8 top job search apps

Pressed for time but need to find a new job? Take your job search on the go with these mobile apps.

database woman in tablet mobile
Getty Images

Apps to take your job search mobile

Job hunting is a lot of things. Discrete isn’t one of them. Running job searches and touching up your resume at work is, of course, frowned upon. But what if you could make use of your too-long commute? Or your lunch hour? Say hello to the handy, portable job-searching app.

A Pew Research study found that 28 percent of all job seekers used their mobile phone for some aspect of their job search. And about half of those people actually applied for a job using their mobile device.

There is a slew of apps out there that promise to help with your job search. They even claim they will match you to a job that’s a good fit for you—often the harder portion of this life quest. Best of all, though, they offer to simplify the application process to a swipe or tap, making finding a job something you can do as easily as finding a date or a ride or getting dinner delivered. Read on to see if one—or several—of these might help in your search.

slide2 glassdoor
Paul Heltzel/IDG

GlassDoor

Glassdoor may be better known for its reviews of employers than it is for its ability to find you a new gig. But, those in the know understand that its anonymous, employee-based intelligence pairs quite nicely with a robust job-search tool.

The Glassdoor app lets you browse open positions on your phone, where you can apply on the spot or save them to work on later from your computer, where it is much easier to build a cover letter.

You can sign in using Google, Facebook, or your email. Sign-in is easier on a computer but I was able to create an account on the app and enter my location and the sort of job I was hoping to find. Upload your resume from Google Drive, Dropbox, or several other cloud storage providers.

Once you enter a few requirements like minimum salary and location, relevant job listings appear. Or sign up for daily or weekly roundups of hot prospects and you can sit back and let the jobs come to you. The app will proactively suggest companies you might want to follow so you can get updated via email on new positions as they are announced. (My ‘editor’ search, for example, offered Oxford University Press as a potential employer I hadn’t considered.) By a significant margin, the recommendations I got from Glassdoor aligned closely with jobs I was looking for.

slide3 goodco
Paul Heltzel/IDG

Good&Co

The Good&Co app acts as a sort of corporate matchmaker. It uses fun, engaging quizzes to help you discover companies that have a culture that fits your personality.

The quizzes present a scenario (for example, “For you, stress is:”) and two options (“Character destroying” or “Character building.”) To respond, move the app’s slider tool left or right to indicate how strongly you agree with either choice. If you don’t understand the question—or it doesn’t seem to apply—you can have the app rephrase until you find a scenario that stirs you.

As you take the quizzes, your answers let the app gauge your flexibility, sense of purpose, drive, level of risk taking, and preferences for working with others, among other criteria. My results included recommendations from Apple and Amazon, but also, ahem, Walmart. Good to have options, I suppose.

Apple, the app told me, encourages “change, freedom, variability and blue-sky thinking.” If you tap “Click Fit” the app will offer a numerical score (“shared similarity”) that rates how well you would fit there in terms of preferences like inventiveness, organization, supervision, and competitiveness.

Find a job you want? Tap to apply and it opens your default browser, with the job listing open on the screen. 

slide4 switch
Paul Heltzel/IDG

Job Search by Switch (iOS and Desktop)

“It’s like Tinder,” you can imagine the R&D department saying, “but for employers!” Wait, what? The Switch app was one of the first to let you swipe left to pass on a job and swipe right to apply, borrowing Tinder's metaphor.

You can search anonymously or, when you’re ready, tap “I’m on the Market!” and let recruiters find you. Companies see your previous positions. But not the years you worked there until you decide to swipe right and apply for a job. Add career goals and salary requirements, along with your experience and skills, and recruiters and HR departments can find you. Switch says if the position isn’t part of its network for easy applying, it will send you a link to apply when you swipe right.

On the enterprise end, the software is integrated into HR tracking software. So those doing the hiring can stay in a familiar interface. Hiring managers just swipe right to reach out to an applicant.

I had some difficulty adding a resume, which appeared to work only with iCloud. Other apps offer more choices when it comes to cloud-based options, including Dropbox and Google Drive. The app also requires that you choose from a selection of job types, rather than typing a search term. If yours isn’t in the list, all you can do is can only suggest that Switch add it. The lack of a simple way to add my resume or find jobs that weren’t already listed by Switch, slowed my search.

slide5 indeed
Paul Heltzel/IDG

Indeed Job Search

The Indeed app is a no-frills job-search tool. There’s no dating metaphor or swiping. But what it lacks in bells and whistles, it makes up for in job listings. The service says it pulls from thousands of company web sites and job boards.

The app’s spartan approach makes it quick to get started, especially if you already have an existing profile on Indeed’s site. But that profile is not necessary. You can also create and upload a resume right from the app.

A research page lets you see employee ratings, as well as photos of your potential future office. If you see an ex-employer, you can leave a review for other job hunters. You can also follow companies to easily keep up with their news, making last-minute interviews a cinch.

The app allows you to send a personalized message with your application or set a reminder to apply later, if you’re not ready to commit. Once you apply, the app will notify you when an employer views your resume.

slide6 monster
Paul Heltzel/IDG

Monster Job Search

Like Switch, the Monster job search app lets you swipe left to browse open positions. When you find one you like, swipe right to apply.

You can sign up with Facebook or your email address. Then import your resume from Dropbox or Google Drive (Tip: Consider setting up a simple, no-frills resume for easy importing, then add it to a folder on Drive or Dropbox before you start with any job searching app, since most apps offer import from both services). If you select Facebook, the app will import your profile photo and some other info, including education, and add it automatically to your in-app profile. The app will also generate a resume for you based on your profile if you can’t be bothered to write one.

One simple, useful feature, is the ability to use a search term of your own. Some apps force you to look via specific auto-filled categories, which can be limiting. That said, if the app doesn’t recognize the search you set up, you may get some strange results. (In my test, I got a lot of unrelated rideshare services.)

Monster’s listings tend to cover a wide range of job types and the app may be a good choice for those searching outside of the tech industry. If you decide to apply, the app tracks your application process and reminds you if, for example, you need provide additional information the employer wants.

Prospective employers can message you directly from the app, where you can chat to discuss the position or schedule an interview.

slide7 ziprecruiter
Paul Heltzel/IDG

ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter claims to have access to millions of open positions, pulled from more than 100 job sites. You can apply to any of them, from its app, with a simple tap.

To get started, enter your minimum desired salary. The app offers a handful of popular searches, like sales, part time, and “no experience,” the last leading to a lot of sales and customer service listings. 

The app requires just an email to sign up (the service emails you a link to set up a new password). Once signed up, you’re prompted to fill out your profile, add a photo, and upload a resume as a PDF, Word, or Text file. Or you can build a resume in the app. It guides you through the process.

Enter your location and you’ll immediately see open jobs. You can also expand to include a radius of miles you’re willing to travel. But you can’t search by multiple locations—or nationally—at once. Searches can be saved as favorites for faster retrieval on your phone later. And you can create notifications on your phone or by email to alert you when suitable new jobs are announced.

If you’ve looked for a job recently, you have probably been frustrated by the lack of communication after you’ve applied. ZipRecruiter neatly deals with that by letting you see when your application was last viewed. At least that way you know it wasn’t lost in the abyss.

slide8 linkedin
Paul Heltzel/IDG

LinkedIn Job Search

Career advice pros suggest starting your job search with former colleagues. Unlike other apps, LinkedIn’s Job Search app starts with that—companies it knows you have a connection with. The app also generates job and company suggestions based on the information—location, skills and previous experience—in your profile.

Since LinkedIn starts off with your personal connections, it gives you greater leverage than other apps here. And, if your LinkedIn profile is up to date with your work experience, you won’t even need to upload a resume, a nice time saver. A last step asks if you want to let recruiters know you’re on the market. Especially in IT, recruiters rely on LinkedIn almost exclusively to find job candidates. And don’t worry about your boss! This service hides your identity unless a recruiter wants to reach out with an opportunity.

Of the apps we reviewed, this one is the simplest to get started with. That said, applying could be simpler. Some positions are set up so that you can apply using your LinkedIn profile (an icon displays if so). But a number of jobs I explored were not. In that case the app sends you to the web site of the open position, where you are faced with a variety of mobile presentations as varied as the companies offering the jobs. The app however makes a note of the position as soon as you click “Apply.” So you can use your computer later if the mobile site is unusable.

slide9 snagajob
Paul Heltzel/IDG

SnagaJob

If hourly work or a side job is what you’re after, SnagaJob may be the app for you. After downloading the app, I did a quick search in my area and found listings for full and part-time work, including Uber, personal shopping, restaurant work, and coffee shops.

Getting started is simple. The app uses GPS to find your location so you don’t need to fill out a profile or upload a resume to start a job hunt. You don’t even need an account to start looking. And you can search by title, industry, and keywords. If you choose, you can import your profile, including a photo, from Facebook or Google.

Once you sign up for an account, the app tracks your applications and lets you apply with one click, in some cases, if the hiring company allows an expedited application. You can also take a personality quiz—or add a video—to give your profile a bit more interest.