Upgrade Your Phone to Improve Your Job Search

Consider upgrading your mobile device to a smart phone to demonstrate your tech savvy and continue the job search on the go. Week 3 of New Year, New You.

The past two weeks we’ve worked on upgrading your look and re-engineering your resume to get past the digital gatekeepers.  This week I want to focus on a tool you might not have considered as part of your job-search arsenal until now: your mobile device.

With all the advances in technology, we now have the ability to work remotely from almost anywhere in the world. That also means we’re expected to be more responsive when someone reaches out to us on the phone, via email… even through a message on a social media site like LinkedIn or Facebook. Owning a phone that allows you to not only communicate via email, but also utilize websites and apps with ease should be a part of every job seeker’s strategy. Below are five reasons why you should consider upgrading your phone to upgrade your search.

Don’t be dated by your phone

Showing up to an interview with something other than a smart phone is as bad as mentioning your account on MySpace or using an AOL email address – it dates you. While you don’t need to be an early adopter (unless your work requires it), you do need to stay far away from any outdated technology that makes you look out of touch. This is even more important if you’re facing age discrimination in the job search. Have an interview tomorrow and no time to upgrade your device? Be sure to keep your phone hidden away and remember to silence or turn it off before you reach the employer’s office building.

Respond to recruiters right away

If a recruiter reaches out to you requesting your resume, you need to be able to respond immediately – not when you get home later that night. The ugly truth is that you’ll be forgotten moments after the recruiter hits the send button. That’s the beauty of owning a smartphone or tablet – you can store a copy of your resume on the device, allowing you to forward your resume on to a recruiter or networking contact at a moment’s notice. This is especially helpful for those of you who are employed and searching on the sly – this way, you can be responsive at the office while avoiding the risk that comes with using company equipment for your search (a big no-no).

There’s an app for that

Each day more and more businesses are coming out with apps to support their mobile customers. If you still think of fried calamari when someone talks about their favorite app, you’re in trouble. Check out the company’s website and apps as part of your interview prep. If you’re targeting tech companies, it’s almost guaranteed they’ll ask about your favorite websites and apps, as it helps them figure out if you’ll be a good cultural fit for the organization. Take a look at your phone’s app store and download a few to test out. My new favorite is HootSuite, which is completely free and helps me manage my Twitter and Facebook feeds. Click on the following link to view some of my favorite apps for managing your career.

Maintain a mobile search

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – searching for a job is a full-time job. Most experts recommend spending anywhere from 20 to 40 hours a week on the job search, depending upon your employment status. And that’s just for your job search! I know you’re all juggling a number of other priorities at the same time.  A mobile device can allow you to take what was once consider downtime and turn it into valuable job-search time. Stuck in a long line at the grocery store? Pull out your iPhone and use Ladders free app  to identify job matches on-the-go, discover new job opportunities, and scout out the competition. Commuting to the office? Start drafting cover letters or messages for your networking contacts during the train ride.

Opt for a budget-friendly option

Is a new device out of your budget? Use sites like eBay to purchase an older version of the iPhone or Android. You don’t need the latest iPhone to reap the benefits I mentioned above. You can also check out sites like Wirefly, TechBargins, and Everbuying.com for discounted mobile devices and tablets.

Consider how a smarter phone could make your job search more efficient and do a little window shopping this week. Click on the following link to read the last week’s assignment for a New Year, New You: Mobilize your professional resume. Next week we’ll tackle a big one: overhauling your online brand – get ready!