It's no surprise that job seekers are increasingly using mobile devices for their searches. In response, popular job search sites are creating mobile apps to help make the process even easier.
But the ways you can utilize your phone to help you land a job aren't just limited to apps. The following are seven ways you can use your phone to transform you job search:
1. Set up notifications and mobile alerts
One of the biggest perks of the many job search engines is the ability to set up mobile alerts and notifications. If you've ever signed up to receive airfare alerts, the process pretty much works the same way. With most job search engines, you can customize your preferences so you only receive the most relevant job listings. And if you are utilizing an app, you can turn on notifications so you receive information about job openings as soon as they are posted.
The true beauty of these alerts and notifications is that the can save you So. Much. Time. Seriously. You no longer have to manually go to every single job site and sift through the most recent listings, all thanks to an algorithm that will do it for you! (Thank you, technology!)
2. Bookmark your favorite job sites
Organization in the digital age can be challenging. But it's something you'll want to stay on top of in order to maximize your job search time and minimize your frantically-searching-for-that-one-job-listing-that-sounded-perfect-but-for-the-life-of-me-I-can't-remember-where-it-was time.
One way to organize and streamline your search process is by creating a folder for your job search and bookmarking all of the relevant sites you frequent directly on your phone. And if there's a site that doesn't have an app, you can always add the bookmark to your phone's home screen, so everything lives in one place.
3. Download the best job search apps
With so many job search apps out there - and new ones popping up every day - it can become overwhelming to try and keep up. Rather than downloading all of them, stick to the tried and true favorites. For example, if there's a site you prefer to utilize when searching for jobs, odds are they have an app. Some of the top apps for job seekers include: Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Simply Hired, Zip Recruiter and Job.
4. Create a mobile-friendly resume and cover letter
When browsing job listings on-the-go, it's important to make sure you have a resume and cover letter that's both mobile AND web compatible (i.e. no Word docs!). One easy way to do this is by simply converting your resume to a PDF file, so you can easily upload it to any website, web form or mobile app. Plus, you won't have to worry about the formatting or fonts changing if the person viewing your resume doesn't open it with the program you created it in (e.g. Word, Photoshop, Illustrator - you get the idea.)
Once you've created a compatible resume and cover letter, make sure you store them in a mobile-accessible location, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or whichever cloud storage platform you currently use. You can also email it to yourself so that you can access it from your mobile inbox when you need to.
Keep in mind that, if the application process is more involved than simply pressing "submit", you may want to consider waiting until you have time to sit down in front of a computer to complete it. After all, you only have one shot, so taking a little bit of time to ensure you're thorough is better than hastily sending something that will end up in the hiring manager's trash bin.
5. Update your LinkedIn profile
Aside from your resume and cover letter, your LinkedIn profile is your single greatest asset when searching for a job. Why? Beyond the fact that many hiring managers and recruiters utilize LinkedIn to find talent, many of the job search apps allow you to sign up for an account using your LinkedIn account. This is great for a few reasons, one being: no more extra passwords to remember! Also, many apps will populate the information from your LinkedIn profile into a profile on their site, which means you won't have to worry about creating 47 separate job seeker profiles.
The moral of the story is: make sure your LinkedIn profile is always up-to-date, with your experience and skills outlined in a way that makes you enticing candidate for any recruiter who may stumble upon your profile. This goes for your photo too. If you don't have a headshot, that's OK, just make sure you use a photo that looks professional, i.e. no duck-face selfies!
6. Set up a professional email signature
There are few things that look worse to a hiring manager than seeing the line "sent from my iPhone" at the bottom of an email containing your resume and cover letter. While it's not worse than the aforementioned selfie scenario, you should go ahead and set up a professional signature that includes your contact information.
7. Use your social media time to network
You're probably already using social media throughout the day to share memes and watch cat videos - so why not make that time a bit more productive? (Not that watching hilarious cat videos on loop isn't productive... or vital to your overall well-being.) But there are so many ways you can utilize social media channels like Facebook and Twitter for your job search, whether it's searching industry-related hashtags, following thought leaders on Twitter or participating in 'Ask Me Anything' (AMA) Q&A sessions on Reddit. All of these platforms provide an easy way to reach out to influencers and build your professional network.