By Beverly Harvey, CPRW, JCTC, CCM, CCMC, MRW, CPBS, CLTMC, CJSS
Smartphones are taking the world by storm and people are integrating them into their job search activities. Smartphones combine both mobile phone and handheld computers into a single device enabling users to store information (e-mail, PDFs, docs, audio and video), install hundreds of programs (apps) and, of course, make cell phone calls.
Like a computer operating system, a mobile phone operating system is the software platform on which other programs run. The operating system determines the functions and features available on each device and also determines which third-party apps can be used on the device.
A few of the apps that are useful in a job search include:
Apple iPhone Apps
Gist: An online tool for organizing and managing professional connections, relationships and communications. Mashable.com (http://mashable.com/2009/02/02/gist/) dubbed Gist “the power networker’s fantasy service for syncing social media data with email connections.”
Gist aggregates and prioritizes news, events and social media content around the user’s contacts and companies. It’s a great iPhone app for those who procrastinate and wait until the last minute to prep for an interview.
After installing and launching the app, users can log in to their Gist account and get a dashboard view of all the news, blog posts and tweets from people or companies based on user-defined priorities. Users can also search and drill down into events pulled in from their Outlook calendar. The People and Categories tab will highlight the latest news around contacts.
The Gist iPhone organizes numerous pieces of data for users. For example, when planning for a meeting with a contact, the user can pull up the event, get a map and research meeting attendees by viewing aggregated news, events, tweets, email messages and attachments associated with the individual. It’s a convenient way to track down an email thread, attachment or quick contact fact.
LinkedIn: The iPhone’s mobile browser for LinkedIn allows users to take their professional network with them wherever they go. Users have immediate access to their contacts and important updates, such as newly posted positions.
Resume PRO: Allows job hunters to create a PDF resume on their phone. The app also features a cover letter that can be included when sending a resume.
Career Bliss: Provides salary and inside information about companies.
HireSyndicate: Shares real-time job information from recruiters.
CLBFree: Provides mobile access to Craigslist, including the job section.
JobFinder: Serves the US and UK with a powerful search engine that taps into some large job sites such as Monster.com and Indeed.com.
TheLadders: With a Premium subscription to the online site, members can search, view and save job postings they would like to research and respond to when they’re back at their computer.
JobServe Connect: A fully functional job application system that enables users to quickly search and apply to jobs in the US. There’s also a UK version available for searching for jobs in the UK.
Xobni: A contact enhancement and synchronization tool for BlackBerry smartphones.
According to Xobni, the app “reinvents the address book” by automatically generating profiles for all contacts–even those that users have not manually added to their address book.
Xobni for BlackBerry automatically pulls phone numbers, offers access to contacts on the e-mail compose screen or in a standalone app, ranks contacts by frequency of communication, saves profiles in the event of a lost phone and offers quick access to recent text messages, social networking profiles, shared networks, calendars and more.
Xobni One: A standalone app that integrates with Blackberry email, Xobni One is a way to sync desktop and mobile contacts. It syncs the users Xobni contacts in Outlook with their contacts on their Blackberry–all in the cloud. If the user uses Outlook on their desktop at work, but Gmail on their Blackberry, Xobni One reconciles the two. The app also ranks the users contacts by importance and pulls in social data from Facebook, LinkedIn and other places.
Viigo: A full-featured RSS feed reader that lets users keep up with important news wherever they are. Users can add feeds and create a job-hunting dashboard for their phone. An updated version of the app adds support for custom search alerts and podcasts.
Vlingo: A speech-recognition app that enables users to run voice-directed Web searches, launch built-in BlackBerry applications, compose e-mails and send text messages. Vlingo takes over the application key on the side of the BlackBerry making it easy to access even while driving.
Android Apps (Droid, Backflip)
LinkUp Job Search Engine: LinkUp brings the Web’s fastest growing job search engine to the Android. LinkUp’s unique search engine lists jobs that are found on company and employer websites. Features enable users to search job listings found only on company websites; search jobs by keyword, location, company or category; save jobs to Favorites and access Favorites via browser or feed reader; save searches to email alerts and be notified of all new matching jobs; and apply to job openings directly through the Android.
Androis Zoom – HireADroid: Supports multiple job search engines across multiple countries.
Features enable users to search job listings found on LinkUp, SimplyHired, Indeed.com and CareerBuilder and save, post, email and note listings.
Symbian Apps (Nokia)
Career Manager: The UK-based Harvey Nash Career Manager leverages their expertise in the recruitment world to provide impartial and opinionated career advice through a mobile-optimized interface. Users can get advice on deciding if it’s time for a move, salary negotiations, interviewing, approaching the market and writing high-impact executive CV’s.
Online Appointment Magazine (OAM): The Harvey Nash executive career magazine with a monthly publication read by over 7,000 senior executives each month includes book reviews, featured articles, executive jobs and career management podcasts.
MahiTek.com Job Search: The leading career website for technology and engineering professionals and the companies that seek to employ them.
MS: Search through and apply for the very latest UK jobs from across the Mortimer Spinks’ network.
Windows Mobile Phone Apps (Samsung, HTC, Tilt, Fuse, Windows Phone 7)
Office Mobile: Microsoft apps on the smartphone gives users the ability to open and edit Microsoft Office Word and Excel documents and view Microsoft Office PowerPoint documents. When used on a touch screen phone, Office Mobile comes with some additional features, such as word count and the ability to check spelling in Word Mobile, chart creation in Excel Mobile, plus the ability to highlight sections of content and create documents.
Office Outlook Mobile: Enables users to stay connected to their e-mail, calendar and contacts with the familiar Outlook features. Users are able to sync most Windows Mobile phones over-the-air, through their mobile operator or at a wireless hotspot. E-mails and attachments arrive with their original appearance intact, so users see tables, graphics, font colors, formats and Web links just as they were sent.
Users can use Outlook Mobile to organize information in folders; send and receive e-mail from Web-based services like Yahoo! Mail and from Internet service providers like Comcast and EarthLink; synchronize their calendar and contacts with Outlook on their PC or their company’s network; search their company’s central address book for contacts they don’t have in their own contact list; send meeting requests, track attendance and receive detailed responses to meeting requests.
Internet Explorer Mobile: Users can get online from their smartphone and sync the Favorites they have saved on their PC.
Windows Media Player Mobile: Users can synchronize their desktop version of Windows Media Player with their smartphone. The app will automatically update favorite playlists, music files and video files on the device.
“Mobile Web” sites
Many websites have created “mobile” sites specifically formatted for smartphone users. Job boards that have created mobile sites include:
- Monster: mobile.monster.com
- CareerBuilder: mobile.careerbuilder.com
- Beyond.com: beyond.com/m/ — Focuses on niche career communities
- Indeed.com: indeed.com/m/ — Searches multiple job sites and aggregates the results.
For a directory of other “mobile Web” sites, visit Cantoni.mobi (http://cantoni.mobi/about.php), winksite (http://winksite.com/site/mobile_sites.cfm), or Web On Your Cell (http://webonyourcell.com/).
As technology emerges at lightning speed to meet users’ demands, it won’t be long before smartphones are all-encompassing handheld personal computers.
Note: This article was written in June 2010 and will most likely be outdated within a few months.
For Gartner Report statistics on smartphone use, see Trends.
For Best Practices in utilizing smartphones in the job search, see the Best Practices page.