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Sadly, nearly 13 million Americans are out of work this Labor Day. The national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent has hardly budged in 2012.
If you are among those navigating this harsh job market, I've scoured the Web for resources that can help.
Here are some inside tips for landing your dream job and finding legitimate work-from-home opportunities. You might even want to look into starting your own business!
In a job search, making a great first impression is essential. It all starts with an eye-catching résumé.
Resumesimo offers high-quality templates that take no more than 10 minutes to fill out. It can even import data from your social network profiles.
PdfCV is another excellent free service to try for creating a high-quality résumé or curriculum vitae.
Polish your online reputation
Before you get too far on sending out those résumés, it's a good idea to assess your online reputation. You can bet that potential employers will do the same thing.
Start by doing a Google search of your name and cleaning up your Facebook profile. Sites such as Pipl, Wink and PeekYou will make quick work of combing social networks for unflattering information.
Find out more about what an employer background check entails these days - and how to survive one - here.
The search is on!
Most job seekers start their hunt on the two megasites - CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com. They're a great start, but they can overlook hidden gems.
Sites such as Simply Hired and Indeed search through thousands of job boards and can help you nail that perfect job. If you're looking for a high-paying executive position, visit The Ladders.
Those looking for work in a specific industry can skip the unfocused searching altogether and go to specialized sites. Dice handles tech sector jobs. Jobs in finance are found at eFinancialCareers. Government agencies post ads at USAJOBS. Media professionals can go to Mediabistro.com. And SalesJobs.com is pretty self-explanatory.
Don't forget LinkedIn. It's great for business networking and has a very active jobs board.
Linkup is a job search engine that posts openings taken from nearly 25,000 company websites.
Bright is a site that can save you a lot of time weeding out jobs that aren't a good fit. It uses powerful algorithms to match your résumé and skill set to available positions.
Having a hard time tracking it all? Pay a visit to Jobspeaker. You can manage all your job boards in one handy place and use a dashboard to keep track of the various stages you're at.
For more great advice about using the Web and technology to find a job, watch this informative video.
Apps to aid your search
In our increasingly mobile and connected society, apps have become indispensable job-hunting tools.
There are smartphone versions of popular websites:
How to Get a Job Interview (iOS only) and Interview Questions Pro (iOS only) are purely informational.
JobCompass pinpoints jobs on a real-time time map.
When you need advice
Most job hunters have no idea about what kinds of filters and procedures companies use to winnow a large field of candidates.
Net-Temps' Career Advice section is a big help here. Career Advice contains hundreds of helpful job-hunting articles, written by recruiters and industry professionals. They know what works in job hunting and what doesn't.
Although you have to be careful of scams, there are quite a few ways you can commute from your bedroom to the home office and use the Internet to earn income.
If you're good on the phone, make extra money as a virtual concierge for VIPdesk. Also consider customer service and sales. LiveOps, AlpineAccess, WestatHome and WorkingSolutions list opportunities.
Freelancing isn't just for writers and designers. Find opportunities for administrative assistants, accountants, computer programmers and other professions at niche sites such as Elance, Guru and FreelanceSwitch.
My video report at TVKim.com has more tips on setting up a home-based business.
Start your own business
If you're an artist or a crafter, the Internet makes it easy to hang your shingle on a virtual storefront. These three popular sites will take a small cut of the action in exchange for setting up your shop for free.
Photographers and other artists who sell prints should check out a print-on-demand site, such as Imagekind or Fine Art America.
Skilled photographers can also cash in by licensing their photos to microstock agencies.
Writers have been earning supplemental income for years by blogging. Once you build a following, advertisers will beat a path to your blog. Read my tip on better blogging and the sites that will get your started.
When your livelihood depends on website traffic, you want to come out on top in Google searches. Here are five ways to improve your website's Google search ranking. To stand out on local searches, be sure to read this.
One of the best ways to market your business for free is to hit the social networking sites. I tell you how to go about it the right way.
You need billing software if your profession requires keeping track of your time or sending out invoices. Free productivity programs such as GnuCash or LibreOffice can help.
Timewerks: Mobile Billing ($3) is a nifty on-the-go option for iPhone.
Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams
Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer
"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda
"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha rules4humans.com
| Pounds lost: 78.0