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By now we’ve all grown accustomed to the cloud. To illustrate the impact of the cloud, a recent study reported that $1.1 trillion will be added to U.S. business revenues by 2015 due to IT innovations. It’s clear then, that cloud computing is here to stay. What’s not as clear is how effectively the cloud can do things other than simply meet business computing needs. If you are in the process of looking for work or attempting to change jobs, the cloud can be a valuable tool to make that happen. “Wait, what?”, you ask? We’ll explain.
We aren’t saying that the cloud is a great job searching tool in and of itself. What we are saying however, is that use of cloud-based computing offers you access to your information whenever and wherever you have an Internet connection, regardless of where your “desktop” might be. We all know the first rule of real estate is “location, location, location”. For cloud computing, not so much.
Job searching is a time-consuming, often stressful endeavor that requires organization and the ability to be responsive. In fact, your chances of getting a job may turn on whether you are able to provide information/a detailed response to a prospective employer’s request on demand.
Example? You’re at home and the person with whom you’ve interviewed sends you an email asking for another example of your written work. But it’s 9:30 p.m. and your office isn’t just around the corner. So it has to wait until morning. And, like in most facets of business, time is money when it comes to job searching.
Now, if you’ve got your life on a laptop you take with you everywhere, this wouldn’t be too much of a problem. However, there are times when you won’t have your machine with you. And, much as we all shudder at the thought of it happening, your laptop can be stolen. Or crash (unfortunately, the inspiration for this article came when exactly that happened to me, two weeks ago). Poof, unless you’ve been diligent about backing up, all of your information disappears as if it had never existed.
Using the cloud not only makes your location unimportant, your choice of device becomes irrelevant as well. Whether you run your daily life using a tablet or smartphone, the cloud can be a safe place for your job searching to call home.
Here’s the deal. You can store virtually all of your data, information, files, etc. in the cloud virtually (we couldn’t resist!). Really. Rather than keeping your files, data and other info on a physical hard drive, using internet-based cloud computing services provides you essentially unlimited, unfettered real-time access to everything you need from anywhere. Use of cloud storage provides you access to all your job search letter files, copies of your cover letters and resumes (you do have more than one, right?), information about each company/industry in which you’re interested, your networking files, etc.
Here, then, are some suggestions for setting up your “home” in the cloud:
Documentary, my dear Watson. There are many options available for storing document files on the internet, options which not only provide access when needed but also enable you to edit, share and even grant others permission to review, edit and contribute to them as well. Two of the more popular choices are Dropbox and Google Drive, but there are others (e.g., Carbonite, Mozy, Box.net) and rather than recommend one, we suggest you “test drive” the models out there to see which one best suits the way you like to work.
Webtop. Most of us are not only creatures of habit, we also have our own computing quirks and individual zones of comfort. You can tailor your cloud experience by using a Webtop application for your mobile device, making working away from your desktop not much different than actually working on your desktop. Convenience, mobility and security are just some of the features of a Webtop and there are many choices available. Although we don’t usually rely on Wikipedia to provide you information, their entry for Webtop does provide an overview not only of the benefits but of many of the applications available to you as well.
Duly noted. Services like Evernote enable you to keep notes, records and activity logs regarding job searching at your fingertips. JibberJobber also enables you to organize the records of your job searching networking activities and contact relationships.
Email: I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day…. What happens if you can’t access your email? Doom, right? Especially when you’re engaged in job searching. Nothing kills a job opportunity faster than lack of responsiveness. This is why we suggest (as in strongly recommend!) that you convert to cloud-based communications such as Gmail or Outlook.com. If your email/calendar combination is not in the cloud, the theft/crash/lack of access to your computer will…well, let’s just say it might bring your job searching to a screeching halt (and you’ll be the one screeching!).