FINDING A JOB WITH TODAY’S TECHNOLOGY
By Chet Yarbrough
VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE POSTED “LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL”
It seems everyone has a mobile phone today; an iPhone, a Droid, a Blackberry, or some other smart phone. In addition to a phone, many have notebook computers, iPods and iPads; convenient toys or 21st century tools of work?
Of course–they are both.
Technology changes so fast that it is difficult to keep up or fully understand how new applications or websites can make looking for a job easier, more organized, and successful than sending a mass mailing of resumes to companies that have job openings.
It is unlikely that one new job search application or website will serve every person’s needs. But, for every person looking for a job, there is a “no cost” or “low cost” telephone, computer, and/or iPod/iPad program that will help you find and track a job that fits your experience. There are thousands of websites that can be tapped for job openings by using simple search engines available on Google and Yahoo browsers.
Jim Stroud wrote an article on job-hunt.org that shows how a person with a telephone or a computer with access to a Google or Yahoo browser can use “search strings” that will track 100s, sometimes 1,000s, of jobs in your field of interest. His example is a string that might look like this: intitle:accountant (intitle:job OR intitle:jobs OR intitle:careers) (apply OR submit OR eoe). That entry in Google or Yahoo resulted in over 200,000 openings for accounting positions. What the search engine does when you write “intitle:accountant”, is track every described job opening with the word accountant in it on the thousands of websites that exist on the world wide net. Adding “OR” refines the search for additional words that may be used in the job description. For example, “eoe” stands for equal opportunity employment which will be noted in many job opening advertisements. This is a scatter shot way of finding jobs but it can lead to that one job in the right place for the diligent job seeker.
If you are connected to the right website, “string searches” can be a great tool for finding the right job. Frank Langfitt noted on NPR that one of a headhunter’s favorite websites is “…Linkedin, a network of 8 million professionals spread across the world. Linkedin says users include executives from all of the Fortune 500 companies. Typing keywords into a search engine, …can scrape the entire network to dig out high-quality candidates…” that cannot be found anywhere else.
The point is that a job seeker needs to narrow his job search to websites that address his experience. A recent graduate may only be looking for a temporary job which is not well suited to Linkedin but is addressed by websites like snagajob.com or teens4hire.com. An older job seeker might look at AARP.org.
If you have a smart phone, look for applications on your browser for that particular phone; i.e. look at Android apps, iPhone apps, Blackberry apps, etc. Careerbuilder.com has apps tailored to iPhone and iPod Touch that will access over 2,000,000 job openings.
HireADroid supports a multiple job search engine (similar to Indeed, Careerbuilder, Simplyhired and Linkup websites) which allows you to immediately save a job opening as a favorite and respond to a company’s job opening via email or tweet. This application covers the world; not just the US employment market.
JobCompass is a phone app for both Android and iPhone. You can enter a specific area of employment interest with your preferred job and it will deliver a mapped list of openings. The app is free.
Blackberry has a free app called Beyond.com that lets the user search across industries, sorting by location and key words. The user is able to review detailed job descriptions and share the information with friends or save the job opening in a “favorites’ file”.
Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com have apps for all Apples’ “I’s (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad).
Another useful phone app tracks your applications. Of course, the tracking apps are different depending on the smart phone you are using but tracking your applications is essential when looking for multiple opportunities. Apple has IgetAJob (.99 cents). Android has ToDo, and Blackberry has Job Application Checklist.
Learn about QR, Quick Response codes, that are hitting the market today that contain volumes of information about everything from consumer goods to job openings and company profiles. They are bar code like squares. When they are photographed into your phone, they can be opened into an information page about a job opening or a consumer product. Accounting giant, Ernst and Young is using QR on their website. QRs are being placed on business cards for Vizibility SearchMe™ with links that can be added to resumes, presentations, business cards and any other printed or online materials.
“Embedding a QR code on a resume is an interactive and easy way for job-seekers to proactively present additional information about themselves while communicating a high level of technology savviness (sic),” said Wendy Enelow (http://vizibility.com/wendy), Executive Director of the Resume Writing Academy and the Career Thought Leaders Consortium. “Resumes are constantly evolving to keep pace with the changing employment landscape. Adding a QR code that links to your specific Google search results is one of the latest and greatest ways to create a multi-dimensional, technologically savvy resume. As we all know, job-seekers on the cutting edge are more memorable to hiring managers and recruiters, and that’s what the whole job search is about. Google me and remember me.”
QR code scanning software is available for iPhone, Blackberry, and iPad. Check their respective websites for the downloadable app; often it is free.
Telephone and other mobile communication devices are a mixed blessing. They offer immediate response and feedback with programmed applications that search for jobs and give the job searcher the ability to wirelessly transfer a resume to a prospective employer. It is a mixed blessing because the ability to respond immediately must be tempered by the thoughtful process of tailoring your employment request to the employer’s job opening. If the job description looks right, the job seeker needs to learn something about the company (information often available on the net) so a cover letter can be attached to the resume. The tendency can be to blast the employer with resumes without getting an employer’s considered review because none of the resumes are tailored to the job opening.
Once you have chosen your instrument of job search, whether a wired computer, wireless smart phone or an Apple “i”, the next step is to select a service provider. For the wired or wireless network computer, the most common providers in the Las Vegas valley are Cox Cable and Century Link. But Clear also provides wireless 4g home network services and 3g hot spots that can be used nationwide for laptop computers. Clear sales seem to be primarily internet driven but they do have a store on Charleston Blvd., west of Rainbow.
In January 2011, JD Powers and Association rated AT&T, Sprint/Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon as the primary wireless providers for the Southwest. AT&T and Sprint call quality was rated as about average with 3 out of 5 gold circles; T-Mobile call quality was grouped in a category of the “rest” with 2 out of 5 gold stars; and, Verizon was awarded the 5 star gold medal award for 2011. Of course, the 2 biggest competitors in the national wireless telephone service market are AT&T and Verizon.
Choosing a service is complex. A customer’s use and the capability of the wireless service have to be married in a way that meets the customer’s need. Every service provider has had complaints ranging from dropped calls to unreasonable contract termination fees.
AT&T is no slouch in the job search market, particularly with their iPhone app for job openings at AT&T. With over 266,000 employees, there are always some openings available but now you can use your iPhone to job search and alert you for any openings that are available with AT&T anywhere in the nation. You can use the app to notify you if an opening for AT&T occurs in your area.
AT&T has a user friendly web site that allows you to look at everything AT&T is doing in today’s market. You can enter the website wirelessly and watch videos that will tell you about their “Job Search Initiative” and hear testimonials from high school students about their experience shadowing AT&T employees as they complete a day’s work. Even, the CEO, Randall Stephenson has had a high school student shadow.
AT&T worked with the North Carolina legislature to have a job shadow day for high school students with local legislators.
AT&T’s web site shows every product they have for sale and contracts to meet a wide variety of wireless needs. From applications to hardware, touring AT&T’s web site is a technological marvel.
Mike Elgan noted in a 2009 Computerworld article that “The consumer electronics scene in the U.S. is wonderful and horrible at the same time. The devices, technologies and innovation are wonderful. The provision of wireless access is horrible. U.S. carriers are some of the most backward, unscrupulous and anti-customer companies in the nation.”
That was in 2009. 2011 seems better. Now, some providers are taking month to month contracts with no termination fees; service providers are listening to customer complaints and changing their business practice to address some of the consumer frustration noted by Mike Elgan in 2009. But, choosing a service remains complicated. The customer needs to ask questions and clarify what he or she needs and what the wireless service company can provide.
Call quality is not the only consideration when deciding on a wireless service provider. T-mobile, according to JD Powers, is the best low cost provider according to their 2009, 25,000 customer survey. Until, more recently, iPhones could only use AT&T services so if you were not with AT&T, iPhone was not a smart phone alternative. Now, Verizon is also a service provider for iPhone.
Another company to consider for cellular service in Las Vegas is metroPCS. Talking to a spokesperson for metroPCS, they were the first 4G LTE network in Las Vegas. LTE stands for “long term evolution” and is considered the future of wireless communication because of its increased data transfer speed. The company has set up their own network in 13 major metropolitan areas, Las Vegas being one of them. Las Vegas was chosen because their market information showed that 90% of the population has a mobile phone.
They have 4 stores in Las Vegas; 4065 South Maryland Parkway, 4912 S Eastern Ave # 4, 4840 W. Charleston Blvd., and 3421 E Tropicana Ave. They are one of the few wireless service companies that provide month to month service rates. The competitive advantage for metroPCS is their policy of no annual contracts. With a monthly fee ranging from $45 to $75 and a network of 100 cell towers in the Las Vegas valley, they believe they have the best service in town. Smart phones like Android seem a perfect fit for metroPCS’s service.
Verizon is a premier company in the communications business. The classification “premier” is based on personal experience with their store fronts but also through e-mail questions and answers about Verizon to and from Jenny Weaver, a Verizon spokesperson. Verizon focuses on wireless technology designed to empower customers through the internet, e-mail, social media, text messaging, and of course, telephone contact. For anyone that looks at advertising, Verizon’s reputation is founded on network accessibility, whether at home or on the road. By providing accessibility, they promote the use of smart phones, tablets, net books, 4G USB modems, Mobile Hot Spots and feature phones to help job seekers stay connected.
Like most progressive companies, Verizon uses social media like Facebook and YouTube, national job boards/aggregators, and their own online site to attract candidates for employment. But Verizon does not eschew traditional recruiting; i.e. personal contact through career fairs, and college campus recruiting events. And, of course, most of us have seen the newspaper and television advertising.
Verizon backs up their advertising for employees with awards like “Best In Employee Training”, “Elite Winner in Compensation and Benefits”, “Best Places to Work for Recent Grads”, and “Best Company to Work for Working Mothers”.
The value of advertising cannot be underestimated but the company that advertises for customer focused, learning motivated, resourceful, and effective employees, must meet employee expectations to be consistently successful. Judging Verizon by their awards, they are delivering on many employee expectations; if Verizon’s sought after employee qualities are found, companies and customers are the beneficiaries.
Contact Chet Yarbrough for comments or questions at chetyarbrough.com.