http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js

I participate in Career Collective, a community of career bloggers gathered together by Miriam Salpeter and Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter. Each month we share responses to a common question. Up today: Our favorite things. Not raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens. But our top picks for career resources and the job search.

Today, I'm sharing with you three categories of resources that can help you in your job search:

  1. Resources that can help you target what you do best,
  2. Websites that can help you find resources in your area of interest, and
  3. "Sites to make live connections."

 

FINDING WHAT YOU DO BEST: ASSESSING YOUR STRENGTHS

The self-improvement movement thrives on fixing or refining weaknesses, but improving your strengths is equally--and perhaps more--important. Especially when it comes to Pull_up your work. After all, it is easier to work in a job that plays to your strengths, right?

Here are three of my favorite resources for finding your strengths.

  1. Now Discover Your Strengths
    Written by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, this book includes access to the Clifton Strengths Finder.
  2. Change the Way You See Yourself Through Asset Based Thinking
    Fun and helpful read by Hank Wasiak and Kathryn Cramer, with easy suggestions for thinking with your strengths first.
  3. Authentic Happiness
    From the research center of Positive Psychology expert Dr. Martin Seligman, this site includes a free Strengths questionnaire. (You'll need to create an account to use it.) 

STRAIGHT TALK AND CLICK TO WHAT YOU NEED

These three websites feature a non-nonsense approach to information sharing. (They remind me of one of my favorite fruits, the pomegranate. They are good for you, and full of nutrients for your career.)

You won't need to download any plug-ins or install the latest version of Flash to use them. Pomegranate You will find the information you need--fast.

  1. The Riley Guide
    To my knowledge, this site was one of the first career websites. It is still one of the most comprehensive. Check out the A - Z index.
  2. Job-Hunt.org
    Over !5,000 curated links as well as frequently updated content from industry experts. One of the primary sources behind Job-Hunt? Career Collective participant Susan Joyce
  3. QuintCareers
    In addition to regular features and resources, Quint Career sponsors an annual Job Search Action Day every November. The Creative Director of Quint Careers is Katharine Hansen, Ph.D. Career Collective participant and expert in storytelling for job search.

FRIENDS WHO WILL KNOW YOU BACK

In any market, personal networking -- and referrals -- are one of the best ways to land a job. Here are three sites that I recommend to make new friends Meetup

  1. MeetUp.com
    Thousands of personal interest groups are organized and hosted on the website MeetUp.com. MeetUp is a way to go online to form relationships offline. My colleague Donna Sweidan hosts a job search group based in Stamford, Connecticut; I've served as organizer for the NYC Job Seekers Meetup group since April 2007. Check out interest groups in your area; read user ratings and recommendations to pick the one that suits your needs.
  2. Professional Associations and LinkedIn Groups.
    Keep pace with trends in your field, make friends who share your interests, and build your visibility. A good professional association can help you do all of these things and more (see this Directory of Associations to find resources for you); you can also join group forums with others who share your professional interests on LinkedIn.com
  3. Twitter.
    Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, Twitter users can view status updates of other users instantly--no mutual agreement required to connect. A vast majority of Twitter users don't restrict access to view their accounts, you can choose who you want to "follow"--Twitter vernacular for seeing a user's status update. Twitter's list feature allows you to view the updates of groups of Twitter users in one focused list. (You can also create and publicize your own lists.)
    For individual Twitter users to follow by area of interest, search by keyword on TweepML or look at directories such as Twellow.com or WeFollow.com

    For a list of groups of Twitter users by area of interest, see Listorious.com.

 

Know your strengths, seek out the information you need to get started, and connect. These are a few of my favorite strategies. Here are suggestions from my friends and colleagues in the Career Collective: