Smartphones have become an increasingly popular tool to facilitate searches for employment and related tasks. Job seekers without smartphones place themselves at a severe disadvantage. Here are seven ways how smartphones provide an “edge” to professionals seeking new job opportunities:
1. Browse Jobs and News via Social Media
Mobile Facebook and Twitter applications can provide instant access to employer content. In addition to the fact that nearly every established business has its own Facebook page, several have created supplemental pages specifically for careers, like Bloomberg and HP, shown here. By becoming a Facebook fan of several target companies’ career pages, job seekers can integrate potential employers’ open positions and news into their otherwise social use of the application. No, applying for a position via Facebook isn’t feasible – yet – but a status update about a new opportunity can be incredibly helpful, and can later be pursued. The same logic applies to Twitter. With Twitter, though, users have the advantage of creating customized lists to be able to view all employment-related content, like these updates from Viacom Careers and Abacus Group, on a smaller, separate newsfeed. Twitter is also beneficial given that job seekers can search using hash tags to generate results for additional roles.
2. Ensure Prompt Arrival to Interiews There's nothing worse than being en route to an interview and realizing that the exact destination is unknown. Smartphones allow rapid access the precise location of and optimal route for arrival to an employer. A phone with an Internet connection, therefore, allows a candidate to discreetly combat his or her unpreparedness. With Google Maps at one’s fingertips, the candidate won’t need to contact the employer for a reminder of the business’ location right before the interview, which would be interpreted as quite unprofessional. Similarly, the candidate can guarantee prompt arrival by following step-by-step locations via apps like HopStop when the interview is in an unfamiliar location. This feature is vital, as a candidate cannot risk showing up to an interview later than the agreed-upon time.
3. Conveniently Store Others' Professional Contact Information
Keeping track of business cards received at networking events, interviews or even normal social settings can be difficult. With everything becoming digitalized, it’s somewhat inconvenient to be handed a small, physical paper card with someone’s contact information. Fortunately, smartphones offer numerous applications to scan business cards and automatically important the contact information. Many of these applications, like WorldCard Mobile for iPhone and Android, can be downloaded free of charge. Professionals can benefit from such applications when following up with employers after interviews, or for easily getting in touch with a new acquaintance who can become a potential client. Additionally, professionals who take advantage of this technology eliminate the risk of permanently losing someone’s phone number or email, ensuring that they will make the most of new connections.
4. Quickly React to Alerts about New Opportunities
A phone with email accessibility instantly connects candidates to new job notifications from target companies and recruiters. Being one of the first to view an available position provides job seekers with a huge advantage, since the length of the vacancy is generally unpredictable. As such, it’s best to pursue a position as quickly as possible by submitting an application, networking with an internal employee or both. Relying on a computer to receive such announcements slows the candidate’s response time, and reduces the chances of review by the employer and a subsequent interview offer.
5. Browse Job Openings Anytime, Anywhere
What do morning commutes, lines at the DMV and doctor’s offices’ waiting rooms have in common? They’re all seemingly tedious activities that provide excellent opportunities to browse for jobs via a smartphone. Major job boards, such as Indeed (shown left), have free mobile apps that enable professionals to perform customized searches at any time. Even those smartphone owners who lack resume-submission capabilities (discussed below) – and cannot complete the job application process by phone – can at least saveappealing positions for a more convenient time. This reduces the time spent browsing on a computer for viable roles.In addition to being able to sift through online jobs in otherwise unproductive situations, professionals can search discretely during breaks at their current place of employment.Using a work computer to see what’s open won’t remain a secret, and may be grounds for termination.
6. Instantly Share a Resume
Smartphones have apps for creating and sending resumes. While most of these applications aren’t free, $2.99 is a small price to pay for the convenience of being able to submit a resume to anyone instantly. Suppose a professional meets a prospective employer unexpectedly at a social event. Rather than having to delay sharing his or her resume until arriving back at home, with computer access, the savvy job seeker can simply use a smartphone to send the document as an email attachment. In today’s competitive market, getting a resume to an employer as quickly as possible is invaluable.
7. Connect to the Largest Professional Networking Site, LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s free mobile app (right) is a must-have for any job-seeking professional with an account on the website. Despite the limitation of not offering the basic job search function, the LinkedIn app lets professionals view the job openings within companies that they are following. This is an excellent way to review opportunities within target firms. Users can also modify their profiles on-the-go to appeal to prospective employers in a particular industry or type of position. Consider a public auditor looking to transition to the real estate industry who is unexpectedly introduced to an audit manager from MEM Property Management. Realizing her profile does not adequately reflect her real estate interests and ambitions, she can quickly supplement her profile with relevant information prior to connecting to the new acquaintance. A final advantage of the LinkedIn app is the capability to reply promptly to personal messages from employers and recruiters. Without smartphone access, such messages could remain unanswered for days, thereby diminishing the job seeker’s interest in the eyes of the original sender.