In today's competitive job market, you need all the help you can get when you set out on your search for employment. If you own a modern smartphone, you're already one step ahead. Of course, you know that having a data-enabled phone with you all the time can help you respond more quickly to employers who express interest in you, whether via a phone call or email response -- but that's not all. From scouring the ads for you to prepping for interviews, there's an app for that.
Let's take a look at a few examples of the many apps created for popular smartphone platforms to help make your job hunt easier. I asked friends who have been actively engaged in the job hunting process which apps they found useful, resulting in the list below.
JobServe has been around for a long time, launching the first Internet job board back in 1993. The JobServe web site is a popular resource for job hunters, allowing you to do a quick search, a power search, or browse job postings by industry or location.The JobServe Connect app has a simple interface that allows you to enter a job title and skillset description or other key words to look for available job postings in the area near your location (using GPS) or in a specific town, county, or zip code. You can specify whether you want a contract or permanent position and set the salary range you're looking for with a slider, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1
JobServe Connect offers a simple search of the job postings database
JobFinderAnother way to find job postings is with JobFinder from MotionT (see Figure 2). It accesses the Monster.com database, among others. It's available for both iOS and Android, and this one is in the Android Market. Figure 2
JobFinder is another app that taps into job posting databases
With this app, you key in the zip code to define the location, and you can search within a particular radius (from 15 miles to nationwide). You can specify whether you're looking for full time, part time, contract, telecommuting, or internship positions. You can also post your resume, and you can save jobs for future reference.
If you're based in the U.K. and looking for a job there, check out Jobcentre Plus for Android. This app works similar to those above for finding jobs in the U.K., plus it supports adding jobs to a favorites list, saving searches, viewing the job locations with Google Maps, and emailing results to yourself to view later.Figure 3
Jobcentre Plus searches for jobs in the U.K.
Database-specific and industry-specific appsSome apps search multiple databases for job listings. The most popular job boards also have their own apps. Monster Job Search (Figure 4 below) is available in the Android Market and Apple App Store and lets you search for and apply for jobs, plus access your Monster.com account from your smartphone. You can have job postings emailed to you, email jobs to friends, and edit cover letters. It's available in 19 different languages, and it connects to Foursquare and Gowalla, so you can look for jobs that are close to the places you frequently visit. Figure 4
The Monster Job Search app provides a simple search entry interface
There's also an app for accessing the Indeed.com search engine, another popular site for job hunters. It's called Job Search and is available for iOS and Android. It supports 20 different languages and works in a way that's similar to the other apps previously discussed, letting you put in keywords, job titles, or company names, as well as the search location (city, state, or zip code).
You can also download apps that are designed to aid the job search within a specific field or industry. Some examples include:
- Government Jobs: This app, available in the Android Market, is a good resource for those who are looking for jobs with the U.S. federal government. You can search by job title, government agency, job description, or for jobs in specific geographic areas. You can also choose to have it send you job details via email or SMS, and you can set it up to send notifications when new jobs matching your search criteria are posted.
- TechCareers: This app lets you search the databases at TechCareers.com to find jobs in the technology industry. It's available in the Apple App Store and the Android Market. It goes beyond IT jobs to include positions in such fields as biomed, avionics, and other technical areas. It also provides breaking news on a number of career-specific news feeds. Note that it is advertising supported. Read more about this app on PRWeb.
- ALB Legal Jobs Centre: Here's an iPhone app that's specific to the legal field and to the Asia-Pacific region. This free service is provided by Australasian Legal News, and it covers Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and more.
There are even apps dedicated to searching for jobs with particular large companies. Gulfstream Aerospace Job Search is one such company-specific app that lets you apply for jobs directly from your mobile Android device.
After you find the job openings that you're interested in, submit your resume through one of the apps above, and get called for an interview, then what? Your smartphone's usefulness isn't over. There are a number of apps out there that will help you prepare for that all-important interview. The really nice thing about using your smartphone for this is that you can get in a little prep work no matter where you are -- even while you're sitting there, waiting for the interview to begin.
- The InterviewBuddy app for the iPhone from Glass Hand will help applicants in the tech field to prepare for that all-important interview by providing resources, such as brain teasers of the type that some big tech companies are famous for including in their interviews, as well as other tips and tricks for acing the interview.
- Interview Pro from Daniel Wong, also for iOS, includes what it calls "killer job interview questions" and tips on how to come up with the answers that employers want to hear. This one isn't free, but it's only $1.99 USD and may be well worth the investment if you're often thrown for a loop by the questions interviewers ask.
- There's an app called Interview Pro for Android, but the publisher is different. This one is from Appomatic Software and costs $.99 USD. It provides advice on the right way to approach common interview questions.
When you're trying to land a job, it's critical that you keep all the information pertaining to your various prospects organized so you can review the information at a moment's notice. Remembering the name of the person you met who would be your supervisor could make the difference between whether or not you get the job. Although not specifically designed for job hunting, there are several apps that will help you navigate the job search waters more efficiently and effectively:
- Calendaring apps: Being late to an interview can be fatal to your chances of getting the job, so be sure to use your favorite smartphone calendaring app to set up reminders.
- Navigation: Use your smartphone's GPS/navigation capabilities to get you to the interview on time, even when it's in a part of town (or other location) with which you're not familiar.
- Notetaking apps: Use EverNote, OneNote, or another favorite notetaking app to quickly enter important information after the interview is over, so you can send a follow-up "thank you" letter to the interviewer that will make you stand out from the crowd.
In today's job market, you have to be a savvy job hunter to land the position of your dreams. But you don't have to go it alone. You'll find dozens of smartphone apps that can help you find the open positions, get your foot in the door, and make a better impression on the hiring authorities.
Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 additional books on subjects such as the Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 MCSE exams, CompTIA Security+ exam, and TruSecure's ICSA certification.