By Michelle Quinn, San Jose Mercury News
When looking for a new job, it turns out that some things don't change.
The resume is far from dead. Networking and personal connections turn up the best job leads. And negotiating a salary remains a stomach-crunching experience.
The whole job seeking experience is still nerve-racking, ad hoc and inefficient — even in this era of Big Data, apps and digital matchmaking — but some new tools make the process easier than scouring classified ads and knocking on doors.
Besides the many job sites such as Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed and Dice, job seekers are using a slew of smartphone apps to discover what's out there, meet people in their fields and create snazzy portfolios.
More than half of job seekers report using their mobile device to look for work at least once a day, according to Glassdoor, the online jobs and recruiting marketplace, which has a Glassdoor Job Search app.
"They are looking at job listings, saving them for later and even applying directly from an app," said MaryJo Fitzgerald, a mobile job search expert for Glassdoor. "This is the big pain point for applicants. Employers haven't made it easy for candidates to apply on their phones."
But not for long. Increasingly, newer companies are offering apps and online services that address specific parts of the job seeking process and make it easy.
Want to apply for a job with a single click? ZipRecruiter, which focuses on small and mid-sized businesses, has an app that allows for one tap to apply.
Want to make sure your next workplace matches your personality? The Good & Co app offers to assess your personality traits and find companies that might be a good fit.
Trying to figure out what career paths might suit you? The seminal book, "What Color is Your Parachute?" offers an app for working through one's preferences.
Want to find companies that are looking for someone just like you? Savvy targets female job seekers, offering to be their "pocket recruiter" by helping to set "salary requirements, benefit preferences, and company culture interests," it pitches. "Then let us do all the heavy lifting!"
What about connecting with others to get the inside scoop? Caliber is a messaging app that taps into contacts to help expand a person's personal networks while the
Weave membership service uses LinkedIn to set up weekly introductory meetings (that is if you are among the 28 percent accepted).
LinkedIn Job Search is sort of like the geographically-oriented dating app Tinder; enter a location and job category to find nearby jobs — and apply for them from the app.
Daniel Ayele, a senior product manager at LinkedIn, said the app offers quick competitive intel, "like the connections they have at a company and the types of companies and schools the company typically hires from."
Need some help making your background stand out from the crowd? Sumry helps with resume and portfolio building, with a focus on the applicant's personal story.
Despite the multitude of apps and online job-matching services, however, we may have exhausted the benefits of building out our online social network, said Nate Hanson, co-founder of Sumry. Companies are holding more meet-ups "because they want more personal connections," he said.
To that point, Lunchcruit, launched last year, matches job seekers with companies over, yep, lunch.
It turns out that even if the quick click gets a resume in front of a recruiter, it's still the old-fashioned interview and personal rapport that seal the deal. So those sorts of in-person connections may be better than spending time with apps and job sites, said Robert Withers, a career counselor at NOVA Workforce Development, a federally-funded career counseling organization in Silicon Valley.
Technology "can be distracting," he said. "It makes people feel like they accomplished something. They have to be careful not to rely solely on apps. You still need that face-to-face time or phone time."
Contact Michelle Quinn at 510-394-4196 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follower her at Twitter.com/michellequinn.