Mobile Apps for Job Search On-the-Go

 

From desktop to laptop to mobile – the way we access information and communicate is becoming more on-the-go by the minute. The same goes for job searching. Mobile technology allows us to learn about new opportunities faster than ever, which means we also have a need to respond faster than ever.

Here are three mobile apps that will help you keep on top of your job search and take advantage of opportunities while they’re still hot.

1. DropBox (free)
Sometimes, you don’t have the luxury of being at home when you hear about a hot new job opening. DropBox is a free cloud app that allows you to pull documents – including your resume – into a folder that can be accessed on any mobile device. You can move your resume (and any other documents, photos or videos) into your DropBox folder from your home computer and voila – you can access it from your phone and attach it to an email when opportunity strikes.

There are other apps that will allow you to create a resume directly on your phone and save it as a PDF, if you’re so inclined. However, it seems like an unnecessary extra step if you can access your original Word formatted resume (which is friendlier for automated applicant tracking systems) just as easily. If you’re interested in checking it out, however, Pocket Resume ($2.99) is one of the more popular and well reviewed resume apps.

2. ScanBizCards (Lite version – free; full version – $6.99)
Despite all of our technological advances, if you attend a networking event, you’re bound to leave with a handful of old-fashioned business cards. You’ll have the best intentions of going home and entering them into your contacts right away. However, best intentions often turn into a stack of cards on your desk that inevitably get scattered and/or brushed away under piles of paper.

ScanBizCards allows you to scan cards directly into your phone and create a new contact. If that’s not enough, it also offers integration with LinkedIn, allowing you to send an invitation to connect; it will allow you to export your new contact to an Excel spreadsheet; and it backs up your scanned cards to the cloud so they can be accessed from any browser.

3. Monster.com Interviews (free)
Acing the interview is the toughest part of the job search. This app from Monster.com is an all-in-one kit that will help you organize, prep and follow up on your interview. Besides access to expert advice and coaching, the app also offers some nice extras like an integrated map feature with driving directions to your location; the ability to organize notes and create reminders; and the ability to record answers to tough questions with video, audio or text so you can review and perfect your responses.

Although these apps can help you tremendously in your job search, there is also something to be said for live, person-to-person advice. We have extensive experience helping candidates with resumes and interview skills, and if you contact us we’d be happy to help you with any job search questions. We may also have the perfect opportunity waiting for you – please check out our list of open positions.

Don’t Put Your Job Search on Hold for the Holidays

Conventional wisdom holds that November and December are terrible months to look for a new job. After all, everyone has either physically or mentally “checked out” for the holidays, right?

Not necessarily.

While you may see a reduction in the number of positions listed on job boards, a lot is still going on behind the scenes. In fact, if you play your cards right, the holiday season can be a great time to find your next opportunity.

Here are a few tips for your holiday job search:

• Take Advantage of Reduced Competition
Many job seekers buy into the myth that the end of the year is a good time to slack off. That means reduced competition for you and your resume. Also, because hiring managers are receiving fewer resumes, they may see it as a good time to catch up, giving your resume an even better chance of being seen.

• Network at Holiday Parties
Whether you love or dread the constant flurry of parties and celebrations during the holiday season, the fact is that they can be a great place to network. Of course, you’ll want to take a different, more laid-back approach – nobody wants the hard sell on your qualifications while they’re at the eggnog bowl. But it doesn’t hurt to gently mention you’re in the market and see if you get some nibbles.

• Enjoy the Nostalgia Factor
How many times have you reconnected with an old friend around the holidays? People get nostalgic this time of year, so you may have a chance to touch base with someone you haven’t thought of in a while who can help with your job search. Pay attention to the holiday cards you receive and messages on your social sites – it might pay to rekindle an old relationship.

• Ring in the New Budgets
Many departments receive new budgets in January. So, while they may not be looking to start new employees in November or December, they might be ramping up to have people in place for the new year.

We’ll still be in full swing helping job seekers throughout November and December. Be sure to keep an eye on our list of open positions and contact us if you’d like some help with your job search, no matter what time of year it is!

It Takes More Than a Profile to Get Noticed on LinkedIn

You’re on LinkedIn, you’ve filled in all the blanks on your profile, and you’ve made some connections. Congratulations – you’re off to a great start! But there’s more work to be done.

If all you’re doing on LinkedIn is accepting the occasional connection request and scanning your newsfeed, you’re missing out on several features that can help boost your visibility and establish your industry expertise. It’s not enough merely to have a presence on LinkedIn; if you want to catch the eye of a potential employer, you need to step up and stand out.

Here are three LinkedIn features that can make the difference between getting noticed or getting passed over.

1. Updates
LinkedIn allows you to post updates that will appear in the newsfeeds of your connections. It is a great way to maintain visibility among your connections and also to show that you’re engaged in your industry.

Remember that LinkedIn is a professional social site, so it’s not the place for the same type of personal updates you might post on Facebook or Twitter. Ideal topics include timely, industry-related articles from trade publications; the “LinkedIn Today” section at the top of your newsfeed; or reputable, or high-profile sites such as Mashable or Forbes. Engaging, open-ended questions about trends in your industry are also great topics for updates.

2. Groups
LinkedIn groups provide a great way to network with other people in your industry. It is also a way connect with recruiters, who often participate in industry-specific groups for the express purpose of connecting with new talent. Groups are also a good place to learn about job opportunities that may not be posted elsewhere.

There are two ways to participate in a group. You can start a discussion by asking a question or sharing a link to an article, or you can comment on discussions other group members have started. Sharing your opinions and participating in conversations will help boost your visibility and establish your expertise in your field.

Another benefit of groups is the chance to increase your connections. People are often more open to accepting connection requests from group members than they are to accepting unsolicited requests.

3. Follow Companies
LinkedIn allows you to follow companies in much the same you would follow someone on Twitter. When you follow a company, all of their updates, which often include job listings, will appear in your newsfeed. Paying attention to the kind of content they share may also help you get a better picture of trends, concerns and culture at your target companies, so when you do get that interview, you’ll be ahead on your research.

If you’re looking for a good place to start increasing your LinkedIn presence, we invite you to join the discussion on our own LinkedIn group and follow The Wilson Group company profile page.

Rescue Your Resume from the Black Hole

“I’ve sent my resume to a dozen companies weeks ago and I haven’t heard from one.”

If you’ve been in the job market or know anyone in the job market, you’ve heard this statement. Your resume has been sucked into the infamous HR “Black Hole”. Today we’ll explore how the black hole is created, and some ways you can rescue your resume from the abyss and get it in front of the hiring manager.

Big companies can get hundreds of resumes for a position. If the company has several open positions at one time, multiply that number. Simple math will tell you that the handful of recruiters in a typical HR department simply can’t process thousands of resumes each month. That’s why most companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS), which automatically parses incoming resumes and converts them into database records.

When searching for candidates, corporate recruiters will plug in keywords related to the particular job opening, and resumes containing those keywords will turn up in the search. If your resume turns up toward the top of the list, it has a chance of being viewed.

How can you increase your chances of turning up in that search, or perhaps bypass the black hole completely?

Keywords are key 
The ATS will return results that contain the keywords the HR person has entered. Be sure your resume contains plenty of words that relate to the particular job you’re seeking. Think like an HR person – if you were searching for candidates for this job, what terms would you use? Also, try to include variants of those keywords. For example, if you are applying for a copywriter job, include copywriter, copywriting, writer and writing.

One caveat – be sure the words you use make sense in the context of your resume. If you include a block of text at the top that reads “analyst analyst analyst analyst analyst”, you may show up at the top of the results for an analyst search, but it’s going to look ridiculous to the HR person when they actually open your resume.

Format is important
Always submit your resume in Word, plain text (.txt) or rich text (.rtf) format. DON’T submit a PDF. A PDF is basically a snapshot of your text document. It’s visible to the human eye, but an ATS, which is designed to parse text, won’t recognize any information on a PDF document. It will most likely attach your resume to a blank database record, which doesn’t do you any good.

Also, keep your resume formatting simple. An ATS will look for certain patterns when parsing your resume. It will assume that the first block of text is your contact information, and then it will look for common headings like “education”, “experience”, and “skills.” If you have a complicated format with graphics or pull quotes, there’s a good chance your information will either go into the wrong database fields or not be imported at all. The best format for an ATS is a simple, straightforward, chronological resume.

So remember, don’t let your resume get trapped in the black hole! Remember you are writing for a computer AND Human Resources.

TIME TO STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION

We are eager to get you matched perfectly with the right talent or the right employer. Our years of experience translate to great starts.

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