. Job seekers IM for leads and company research with people on their buddy lists, and sometimes with recruiters. You can also receive new job postings by IM.

  • Podcast: An audio message (file) sent over the Internet. Podcasts can be downloaded and played on portable media devices (iPhone or BlackBerry) anytime in any place. Typically, a podcast is sent from employer to candidate, not the other way around.

  • RSS (Real Simple Syndication): Subscribers to an RSS feed, usually free in employment uses, receive content updates when available from selected Web sites. The RSS job agent feature is especially useful to job seekers wanting to discover new job openings that match the job seekers’ criteria.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Technical and strategic maneuvers that increase the traffic driven by search engines to a Web site. Recruiters and employers use SEO to deliver job seekers to their Web sites. And technology-wise job seekers call upon SEO to drive traffic to their own Web sites, hoping to bring favorable mentions of themselves to page 1 or 2.

  • Social media: An umbrella term for Web-based technology where the media can be easily shared by affinity groups; covers such technology as blogs, podcasts, video, RSS, and photo-sharing. Illustrations of those with varying degrees of career management significance include LinkedIn, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Ning, and Technorati.

  • Social networking services: Web-based services that give users a way to find people with similar interests. The services connect users by enabling them to join online communities and interact directly with each other. Some of the interactivity focuses on job search and recruiting. The services provide different methods for interaction, including discussion groups, messaging, e-mail, and commentary on blogs.

    The difference between social media and social networking is observation and interaction. Social media enables social networking. That is, social media can exist without social networking, but social networking can’t exist without social media. Example: When a recruiter views an online profile posted on a professional social media Web site such as LinkedIn, the recruiter is observing. But when the recruiter is motivated to contact a person who is observed, the recruiter is interacting.

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