Anybody who's done it knows that looking for a job is a full-time job in itself. So how can you better manage all the information the process generates? One start-up, JibberJobber, is building a relationship management service for job seekers.
On the site, you can manage records for companies, contacts, and job openings. There are separate categories for direct job contacts and recruiters, and the system will do things for you that you're likely to overlook: It will remind you of when you need to follow up with people, for example. There's also a lot of related content on the site, including data from Chimby, a career advice site. And there are online worksheets to help you come up with your own personal 30-second pitch, your answers to hard interview questions, and so on.
The system borrows some CRM (customer relationship management) features. It will show you the map of who's related to whom in your list of contacts, which makes it possible to track referrals so that you can send gift baskets when you finally land your job. It will also map locations of specific jobs.
One of the coolest (and newest) features is JibberJobber's integration with the RSS feeds from job sites. Once you add feeds from sites such as Monster.com or from job boards such as those at 37Signals, you can just select an item to create a job entry from it. This lowers the data entry hassle tremendously.
I first saw this site in August. At that time, it wasn't ready for the world to bang on. Since then, the service has come a long way; it's worth experimenting with and possibly using in earnest. The user interface is downright plain and lacks a few buttons (for example, you can't add a company record when you're in the middle of adding a job record), but it does a pretty good job of making a complex data architecture approachable. The site gives users free access to all features for 14 days and limited access thereafter. If you pay for the service (starting at $9.95 per month), you can store more data and do a lot more with it.
In some ways, JibberJobber is a completely private version of LinkedIn: You decide who's in your network and how they relate to you and each other. Nobody gets access to your people but you. It's a good idea, and it's useful for more than just job hunting. Finding a job may be a full-time gig, but managing a career, even when you're sitting pretty, also requires ongoing maintenance. A site such as this can help.