Use your smartphone to be the first to pounce on new job openings.
Job hunters aren't confined to desktop websites anymore when they're looking online for work. Today, you can search for jobs when you're riding the train, sitting in a coffee shop, relaxing on the couch — essentially anywhere, at any time. Whether you prefer a smartphone or a tablet, your job search can go with you wherever you are, giving you more opportunities to quickly find and apply to the job of your dreams. Here are 12 great (and free) mobile apps that will help you stop searching and start working.
Networking is a key part of any successful job search, and exchanging business cards is a time-tested networking strategy. But paper business cards are easily lost, which could mean a missed connection. With CardDrop, you can create a digital business card and hand it out in multiple ways. Just open the app and "drop" your business card; the app uses your phone's GPS sensor to determine the location where you dropped your card. New contacts can then pick up the card by using the app, or just by visiting the CardDrop website and typing in the name or address of the meeting location. They can pick it up at any time, even days after your initial meeting. The app also allows you to trade digital business cards with people you haven't met in person, and even helps you connect to new contacts via social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Download: iOS
Indeed Job Search (Android & iOS)
At a glance, Indeed appears to be a rather straightforward job search app. Just like the full website, the iPhone app lets you search for jobs, and filter the results based on your industry, location, desired salary and more. Indeed aggregates listings from thousands of sources, including other online job boards, company career pages, newspaper classifieds and more. Users can set up email alerts to be notified when new jobs appear in a specific category. When you find a job you like, save it so you can apply later, or attach your résumé to your account so you can apply from within the app. Download: Android or iOS
Intro (Android & iOS)
Intro lets you connect and network with people in your industry. Just install the app and register using your LinkedIn or Facebook account. Intro introduces you to new people in your social media networks, and lets you see which of your mutual contacts have connected. You can then review potential contacts and send a connection request with just a few taps. Intro can also notify you about professional events and social meet-ups with people in your network, which can help you make new connections in your industry — and, hopefully, land your dream job. Download: Android or iOS
Named the highest-rated iOS job search app, Jobaware allows you to sync all of your job search activity on the Web and the app, as well as integrate with LinkedIn. You can track your search progress, compare jobs in different cities, check specific companies for jobs and view salary information. The app also connects you with a variety of learning resources to aid in your job search. Download: iOS
When you're considering a new job opening, proximity is key. Accepting a position that's far from home could mean you'll have to move or endure a long commute. JobCompass is an app that's focused on finding you jobs that are nearby. While most job boards allow you to filter search results based on your ZIP code, JobCompass uses your smartphone's GPS to show you where the job is in relation to you or another specified location. If you're thinking about moving to a new city, search for jobs in that area to see what's out there. And when you find a job you like, email it to yourself or apply directly from within the app. Download: iOS
LinkedIn (Android & iOS)
LinkedIn is easily one of the most popular professional networking tools out there, but it isn't just about selling yourself with a flattering personal profile. The LinkedIn job board lets you search for open positions in your industry and sort them by date posted, salary and other criteria. The app features a powerful search function to help you find new contacts and connect with them. The near ubiquity of LinkedIn ensures most professionals you meet will already have profiles. Connecting takes just a few moments, and you can do it anywhere if you're using the mobile app. LinkedIn also recently released an iOS app specifically for job hunters to notify you when a relevant job goes live in your area. Download: Android or iOS
LinkUp Job Search Engine (Android & iOS)
When you're searching for positions on open job boards, you run the risk of applying to a fake or scam job. LinkUp's listings are pulled directly from company websites, so the jobs you find through the app are always current and legitimate. Like many other job hunting apps, you can save listings you like, revisit your search history and receive alerts for relevant jobs. Download: Android or iOS
Monster (Android & iOS)
The Monster app is a mobile companion to one of the biggest online job boards. Like competing apps, it lets you search for new openings and filter your results based on your needs and preferences. Sign in to your Monster account to access your uploaded résumés, cover letters and previously submitted job applications. You can also sign up to be notified when new positions are listed. Download: Android or iOS
Reach (Android & iOS)
With the Reach app, finding local professionals in your industry has never been easier. Once you're logged in through your LinkedIn account or email address, you can search for nearby users with your phone's GPS sensor, or for users who have checked in to specific nearby locations. If you find someone you want to connect with, "Reach Out" to them by sending a request. If they accept, your contact information is exchanged, and you can start a productive conversation. Download: Android or iOS
Simply Hired (Android & iOS)
Like Indeed Job Search, the Simply Hired app is an aggregation tool that scrapes job listings from a big variety of sources, including other job boards and company websites. The app also lets you set up email alerts for new listings based on your search criteria. By subscribing to a particular job category on both Simply Hired and Indeed.com, you can minimize the chances of missing a new opportunity in your field. Save jobs you like so you can apply later, or apply in-app if you already uploaded your résumé. Download: Android or iOS
Snagajob (Android & iOS)
Snagajob is a solid job search app, especially if you're looking for hourly work in the restaurant, retail or customer service industries. It lets you narrow your search results by type, location and other criteria, and an integrated map lets you see the exact location of a job. When you find an opening you want, save it for later or apply in the app. You can also sign up for email alerts to be notified when a new position opens up. You can also read helpful tips for applying, interviewing and advancing your career. Download: Android or iOS
When you work in the tech industry, switching jobs can be a real hassle, especially if the wrong person at your current company finds out. Keep the heat down with Switch, an anonymous job search app that lets employed tech professionals quietly search for a new position. The Tinder-like interface allows you to "swipe" right on positions you're interested in. Hiring managers will see only your professional profile — not your name or contact information — and if they like what they see, you'll instantly be connected to chat further about the opening. Download: iOS
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon, Business News Daily assistant editor.
Originally published on Feb. 26, 2014. Updated Jan. 8, 2015.