You use your cell phone to text your kids, get directions, check in on Facebook and look up restaurants and movie listings.
Why not use it to look for a job, too?
Companies have woken up to the fact that 93 percent of the U.S. population owns some kind of cell phone and are customizing recruiting efforts accordingly. They’re creating career websites optimized to work with smartphones or regular cell phones. They’re letting job hunters opt in to receive automated text messages when new jobs open up. They’re creating mobile versions of job boards that job hunters can quickly scan from BlackBerrys and iPhones. And they’re creating specialized job-hunting apps that also help people research companies and practice interview questions.
If you’re looking for work, or just curious about what’s out there, here are some job-hunting apps worth checking out:
1. ResumeBear Mobile
Description: With the ResumeBear Mobile Application you can send your formatted resume to potential employers from your Android or iPhone and receive a text or email alert as soon as it’s been read.
Availability: Free, works on Droid, iPhone, iPad
Link: ResumeBear Mobile
2. LinkedIn Mobile
Description: This smartphone-optimized version of the business-oriented network of 85 million lets you create a profile that doubles as an online resume. Members also can connect with past and present colleagues, research companies, join groups, and ask questions.
Why you should be there: Recruiters routinely mine LinkedIn for people whose skills and background fit jobs they’ve been hired to fill, regardless of whether the person is job hunting.
Availability: Free, works on BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad and Palm smartphones.
Link: LinkedIn Mobile
Description: This Twitter-based job board lets you sign up to have notices of job openings for specific positions, industries or locations texted to your cell phone or, if you have a Twitter account, added to your Direct Messages (DM) list. Sign up for the service from your phone or computer.
What you need: To read Twitter DMs from TweetMyJobs on a smartphone, you need a Twitter account and a Twitter app — Twitter has its own, but other popular mobile apps include TweetDeck, UberTwitter and Twittelator Pro.
Availability: Free, works on any text-enabled phone.
4. Job Search by Indeed.com
Description: The mobile version of Indeed.com’s jobs search engine helps you find positions on multiple job boards by title, keyword, company or location. From the site, sign up to have new job listings e-mailed to you.
Availability: Free, works on Droid, iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry.
5. Monster.com Jobs
Description: The mobile version of the popular job board lets you search jobs in real time, forward favorites to any e-mail address, manage resumes and fill out job applications. Other major job boards have come out with mobile apps as well, such as CareerBuilder.com’s CB Mobile.
Availability: Free, for iPhone and iPad.
Link: Mobile Monster
6. Pocket Resume
Description: Input your information into the supplied form to create, edit and e-mail a simple resume. The app uses PDF rendering technology to convert text to a PDF file.
Availability: $2.99, for iPhone and iPad.
Link: Pocket Resume
7. Job Interview Prep
Description: This flashcard-style presentation of 50 common job interview questions includes a list of suggested answers for each. One satisfied customer wrote about the app: “Wow, 4 of 4 questions were asked, and (I’m) glad I downloaded this app.”
Availability: $2.99, for Android smartphones.
Link: Interview Prep
8. Opt-in text messages from companies you’d like to work for
Description: If you’ve ever sent a text message to request more information on a product or service, you’ll understand how this works. When you spot an ad from a company that’s hiring, send a text to the number listed. You could be prompted to provide information on types of jobs that interest you. Or you could be automatically added to a distribution list to receive alerts when new jobs open up. Unfortunately, there’s no single place to find a list of all companies with opt-in text message jobs services.
Availability: Free, works with any text-enabled cell phone.
9. Google Maps
Description: Google’s mobile-enabled navigation system turns an Android smartphone into the same kind of GPS you’d find in a car — only better, because it includes satellite views of streets and buildings. Whether you’re driving, taking public transportation or walking to an interview, you’ll know where you’re going. Use Google Maps with add-ons such as Traffic, with real-time traffic reports, and Places, which shows hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, ATMs and other services near your location.
Availability: Free, for Android phones.
Link: Google Maps
Description: Think of this app as a 21st century business card. With this loaded into your smartphone, you can physically “bump” other phones equipped with the software to instantly exchange names, addresses, phone numbers and other vital information. The latest version also lets users exchange pictures and videos. What a great way to leave your calling card with a hiring manager and show you’re up on the latest innovations, too.
Availability: Free, for iPhone and Android smartphones.