For all of the cautions I throw out regarding internet use and getting lost in it etc. it brings some amazing resources into our homes/offices. Here are two that are new to me and that I’m really appreciating. I wish I could tell you that my amazing incisive research identified them, but in truth, it is the companies themselves and the people working there that brought these to my attention.
ActiveWords and Gist are a couple of excellent tools. ActiveWords will grow a lot more slowly than Gist, but I’m guessing it will continue to grow for a longer time. What it does is allow for the development of shortcuts. Lots of them. Do you have a blog? Working in Word and want to jump? Type in your shortcut name and – boom, you’re there. What about opening a new Word doc? Same thing. Email? Same. Do you have a bunch of stock language you use? Shortcut! This is a developers fantasy! There are programs that are as much as 50% stock code, well this eliminates the need for even something as uncomplicated as cut and paste. NFJS strongly recommends a custom resume for every opportunity, sure, but with this your template is brought up ready for modification in a few simple strokes on your keyboard. Beyond the product, I have to say the people are exceptional. They tracked me down and have put on a special training for NFJS, simply so they can help! Pretty cool.
Gist is the other part of this: One of the themes in my work with people is “Preparation”. No matter what part of the job search you are in and no matter what kind of job you want, your opportunity for success goes up in direct proportion to the amount of preparation you put in. Gist is an email plug-in and it makes that easier. Actually, quite a bit easier and it provides info that is very difficult to gather in one place. It works with Outlook or Gmail and provides an ongoing updates from a variety of sources as you communicate with you connections. It’s a “dashboard” sort of review. Covers blogs, twitter, facebook, Linkedin as well as several other tools.
The value to a job hunter is substantial. When we network and as we network, we build what can become a fairly substantial group of folks we’re connected to… Heck, if we simply connect to all of our friends it quickly becomes a fairly big number. Before I started Notes From the Job Search, before I joined Linkedin, before I went to my first “networking event, I had over 500 names on my email list! Of course, not all of those people are friends, heck I’ll bet there are 100 that I couldn’t put a face to if my life depended on it, but there are more than 200 who I do think of as friends or at the very least warm acquaintances. Do I know what those folks are doing? Heck no! Have I spoken with them in the last month? 6 months? Year? What Gist does is give a summary of the public profile of the people you are connected to.
So here are two products that are very cool and can have substantial value: ActiveWords and Gist.