Top free apps for job seekers
Finding a job can be a tough and stressful experience. But the right mobile apps can make you more productive and ensure that you’ve left no stone unturned.
If you already have a smartphone, I don’t need to tell you how incredibly helpful these devices are for managing all aspects of our lives. But if you’re looking for work and you don’t have a smartphone, you should give some serious thought to getting one. Not only are they far more reasonable than they once were (you can get an outstanding device for $0 on a contract), but with the addition of some well-chosen apps, these gadgets can become the ultimate digital companion for the jobless.
Check out these four picks. We explain what they are and why you need them.
You’re probably tired of hearing this by now, but LinkedIn can be your best friend when it comes to finding a new job. You still need to do the legwork by making your profile as complete as possible, but once that’s done, LinkedIn’s recently improved mobile app lets you stay on top of all the action. You’ll get notifications when people invite you to connect, you can swap messages with people who are in your network and you can see all of the jobs LinkedIn recommends for you.
While it’s true that LinkedIn maintains a very good mobile-friendly website, you’ll find that the native app’s ability to alert you to activity makes the free download worthwhile.
Pro Tip: When you find yourself with a little free time, instead of playing a round of 2048 or CandyCrush, use LinkedIn’s “People You May Know” feature and expand the size of your network quickly and easily.
Sooner or later you’ll be in a situation where you wish you had brought along a helpful document like the most recent copy of your resume, or some nifty samples of work that you did in your last job. So how cool would it be if you could just grab your smartphone, and with a few taps be able to locate that document, open it, print it and send a link to it?
That’s where Dropbox comes in. When used effectively, Dropbox can become your cloud-based filing cabinet. It comes with 2GB of free storage which should be more than enough for your basic needs. Download the free app to your PC or Mac (whichever is your main computer) and make sure that you save these critical documents to the Dropbox folder. That’s it. From now on, if you find yourself in an interview or even just out for an impromptu networking coffee, you’ll be able to dazzle them with your material – even if you left it at home.
ProTip: You can store any kind of file in Dropbox: music, photos, videos – even apps.
IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That,” which pretty much sums up what this app is all about. It’s a way for mere mortals, who don’t possess a shred of programming knowledge, to ingeniously create connections between the apps you already use.
Confused? Let me explain: Say there’s a site that you’ve found that often publishes details on jobs you might be interested in. But the site is kind of primitive and doesn’t let you sign up for email updates when new jobs are posted. But it does have an RSS feed. Using your IFTTT app, you can create a task (IFTTT calls these “recipes”) which simply says “email me whenever this RSS feed contains new items” and that’s exactly what will happen. As handy as that is, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. IFTTT can even watch what you’re doing on your phone and respond to certain conditions e.g. “whenever I arrive at home, send an email to my spouse.” With the dizzying array of apps that IFTTT supports, the options are endless.
ProTip: You don’t have to come up with recipes by yourself. Simply browse (and add) any of the hundreds of recipes created by other IFTTT users – there’s bound to be lots you’ll find handy.
One of the toughest parts of being on the hunt for a job is keeping yourself focused on the task at hand. You’ve been told that finding a job *is* a job, so why not treat it as one? But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Enter Clear, a deceptively simple iOS app that let’s you create to-do lists. Boring? Hardly. With an assortment of rainbow-hued themes to choose from and an interface that makes it feel like you’re playing a game, Clear makes the tired old to-do list fun. As a bonus, you can save your lists to Apple’s iCloud service which means they’re available to you on any other iDevice (including Macs). Want to email your list to a friend? Just shake your phone. Told you it was fun.
ProTip: Clear is only for iOS, but you can find a very similar app for Android too: it’s called “KoalCat’s Clear.”
Simon Cohen is one of Canada’s most experienced Consumer Tech voices. He created Sync.ca, an award-winning Canadian technology blog which had an audience of over 500,000 monthly visitors. He has appeared as a guest numerous times on national TV and radio programmes, including Canada AM, Sync Up (a weekly segment on CTV News Channel) and App Central. He is currently an independent writer and editor contributing to various publications, but you can always find his thoughts and musings on his blog at excitable.ca.