Data plans can be expensive, especially when you’re out of a job; but with the right tools, you can turn your smartphone from a liability to an asset in your job search. Here are a few of the best networking, job-search, and organizational apps for Android and iPhone.
1. LunchMeet (iOS)
This app is a brilliant extension of LinkedIn’s networking service, allowing you to set up lunch appointments with professionals in your area and industry. Sign in to LunchMeet using your LinkedIn profile, and tell the app when your schedule is free. LunchMeet will then find local professionals who are also free at that time, and provide contact information so you can set up a meeting. The app also displays restaurants, coffee shops, and other locations that would be good for a face-to-face meeting. This app alone might be enough to get your foot in the door; but even if you’re not looking for work, it’s a great tool for establishing connections in your industry. (Cost: free)
2. Job Search by Indeed (Android, iOS)
This app is Indeed.com’s mobile platform, and it’s a great way to check out your local job market on the go. While it doesn’t have the history of Monster.com, Indeed does a much better job of filtering out spam, duplicates, and con artists, and the site’s reach is impressive. The mobile app has an easy to use interface—you simply input the industry or job you’re looking for, and a location as narrow or broad as you like, and you’ll get an instant picture of the job market in your area. This is a good example of a very simple app that gets the job done. (Cost: free)
3. Interview Pro (iOS)
If you find yourself tongue-tied in job interviews, this app is a good way to practice your interviewing chops. Interview Pro features over 80 common interview questions, with space for you to save an answer. It also provides example answers, if a question really stumps you. The app has solid tips for keeping the conversation positive (especially with questions like “What’s your greatest weakness?”), and is a must-have if you need to build up some confidence for a big interview. (Cost: $1.99; a similar app is available from a different publisher, on Android for $0.99)
4. Jobs You’ll Love (Android)
This app does the normal job-hunting function, with a Pandora-style twist: as the app learns what you’re looking for, it offers results tailored to your interests and skill set. You can even downvote jobs that don’t meet your criteria, so the app learns what you want even faster. It’s a much more effective way of pinpointing the right job for you than just searching “Software” or “Human Resources”. It’ll help you find a job that matches your commute needs, desired office culture, and time commitment; not just a scattershot of jobs in your general area of expertise. (Cost: free)
5. Pocket Resume (Android, iOS)
While typing is clunkier on a phone, Pocket Resume takes care of all the formatting and layout that makes resume-writing on a word processor such a headache. The results are professional, and it’s much easier when all you have to do is fill in the blanks. You can customize to some extent, but the main selling point of this app is that it handles the aesthetics for you. The simplicity of the interface depends on the phone you’re using—users of Samsung phones have reported the best experience, while older smartphones have reported bugs. It’s a bit expensive for an app, but if you hate creating and editing resumes, you’ll be glad to have the help. (Cost: $2.99)
Julia Peterson is a writer for AndGeeks.com, a popular website that provides up-to-date news, detailed commentary, and unbiased reviews on cell phones and related topics. Julia resides in Galveston, Texas in a cozy little house in the country with her husband, young son, and their labrador retriever, Darby.