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Open Source Toolkit for Job Hunters
Eight open source projects for highly effective job hunting
Mar. 25, 2009 04:15 PM
Unemployment is rising and competition for the few jobs that are available is becoming tougher than ever. With each open job requisition, hiring managers are receiving hundreds of résumés. How do you stand out of the crowd? What can you do to get noticed? How can you start an interesting conversation?
The key to successfully securing a job is to prove your expertise, while differentiating yourself from the crowd. It takes creativity and ingenuity - which are both possible using open source software. Open source can help you distinguish yourself without pulling on your purse strings, and, more important, it can help show how tech-savvy and creative you are.
Build Your Credibility
Opengoo is an open source project that can help you write a top-notch résumé and get it reviewed by friends and colleagues. Opengoo 1.2 beta is now available and provides you with an easy way to create and collaborate on your résumé, allowing you to leverage the opinions of those you value. Opengoo not only allows you to share text documents, but also contacts and web links, which can help expand your job search.
Once your résumé has been written, you can then use Scribus - a desktop publishing application - for flexible typesetting and layout. Using Scribus will allow you to deliver professional quality résumés and make a great first impression. If you want to call attention to your design skills, you can use Scribus to create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms and attach them to your résumé.
Another way to prove your expertise to potential employers is to start a blog that showcases your proficiency in a given area. Including a link to the blog in your résumé will give potential employers insight into your knowledge, and how well you express yourself. Textpattern is a free, flexible, elegant, easy-to-use content management system for all kinds of websites and blogs. It is a lightweight, easy application for both beginners and advanced users - it's not too much to use for a tiny one-page blog, while at the same time, a multidimensional content portal would run flawlessly in it.
Stand Out of the Crowd
Gimp 2.6.4 is the perfect open source project to touch up that photo of yourself that you just love, but hate the color of your shirt or you decide you want to brighten your smile a bit.
If you really want to stand out of the crowd, you can attach a mini-video of yourself on your blog or even your online résumé using Avidemux. Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering, and encoding tasks, supporting MPEGs and AVI files. With it, you can capture and edit clips from your video camera, add titles, insert still images, create transitions between scenes, and output the result in a number of formats. Imagine being able to give potential hiring managers that great eleveator pitch about yourself. By going that extra mile, how can you not prove yourself to be the right choice?
Looking for Available Jobs
Because you're not only working your channels, but have gone the extra mile in developing a top-notch résumé, you should expect to receive plenty of emails from potential employers.
In order to manage those interview requests, you can use open source projects such as Mozilla Thunderbird 2.0. Mozilla Thunderbird (with support for POP and IMAP) is an email client much like Outlook. In addition, this project has a spam filter, protection from phishing, and you can also add extensions, such as Mozilla Lightning, which is a calendar. The built-in RSS reader allows you to sign up for feeds from job sites and current news of your target industry. Finally, the user interface is completely customizable. Mozilla Thunderbird will help you manage all aspects of job hunting from finding open positions to managing your interviews.
Closing the Deal
Don't Forget to Relax
Using open source software, you can expand your software library to include a myriad of fun and alternative means to successful job hunting. The most important thing to keep in mind when installing open source software on your desktop is to balance functionality, cost, and security.
For more information and to view a chart of the open source software tools and download the software, visit www.palamida/blog
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