Apps to Supercharge Your Job Search
Conduct an expert job search from your smartphone
Job search demands a very specific set of tools for one of the toughest jobs you'll ever have. Your toolbox is likely within reach or even in your hands right now. Yes, your smartphone is filled with almost every tool you need to wage war on unemployment.
Calendar, contacts, maps, email, weather, clock and camera and more. Oh yeah, it works as a telephone, too. It is perfect for making your job hunt light, instantly accessible and, above all, mobile. Now, you can make it happen ANYWHERE. This is your toolbox. It's up to you what you put inside.
Let's start with the essentials. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. If you are not using these apps as part of your search you are hurting your chances of landing the gig you want. LinkedIn is central to any job search and the other three are pivotal communications and content tools that should play key roles in your strategy.
However, I want to talk about a few more specialized apps that add some real firepower to your arsenal.
Evernote – I can't say enough about this app. You can take notes, clip links, save pictures and so much more. This app is rich and syncs across all your devices. Everything you need to remember can be outsourced to Evernote. Save your brain power for the interview and let Evernote be your job search hard drive. Evernote is free, but I recommend the premium upgrade as this app is deep and powerful. It will take some effort and time to fully utilize Evernote, but it will be time well spent. (Free iOS/Android/Windows Phone/Blackberry)
LinkedIn Contacts – Want the best of LinkedIn, but don't want to sift through the full LinkedIn feed? This app gives you everything you need to know today. Who's changed jobs, birthdays, work anniversaries and who's in the news. It's all here! Now you don't need a reason to send a check-in email. LinkedIn Contacts provides you with fresh material every single day. (Free iOS)
Both Hello (from Evernote) and CardMunch (from LinkedIn) solve the problem of that giant pile of business cards haunting your wallet, pockets and desk drawer. You take a quick picture of the card and these apps do the rest. They instantly convert those cards into contacts. Card Munch draws upon information from LinkedIn while Hello takes it a step further and draws upon all your contact's social profiles. Plus, it builds a history of your networking and you can add notes for future reference. (Hello Free iOS/Android) (CardMunch Free iOS)
Fantastical 2 is a bigger, badder version of the awesome calendar and reminder app Fantastical. The default calendar app on your phone may be sufficient, but Fantastical is your calendar on steroids. It digs deep into all your information and somehow improves on just about every available calendar app. If you are working across several email platforms it ties all of your calendars together neatly and without conflict. It is simple, intuitive and powerful. Don't let your calendar master you, master your calendar with Fantastical 2. ($3.99 iOS)
Every job search requires a good to-do list. My absolute favorite is Wunderlist. It syncs across devices and can be a simple or in-depth as you need. You can share with others easily. Tasks can be broken down into sub-tasks and you can add reminders, notes and due dates, Once again, let the app do the busy work while you get things done. There is a pro option, but the free app is pretty robust as is. (Free iOS/Android/Windows)
If you want something simpler, Clear, Tick and Begin are all smart, simple to-do lists that will help you accomplish your daily goals.
Refresh – This is a killer networking and job search app. Refresh scours your calendar for upcoming meetings and provides you with a dossier on the person you're meeting. You get job info, mutual friends, social profiles and even their favorite sports teams and leisure activities. This is perfect for a last-minute refresher right before your meeting. (Free iOS beta/Android soon)
Bonus Gmail Add-On – Rapportive – Get full contact info delivered to your desktop with Gmail. When you get an email, Rapportive populates the right rail of your browser window with key information on your contact. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook and more. You can also make notes on your contacts for later reference. (Free Firefox/Safari/Chrome)
Bonus Email Awesomeness – FollowUp.cc – Don't have time to deal with that email right now and know you have to handle it eventually? Choose when you want to process it and mail it to FollowUp.cc. It will come back to you exactly when you want it. Keeps your inbox clear and outsources having to remember it. (Free)
Each of these tools has made my search easier and more efficient. They've allowed me to be mobile, immediate and prepared wherever and whenever. Tell me about the tools that have worked for you. And as always, good luck with your search!
Bill Hartnett is a digital, marketing and social media consultant with extensive cable, broadcast and digital experience. He began his career in Seattle and worked at NBC News, Current TV, WNBC, WWOR-TV and more. He has spent the last few years learning how to navigate the treacherous waters of job search so you don't have to.