Friday, April 18, 2014
We’ve told you about why LinkedIn is great for job hunting, and gave you a good idea of how to get started with LinkedIn if you’re new. Now it’s time to dive into finding an actual job.
One of the most powerful tools for finding a job using LinkedIn is groups. Here are five that will significantly increase your job-hunting power.
As you might gather from the exclamatory title, this group is dedicated to just one thing: finding jobs. There are over 1,700,000 members in this group, making it one of the largest job-hunting groups on LinkedIn. At the time of this writing, there are 860 jobs posted in the Jobs section of the group, including positions like Product Manager, Quality Engineer Data Analyst, Audit Assistant, and Website Manager/Web Analysis.
Using this group to find a job isn’t limited to perusing the job ads, though; there are currently 1000 job discussions happening as well. Most of these discussions are postings by recruiters looking to hire in places like London, Karachi, Switzerland, and Qatar.
In the general discussion portion of the group, you’ll currently find things like résumé tips, “post your details here and let’s help each other out”-type posts, and an article about the 7 habits of highly successful LinkedIn members.
One of the advantages of looking at jobs through a large group like this one, is that it’s easy to see if you have any connections at the company. And if you don’t, you can use the group to try to make some!
With over 500,000 members, the Recruiter Network is a gold mine of potential connections. And because it concentrates on attracting recruiters, you have a good chance of making a connection with someone who’s looking to hire. As of this writing, there are over 1,100 jobs and 320 discussions in the group, making it the most active on this list.
As you might expect with this number of jobs, there’s a wide variety of career options represented, from Python Developer and Java Technical Architect to Sales Representative and Receptionist. While most of the jobs seem to be located in the US, there is an international presence in the group, meaning that it could be useful no matter where you are.
The members of the group are generally pretty highly ranked in their respective companies, and 22% of the members work in human resources (that’s where recruiters and hiring managers usually work). The group is growing quickly, too, with over 3,000 new members last week. This is a great one to get involved in as soon as possible.
Indeed is a job meta-search engine, and one of the top 10 most effective job-search sites. If you’ve done any job searching on LinkedIn, you’re probably familiar with Indeed, as LinkedIn uses their service to display more jobs that match your search. Their job-hunting group is just as good as their search service.
A quick scan through their job listings reveals that most of the postings are for US-based positions, but that there’s a good variety of job types. Roadway Engineering Technician, Lease Analyst, and Art Director are all posted in this group at the moment.
The discussion section contains the type of job-finding advice you’d expect, like interview techniques, résumé tips, and LinkedIn job-hunting advice. The discussion section also includes a number of employers looking for recruits.
This group is best for people looking for jobs in the US, and can help you not only make connections, but also learn a lot of useful information about the job-hunting process.
This group is populated by mostly people with senior-level positions. With almost 50,000 members, though, there’s still a great chance you’ll be able to connect with someone that can help you find the job you’re looking for. As of this writing, there are 51 jobs posted and 161 job discussions, which isn’t many, but the quality of the group makes up for the low numbers.
Because of the smaller number of posted jobs and discussions, the best way to use this group is for making connections with other people (especially senior-level people). If you’re looking for an entry-level position, however, you might want to be careful about joining and using this group, as it might look like a bit sycophantic if you don’t have a good reason to be there.
This group contains a number of subgroups that cater specifically to smaller groups of people. There are some that are targeted at certain parts of the world — Europe, for example, or the Middle East — and some that are focused on specific job types.
An exhaustive list would go on for a very long time, but there are groups for media jobs, IT positions, management, graduating students, executives, HR, telecom, and higher education, to name a few. Almost every subgroup of Jobs 2.0 has over 2,000 members, and quite a few have over 3,000.
Something that’s important to note about Jobs 2.0 is that it’s provided byResumark, a résumé-posting website, and that the purpose of the group is probably to get you to use their service. However, because of the large number of group members, you’re likely to be able to make a useful connection anyway.
Another thing I noticed about Jobs 2.0 is that join requests can take quite a while to be approved, so get your request in early. It might also help to send the group manager a message if you’ve been waiting for a long time.
No matter what field you’re in, there’s almost certainly a group that’s focused on helping you and people like you get a job. Just type the name of your field and “jobs” in the search bar, and click the link for Groups in the left sidebar. You’ll be presented with a list of groups that might be able to help you out.
You can also view the groups that your connections are in by opening their profile and scrolling down to the bottom of the page. Look at your connections in fields you’re interested in and browse through their groups to see if there are any that you might be able to take advantage of to find a job.
If you can’t find any groups that look like they’ll help you find a job, you can always start your own. While this won’t get you in touch with recruiters soon, it’ll be a great resource in the future and might help others find jobs as well. If you’re looking for jobs in a certain area, it’s almost guaranteed that somebody else out there is too!
With these five groups and some tips on how to find others, you should have a good idea of how to find a group that will help you get a job. If you need more ideas on how to use LinkedIn to get a job, check out these 8 LinkedIn hacks to further your career and these tips on how to make your LinkedIn profile irresistible. Now get out there and start looking for your dream job!
Have you found a job using a LinkedIn group? Are you a recruiter who looks for potential hirees using LinkedIn groups? What’s your favorite job-hunting group? Share your advice and experiences below!
Image Credits: Lars Plougmann Via Flickr Source:www.makeuseof.com
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
So your jailbroken iPhone is eligible for a repair under warranty, but you already voided that when you replaced the software. Is all hope lost?
You could restore the phone to its former untampered-with glory and then return it to Apple for service – a technique used by many, successfully over the years. Then again, being a jailbreaker you should be prepared for complications and raised eyebrows.
Here’s how to restore a jailbroken phone while hopefully keeping Apple in the dark.
The Problem With Jailbreaking
Jailbreaking affords you a lot of freedom over what you do with your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. You can install OS-level tweaks, replace whole stock apps, override permissions and install any software you like; even if it isn’t signed by Apple. While a good number of users claim they’re jailbreaking to merely tweak their homescreens, there’s a longstanding stigma of piracy and privacy concerns associated with the practice; and that’s exactly what Apple doesn’t like.
If you jailbreak your Apple device and are refused service, it’s entirely your own fault. This goes two-fold for anyone who simply walks into an Apple store with a pre-jailbroken device: you’re going to be turned away. The reason? You violated the company’s terms and conditions (which most people don’t read) by tampering with the software on your device.
The other problem with jailbreaking is that even once you have successfully restored your device; there’s still a chance that Apple can tell it has been jailbroken. It’s very likely that the company has measures in place to indicate whether a device has had its software tampered with – but we can’t say for sure.
There are stories online from those convinced that Apple can detect the remnants of an old jailbreak, while an equally vocal online collective recount tales of restoring successfully and having their phone serviced as normal.
The bottom line: you will have the best odds of success by restoring properly using the technique below, but you should be prepared for a technician to call your bluff – you did violate their terms, after all.
Rebuilding Apple’s Walls
I have read some painful stories about users trying to un-jailbreak their devices by deleting Cydia files and data on the phone itself. This will result in a less-than-ideal jailbroken device, in a state of compromise without the necessary software left to actually do anything. Worst case scenario: your device won’t boot at all and may require a complete DFU mode reset.
This removes a level of protection known as Activation Lock, designed to stop thieves from being able to use stolen phones even after software restores. Then, complete the process in the following order:
- Update or download iTunes for Windows.
- Connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC and launch iTunes.
- Under the Backups heading, select your device and click Back Up Now to create a backup.
- Under your device’s listings in iTunes, click Restore. This will reset the device to an as-new condition and install the latest version of iOS.
Now, you have a “new” iPhone – you could take it straight to Apple and get it serviced for that faulty home button or crackly speaker that’s been irking you; but you might want to wait before you restore your backup. Despite iTunes not taking a backup of your firmware, many users are reporting that iTunes does backup (and subsequently restores) files related to your jailbreak, as these are stored in the same place iOS stores your standard apps.
The likelihood of Apple finding these files is anyone’s guess, but it’s a clear indication of a jailbreak when they do. Rather than restore your device, you can simply leave it in its blank state and restore your backup at a later date once everything is back to normal.
Note: You will of course lose your jailbreak doing this, and the procedure will also update your device software to a point where a jailbreak may no longer be possible. This is probably worth it if you’re making a warranty claim.
What Did We Learn?
Aside from the fact that jailbreaking can often create more problems than it solves; restoring an iPhone in iTunes should return it to an as-new state. You just need to be careful when copying your own data back onto the device, as iTunes will restore your jailbreak data too – and that might be your undoing.
As to whether Apple can tell if your device was previously jailbroken: only Apple knows the answer to that – but we can piece it together, using anecdotal Internet musings, in the comments below.
Image credit: The Amazing Apple Store (), For The Love Of God (Brandon Heyer), iPhone 5S (Nicole Kasper)
If you don’t have a tripod, you’re only hurting yourself. Tired of camera shake ruining your photos? Want to take time-lapse shots or long exposure photos? How about the ability to be inside your own photos? Tripods allow for all of these, so if you don’t have one, why not?
Tripods don’t have to be expensive and they don’t have to be an inconvenience. Are you ready to set aside your iPhone camera and take some real photos? Here’s what you need to know about buying a tripod as well as a few recommendations to point you in the right direction.
Camera Tripod Specifications
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right tripod for your needs.. Here are the factors that you need to consider:
- Height: Minimum and maximum height are both important and the right choice will depend on what your photography entails.
- Weight: It should be obvious that the heavier the tripod, the more difficult it’s going to be to carry around.
- Load and Stability: An unstable tripod is pretty much worthless. It should be able to bear the weight of your camera at maximum height on a windy day. There’s nothing worse than a destroyed camera due to a fallen tripod.
- Head Attachment: Tripod heads come in two main varieties: pan-and-tilt, which tend to be cheaper but less flexible; and ball-and-socket, which can be annoying to operate but provide lots of flexibility in camera movement.
- Leg Locking: How do the legs of the tripod lock? Does it require twisting and screwing? Or is it a flip-lock mechanism? Go with the option you feel most comfortable using.
Tripods For Portability
Pedco UltraPod II ($17): If you need a tabletop tripod that’s lightweight and quick to setup, there are few better than the Pedco UltraPod II. It weighs 4 ounces and measures down to 7 inches at its most compact. It’s sturdy and durable with a load capacity of 6 pounds capable of supporting digital SLRs, making it quite worthwhile for the price.
Vista Traveler ($20): The Vista Traveler by Davis & Sanford is an affordable non-tabletop aluminum tripod that weighs 2 pounds with a height range from 20 inches to 53 inches. It can carry a max load of 4 pounds, which should be enough for most hobby travel photography.
GorillaPod SLR-Zoom ($50): Ready for an atypical tripod? The GorillaPod by Joby is a flexible-leg tripod that can be bent in various ways to cling onto uneven surfaces, making it fantastic for extreme outdoor photography. It weighs less than a pound, can accommodate a load of up to 6.6 pounds, and reaches a maximum height of 9.8 inches.
Tripods For General Use
Dolica GX600B200 Proline ($55): Need a full-sized tripod on a budget? This tripod by Dolica fits the profile with its 60-inch height (there’s also a 65-inch variant) and ball head. It only weighs 2.5 pounds and can handle up to 15 pounds with its aluminum flip-lock legs. Will it suffice for professional photography? No, probably not, but it’s a great entry-level tripod for the skilled hobbyist with its built-in level, center column with counterweight hook for extra stability and flip leg locks
SLIK Sprint Pro II ($90): This tripod by SLIK has a quick-release convenience feature on its head, which makes it great for frequent use. Though it weighs less than 2 pounds, it’s a full-sized tripod that can reach a height of 64 inches and withstand a max load of 4.5 pounds.
Benro A2970F Versatile ($155): With a considerable surge in price comes a considerable jump in quality. The sturdy Benro Versatile reaches a max height of 69 inches and can support up to 22 pounds, which pushes it above the average hobbyist’s tripod. It folds down to 26 inches and weighs 4.5 pounds, so it’s not ideal in terms of portability; otherwise, it’s a wonderful purchase.
Best of the Best Tripods
SLIK PRO 700 DX ($170): This tripod is made from a special alloy material called AMT (aluminum magnesium titanium) which purportedly increases it strength-by-weight ratio by 40 percent. With a max height of 75 inches, max load of 15 pounds, and an all-metal 3-way pan head, the SLIK PRO 700 DX a reliable piece of equipment that’s suitable for most occasions. It’ll be hard to beat based on value alone.
VANGUARD Auctus Plus 283AT ($380): The price might scare away a lot of hobbyists, but for semi-professionals or those serious about photography for the foreseeable future, this tripod is a great buy. This solid tripod comes with unique all-terrain feet that’ll hold its ground on dirt, sand, and rocks. Its twist-lock legs can extend up to 67 inches, and Extreme Support Height Positioning Wheel System allows you to easily secure and adjust 31 pounds of gear to set up big shots.
Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 ($400): As one of Manfrotto’s sturdier offerings, the 055CXPRO3 oozes quality. It has a carbon fiber and magnesium construction and weighs only 3.6 pounds while extending to 69 inches. The spring-loaded legs featured in the 055CXPRO3 are easy to set up and take down. Although the head is sold separately, this tripod can support a max load of 17.6 pounds, and the overall look and feel of it is hard to beat.
Are you a complete newbie just getting into the swing of things? Or maybe a long-time hobbyist who’s looking to improve? In addition to using a tripod, check out ourguide to digital photography and our top 5 photography tips to kick your photos up a notch.
Whether newbie or professional, we want to hear what’s on your mind. Which tripods would you recommend and why? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Image Credits: Eric May Via Flickr Source: www.makeuseof.com
Monday, April 14, 2014
Optimize ImagesThis is a two-parter. The first thing is to equip yourself with the knowledge of using the best format for the job. When we talk about images used on the web, it’s generally restricted to either a JPG or PNG. PNG is a lossless format, best suited to simple images and illustrations, or screenshots. JPG is a lossy format suitable for photographs – it can retain the detail at varying levels of quality. If you’re uploading photographs in PNG format, you probably have images that are up to ten times as big as they would be if you used JPG. Just bear in mind that JPG loses a little detail and clarity each time modifications are made and it’s saved – so always export from your originals.
- Use JPG for photos, but only export once.
- Use PNG for illustrations and screenshots
Enable CloudFlareInstant rocket fuel for any website: CloudFlare is a hybrid cache, CDN, DDoS protection and firewall. It sits at the DNS level intercepting incoming traffic, rejects the bad stuff and optimises the good stuff.
If you’re hosting on MediaTemple, it’s a one click install. Just add the free service to your account, then toggle it on for each domain. They’ll take of the necessary DNS configuration changes so your traffic is first filtered through CloudFlare. If you’re not hosting with MediaTemple, it’s still free and easy for a basic account, but you’ll need to make the DNS changes yourself with your domain provider.
Turn on CachingCaching is a bit of a dark art and particular care needs to be taken if you have user sessions, an eCommerce setup, or a heavily dynamic page – but for many websites enabling caching will be a one-click job. After installing w3 Total Cache, chooseDisk enhanced caching from the General Settings -> Page Cache section to have pages generated then served statically from disk.
If you’re just looking for page caching and not the additional CDN tools, WP-SuperCache may be a better choice.
Voila: instant speed boost. Note that neither of these tools will server cached files to you if you’re logged in as admin, so don’t be alarmed if you personally can’t see a difference! Try using a PageSpeed analyser tool to check instead.
Enable GZIPGZIP compresses your page before sending it to the user, significantly reducing the total file size that needs to be sent. If you’ve installed w3 Total Cache, you’ll find the option on the Browser settings -> Enable HTTP gzip compression, but if not – and assuming your server supports it – try adding the following to your .htaccess file:
Call in the ProsOwning your own Virtual Private Server (several different types of hosting are available) is great for those who like to tinker, but you need to remember that out of the box it’s like buying a new graphics card and only using default VGA drivers – they rarely come configured for optimal WordPress performance. I recently dealt with a client whose WordPress eCommerce site was experiencing a lot of fatal errors traceable only to lack of memory. Server configuration is out of my league, so we had MediaTemple CloudTech investigate. For a one-off fee of $80, they optimised NGINX and Apache – with shockingly good results – more than 10 times increase in requests per second that the server could handle. The investigative part is free, so you need only pay if they find problems and think they could help.
These tips really shouldn’t take too long to implement, so if you haven’t already done them then you’re throwing away potential revenue. Do you have any other quick tips for a speed boost?