Tech and online tools for your job search

March 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
In this economy, looking for a job can be tough. However, there are many tech and online resources to help make it easier. Molly Wood, executive director of, shares these tips.

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Features: Although it competes with much larger sites like CareerBuilder and, is one of the best job search sites on the Web. It gets high marks from CNET's editors for its simple layout--two search fields and nothing else. sets itself apart by allowing users to search online job listings, newspapers, and other job boards, but it also provides salary information, forums to connect people of similar interests, and a job trends search field that provides solid insight into the state of any industry.

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Features: 70 percent of all available jobs are only listed on the employers' Web sites - LinkUp helps you find them. Unlike Indeed and JobSerf, which take a look at published job listings, LinkUp continually monitors company Web sites to catalog all their job openings. Once a person searches for jobs by keyword, LinkUp delivers the pages that contain the open job listings on the respective company's site.

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Turbo Charge TC2 Portable Cell Phone Charger $24.99:
Editors rating: 4 Stars


- Cell phone chargers may not be glamorous, but indeed, they can be indispensible when your phone loses power and you're on the go. And though a wide variety of such products exist, from the solar powered to the muscle powered, we prefer to get our emergency juice from more reliable sources.

- It runs on two AA batteries while sporting a simple, foolproof design. It delivers quick power to your phone and is more appealing than the Energi To Go or competing products from Tekkeon and the Planon. And unlike the emergency chargers from Cellboost, you can use the Turbo Charge multiple times.

- As we mentioned earlier, the Turbo Charge has a thoroughly uncomplicated design. Like the Energizer charger, it consists of just two parts: an oblong battery holder and a short power connector.

- The battery holder is compact (3.2x1.5x0.75 inches) and lightweight, so you can slip it into a carrying bag and forget it's there. Compared with the Energi To Go, the Turbo Charge has a sturdier construction, and the battery cover is easier to pry off. Also, we like the black, silver, and blue color scheme.

- The Turbo Charge takes almost no setup time. You need only to snap in the batteries, choose your connector and you're all set.

- Unlike the Energi To Go, the Turbo Charge includes an on/off switch that allows you to kept the batteries in the charger without depleting them. It also offers a set of nifty battery indicator lights that show just how much power your batteries have left. Both features are big improvements over Energizer's product. And if you're ever lost in the dark, you can use the bright LEDs on the top of the unit as an emergency flashlight.

- The Turbo Charge comes with a set of eight power connectors that should fit most--but not all--cell phones on the market. The adapters include a mini-USB charger for Motorola handsets, both the large and small pin connectors for Nokia, and the older Moto adapter with two prongs. The remaining cords will accommodate a variety of Sony Ericsson, Palm Treo, RIM BlackBerry, Samsung, LG, Kyocera, and Sanyo models.

- When starting with a fresh set of batteries, the Turbo Charger will deliver anywhere from two to five hours of power

Where to buy:

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Cannon Pixma iP2600 Printer $34.49 - $67.67
Editors rating: 3.5 stars


- The Pixma iP2600 is Canon's inkjet photo printer for users on a budget. The retail price is $49.99, replacing the Pixma iP1800 as its entry-level, straightforward printer with limited features. As expected in a baseline product, the iP2600 lacks a PictBridge port and a memory card slot but makes up for it with a sleek design, competitive print speeds, and bold, crisp prints. The photos themselves are also incredibly easy to crop, repair, and alter using the included Easy-PhotoPrint EX software bundle. Overall, you'll find that this is a cost-effective printer for text documents and amateur-level photo printing.

- Sleek design folds up for unobtrusive storage; portrait prints display evenly balanced colors; lines of text look sharp; low price for print quality.

- The Canon Pixma iP2600 performed admirably in our speed tests. The Pixma churned out 5.68 pages per minute (ppm) of black-and-white text, falling just short of the HP Deskjet 4260 ($75) at 6.03 ppm and the Lexmark Z845 ($50) at 6.85 ppm. The three printers are all within the same general sub-$100 price range, so the slight deficit is expected and acceptable compared with other budget inkjet printers.

Where to buy:, Best Buy

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ResumeMaker Professional Ultimate (Individual Software Inc.) Free to try; $39.95 to buy


- Write professional resumes and cover letters with easy, step-by-step wizards, samples for 13,000+ careers and over 150,000 recommended phrases.

- Practice your answers to 500+ questions in the Virtual Interview and get salary data and negotiation tips to help you earn more.

- Distribute your resume to the top 80+ career Web-sites and let your next job find you.

- Mail-merge resumes and cover letters, and publish a resume Web page.

Where to buy:

For more information, click here.

Kinetic Resume

Features: Whether or not you are out of a job, it's also a good time to polish your professional resume. For users who learn visually, this shareware app uses a multimedia approach to creating and editing your resume. Start out by simply copying and pasting your career information and personal data, decide what sort of jobs you are interested in pursuing, and before you know it, you've got a formatted Word document that should work for many professional job applications.

Where to buy:

For more information, click here.

About Molly Wood:
Molly Wood is an executive editor for She uses her expertise and passion for the world of technology for ruthless analysis in column, blog, podcast, and video form. As host of the "Buzz Out Loud" video blog, Molly provides a fresh and funny perspective on the latest consumer electronic products to hit the market, as well as commentary on the stories and development that she thinks are truly buzz worthy. She is also co-host of "Buzz out Loud," CNET's "podcast of indeterminate length," which entertains listeners with a funny and skeptical take on the day's technology news. Her second podcast, "Gadget Girls," is proof that girls can be geeks too.

Before joining CNET in 2000, Molly was senior associate editor at MacHome Journal, where she wrote and edited Macintosh-specific product reviews, news, features and trend stories. Prior to MacHome Journal, Molly was a reporter and editor at The Associated Press (AP), where she assigned, wrote, and edited state, national and international news.

She lives in San Francisco with her son and husband.