Here's a short list of things that are more fun than job hunting: Hitting your thumb with a hammer. Taking the dog out for a bathroom break at 2 a.m. in the pouring rain. Buying embarrassing personal items at the store and realizing someone you know is behind you in line. Memorizing the Dewey Decimal System.
I could go on (and on, and on) but chances are I'm preaching to the choir. If you're reading this, you surely know all about the difficulties that arise in seeking employment. Might as well make it easier on yourself by checking out a few helpful mobile apps designed to help you achieve your goal, whether that's working in a corner office or a coroner's office.
LinkedIn—iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone (free)
If you’ve ever searched for a job or worked for a corporate entity, chances are you’ve used LinkedIn. And the fact that it’s so pervasive is also what makes it incredibly useful. For those who aren’t familiar, LinkedIn is the premier social networking service for business.
The site and its companion mobile apps (all free) let you connect with other members on the basis that you have worked with or otherwise know that person, which is extremely handy given that referrals are often the most effective ways to secure interviews.
Additionally, you can build out a full profile that includes your education, work history, accomplishments, mission statement, and specific skills. Your connections can then endorse these skills, such as Digital Marketing or Customer Service.
Just having a complete profile may result in organic job offers, but of course LinkedIn also includes a comprehensive job board, with either the option to apply directly through the site or to company job pages. On the mobile apps, you can activate push notifications to keep track of new jobs in your field and alert you to incoming messages from potential employers.
There's no shortage of job searching apps on the Web and for mobile, but I like JobMo because it aggregates millions of jobs in more than 20 countries across the globe.
It uses data sources such as Indeed and Craigslist, so you don’t have to hop around from site to site in the hopes of finding more choices.The apps also offer integrated Google map functionality, letting users drop pins for jobs of interest so you can see exactly how far the office is from where you want to be (or already are).
JobMo provides a variety of other useful features as well, such as average salary graphs, trends in hiring for specific positions, and online message boards for conferring with other job hunters about interviewing and such.
Prefer not to be locked in with a single employer? Check out Gigwalk, an app that lets you find piecemeal freelance work.
This is a great option for people who just want some extra cash or who only have steady jobs part-time. The app uses the GPS locator in your phone to populate a variety of short-term gigs in your vicinity, and as you complete gigs, you earn cred that unlocks more complicated tasks for bigger payouts.
As a new user, I quickly found a $4 offer to photograph a restaurant menu and a $25 offer to join a shopping focus group. Granted, that's not exactly rent money, but it could help supplement your TaskRabbit income, and the gigs don't take long—you could knock out a couple on the walk to and from your regular job.
Resume Ready Lite—Android (free)
Once you’ve found a few positions you’d like to apply for, it’s time to craft the perfect résumé—or update the one you already have. And you don’t even need a computer to do it.
Resume Ready Light is a free app for Android that provides a variety of tools for building and managing your résumé on the fly. The Builder feature provides blank fields for all the standard sections, such as objectives, skills, experience, and certifications. You can reorder the sections as you see fit, and clone résumés in order to create slightly different versions tailored specifically to the companies you’re applying to.
The app lets you export your résumé as TXT, HTML, or PDF files, or you can email it directly to your hiring contact. There’s also an achievement manager, which lets you keep track of your accomplishments so you won’t forget them in future résumé updates. Note that the light version allows only two résumés and 10 achievements; an upgrade to the Pro version ($3.87) unlocks all features.
Ultimate CV—iOS ($3)
iPhone and iPad users in need of a portable résumé creator have a wealth of options, including the excellent Ultimate CV. Although this is the only app on the list that’s not free, it’s a bargain at three bucks.
Users can easily import existing info from LinkedIn or Facebook, which reduces time required for manual data entry. The app includes five themes for résumés and four themes for cover letters, as well as help guides and tips on writing both.
You can easily rearrange sections, import images from the camera or gallery, and email or print files. Ultimate CV also gives users control over the style of documents, with options to change fonts, backgrounds, and text size and color.
So you’ve crafted the perfect résumé and scored an interview—awesome! Now it’s time for the hard part: impressing the hiring manager in person.
Few things are more nerve-wracking than a job interview, which is why it helps to practice. Job Interview Question-Answer provides an excellent way to do that. The app includes five free questions that are commonly asked, such as “Why have you been out of work for so long?” and “Describe yourself in one word.”
You are recorded as you answer the questions, so you can review your response in terms of content and body language. Then, you can watch job interview coach Peggy McKee answer the same question in order to improve your performance. The app developers at Career Confidential have also added a free bonus training, which includes an additional 15 questions.
This story, "Six essential apps every job hunter needs on their phone" was originally published by TechHive.