mobilejobseekersSo let's talk mobile applications for employment. Why? Well quite simply because I'm tired of hearing people say that job seekers aren't ready to apply for jobs via their mobile. And I think I'm to the point where I just have to call it out and say, "that's crap." If done right, I can't think of a single reason a job seeker wouldn't want to submit interest for a job via their mobile device. After all, we're being honest and talking about what the job seeker wants and not the limitation of a system or the unwillingness or inability to accommodate this by the employer or a vendor... right?

Let's talk about just a few of the bigger and more obvious challenges... No one wants to build a resume on their mobile; The vast majority of people don't have the ability to upload/carry documents (resumes) on their mobile; Many ATS or job boards just aren't mobile friendly. These are valid for sure. But for well over a year now I've had a solution swimming around in my head - and I think it's time that I let it out and touched lightly on how, in a perfect world, these might be addressed.

Let me walk you through how I see it working - and then I hope you'll weigh in.
In the spirit of staying mobile let's start with a mobile app that I'm pretty friendly with and enjoy using - and that frankly is ideal for this article. The LinkedIn application for the iPhone is terrific. The app ties together many of the features we see on the LinkedIn website such as Inbox, Updates, Connections, Invitations, Discussion Boards and yes - now even themes for us to pick our favorite colors from. Of course the reason the application is so popular is because everything we see within the app is tied to our online account.

So I don't think I'm off-base or out of this world when I say that I'd gladly trade the "Themes" button for a "Jobs" button. (No offence, LinkedIn - you guys know I love ya'.) A button that would show me a few jobs that LinkedIn thinks I might be interested in just like the website does now.

Heck, maybe someone would get a little crazy and provide a field that would let me search for basic keywords or browse the latest openings. After all - the application is web-based, not static content in the phone. Pulling job listings should be no more difficult than pulling the latest discussions or content from my Inbox. (Do I really need to reference an employment application that already pulls job listings right from an ATS via XML?)

If you've ever applied for a job on LinkedIn you know that it typically consists of 2 pages. The first asks for a cover letter, contact information and the option to upload a resume while the second page is your chance to review your submission and send it on its way. So here is where it's fun...
This is LinkedIn, folks - for the most part our work history is our profile - and if we're job hunting it's going to ideally be pretty current and detailed. So in most instances a job seeker would have no need to upload an additional resume or could at least have the option to let their profile speak for itself.

This transaction would be no more complicated than taking an online survey, submitting an email, or taking part in a discussion board. And if we're keeping this thought stream completely honest I think we can admit that it certainly doesn't have to be limited to LinkedIn. Major boards could pull off the same thing with a bit of a massage to the process here and there. In fact, as sexy as a mobile application can make certain activity seem we should keep in mind that many times we're simply talking about a skinned and branded browser letting us do 'stuff' on the web.

So think about it:

  • Online profiles/resumes created/uploaded from PC's can include cover letters
  • Job boards and Applicant Tracking Systems provide mobile friendly lists of jobs
  • Job seekers simply "login" and "opt-in" for consideration
  • All user profile/resume data is tied to the "requisition" based on the users profile
I know what you're thinking... Hey, what about pre-screen questions?Let's be honest... For the most part, if you've more than 6-8 questions so specific to a job posting that they aren't handled in a basic profile creation process then you're likely suffering from poorly written job descriptions or a pathetic attempt to "test" where you should be screening.

Need to test them? Pull them in or send them a link to a real online testing process - but don't bastardize an application process by adding sloppy form to the equation. This topic came up because at a social event last week I was constantly told that job seekers just aren't ready to apply for jobs via their mobile devices or that the technology just isn't ready.

So here I am, folks... standing by my opinion that it isn't the job seekers that aren't ready, but rather vendors that don't see a big enough profit to really dig in and make it a reality just yet. I'm not saying this is wrong - but let's call it like it is and stop blaming job seekers as the entire reason this isn't happening.

Can you really tell me that if you had the option, that you wouldn't suffer through a few clicks and a short online survey to nominate for a job that interested you (while at lunch, your commuter ride, between meetings, etc.)?

Yeah... me either. Originally posted on

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