8 tips you need to know if you apply to jobs on your phone

In 2018, more people accessed the internet via mobile devices than desktops. About 55% of web traffic now originates from mobile devices. With the dominance of smartphones, that trend is only going to continue. This means some tasks that were traditionally performed on desktops – such as resume writing and applying to jobs – are beginning to migrate onto mobile devices. If you’re using your phone to apply to jobs, here’s everything you need to know to ensure your applications make an impact.

Tips to apply to jobs on your phone

create a mobile-accessible resume

If you’re going to regularly apply to jobs on your phone, make sure that your resume is accessible from your device. Ideally, it should also be editable on your phone, so you can tailor it to the job, if needed. Some job applications don’t require a traditional resume, but most still do. There’s nothing more annoying than filling out a multi-field job application and then realizing, oh wait, you don’t have your resume to attach. Save your resume directly on your phone, or in the cloud as a searchable Word or PDF doc, so applicant tracking systems can read them. Dropbox or Google Drive are both good options. Some job applications will go even further and allow you to share content from portfolio or project websites such as Behance or GitHub.

set up email alerts for easy access to jobs

If you’re conducting your job search mainly from your phone, it’s a good idea to have the jobs come to you. Though some job portals have apps or mobile-friendly designs, many do not. Having the jobs come to you allows you to avoid or circumvent slow, cumbersome websites that aren’t designed with mobile searchers in mind.

Turn on app notifications or set up email-based job alerts that send you a daily or weekly update when new jobs pop up that match your preferences. Most job boards and recruiting companies will have this feature. Set up a job alert to hear about new jobs posted on Randstad. Another advantage of this method is that it allows you to see jobs as soon as they are posted. So you have a chance to get your application in front of a recruiter early, when the job is still fresh, before they’ve seen hundreds of applications and developed candidate fatigue.

download apps like linkedin

94% of recruiters say they actively use social media profiles to connect with and vet job seekers. LinkedIn came out on top as the favourite social channel for recruiters, but other social media apps are becoming increasingly job-friendly as well. Facebook now has a job-search tool, and Twitter is occasionally used by job seekers to hear about new opportunities. Download the relevant apps and ensure your profile settings are optimized so you’re notified about the right types of opportunities. Also, if you’re actively job hunting, don’t forget to flip the switch on LinkedIn that lets recruiters know you’re actively seeking out new opportunities. Don’t worry if your boss doesn’t know you’re job hunting; employees who are currently working for your company won’t be able to see your active job hunting status on LinkedIn.

always check your spelling

Just because you’re on your phone doesn’t mean you can let the rules of professional etiquette slip! Always double check your spelling and grammar when sending emails or other messages related to your job search. Especially in instances where autocorrect might have a hand in changing the meaning of your message! Before hitting send on any professional message or job application, always take a moment to pause and re-read it so you can catch any errors or unfortunate autocorrections. Also be sure to use proper spelling and grammar for job-related communications and applications. Text speak (i.e. u instead of you, thx instead of thanks, etc.) is frowned upon. Same goes for emojis. If there’s even a tiny chance your extremely tech-unsavvy uncle might not understand your message, try saying it another way!

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selfies aren’t for professional use

No matter how perfect the lighting, no matter how bomb you look, no matter how instagrammable the pic is, obvious phone selfies (i.e. when phone is visible in the mirror, high angle shots, or photos with your arm in the shot) are a no-go in professional circles. If you need to use a photo for a professional reason (for instance, on LinkedIn) ditch the selfie. 25% recruiters say they’ll ignore a candidate who has a selfie as their profile photo on LinkedIn. If you need to, ask a friend to take a quick snapshot for you. If you can, choose a setting where there’s lots of natural light, as it will be more flattering than the orange-yellow tones cast by artificial light.

clean up your social media profiles

An old Instagram pic from that party where you went wild a few years ago should absolutely not be visible to recruiters. If you have any less-than-professional photos on your social media accounts, ensure your social profiles are set to private, or are not associated with the name you use professionally. Just to be safe, it’s a good idea to do a quick Google search to see what comes up when you type in your professional name. If you can’t set your profile to private or obscure your name, do a social media cleanup and remove any photos or posts that could deal a blow to your professional reputation. What should you eliminate? 65% of recruiters say profanity is a detractor, 61% dislike poor spelling and grammar, and 47% say references to alcohol use or excessive partying are a no-go.

don’t cut corners just because you’re on your phone

That means filling out job applications as completely as possible. You might think skipping out on providing your phone number isn’t a big deal, since it’s on the resume you attached, but it might just put you out of the running if the hiring team doesn’t think they have a method to contact you. Unless you’re an absolutely stand-out candidate, recruiters are unlikely to go out of their way to fill in missing information. So just include it in the first place! It’ll only take you a few seconds extra to fill out another field or two.  

save non-mobile-friendly applications for later

Most employers are becoming better about optimizing their online application forms, with the understanding that many people now use their smartphones to apply to jobs. In cases where you come across a job application that’s clearly not intended for mobile users (i.e. one with a lot of text fields where one accidental swipe could spell disaster) open your default email app and email the link to yourself as a reminder to apply to later when you’re near a desktop. It’ll pop up as an unread email in your inbox, so you’ll have a reminder to apply later! Or if waiting to apply on a desktop isn’t for you, just look elsewhere! We’re currently in the midst of a candidate-driven market. If the employer hasn’t adopted a mobile-friendly approach in this day and age, maybe they don’t deserve your talents!


Online job portals are slowly catching up with today’s mobile-savvy population. If you’re one of the majority of Canadians who uses their phone for tasks related to job hunting, applying to jobs using your phone shouldn’t hinder your chances of getting the job. If you’ve followed all the tips above, we have no doubt your applications will shine just as brightly as any other!

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