This is a time of a lot of firsts in your life—your first paying job, your first job where you have to pay taxes, or your first “grown-up” job after you finish college. You’re what economists call “new entrants to the workforce.” And it’s a good time to be one, as the economy is creating jobs faster than it can fill them.
You’re also what industry big-wigs call “digital natives.” You’ve had a lot of influence in technology bringing about beneficial changes in how markets function. Just about anything you could possibly want is now easily available online. The whole experience is designed to be pleasant, and there are numerous mechanisms for making sure everyone operates with confidence, transparency, and accountability.
Sadly, the same can’t be said about the job market. Poorly functioning applicant tracking systems are still the norm. No single source exists for available job openings. HR departments are forced to spend most of their time managing processes and technology while people get short shrift.
Fortunately that’s all changing fast, as the strong economy has forced everyone to up their game. Tech start-ups are now scrambling to design killer apps to serve jobseekers and hiring managers, not IT departments. Employers hoping to score good candidates are now paying as much attention to their employer brands as their product brands. Teen job apps are combining mature functionality with a youthful user experience.
Much of your job search activity is going to take place online, especially in the early phases. Here are some of the best tools we’ve found to help you stay at the top of your game.
High school students
A lot is going on in your life right now, and it’s intense and exhilarating. Adding a part-time or hourly job should enhance it, not complicate it.
Snag (formerly Snagajob)
A long-established go-to app for employers hiring for hourly and part-time roles, Snag also has a job board module built especially for teen jobseekers. Both local businesses and national chains regularly use Snag to hire teens, especially in hospitality, food service, recreation, and retail. Many employers prefer Snag to walk-in applications. Creating an account and applying for jobs are straightforward with this essential teen job app.
One of the best job search skills you can develop as a teen is researching employers and job openings before applying. Glassdoor is a job search app that has built its business on anonymous company reviews written by actual employees, giving outsiders an inside look at the company. That usually includes culture, salary, working conditions, and what it’s like to work there. Many reviews also contain actual interview questions reviewers faced when they were job candidates. Though not designed with the purpose of being a teen job app, Glassdoor can easily be configured for teen jobseekers.
You’re starting to get some real experience in the world of work, along with learning a lot about how the world works. It’s time to showcase all of this in an online professional profile and assemble a core set of job search tools.
LinkedIn is one of the most fundamental tools for managing your career. It excels as a job search and networking tool and contains a stunning number of features that keep you informed and connected.
There’s a lot of great advice out there on how to get started. Even while in school, it’s important that you be visible to employers and recruiters in a way that shows you’ve been investing in yourself. Employers like to see that you’ve made the most of every opportunity. Entry-level roles are great places to learn fundamental work skills that are highly sought after, especially communication skills, customer service, identifying and solving problems, analyzing situations, and determining effective courses of action.
Big job boards
Now is an excellent time to become familiar with major job boards and experiment to see which ones best meet your job search needs. Indeed is by far the largest, but SimplyHired and Monster are loaded with search and apply features. And they’re all available as desktop and mobile apps. Your school’s career services office can help you with these apps if you find yourself spinning your wheels.
Niche job boards
Bigger isn’t always better, especially for college-aged people just getting familiar with the job market. There are several apps designed especially for you, including AfterCollege, CollegeCentral, CollegeGrad, and CollegeRecruiter.
For those interested in government careers, the first place to check out is USA Jobs. If you’re exploring internships, start with WayUp. And if you’ve reached a point where you’ve just got to do something different for a little while, Cool Works can help you find something adventurous, remote, or outdoorsy.
New college grads
You were busy in school, and you’ll be even busier once you begin the full-time job of getting a full-time job. You’ll need to manage your time wisely from here on out. Here are a few apps to help you make the most of your time on the job search.
You’re going to spend a lot of time online looking for opportunities, and you’ll want to focus only on fresh, high-quality ones. Job boards often fail at that, but LinkUp doesn’t. It lists over three million up-to-date, validated job postings available exclusively on company websites. Many of LinkUp’s listings aren’t available on job boards but are on the hidden job market, just waiting for you to find them.
When you find a great opportunity online, you’ve got to act fast. You want to get in before the crowd but still submit a flawless application. LiveCareer Apply helps jobseekers apply quickly and accurately. Offered as a Chrome extension, it can autofill just about any online job application. This means a lot of the information you have to repeatedly fill out in an online application—your name, email address, etc.—gets filled in automatically for you. Designed to work with nearly every major applicant tracking system, it can also autofill non-text elements, such as checkboxes, drop-down menus, and radio buttons.
JobHero, JibberJobber, and Rake
Being organized is about knowing where you applied and who you spoke with so you know what to do next and when to do it. For most jobseekers, that unravels sooner rather than later. JobHero provides a crisp dashboard on your desktop to keep everything about your job search organized: online postings, contacts, application statuses, résumés, and cover letters. JibberJobber and Rake do the same on your mobile device. All three apps include scheduling features to set reminders for follow-ups and deadlines.
Find more job search advice in our Internships and Careers section.