Looking for Jobs On the Go

by Matthew Tansek, Head Editor, INALJ Rhode Island

Looking for Jobs On the Go

MTansekFor this blog post I thought that it would be helpful to get to know a few job seeker applications for your smartphone.  I took a look at four that I had not heard of, and I purposefully avoided apps that were directly connected with popular job sites such as Indeed or Monster (although most pull some their listings from such sites).  I rated each application on the quality of the posts, the ease searching with it, and  the interface quality.  I approached each as a North American library job seeker, and tested each app function using many types of criteria and locations.

JobMo

Quality of Listings – OOOOOOOOOO
Searching –  OOOOOOOOOO
Interface –  OOOOOOOOOO
The first app that I looked at was JobMo by Kiefer Consulting.  It advertises that it has millions of jobs to view, and that applications for these can be done right from your phone, and with a decent rating from Apple’s App Store I thought it would be a good place to start.
Like other job apps JobMo provides you with the basic search box and map feature to allow you to see where exactly the job you are looking at is located.  Its search filters allow for basic narrowing such as salary, age of post, type of position, distance, etc and has the best advanced search functions out of all of the apps reviewed.  Interaction with the app however was a bit clunky, and required frequent adjustments and backtracking to get it to display what I was really looking for.  The application process was hard to use on my smartphone, and only allowed for a basic paste function when it came to submitting a resume or cover letter but was the only app reviewed that allowed this feature.
What sets it apart is its inclusion of job trend graphs and national salary trends.  Additionally it showcases a variety of forums that are job related, but when clicking on them takes you to the web address outside the app.  While I thought that these features were interesting, I found them rather superfluous to what I felt was the real reason for the app.

Seek – Jobs

Quality of Listings – OOOOOOOOOO
Searching –  OOOOOOOOOO
Interface –  OOOOOOOOOO
Seek, while at first glance may seem like a good choice for mobile job hunting is far from it.  As librarians we understand how important good search features can be, and this app simply does not deliver – only allowing for salary range, location and type of position.  From the start I was concerned with the international scope of this app, and when I learned that the USA and Canada is as narrow as you can go for searches in this country, I was very disappointed.  Seek was on the right track allowing for saved searches and creation of your own job shortlists, but then really dropped the ball with its inability to narrow down your searches.  Seek also requires you to create an account, which is tiresome if you are only looking to search and display.
Perhaps Seek would have scored higher if they were exclusively an Australian / New Zealand job search tool, but as it stands they advertise themselves to anyone seeking a job and then fail to deliver for residents in North America.

JobCompass

Quality of Listings – OOOOOOOOOO
Searching –  OOOOOOOOOO
Interface –  OOOOOOOOOO
Job compass I found to work well, but leaves me wanting in a couple of key areas.  Like other job apps reviewed it relies on the map function to display its results, but unlike others this seems to be the only way to view them.  In practice I found that a lot of postings got grouped up, and it was difficult to sift through them and impossible to see which were new listings, and where the app was pulling its data.  It offers no advanced search functions, and so getting only the jobs you want was a bit clunky as well.  I feel that it also should be noted that I had repeated bugs with the text interface, and the program crashed several times during my testing.
What I liked about JobCompass was the fact that you could save the listings, and open them in your mobile browser should you want to.  If the bugs were fixed and a bit more search options were added this app could be a contender, but until then I found it too frustrating to be useful.

Jobtweet

Quality of Listings – OOOOOOOOOO
Searching –  OOOOOOOOOO
Interface –  OOOOOOOOOO
Finally I took a look at Jobtweet, the only mobile job app that I reviewed that did not rely on a map function to display its listings.  My major problem with this app is the fact that each listing is really hard to decipher.  They are presented as a series of links, with the total number of hits displayed at the top, unfortunately however the developers do not take the time to link to each individual posting and instead you are sent to the main category page of a compiling site such as JobsDirectUSA.  Add to this the complete lack of search parameters such as distance from location and whether or not it’s a part time job, you could be facing lot of loading screens before you get anything useful.
In practice Jobtweet did seem to pull from a large variety of sources, and to its credit the postings reviewed were very recent.  All in all however due to the fact that each posting was not adequately displayed made me not want to recommend this one.

In the end what I found with these apps is that there are a lot of big claims made, but rarely are they worth your time.  I would recommend using your smartphone to search for postings, but should you find one you are truly interested in to go back to your computer to get the job done.  

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ.com. INALJ has had over 19.5 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 & 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro. She presents whenever she can, most recently thrice at the American Library Association's Annual Conference as well as breakout talk presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa and as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting, at the National Press Club, McGill University, the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has relocated to being nomadic. She runs her husband’s moving labor website, KhanMoving.com, fixes and sells old houses and assists her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food as well. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 

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