These days, much of the job search process happens online, in front of a computer screen-- searching for open positions, writing resumes and cover letters, submitting applications, even networking. The trouble is, you may be on the go, but your computer, even a laptop, isn't. It's just not practical to carry around your laptop everywhere you go, but your smart phone is another story.
Smart phone and tablet apps are making the job search a mobile activity, allowing users in career transition to browse job listings, organize contacts, manage documents and more from anywhere. According to a 2011 survey, approximately 77% of job seekers are using smartphones or tablets in some capacity, most taking advantage of mobile apps to quickly access and react to new job openings-- imagine, you could discover a newly open position, spruce up your resume, and submit your application, all without having to wait until you finish running errands!
While this survey cites that most job seekers, or at least those using mobile apps, stick to Android, every smart phone and tablet platform has a variety of relevant options. Some are available for free, while others may cost anywhere from 99¢ to $9.99, but each serve their own purpose to their own effect, so take these factors into consideration when browsing your phone or tablet's app store.
- Monster.com, CareerBuilder, and Indeed.com all have their own apps, as do many other job board websites, and best of all, these three apps are free to iPhone and Android users. Job Finder may also be particularly useful, as it aggregates results from multiple job boards and organizes them for you into one neat list. This app costs only 99¢.
- Social media apps are available on most every platform, and can be helpful in keeping up with your network and all the important information that shows up on your feed during the day, and for staying engaged in relevant conversations. Even some mobile phones that are not smart phones may be able to access these sites. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn apps are typically always free.
- ABContacts and Lunchmeet are both apps that can help you keep your contacts organized and set up personal meetings. ABContacts ($3.99 with a free version available, as well) groups your contacts based on particular standards that you can customize-- create groups based on company, job title, location, etc.-- and this app can be integrated with Outlook. Lunchmeet (free) allows you to search for appropriate restaurants if you've already got a business lunch or dinner planned. Or you can search for contacts and fellow job seekers to meet if you're planning to eat out but you've not yet planned to meet anyone. This app is accessible through your LinkedIn account.
- BeamME and Blackberry Card Reader both allow you to share and save business cards over the phone, but these are also among the most expensive options, costing $7.99 and $9.99, respectively. With BeamME, you can create and send your virtual card to any mobile device or computer, and it's available as a free, limited version, as well. Blackberry Card Reader can scan and organize business cards that you receive at networking events, meetings, etc. and transfer the information to your phone's contacts.
- Lastly, apps like Documents to Go (free) allow you to access important job search documents (i.e.: Word Documents, spreadsheets, etc.) from your phone.
If conducting your search wherever and whenever fits your schedule sounds appealing to you, check out some of these apps that can help make it happen.
Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly