Your New Job Security Starts Here

A stable work future isn’t about finding a lifelong employer. It’s about being able to land the next professional opportunity—which means mastering the digital job hunt

Virginia Sole-Smith
Photograph: Andrew B. Myers

Follow the top blogs in your industry
Pick no more than five industry blogs (find them at and three LinkedIn groups to check in on every day. “It will take you maybe an hour a day, and within a month you’ll be an expert in your field,” says J.T. O’Donnell, CEO of

Ditch your AOL email address
Ditto Hotmail. And Yahoo. “These are an instant giveaway that you are out of touch,” warns Sundheim. “It’s so easy to switch to Gmail that I tell every job seeker to do it.” Having a Gmail account also enables you to take advantage of useful tools such as Google Documents (great for sharing business proposals without any worry about disappearing attachments), Google Reader (which allows you to track all your blog subscriptions and news feeds in one spot) and Google Video Chat.

Get up to speed with technology
Learn the new Microsoft Office or any other software that’s standard in your industry. “It’s worth downloading a free trial of any new products so you can get comfortable with them,” says Rhea Drysdale, CEO of Outspoken Media. If you aren’t sure what technology a firm is using, check out its profile on, a site where users anonymously post information about company culture and salaries.

VIRGINIA SOLE-SMITH, a freelance writer, blogs at

Experts agree that planting yourself on generic job boards is no way to conduct a search. “People fill out all these online applications and never hear anything back,” says J.T. O’Donnell. “It’s very de-motivating.” Spend no more than 10 percent of your job-search time on job boards—and focus that effort by taking advantage of mobile apps. Most are designed to buzz you as soon as an opening in your field is posted. “The key is to set up strong filters so you only get notified about jobs that are the right fit for you,” says O’Donnell. Here are some good free apps to try:
-LinkUp Job Search Engine ( is an iPhone app that trawls company websites to find postings that aren’t listed on major job boards.

-Indeed ( gives you access to millions of postings from job boards and company websites and sends personalized search results to your iPhone. creates digital business cards and e-mails them from your iPhone to new contacts.

-Bump ( lets you exchange contact information electronically. will tweet you job openings in your field and geographical area.’s apps for the iPad and iPhone notify you of the latest job postings wherever you are.’s “Jobs” app enables you to apply for jobs directly from your iPhone.
LinkedIn’s app lets you reach anyone in your network on the go. It also delivers the headlines, prioritized so you know which stories your peers are talking about.



Click here to find 16 Apps for Landing Your Next Job


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First Published October 11, 2011

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