By Mandy Boyle
This post is part of TNGG’s Career Week
We’ve all had the virtues of LinkedIn extolled to us, and we know it’s a simply fab tool for networking, sharing resumes and showing off expertise, but there are other ways to boost your awesomeness level in the eyes of prospective employers. What about your portfolio? What about your personal brand? What about all of the really super-duper things you have to show employers but can’t on LinkedIn?
Don’t worry – there are things out there for you to use. Here are five tools that you need to see if you want to go beyond LinkedIn when it comes time to search for an internship, that first job out of college, or your third attempt at a career shift.
WordPress.com: WordPress is a free tool that lets you create a blog in minutes. Seriously. Start the microwave up and make some popcorn. You’ll have a blog by the time it’s done.
With a blog, you get a creative outlet as well as a personal branding asset. When you’re job searching, you want to be noticed, right? Make it easier for employers to find you by having a blog and updating it often with posts that show your expertise (fresh content = better rankings in search engines for your name). Bonus points if you purchase a “yourname.com” domain name and include a link to it in your social network profiles.
Don’t worry if you’re not into blogging either. WordPress can be customized so that it just looks like a regular website or portfolio page. Do as much or as little with it as you’d like. The point is to claim your identity online and have a presence.
SlideShare.net: OK, so if you’re looking to get into a career field where presentations are an everyday thing, you may want to check out SlideShare.
Self-billed as a “business media site”, this super-easy-to-use tool can help you share presentations, documents and PDFs with coworkers, career recruiters and colleagues. Show off a great slide show you made, a few portfolio pieces, or even your resume. Trust me – it’ll be seen. SlideShare has millions of monthly visitors; most are looking to connect with people who have talent and expertise (yes, you!)
Carbonmade.com: Architects, photographers, graphic designers and illustrators are just a handful of the creative types you’ll find on Carbonmade. Looking to collaborate with a super awesome artist? Want to show off your design chops to a prospective employer? Carbonmade is the place to be.
It’s a simple online portfolio manager that allows you to organize and display your work so that your best pieces get showcased. Choose a paid or free plan, upload your stuff, write an awesome bio and share a link to your page. No tech savvy required.
Livemocha.com: Learning a second language can give you a huge advantage when it comes time to land a job, internship, or freelance gig. With a little assistance from Livemocha, you can be well on your way to knowing what the hell to say when someone asks, “Qu’avez-vous fait hier?”
English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Russian are just some of the languages that Livemocha can help you learn and explore in an interactive community of 6 million members, so you’re not just dealing with flashcards and videos. Don’t worry about language class tuition either. Livemocha offers both free and paid language tools.
Scribd.com: Scribd is best friend to both the writer and the job seeker. As the world’s largest social reading and publishing company, Scribd makes it easy for you to share and discover some great content from all across the web. If you can use Word, you can use Scribd.
So how can Scribd actually help a writer? Instant publishing. With Scribd, your best work doesn’t have to stay locked up on your hard drive. Instead, you can upload it and share it with your loyal readers. Plus, you never know who might be looking at your work. Maybe a publisher or editor will find you.
For job seekers, Scribd can also be an awesome tool for managing your resume. Just upload yours, tag it, and let it be found by prospective employers. Or, use Scribd’s awesome embedding technology to put your resume on your website or blog. Impressive, eh?
What other career development and job seeking tools have you heard of or used?