Jobseeking in 2018 will be different for two reasons. First, most candidates are already likely to have a job, thanks to record low unemployment, And second, digital business is radically changing how we all connect with business organizations.
And so, going into 2018, digital job search is the name of the game. Everything must be geared for online activity, from the resume keywords you choose, to the ways you uncover opportunities, to the online profile recruiters and hiring managers see.
Although we're in a jobseekers' market, hiring organizations still require a very close match in the candidates they pursue. The burden remains squarely on the jobseeker to demonstrate that match.
More than ever, you need the right job search tools to accelerate the online job search, automate repetitive activities, focus on high-value opportunities, and manage the whole workflow.
Here are 10 innovative job search tools to help you succeed in your 2018 digital job search.
One of the first rules of the digital job search is be visible online. Few job search tools do it better than LinkedIn. A top recent innovation is their "Let recruiters know you're open" feature, designed especially for the passive job search.
Toggling this feature to "on" indicates to recruiters that you are open to being contacted privately about new opportunities. You can access the feature by clicking "Me" in the navigation bar, selecting "View profile", and then selecting "Career interests" in "Your Dashboard." But always remember to treat LinkedIn as a companion to your resume, not a substitute.
COST: Free to jobseekers; premium packages available beginning at $29.95 per month.
2. LiveCareer Apply
When you've decided to put your nose to the grindstone and look for a new job, you quickly realize one thing: Filling out online applications is repetitive and boring. But LiveCareer has created a tool that makes this process fast and perfectly seamless. LiveCareer Apply helps you autofill job applications to save you time, works on all of the most popular job boards, and ensures that the basic information on your resume is completed accurately and with none of the errors that can come from manual data entry. Just download the Chrome extension for free and start applying right away!
Even in the digital age, the resume is still the most fundamental asset in the jobseeker's portfolio.
It is the single most important job search tool for getting past the ATS and into real conversations with hiring managers. It demonstrates up front that you are a match and gets you in position to be selected in, rather than selected out. And it tells a comprehensive story of your career, and how it leads up to you being the perfect fit for the role.
But writing a personalized resume can be daunting. MyPerfectResume makes it simple to create a customized resume that can put your unique skills, experiences, and qualifications front and center. Users can get the step-by-step guidance they need, from help writing each section of a resume to up-to-the-minute resume templates and examples that cover just about every job category.
Online guidance is both plentiful and timely.
COST: 14-day paid ($2.95) trials available; monthly subscriptions are offered at $24.95 at the end of the trial period
Few jobseekers look forward to writing cover letters. But think about this: in the digital job search, the cover letter is the first chance you get to make a personal connection. Recruiters and hiring managers actually do read cover letters. They are looking for any additional information that will help determine whether you're the right person at the right time.
Cover-Letter-Now is a job search tool that makes it fast and easy for jobseekers to create a job-winning cover letter that decision-makers can't ignore. Thanks to expert writing samples and proven professional designs, you'll be able to build a document that helps you stand out as the right match to the job description.
Cover-Letter-Now also has a feature to compose thank you letters, a personal touch that hiring managers also notice, but few jobseekers take the time to do.
COST: 14-day paid ($1.45 - $1.95) trials available; monthly subscriptions are offered at $19.95 at the end of the trial period.
Switch was originally designed for tech and digital media professionals to connect directly and confidentially with hiring managers in other companies. It has since grown in scope, but retains its focus on discreetly connecting urban professionals and digital businesses.
Often described as the "Tinder of online job search tools," Switch is a mobile app that indeed operates using a swipe left / swipe right interface. "Switchers" create a professional profile and upload their resume, then receive job recommendations which they can pursue or pass on with just a swipe. A right swipe sends a notification and an anonymous professional profile to the hiring manager. If the interest is mutual, a chat feature opens and the two can begin a conversation about next steps.
COST: Free to jobseekers, available on both iOS.
Would you even think of sending an outdated resume to an employer you really wanted to impress? Job boards don't think the same way about any particular job posting jobseekers see on their sites. They could care less whether it's accurate, up to date, or even legitimate. Yet employers do care, and want to impress jobseekers. So what's the solution? Go straight to the company website.
LinkUp does exactly that for over 3 million jobs available on company websites.
It collects only up-to-date, verified job postings, sourced daily and directly from employer websites. Many of these listings exist on the so-called hidden job market and are not picked up by job boards. Yet LinkUp offers all the job search tools you'd expect to find on a conventional job board, plus features to help automate searching and applying for jobs.
COST: Available for free on desktop, iOS, and Android
The ATS is like the guest list of a tony nightclub. It's a tool to let only a few in while keeping everyone else out. Having the right keywords on your resume puts you on the guest list and whisks you past the gatekeeper. So how do you choose the right resume keywords?
The simple answer is to match your resume to the job description. But in the age of the digital job search and smart ATS's, that can be tricky.
JobScan has the solution. Users paste a resume and the job description of a desired opening side by side on their website. JobScan analyzes the two for how closely they match, and presents suggestions for improving the match so that it will get you past the gatekeeper. A similar service is also available for LinkedIn profiles.
COST: Five monthly comparisons are available at no charge. Full-service subscriptions start at $49.95 per month.
8. Startwire, Mixmax
One of the big downsides of the digital job search is not knowing what happens to your application once you hit the submit button. That's the dreaded application black hole, and it's a major demotivator. Fortunately, some of the technology that created the problem is now being folded into job search tools that help address it.
Startwire offers jobseekers automatic application status updates from over 19,000 employers and job boards. That includes whether a position has been closed or applications are no longer being taken.
Though not designed as a job search tool, Mixmax tracks whether emails are opened, and if so, when and by whom. Savvy jobseekers use this information to determine whether they are reaching the right hiring managers, or if they need to refine their approach.
COST: Startwire is available for free. Mixmax offers three tiers of service beginning at $9 per month.
One of the most valuable jobseeker skills is the art of following up. But with the digital job search, it is easy to lose track of where you applied, what resume you used, whom you communicated with, what you talked about, and when to take the next step. Since timing is everything in the recruiting process, no jobseeker can afford to miss an important task.
JobHero provides a crisp dashboard for keeping the digital job search organized. Users can save online job listings, create contacts, monitor application status, add notes for each application, and store resumes and cover letters. A scheduler is integrated into the dashboard to set reminders for important follow-ups and deadlines. A Chrome extension is available to simplify saving online job listings to the dashboard.
JobHero is a desktop app, and so for jobseekers preferring to stay organized using their mobile devices, we'd recommend checking out JibberJobber and Rake.
Yes, it's a cliche, but it's also dead-on true. The overwhelming majority of job openings get filled through networking. So why not make the numbers work in your favor and have fun doing it for a change?
Shapr is a mobile app built on the philosophy that networking should be fulfilling. Shapr analyzes your professional interests, work experience, industry, and location. It then matches you with 10-15 relevant professionals locally each day. You can swipe right on those whom you'd like to meet. If the interest is mutual, the two of you may begin a mobile chat or arrange for an in-person meeting.
COST: It is free to use and offers a premium level of service starting at $19.99 per month. Available for download for iOS devices and Android devices.