Call me old school. As a hiring decision-maker, I didn’t care to receive mobile-based messages from a job seeker for several reasons.
First, it comes across as the easy way out, like something they were doing while driving or watching TV. Second, there are inevitably typos, use of “THX” and no signature block. Finally, I wouldn’t want them using that method to respond to customers or executives.
However, I’m slowly coming around to the future. To help me (and you) learn some of the tricks of mobile job search and recruiting, I asked a pro.
Kimberley Kasper, chief marketing officer at Jobvite was kind enough to share some ideas about how job seekers can best use mobile devices to land their next jobs. Here are her top three recommendations:
1. Don’t let someone else steal your dream job
Picture this: you’re in a meeting and you receive an alert informing you of a job opening at your dream company. In just a few taps of your smartphone, you could have filled out and submitted a job application before other candidates vying for the same career change even check their laptops.
While I can’t condone job searching while at work, you can see how being able to job hunt at all times means edging out the competition. With so many qualified workers searching for jobs, an always-on mindset is critical to edging out the next competitive candidate. The benefits of using mobile in your job search are obvious: anytime, anywhere, you can stay plugged in to your job hunt, beating out those who are loyal to their laptops.
But having your smartphone handy isn’t enough to have a competitive edge in your job search. You must be savvy with your job-search tactics. Without the ability to quickly upload and submit a résumé or cover letter, there’s no way you can get there first. Store a variety of résumés and documents in a Dropbox app or Google drive on your mobile phone for easy access, so you can apply quickly and easily to similar roles that have different titles.
In that same vein, keep your LinkedIn profile as current as possible with information on who you are, why you’re a fit, and what you’ve delivered in the past. In the end, you’re applying to jobs on mobile because it is easy and efficient, so make sure your strategy facilitates that. If you’re not prepared, your colleagues on their mobile phones will assuredly beat you to it.
2. You can judge a book by its cover
It’s no secret that we’re spending more and more hours at work these days. In fact, the average American workday is significantly longer than the traditional eight hours we’re used to, and we’re only expecting work commitments to increase. As a result, recruiters are hiring even more for culture fit — if we’re going to be spending more time and energy at work, it better be with people who have the same priorities, right?
As a job seeker, a work environment that aligns with your priorities is essential to a harmonious match. But how can you know what a company is like from the outside? While some questions will need to be answered by an interviewer, take a look at their career site for some insight into the company’s commitment to innovation. If the company has a mobile-oriented career site, they are on the leading edge of technology. Spend time going through other pages on their website to learn how innovative they really are.
3. Are you grabbing recruiters’ attention?
In this always-on job market, job seekers aren’t the only ones constantly on the hunt. With such a scarcity in high-quality, qualified people, finding the right candidate is like searching for a needle in a haystack. So when great candidates come along, recruiters are ready to pounce. When getting hundreds of responses to a specific post, the first 20 résumés might grab attention. If you’re not quick, however, yours runs the risk of becoming white noise. After all, most recruiters spend an average of six seconds on your résumé, so finding a way to stand out has never been more necessary.
This is exactly where mobile comes in. If getting your résumé in front of a recruiter’s eyes quickly is the key to nabbing the perfect job, mobile facilitates that tenfold. Many of us already spend over two and a half hours per day on our mobile devices, so if you find yourself checking Facebook mobile or playing Candy Crush, change your routine and be proactive. Be the first one to apply for a job — right when the requisition appears — by checking mobile career sites, signing up for alerts, and staying on top of your application status. Also, try applying mid-afternoon, since emails tend to pile up overnight. To get a recruiter to spend some serious time on your application, go for the 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. window.
Note of caution
I learned a lot from Kimberley’s suggestions and will certainly be more open about the future of mobile recruiting. However, candidates, be sure not to swing your pendulum too far. Don’t just spray your résumé around. And I strongly recommend a tailored cover letter as Page 1 of your résumé, which may be a challenge to do on your mobile device.
Be professional and thoughtful about which device you use for each aspect of your job search. Don’t rush to push something unprofessional out on your mobile device when you can shine brighter from your laptop or desktop!