Mobile Apps in Higher Ed Job Search

It seems that there’s a mobile app for just about everything these days. Experts in the fields of marketing and mobile commerce expect that we’ll be doing much more business on the go in coming years, in many different ways.

A job search is no different. In addition to the big job search sites, like Indeed, Glassdoor and The Ladders, smaller players are also entering the mobile game. Individual companies probably don’t have mobile tools for applying to jobs just yet. There is a big difference in looking at a webpage on your phone, and using an app to apply for a job.

Apps can have useful features for people on the go. Many give you the ability to save a list of open positions to go back to when you have more time. Here are a few things to consider if you choose to use a device other than your laptop to look for and apply to job postings:

  • Does it have an app? There are different mobile apps for different mobile platforms. Apple apps usually lead the pack. Even between their products, though, an application app on an iPad is differently optimized for one on an iPhone.
  • How easy is it to use? It likely will not have all the features of a web version, or look or navigate the same. If you are reading on a tiny screen, sometimes it’s easy to click the wrong field, or drop down one too far on a list. Check your work.
  • Do you have space for the app? If it’s an app that you’ll need to use for some time, it might be worth downloading. If not, it will be taking up space that could be better used by something that you’ll need every day.
  • Can you submit attachments or links? If you can get into your Google Drive or other storage from the app, then you can submit attachments. Don’t expect that it will be easy to edit those attachments, if you can do that at all. Beware the “quick apply” feature, which may not let you convey all the important information in the position announcement.
  • Did you or can you proofread? Even though apps appeal to our need for speed, you must still scrupulously check your work. Some apps might not let you go back to a screen once you leave it.

While apps are wonderful conveniences for people who are infrequently at their laptops, or for those who are looking for entry-level or service industry positions, more complicated applications require the same amount of attention as the traditional application process.

Kimberley Sirk is a North Carolina-based writer and editor with government, higher education and big-brand healthcare public relations and marketing experience.

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