The U.S. unemployment rate sat at 6.2 percent for the month of July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The past four months have seen the rate dip back down to mid-2008 levels before the recession took full effect. But researchers at Princeton found that the U3 unemployment rate, the official Labor Department number, has gradually become less accurate over the past 20 years.
The more accurate, but rarely spoken of, number calculated by the BLS is the U6 unemployment rate, which was 12.2 percent for July. This number includes those who are marginally attached to the system (not necessary searching for work) and the underemployed. The labor market is as competitive as ever, which means job seekers must put themselves in the best position to compete. These five smartphone apps will help do just that.
Craigslist for iPhone
Craigslist is both free to browse and free for potential employers to post job openings. That means listings on the classified ads website are always up-to-date, with new listings constantly added.
The CraigsPro for iPhone and Android devices simplifies the entire process. It allows users to set keyword terms, so the app alerts them when any new listings appear that match said criteria. It also allows multi-city searches for those living in large metropolitan areas or willing to travel for their new gig.
CraigsPro is a must-have app, so you do not miss that perfect job opportunity among the thousands posted on Craigslist in your area daily.
77 percent of all job openings are listed on LinkedIn, according to international recruitment software company Bullhorn. That makes the LinkedIn Job Search app for iPhone a must-have for job seekers.
The app, which was launched this past June, allows both customizable searches and recommends jobs based on previous search criteria. You can also learn more about a company by perusing their LinkedIn page before submitting your resume. All your activity on the app is private and not shared with the rest of your network so you can discreetly search for jobs while on your lunch hour or even at your cubicle.
LinkedIn Job Search is free and currently only available in the U.S.
Most jobs are not advertised in newspapers and job boards. Experts at Careershifters put the number as high as 70 percent for unadvertised jobs. The Hidden Jobs app will help you discover these opportunities.
Hidden Jobs tracks newspaper headlines, press releases, and other indicators of a company potentially hiring. The app, described as “job radar” by the developers, gives you the advantage of knowing about job openings before they are publicly announced by the respective company. The app claims to have found 4.7 million hidden jobs since its founding in 2011.
Hidden Jobs is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
Your iPhone is your best accessory. It travels with you, it’s your own personal DJ and it keeps you connected—from playing video games to using Skype for video conversations with the parents. But quickly updating your resume to fit a particular job opportunity usually means firing up your laptop and word processor. That is unless you have the Pocket Resume app.
This tool simplifies the task of resume building by providing professional-looking design and layout templates that can easily be formatted in seconds for a specific job opportunity. Its PDF-rendering technology also allows you to email the finished product to yourself, or you can print a hard copy before heading to an interview.
Pocket Resume cost only $2.99 and is compatible with iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices.
Interview Questions Pro
Every job interview will be unique to the employer. But there are several questions that are ubiquitous to the interview process regardless of the company or position. What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses? Why should we hire you?
The Interview Questions app allows you to study more than 600 virtual flashcards on the bus or train ride to your interview. All of the content was developed by HR professionals from several Fortune 100 companies. The app covers, among other things, critical thinking, behavioral, and work history questions that are sure to come up. The interface makes it simple to use and navigate.
The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.