Just about everything today has gone mobile. You can deposit your checks, chat face-to-face with friends far away, and read your favorite books and magazines—all from your smartphone. Even the most brick-and-mortar businesses like Macy’s and McDonald’s have developed mobile websites and apps to compete in today’s marketplace. Right now, 167, or 33%, of Fortune 500 companies have career portals that are optimized to fit a smartphone screen, more than double the amount of companies from last year (13%).
According to Kiplinger’s Economic Outlooks, 2.3 million new net jobs will be created in the U.S. in 2014. Add that to a recent CareerBuilder survey, which indicates two in five professionals plan to change jobs before the end of the year, and get ready for a churning employment market.
As job seekers, it’s important to embrace the mobile job search or get lost among the competition. Serious job seekers should be ready to apply for a job at any moment’s notice — even if that means resorting to unconventional methods such as applying via mobile devices. A recent study by TheLadders found that the longer you wait to apply to a job, the less likely it is to receive a call back. If you are a good fit for a role, apply to the position within the first 72 hours of the job’s posting. Your smart phone is a great way to help you stay ahead of this 72-hour deadline.
Here are five tips to make the most of your smartphone for the job search:
1- Save your resume to your smartphone and/or cloud storage site
Candidates need to do some planning before they can apply for a job using a mobile device. First, a copy of your resume must be easily accessible. It’s also a good idea to save a copy of a cover letter, work portfolios, and references document. Resumes should be accessible on the unit itself in MS Word and PDF format or in online or cloud storage solutions like Google Docs, iCloud, or Dropbox.
2- Use a professional email address and voice mail greeting
RadSkier1@gmail.com or DancingBear34@yahoo.com are fine when communicating with family and friends but are not appropriate when emailing a hiring manager or recruiter. Use an abbreviated or alpha-numeric version of your name as your email address for all things business. Also, if you’re going to be applying to positions and expecting call-back’s, make sure your voice mail greeting is 100% professional.
3- Set up professional LinkedIn and Twitter accounts
A February 2013 report from market-research firm Nielsen found that 63% of Americans access social-networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter on their mobile devices. With job opportunities shared widely across these sites—and recruiters relying on them to reach out to prospects—more candidates are hearing about openings on their phones and tablets.
Creating a solid profile on a site like LinkedIn is vital as many organizations are recognizing the ease of “Apply using your LinkedIn profile” and have added this to their application process.
It’s important to keep social media profiles current and especially crucial that your social profiles reflect professionalism and accuracy. Following target companies, recruiters, thought leaders, and professional publications on Twitter and LinkedIn is a great way to stay up to speed regarding news and changes in your industry along with being privy to new job openings and updates.
4- Download relevant job search apps
If you’re using a website to search for job listings, download its accompanying app so you can access and vet job postings on-the-go. Job search sites such as CareerBuilder, Monster, TheLadders, and Indeed all have mobile app versions of their site to make the application process easier. Many companies such as Macy’s and McDonald’s also have employment apps you can download to your smartphone.
5- Use good judgment on social media sites and when searching while employed
Your digital footprint says a lot about you. It’s extremely accessible and the majority of employers are checking it and doing their due diligence. For many job seekers, there’s a lot of information out there that can either hurt you or help you depending on how on top of it you are. Keep all social media and internet postings—especially those that are tied to your name—clean, professional, and middle of the road. You never know if the person you’re interviewing with is a “donkey” while you’re an “elephant.”
Job search engine site Indeed.com reports that the number one day and time for traffic on their site is Monday at 12:00 noon. People look for jobs while employed and many do it from work. Maintain an air of professionalism and conduct your job search off company hours using your own equipment and technology.
As we become more reliant on our mobile devices, organizations will adapt their processes to capture an audience, and this will include recruiting. Organizations that want to hire top talent will move their hiring practices to the platforms on which the best candidates are spending their time.
Looking for more advice to boost your job search or career? Take a look at more blog entries here.