Best Software to Help You Improve Your Job Search
For competitive job seekers, taking a job hunt seriously means a lot of work. Thankfully, there are many digital tools that you can use to improve your job search. Learning how to use many of these tools automatically makes candidates more employable, since they have practiced using technology to hack and problem solve before ever landing their dream job.
We’ve designed this productivity software list for people at work in front of their computer or laptop. Some of these programs also have a mobile app, and some job seeking productivity mobile apps are also well-suited for sitting at a computer. That being said, once you’ve worked through our software recommendations, you should also check out our list of best productivity apps for job seekers.
Software Programs to Improve Your Job Search
1. Microsoft Excel
Old-school spreadsheet lovers can organize to no end with the classic Microsoft Excel software. You can create tabs for contacts, jobs of interest, companies of interest, jobs applied for, jobs to follow-up with, and more. After building each spreadsheet, you can organize each job list by title, date, or preference.
But there’s no need to stop there. Use your data to run metrics on activities that get you closer to an interview, build responsive graphs, create queries and more. For those who enjoy building complex spreadsheets, MS Excel can pretty much do what most of these other software services online can do.
2. Job Hero
Like most job hunters, you are probably using a couple of different job board services (such as Indeed and Monster) to surf for jobs. Job Hero allows you to track across a wide variety of job boards. In addition to helping you organize your job hunting efforts, the site offers general career advice.
Huntr combines the organizational power of both Excel and Job Hero. The free membership tracks across a variety of job boards (like Job Hero for the most part). However, a paid version of the site offers valuable metrics to help you make your job hunting more efficient. Additionally, if you pay for one of their premium memberships, you are able to make connections in much the same way as LinkedIn, which is our next helpful tool.
If you haven’t already built a LinkedIn profile, you should do that now before going any further in your job search. Content marketing is not just for businesses looking to attract customers. Job seekers can use online content to market themselves, and it will most certainly start with making themselves easily found on the largest professional social media network available.
Pay careful attention to your skills list, summary, and employment history. Once your profile looks good, begin searching for jobs through the app and connecting with people who you may already know in your industry. Finally, post content relevant to your industry on a regular basis (even if you only do it weekly).
5. Google Alerts
One great benefit to being “in between” jobs is that you have extra time to get up to speed on trends in your industry. Depending on your previous employment, you may have been too busy (and your employer not visionary enough) to keep up with developments.
This is where Google Alerts is your friend. Start here to set up alerts. Select words that pertain to your industry or ideal job. They might be important business articles or simply key words for open positions for the job you seek. Either way, Google Alerts will help you stay on top of new content hitting the Internet in real time.
6. Social Media Management Software (Hootsuite/Buffer/Sendible/etc.)
Even though there are many laws limiting employers on what they are allowed to do when looking up applicants on social media, developing a strong, professional social media presence can help you stand out to employers. This is about personal branding, and it follows many of the same powerful principles behind content marketing in business.
Social media management software takes some of the headache out of trying to remember to post regularly to all your social media pages. Using free platforms, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, or investing a little money into more powerful platforms like Sendible can help you organize your content so you are visible to more employers in more news feeds.
When it comes to crafting strong branding on social media, what’s most important is that you regularly post content that is relevant to your industry. That’s not to say that you can’t post personal stuff, but when you do, it must have a professional slant. When you demonstrate your professionalism and expertise on your social media pages, you will turn more heads, and you may even get invitations to interview on jobs that you never applied for.
Another Job Hero and Huntr-style tool is JibberJobber. You can sign up for free or upgrade for $60/year. The paid version is perhaps a more cost-effective way of accessing some of the same benefits offered by Huntr’s premium memberships. The site allows you to keep up with the jobs you’ve applied for, the individuals you feel are key to your getting hired, and the companies you’d like to keep an eye on.
A video social media platform may sound like a funny thing to add to this list. But in truth, while you are job searching, you need to stay on top of developments in your industry. As you apply for the jobs you want, you will inevitably be confronted with required skills that you’ve not yet developed. When this happens, go to YouTube, and search for tutorials.
It is amazing the wealth of free education available from experts on YouTube. For skills that involve learning new software, most software websites (such as Adobe) also offer free online tutorials.
Jobscan ntroduces job seekers to application tracking systems (ATS). Many of us will spend hours crafting a great-looking resume only to find that it hardly ever gets into an employer’s hands.
ATS look for keywords. If the keywords exist clearly in your resume in plain text, then the software pushes your resume to the employer. If the keywords aren’t there, then the ATS discards your resume. Regardless of how qualified you are for the position, you may not even be getting “a look” by employers.
Jobscan gives job seekers the opportunity to evaluate their resume for ATS software. The site also offers some resume-building guidance and education.
Teel makes every step of the job search easier. You can use it build your resume, optimize your LinkedIn profile, and track your job search. The basic version is free.
Productivity Apps for Job Seekers
While these job seeker productivity software recommendations are primarily for use at your computer, also see our list of top mobile apps for job seekers. Some of these programs can be found on both lists, while others are more suited for either sitting at your computer or using on your smartphone.