This Is How You Can Use Your Smartphone on the Job Search


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In today’s interconnected world, the majority of professionals are increasingly using technology in the office, but there is debate over the impact of smartphones in the workplace.

A recent CareerBuilder study found eight out of 10 workers have smartphones, and 82 percent of those people keep them within eyesight at work. It comes to no surprise that 55 percent of employers feel mobile devices are to blame when it comes to lack of productivity in the office.

While smartphones might land you in a pinch in the office, if not used with professional restraint, a 2015 Pew Research study found 28 percent of job seekers — of which 53 percent are 18-to-29-year-olds — have used smartphones in some way to successfully assist in their job search.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for using your trusted phone to land your dream job:

Do: Use your smartphone to look for jobs

From doing a quick search on a career site to setting up email notifications with your job requirements, using your phone to look for jobs is a great way to keep up-to-date on all of the newest job postings.

It’s also a good way to learn about a company. Are you always finding their name come up searching for new employees? That could be a sign they have quick turnover — which may mean they are not be a great company to work for.

Don’t: Create your resume or cover letter on your mobile device

While you can pretty much do anything with your phone now, some things are still better left for your computer. Creating a resume and cover letter is one of those tasks.

Whether you use Word or some other platform to design your resume and cover letter, access to a computer will help you see your work better, save it properly, and send it off correctly. Unless you can ensure proper compatibility to transfer important job application documents, it’s best to reserve that step for your desktop. The Pew Research study found more than one in three job seekers who use smartphones in their search say they have had difficulties uploading files to send to an employer.

Some companies are stepping up their game in this area, though. One in particular, CareerLine, allows users to access documents through a smartphone. Although convenient, job seekers shouldn’t rely solely on their phones, but in a pinch, be sure to use a reliable and dedicated mobile app. When you’re finally ready to apply for that dream job, you don’t want any hangups.

Do: Apply for that job on your phone

This job search tip might seem counteractive to the ‘don’t’ mentioned above, but smartphones have made great strides in making job application content accessible to users.

Applying from your phone is also a time-saver. Now, you can apply on your morning commute (as long as you’re not the driver), in bed before you go to sleep or even when (let’s be realistic — if) you have an extra 20 minutes somewhere in your day.

Don’t: Take your phone into the job interview

Most of us have our phones attached to our hips, and while it’s tempting to just silence your phone before bringing it into an interview, don’t. Leave it in the car — that way, you won’t be tempted to look at it.

Not having your phone can be a deal breaker when it comes to hiring new employees. What if it does go off? What if you absentmindedly check it? There are enough pressures when interviewing for a job as it is — don’t add your phone to that list.

Do: Call or email to follow up with an employer

There is nothing wrong with following up with an employer regarding a job you applied for after some time has passed. In fact, it can help keep you on a hiring manager’s radar, and show that you are eager about the job.

The Pew Research study found that 90 percent of smartphone users with an education level higher than high school follow up with potential employers, and 80 percent use their phones to email people in their network about jobs they are applying for. Showing passion for the position and standing out to a potential employer by using proper follow-up etiquette are great ways to improve your odds of receiving a job offer.

Don’t: Wait until the last minute

The deadline to apply for that job you’ve been eyeing up is today at 5 p.m.? Don’t wait until 4:30 p.m. to start the application.

While using your smartphone to apply for jobs isn’t a bad idea, the Pew Research study found that nearly half of smartphone users have had some sort of technical difficulties when looking up job-related information. So start the application early — you can always come back to it later. But you’d rather be ahead of the game, than miss it entirely.

What are some other job search tips for job seekers using their mobile devices?

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.