As part of my ongoing quest to bring you information on getting -- or keeping -- a job in the tech sector, I want to point you to a great blog post by the folks at the application security company Palamida. They've assembled a list of eight open source tools you can use to help find your next job.
In the olden days (read: five years ago), a thorough job search merely meant scanning the local newspaper classified ads and sending out some resumes via postal mail. With the advent of Web-based job services like Monster.com and human resource departments that insist on email-only resumes, job searches have gone distinctly high-tech.
As Palamida correctly points out, getting noticed above the din of applicants is harder than it used to be so it's imperative to get a leg up on things. "The key to successfully finding a job is to prove your expertise, while differentiating yourself from the crowd. It takes creativity and ingenuity – which are both possible using open source software. Open source can help you distinguish yourself without pulling on your purse strings, and more importantly, show how tech-savvy and creative you are."
The company lists several tools applicants can use to prepare resumes and portfolios without breaking the bank. Mozilla Thunderbird is a perfect option for expensive commercial products like Microsoft Outlook, and Opengoo is a great option if you want to avoid paying big bucks for Microsoft Office or Apple iWork. Read the full list of recommended apps at Palamida's company blog.
There's one more tool I'd add to a job seeker's toolkit: the open source password manager KeePass. Your job search no doubt involves signing up at industry message boards, career building Web sites, and job service sites. Keeping track of all the login information and passwords is a nightmare, but KeePass is great for assembling everything in one secure, encrypted location. The free version is Windows only, but the Professional Edition works on any platform.
What open source tools would you recommend for job hunting? Let me know in the comments.