I originally wrote this article originally published on Come Recommended!
It is not too much to ask that a job search mobile app be simple to navigate and to engage. Right? And you know what, I want it all in the beta version. I understand there are kinks to work out as your team works on development, and I’m not asking for perfection, but job seekers don’t have time to depend on a job search mobile app with large files to download and 20 minutes to set up a profile. Nor should they ever have to touch a laptop or a tablet to use it.
Oh, how I long for an app I can court regularly! As a career consultant, I want to recommend a mobile app I have some affection toward. My clients don’t mention any they use. I would love to for them to use [insert your app name here]!
I looked at several mobile apps recently and decided there are common things that all good ones must have:
- An easy but memorable name to remember. By producing an app for my phone, I have 40+ apps on my iPhone as I did when I was an Android user. If the name of the app does not have a memorable job/career/employment name associated with it, then it will continue to float without an oar on screen. Granted there are apps with other names unrelated, but they spent years building their brand before apps existed. Beyond is one of those companies that get a pass, and 45 million users can’t be wrong.
- Use LinkedIn to log in and build my profile. Please don’t make me spend 20 minutes filling out a profile. Let me use LinkedIn to log initially in and aggregate the profile to your app. Yeah, use Facebook to log in quickly, but LinkedIn is better for a favorable and insightful profile. Well, at least, my profile is… I admit, many users profile summaries and headline stink.
- Charge me up to $3.99 for NO ads and a couple of perks. Ads are annoying and a nuisance. It certainly doesn’t make the functionality better. Lord forbid, it should interrupt my workflow. If I pay more, I would want a seamless and robust experience, and you can surprise me. Again, I’m not looking to spend but a few minutes at a time.
- Your app can text me leads but as an option. Send me job leads via text with a link to the description, leading back to the app and NOT the browser. I know that is asking for a lot, but if I go through the browser it may or may not be easy to log in. Again, save me time and effort. I am only using you passively now until you deliver some results.
- Just ask me once about a survey. If you want to make it an “option” in my profile, I don’t mind. Otherwise, don’t ask me every time I log in or out. The more you ask, the more I defer.
- Allow me to update as needed through my LinkedIn profile. I may change jobs, add accomplishments, or change my contact information. Auto-updating helps me in my job search, as your app could be the one that is always current. Job seekers don’t need a handout here, but they’ve created profiles on numerous job boards, have likely tested out numerous apps, making it difficult to keep track of them all.
There are other users who can’t wait to receive it. I don’t want to be asked every time I log in.
- Allow me to connect with like-minded people if I want to. I don’t want LIONs like LinkedIn, nor do I want random suggestions. I want to connect with people like me with similar career interests. Keep in mind everyone is not cool with that option so don’t force users.
- Give me volunteer opportunities with companies that would welcome me. Although it’s unrealistic to expect a job opportunity, it would help to give me the experience I desire or need. I don’t mind being vetted, but I do mind being teased.
- Allow me to customize notifications the way I like. Timing, as well as the type of notifications, is essential to my phone’s functionality. I doubt 20 percent of all notifications offer prevalent information. It’s just more noise and unnecessary.
- If employers post jobs, have them post the salary range for the position. I know this a controversial undertaking, but it’s a game. It’s lame. Many of my colleagues will agree. Your app will be famous tomorrow. Come on. I dare you.
- Forget the resume template or the resume period. The profile from my LinkedIn page should be good enough initially for an employer. If it helps, the ability to leave a short introduction video would be cool if it were simple (and a competitive edge to those who do or don’t). At least, the employer could get to know me better. Most of us will have a mobile app version of our resume (and if you don’t you must), but why to complicate things. Besides, most people have lousy resumes.
- Don’t be like the big popular job boards. Don’t inundate me with data and promises. Just provide another simple option that I may choose you to help me either find additional insights to the 2016 job search, connect me with people, groups, or places related to my career. Be creative, I’d like to hear your perspective too.
- Come and get your third party cousins. When I sign up for job boards, provide information, it’s like serving the family Thanksgiving meal where people I never met come to my email box. Yeah, I know you want to make money, but if you offer for free, make it clear you have no control over your what third party clients for your mobile app will do. It’s crazy at times. Not only do they want to come eat, but presumptuously bring Tupperware to take leftovers home.
- Don’t try to hijack my operation system. Nice and quiet. I want to forget you as I do other things. Maybe I want to play my game, or see what’s on Snapchat or Facebook. I need you not to take advantage of my 16G unit. I’ll delete you if you do. I will tell my friends not to bother with you.
- Make unsubscribe no contact. When I’m gone, I don’t want to hear from your cousins. When I didn’t call dates back, I didn’t want to hear from their friends (in most cases) because I lump all of you together. When you’re not useful, your cousins contacting me is useless.
Podcasts, audio interviews, and webinars are welcome. Yes, make it available through your mobile app. You produce the show or event if you want the upper hand in the competition. Remember, I’m on the go frequently! Inform me while I’m traveling to contract, temporary, or networking gigs.
Remember you are providing 1/25 of what a job seeker needs, and an app doesn’t help with an overall authentic and persuasive presentation. In most cases, a useful app is a gateway with annoying gatekeepers.