“I’ve been unemployed for over half a year now. I don’t have a computer, but get on the Internet through my iPhone. Can you recommend some apps to increase my career and financial chances?” – Gene from Warwick, RI
Hi, Gene. The good news is you’re not alone. A study released earlier in 2012 revealed that approximately 77 percent of job seekers use their mobile device to enhance their job search. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
There are many apps available that will allow you to search for jobs on the go. Start with Indeed’s Job Search app which gives you the ability to easily search the world’s top job site from your mobile device. You can save or email interesting positions to yourself, and the site saves your recent searches, showing you matching jobs that have been added since your last visit. Many other popular job sites like Monster and SimplyHired also offer apps worth taking a look at.
You can use your smartphone for more than just looking for a job – you can also use it to help you network. LinkedIn’s mobile app ensures the best features of the popular networking site are easily available on your mobile device. Connect with people in your industry, read the latest news in your field, browse job openings and participate in group conversations to enhance your knowledge and grow your relationship with those in your field.
Another option you may want to consider is using your smartphone to advance your education. If you still need to complete your GED, try a mobile study tool like GRE Vocab Genius or Painless GRE. Other apps, like ones offered by Kahn Academy or Udemy (iPad only), give you access to a wealth of free learning opportunities on the go, ranging from basic software instruction to more advanced courses.
GCFLearnFree.org, a program of the Goodwill Community Foundation, also offers several mobile apps – including ones targeted at Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access, as well as ones designed to improve your vocabulary and math skills.
Looking to make money as you’re on the move? Try downloading the Gigwalk app. Companies use Gigwalk to enlist smartphone users to complete microtasks like taking pictures of items, checking on product placement, researching local businesses and more. If you’re going to participate, be sure it’s as a supplement – and not a replacement – for your search for a permanent job. It’s a great way to earn supplemental money, but not sustainable in the long run.
Finally, while technology is advancing at lightning speed, there are still some things you’ll need a computer for. Not all employers have mobile-ready job applications, and you’re likely to make fewer mistakes filling out forms on a computer than a smartphone. Be sure to book some computer time at your local library or Goodwill job center to complete these kinds of tasks.
Readers: Have other recommendations for apps that have helped you find a job or advance your education? Share your suggestions below.