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Make Your Job Search A Little Easier

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or you were lucky enough to inherit an incredibly large sum of money, you’ve probably heard the United State’s economic climate has been somewhat of, well, a bummer. In fact, you’ve probably felt it yourself.

But things are looking up. Although many jobs have been lost, recent news reports say businesses are finally starting to get comfortable enough to begin hiring again.

According to the Associated Press:

The unemployment rate fell last month in more than 80 percent of the nation’s largest metro areas, adding to evidence that the recent pickup in hiring is widespread.

Google estimates the U.S. unemployment rate fell around 9.2%  during March — let’s hope for a steady decline over the few months.

However, despite the positive results, plenty of americans are still searching for work. There simply aren’t enough jobs available for those who are looking. But don’t get too discouraged, either. The internet provides a wealth of resources that may make your job search a little less daunting — you just have to know where to look.

First, cities typically have their own employment websites and employment centers to help you get started. A quick online search or visit to your local city hall should point you in the right direction.

There are also the typical job search sites:

Craigslist is a good place to start. Job listings are constantly updated throughout the day, and the Craigslist community often helps filter out those pesky scammers. Somewhat, at least. Employers can post ads at very low costs, so a broad variety of positions are available, both for full and part-time. Also, seekers don’t have to register or sign up to use the services, which makes the job search fast, free and easy for all.

Websites like Simply Hired and Indeed aggregate results from major job websites, company websites, associations and other online sources. This gives job seekers an expansive view of employment opportunities offered on all online platforms, while still providing the capability to filter through specific categories.

Since social networking is unarguably one of the most crucial factors in landing a job, LinkedIn becomes highly beneficial. LinkedIn acts a social networking arena for professionals in the online era. Users can upload resumes, include a bio, find employers hiring in specific fields, praise clients, and recommend potential employees.

There are niche sites out there that offer a more targeted approach to job hunting than general job sites do. One site, MediaBistro, is highly regarded in its ability to focus in on media professions, such as in journalism, on-line content, book publishing, TV, radio, PR, graphic design,  and photography.

Although online sources can seriously benefit your job hunt, I’ve also heard employers say they’ve received thousands of responses to a single job ad they posted. This means you’ll often get lost in crowd. Increase your chances by making an online portfolio to display your hard work and impress your future boss.

Another great way to get your foot in the door is through interning and volunteering. It’ll help you feel productive during periods of unemployment and it could open up new doors and opportunities that wouldn’t have presented themselves before.

Lastly, how can I not mention Zaarly? With Zaarly, sources for fast cash will pretty much come directly to the hands of the users. People will be able to request tasks they need done and negotiate prices through a local, buyer-generated market, creating the perfect way to get some extra dough while in-between jobs.

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Go “Green” With Your Smartphone

photo: Waseem Sayegh

Gas premiums are at a high, the price and use of energy is consistently rising, food costs have been on an upward climb, all with no end in sight. The result of all these rising costs have pushed many out of their comfort zones, increased their stress levels, and have them asking, “how can I live a sustainable life and save money?” There is no one-way of doing it and a lot of it consists of disconnecting from many things you take for granted. But something that many people do not realize is that they have a major advantage on how to save money and energy, their smartphones.

With the ever growing use of technology and advancement, people who have a smartphone can easily access applications and information on the go to help them efficiently control their expenses and monitor energy usage to save money. Tracking bank statements and making to-do lists have never been more effortless, but another way many people have been cutting costs is by “going green”. Going green generally means consuming less, buying and using sustainable products while being actively conscious about the environment. For example, the use of smart cars or more compact cars that get better gas milage have saved drivers tons of money and release less emissions into the atmosphere. If you are like myself, a broke college student, and can’t afford one of those bad boys here are several apps that you can download on your phone that will actively help save you money, the environment, and energy.

How to Make Your Car An Eco-Friendly Vehicle:

Saving money on gas is on top of many commuters and travelers priority lists. With the nation’s average reaching nearly $4 per gallon, the cost of a weeks trip to work and back has become very troublesome. That is why it is very important to keep your car in the best running shape. Efficient cars equal great gas mileage, but who has time to cover every detail that goes into keeping a car in good shape? I would like to introduce the Gas Cubby app. It is the ultimate tool for tracking gas mileage and vehicle maintenance. Very easy to use interface that tracks multiple cars, syncs online, displays graphs, and gives you service reminders. Gas Cubby can easily become your favorite passenger seat partner.

Buying the Right Products:

photo: Royce Bair

Finding the right product that is not costly, but also eco-friendly is a struggle in itself. It can take up to hours for someone to find out what products are “green” and which aren’t. So why not go out and get the FREE app called GoodGuide. This app helps you find safe, healthy, and sustainable products while out shopping. GoodGuide allows you to browse, search or simply scan a barcode to see detailed ratings of environment, and social responsibilities for more that 70,000 products and companies. A smart pick up for those who are shoppers and need “green” info on the go.

Saving Green While Being Green:

Now how can you save money while simultaneously living a sustainable and environmentally friendly life? The best possible app for that would be Green Genie! The Green Genie is “your complete guide to a sustainable lifestyle”. The application, which is only $.99, features “over 100 projects and tips, each on telling you the environmental benefits and how much money it will save you”. There is lots of informative news in this app, as well as activities that are curbed to your lifestyle. I recently purchased this app.

Using Zaarly to Conserve:

photo: Sreenisreedharan (Flickr)

The anticipation is killing me. The Zaarly application can have an amazing impact on living a “green” life. With Zaarly you can browse through tons of listings and find ways to earn money, but also save a person from driving themselves somewhere to purchase a bagel, or a cup of coffee. You can call it “Social Network Carpooling;” it puts money in your pocket and you’re compressing the energy consumption of two individuals into one. Check out a previous Zaarly blog post on how Zaarly can end the use of taxis.

Clean Technology & Research News:

Greentech Media’s application “allows you to take news and research from the fast-paced green and clean technology world with you”. Get the latest in sustainable news and breakthroughs. There are tons of informative articles in this news application for you to eat up.

You do not have to make huge changes to your lifestyle in order to conserve; all it takes are small adjustments and that is the most important thing I learned while researching these superb green applications.

Joseph Aslam
@josephLOUDREAMS
LOUDreams.com


HOW TO: Put time back on your calendar using technology

Managing work, school, family demands and trying to squeeze in a social life can be difficult these days. Savvy users of mobile technology are discovering that properly integrating certain mobile apps into your life can save valuable time in your busy day.

If you’ve ever uploaded a photo to Instagr.am or checked Twitter while standing in line for coffee, you understand the freedom and time-saving value provided by 21st century mobile technology.

And even though you can’t put 25 hours in a day, there are more ways than ever to maximize each of those 24 hours.

Manage your calendar and t0-do list

Services like MobileMe enable you to access and manage your email, contacts, calendar, photos, and files all online. You can add an event to your the calendar on your phone and automatically sync to the calendar on your laptop and desktop via the cloud.

Several different to-do list and reminder apps, such as the Evernote app, let you do everything from recording voice notes to jotting down those brilliant ideas in the middle of the night to taking pictures of whiteboards in your office that you need to refer to later.

And if you need to share files between home and office, the Air Sharing app enables you to make your phone a thumb drive. You can view slideshows, documents and PDFs and more.

Build relationships

Several hot new group chat apps such as Beluga enables you to keep in touch with groups of friends or family all at once. Group messaging apps make it simple to communicate with the people you want to communicate with. You can quickly create and reorganize social circles, on the go, according to the situation. And that communication is as private as you want it to be.

Travel with ease

The Kayak app can help you locate the best deals on hotels, air fare, car rentals — and even help you save money by enabling you to look up baggage fees.

TripIt trip planner keeps all of your travel plans in one spot, so you can quickly retrieve confirmation numbers, addresses and itineraries from your phone.

Further your education 

Remember the days of Encyclopedia Britannica salesmen going door-to-door trying to sell you dozens of volumes of books? Well now all of those books can fit in your pocket.

You can find a plethora of education apps ranging from first grade math to graduate level physics. A new app called Voxy lets you incorporate learning a new language into the flow of your life.

And if you’re in school, or your son on daughter is, the MyHomework app will ensure that you always remember the due dates for papers and homework assignments.

Shop til you drop

You can use apps like RedLaser to do comparison shopping and find the best price. The Amazon app provides one-click ordering and allows you to make quick purchases on Amazon’s site. Target offers an app that allows you to scan the stores weekly ad instantly, see clearance items and buy products without even getting in your car. Yowza shows you coupons from stores near you using GPS, and there’s no need for clipping — the barcode appears on your phone screen. And you can pay for everything electronically using PayPal.

Manage daily activities 

There’s an app to manage every part of your day — from alarm clock apps to help you wake up in the morning to relaxation apps to help you fall asleep at night.

You can keep track of your password, bank account numbers and other important information using 1Password. Manage your finances with iXpenseIt, a smart and handy tool to log, track and manage your daily expenses and budget.

Prepare a meal using Woman’s Day Cooking Assistanta personal cooking assistant that includes meal ideas, cooking tools, and more to make cooking easier. Or don’t feel like cooking? Urbanspoon can find a restaurants in your area, complete with reviews. And after dinner you can use the QuickTip Tip Calculator to determine the appropriate tip you should give based on the amount of the bill. And even locate the gas stations with the cheapest fuel prices using the Fuel Finder app.

If you constantly find yourself sitting inside your house on a Saturday afternoon, use the free Geodelic app to search for shops, attractions and restaurants in your area. The app also senses what your interests are and will suggest places to visit in your town. And you can find your way around using Google Maps.

For a busy person, Zaarly is the perfect app. Even if you can’t afford hiring a full-time assistant, Zaarly can help you check some mundane tasks off your to-do list. Whether you’re looking for help personally (buying weekly groceries) or professionally (market research, data entry), Zaarly can connect you with people to provide the work you need, when you need it, at the price you’re willing to pay.

Now, if only there was an app to help you download all these apps…