While there’s definitely a core group of career-related websites I’ve been recommending to job hunters for years, many of which I’ve featured in my ongoing blog articles here, I’ve recently noticed a strong uptick in the number of NEW technologies and offerings that seem to be popping up within the career and employment space.

Many of these fledgling sites, of course, don’t quite live up to their own self-generated hype or ever gain enough market traction to deliver on their promise of being the “next big thing” in the job market.  This being said, however, there definitely are a few new contenders I’ve got my eye on that seem to provide useful value to professionals in transition and that add some innovative twists to the job hunting process.

Here’s a short list of some of the more intriguing tools I’ve come across:

JobCase: While I continue to recommend Indeed.com as the most effective job site overall, one of my clients turned me on to this new offering that purports to compile all of the published job leads from Indeed — as well as additional opportunities from a number of other places around the web.  At first glance, I love the aesthetics of this tool, especially the way it rolls up all the search results into a company-by-company view that seems highly intuitive and that many job seekers may find easier to navigate than that of other sites.  On the flip side, the site doesn’t have many filtering options quite yet, doesn’t allow you to easily see the date each job was posted, and after numerous tests, I’m not yet convinced it’s truly finding ALL the jobs from Indeed — which sort of defeats the purpose if one was going to consider using this site as a replacement.  Still, these folks are definitely on the right track and I’m eager to see how the site evolves in the months ahead, especially given some of the interesting social and community-based career features they’ve built into it, which you’ll discover if you poke around.

PayScale’s “Best Jobs for You” Tool: Drawing upon years of cutting-edge employer research and salary data, Payscale.com recently announced the launch of a free new tool to help people explore new career options for themselves.  While admittedly the tool only considers a meager eight factors in determining it’s “ideal career choices” for a given person, the results are well-presented and the job database the application is built upon seems very up-to-date.  So all in all, while this little application is certainly no replacement for more serious methods of researching career alternatives, it only takes a few seconds to try and can provide at least a quick snapshot of some intriguing career possibilities.  If you use it, make sure to note that you can scroll through multiple “suggested jobs” using the slider on the top right of the results screen — and that you can also access Payscale’s Career Research and Career Path Explorer tools, if desired, to do some deeper research on various occupational categories.

Life Reimagined: Launched by AARP, this fascinating portal provides access to a wealth of online tools and local/virtual classes where people of all ages (although retirees seem to be the main target) can engage in thought-provoking personal development work and explore new potential applications for their skills, strengths, and talents.  They’ve enlisted some top content experts from around the country (e.g. Dick Bolles, Pepper Schwartz, Rich Feller, Richard Leider) to help develop some of their courses — and all of their courses are either free or offered at fairly low cost.  And while this site covers a wide range of life enrichment topics ranging from finding a soulmate to managing stress to staying positive, if you click on the top left menu icon and select the “work” category, you can review the courses currently offered that relate directly to job- and career-related topics.

Brewster: This simple tool does one thing, but seems to do it very well.  After receiving a handful of automated e-mails from acquaintances of mine who use this application, I decided to check it out, and found that it essentially just compiles (and updates) the phone numbers and contact information for all of the people you know — making sure this information is correct on all of your social media accounts and mobile devices.  So if you’re struggling to keep track of the contact information for everybody in your network, this simple app might be a quick fix!

Pymetrics: This last one, I’ll confess, is the new offering I find most intriguing of all.  It’s kind of a hard concept to explain, but involves using the concept of “gamification” to help people explore new occupational options.  You start by setting up a free profile and taking a series of quick, interactive online tests (some of which are downright bizarre) that are apparently designed to reveal your core personality traits.  Once these assessments are completed, the site then suggests some potential careers that might be a good match for how you’re wired, in addition to matching you up with companies (theoretically) that have expressed interest in people with certain personality profiles.  As I mentioned to one group of clients, this site could either turn out to be one of the scariest things ever invented (in a “Brave New World” sort of way) or a breakthrough channel for helping people match themselves up with suitable roles and organizations.  It’s a thought-provoking concept, at the very least, and I’d encourage you to check it out if you don’t mind investing some time completing the required exercises.

That completes the round-up of the sites that have captured my attention in recent memory — anybody else have any other tools, sites, or applications to recommend that you’re finding pretty useful from a career standpoint?