Technology continues to change the world of job searching! From the resume databases and job boards of the last two decades to the advanced resume parsing systems of today, each job search involves discovering new tools and learning how to best use them. More recently, social media and the advent of mobile devices have transformed the job search in unique ways.
While LinkedIn has long reigned as the name in career networking, some new names are looking to change that through a specific focus on Facebook as a job search resource. For example, apps like BeKnown and BranchOut add new professional networking functionality to Facebook's ever-growing bevy of apps. Until very recently, job seekers tended to shy away from using Facebook in the job search since this is where, perhaps, their mom wished them happy birthday or their friends posted pictures from college. The blending of the personal and the professional lives presents unnecessary risk few job seekers can afford to take. These two apps, however, provide a solution by allowing a user to establish a professional network within the larger Facebook network. The user's Facebook friends can be separate from the professional contacts, ensuring the professional and the personal lives remain separate. This is especially relevant given the ongoing concerns about social media privacy and the job search.
More and more, technology is closing the gap between the traditional job market and the "hidden job market" by providing tools to build and expand the professional network, give and receive recommendations, and refer colleagues to open positions while simultaneously allowing hiring managers to post current openings often tailored to a candidate's specific skills.
Mashable.com recently reported on a study completed by Kelton Research about current trends in using mobile devices in the job search1. Now that smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices are commonplace, it is only natural that job seekers would target the immediate and flexible nature of mobile technology. Nonetheless, the study's results were somewhat surprising:
This is not just an interesting trend; big names in the career industry are paying attention! For example, Monster.com has a mobile app that replicates many of the core job search functions of the full website while others like Indeed.com offer a mobile optimized version of their website. Understanding that mobile technology can augment the job search — but is unlikely to replace more traditional tools — they are developing technology that further supports the job seeker.
Industry leaders also understand the search needs of hiring managers, how these needs differ from a job seeker's, and that there has been an overall move toward mobility. For example, Recruiter.com recently listed seven leading mobile apps for recruiters and hiring managers2. While a range of options exist, the article does note that this is an emerging area and that many of these app developers are still trying to attract early adopters. Still, while a hiring manager might check in for new applicants between meetings, the real work will begin when they return to the office to analyze and sort applicants.
With all of these new and developing options, it is important to remember that often the more things change, the more they stay the same. Job seekers have new ways of searching for jobs and submitting applications. At some point, however, job seekers will still need to use a professional resume writing service or sit down at computer and use a word processor to prepare a resume that is not only keyword rich and strategic but also optimized for a variety of applicant tracking systems. Similarly, while employers have access to new tools to acquire and analyze resumes, many will be at their desk when reviewing a select set of resumes to assess which candidates may be the best fit.