3 Free Apps For the Job Hunter

When I was a kid life had established rules, and if you abided by those rules you would get certain rewards.

If you went to school and studied hard you would learn a great deal and new worlds and new possibilities would open up to you. You could be anything you wanted to be; a fireman, a pilot, an astronaut. You could invent things, build things, cure disease, end hunger, and stop wars. You could paint Mona Lisas, erect Eiffel Towers, sculpt Zeuses, or write War and Peaces.

You could also get a job at a big company, and if you worked hard and helped the company grow, the company, in turn, would take care of you and your family. It was one of life’s unwritten guarantees.

Maybe in our next life we should get that guaranty in writing.

We have become a nation of the categorized, analogized, quantized, downsized, marginalized, and minimized. One day we are doing our jobs, feeling a certain sense of worth and order, the next day we are looking for a job, feeling our self worth diminish with each rejection, and seeing nothing but chaos ahead.

There’s no use in offering sympathy to the millions seeking employment because any one of us currently working could find ourselves among the jobless rank and file tomorrow. Don’t bother with charity either, those who can give may soon need to take. Sympathy and charity won’t help, a job will.

The thing is, there are jobs available for those with qualifying skills, the hard part is finding those jobs.

I have worked many gigs in my life, from flipping burgers to tuning amplifiers for satellites. If there’s one bit of advice I can offer the new job seeker, it’s this: Be open to change.

Nicole Williams, author of Earn What You’re Worth, penned an article for Monster.com where one of her tips for reentering the job market is to be open to new experiences. She writes, “The reality of reentering the work world is that you might have to make some compromises. Be open to part-time, project or contract work. These short-term jobs often provide great experience and contacts that can help you land a job that is a perfect fit for you and all of the experiences you bring to the table.

To that I would add that you be flexible as well. If you live in Kalamazoo and there’s a perfect job waiting for you in San Jose, don’t dismiss the it. Making the choice to uproot your family is a tough one that only you can make, but the more flexible you are to accepting change the easier it is to find a job.

If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch you can enhance your job seeking adventure by downloading any or all of the following three app: USA Jobs, Nightstand Central, and WondLa.

USA Jobs is a free app that lists available Federal Government jobs around the country. It’s a great app that has a simple user interface and an excellent search feature.

USA Jobs

If you have an account at usajobs.gov you can review your posted resume, check on the status of applications, and more. Even if you don’t have an account you can search through job listings to see what’s available in your field of expertise or geographical preference.

USA Jobs

Job listings range in pay from a bit under $30k to well over $100k a year and there are listings for nearly any discipline, from account managers to nurse to sales clerk. Not every job opening is available in every state, and you may not qualify for every posted position. This is just another tool to help you gain employment.

USA Jobs

USA Jobs app is one of the results of our tax dollars at work, so take advantage of it and grab the app today.

OK, so you’ve landed that new job. Great! Things are looking up. It’s understandable to be a bit nervous. After all, you want to make a good impression on your first day, and nothing tells an employer that he or she has made the right choice in choosing you better than being on time, even a bit early.

You could set your iPhone’s Clock app alarm, and it will do the job, but why not get something that offers more features? Like multiple alarms, fade in alarms, built-in flashlight, accurate local weather, and more. And you can get all of that for free!

Nightstand Central is my new favorite alarm clock app. It has all of the aforementioned features and the ability to set daily alarms, which is a feature I wish Apple had included with its Clock app.

Nightstand Central

Another nicety is the ability to change wallpapers. Nightstand Central includes a healthy list of beautiful wallpapers, and you select several for the app to cycle through. You can even pick your own pix as backgrounds.

Swipe you finger up the screen to brighten the display, or down to darken it, Nightstand Central works in portrait or landscape mode, and the alarm will sound even if the device is locked and in sleep mode, as it should. Note that the iPad version must be running for the alarm to work. This will be true until the iPad get updated with iOS 4.2.

There are ads but they are not intrusive. There’s an inexpensive ad-free version as well, but the free one should do you just fine until the paychecks start rolling in again.

A survey over at buzzle.com tells us that 65% of survey takers are unsatisfied with their current job. That means that if the job you’ve just landed was held by someone else, there’s a good chance that person wasn’t happy in that position, and that’s a real possibility for you as well.

If you find that you have to take a job that you don’t particularly care for you will likely be in need of some stress relief. Something that will distract you for a moment and gives you something to think about beside the coming weekend. For you I have just one word: WondLa.

WondLa is an iPad only ‘Find the Difference’ game based on a children’s book of the same name written and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve read the book, or that it’s aimed at kids, what matters is the beautiful illustrations used in the game. Finding the bits that are different between the side-by-side drawings is fairly easy, but you likely won’t care because you’ll be lost in the details of the pictures, and you’ll wonder what’s going on in the world of WondLa. I guess that’s why the game is free.


I should mention that each time you play the differences change. Some are obvious while other are devilishly tough to find.

It’s a good way to distract yourself and kill a few minutes, and there may even be a bit of an escape in there for you as you are pulled into the drawings. Oh, and the kids may like it too. Get WondLa. Good stuff.

That’s a wrap for this week. More free stuff below with direct links.