A trio of mobile apps might hold the key to your next place of employment.
Illustration: Steve Thomas MCT
What do you do when you lose a job or need bigger challenges than your present one offers? Start that job hunt. You could earn more money or even prove the person who fired you wrong by landing a better job elsewhere.
Today you only have to look as far as your pocket to find new work because there are many apps for mobile devices that can help.
One of the simplest job-seeking apps is Glassdoor’s Job Search, Salaries and Company Reviews — free on iOS and Android. Think of a quick-hit news reporting service that only reports on new job openings.
You hunt through an ever-updating feed of jobs by looking for those that match your search keywords: “analyst” perhaps, or “math teacher.” Once you tell the app the geographic area or city you’re interested in, it will create a list of openings that match. Tapping on a job in this list takes you to a page of detailed information, and you can also look up data on the company offering the position.
You can filter the job lists by job, company or salary. Filtering by job is likely to be most useful for most people, but for job seekers keen to see if their favorite firm is hiring, the company filter is also useful.
The most interesting filter, though, is salary. This lists the kind of pay levels that are associated with your search keywords in the professional area you’re looking for. This data could help you decide if the pay being offered for a specific opening is likely to be reasonable.
This app isn’t a full-featured job finder that can house your résumé and automatically fill in job applications. But it is the kind of app you could spend five minutes browsing through on the off chance you’ll see some jobs you’re interested in. Many of the jobs advertised through the site have an “apply now” button in the job details pages. The application process is usually external to the app — involving, for example, getting documentation sent to your e-mail address.
The app is highly regarded: Its interface is good-looking and easy to use, and it makes hunting for jobs a swift experience.
For something a little more sophisticated, try LinkedIn. This behemoth of a company is more than a social network for catching up with old work colleagues.
The LinkedIn app can recommend jobs, based on data you enter on your profile page. This information is a de facto digital résumé if you fill in all your experience and job history details. The recommendations won’t necessarily always fit your needs, but they may still be interesting or thought-provoking.
The site’s search engine works a lot like Glassdoor’s. It offers a list of jobs that match your search terms, and specific data on each job when you tap on a result. You will even find useful buttons like “Apply for this job on the company’s website.” But be careful with your keywords. Searching for “business analyst” without specifying a location, for example, might give you results in places as far removed as Geneva and Johannesburg.
LinkedIn works best if you spend some time entering data into it. Its many levels of complexity and functions mean the app isn’t always the easiest to navigate. The odd slide-to-reveal menus on the iOS version feel a little strange. But it is at least free to download and use on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Build your career in the app
Sitting somewhere between Glassdoor and LinkedIn in terms of complexity is CareerBuilder’s Jobs app, free on iOS and Android and for Kindle devices.
Like Glassdoor, CareerBuilder has a neat design that makes browsing the various job listings pleasant. But it also has some sophisticated features, like being able to calculate commuting distances based on your phone’s GPS data. You can upload your résumé to Career Builder and even apply for some positions directly through the app. On the iPad you can also see basic data on how many people are competing for a job.
The app is easy to use, but some people complained in the reviews that they had experiences with spam e-mail after using it. As with any online service that you enter personal data into, it’s worth remembering to be careful about what you share. You should also check the authenticity of search results that you see.
Remember that in a competitive job market and our digital age, positions can be offered and filled very quickly. So using the search engine in the Twitter app (free on iOS, Android and Windows Phone) may also be a great place to hear about new job openings.