Job Search on a Kindle Fire? Surprisingly Easy.

Are job seekers really keen on using mobile devices to search for jobs?  My initial assumption was the desire is there, but the market is not quite optimized to support them.  Desktops PCs and laptops are dinosaurs, the cloud is enveloping everything, and everyone is going mobile right?  Pardon brief 70’s diversion. Of course our market of job seekers being technically-savvy early adopters should be ahead of the curve.   

Many career sites offer a mobile version of their websites, though there is some debate about adoption.   One survey I read optimistically stated “77% of Job Seekers Use Mobile Job Search Apps.”  More realistically,  an online recruiting research lab PotentialPark study found that “a healthy 19% of job seekers use their mobile devices for career-related purposes (and more than 50% of could imagine doing so), yet only 7% of employers have a mobile version of their career website and only 3% have a mobile job app.”

AT MATRIX, we are at a crucial juncture of deciding when and how to design our job opportunity site for this eventuality.  What is the urgency and what mobile devices should be foremost in our plans? For the last month or so I have been interviewing job seekers about their search habits and the results have been surprising. Most have smartphones, fewer have tablets, and the vast majority prefer to use their laptops to both search for and apply for jobs online. 

The sample is a fairly representative range of IT candidates – business analysts, project managers, network administrators, even some hard core developers. Their reasons mostly have to do with convenience.  Users want a full screen and keyboard to navigate around a career site or a staffing agency website.   The ubiquity of a smartphone does not outweigh the inconvenience of searching around on a 3.5” screen and then risking an error using a tiny keypad.  Google Analytics results of the visitors to our website reaffirm this fact.  Less than 4% of the visitors who come to our site do so on a mobile device.  (A much larger percentage use them for emailing or calling recruiters, maybe that accounts for the higher percentage of “career related” activity mentioned in the studies earlier.)

For Christmas I received a Kindle Fire, to go along with the other three Kindles in the household. (you can never have too many). We are heavy media consumers, and I welcomed the chance to have a portable device to bridge the gap between my old fashioned Blackberry Curve phone and my Dell Laptop.  Having read Phillip Chen’s excellent review of the Fire, I was enticed by the vast content offerings of Amazon Prime. Reading is a pleasure on the Fire and I have been consumed over the holiday with reading, books, articles, essays, even magazines (not Facebook posts.)  

But enough about pleasure reading.  What about actually doing real work on a Kindle Fire?  Like searching for and applying to jobs.   I was quite surprised at how easy it is.   First step is to get your resume resident on the Kindle Fire device.  You do not want to create a resume from scratch on the Fire as the Quickoffice word processer is quite basic (though it would be easy to customize an existing resume for a specific job.  Create your resume on your laptop and email it, either as a .doc or pdf.  (Kindle offers a free Acrobat Reader app) to yourself, then save it onto the internal storage of your Kindle device.  Or connect it up to your laptop using the mini USB connection and upload.   From there I went to Monster, found a MATRIX job, submitted my resume, answered a few skill set questions and was done.  Searching and applying took about ten minutes, and I never felt inhibited by my 7“screen or Wi-Fi connection.  Everything worked fine.

Conclusion.  As the tablet market begins to erode away some of the functionality of the laptop and/or smartphone, job seekers may be pleasantly surprised to find that in between book marks of The Girl with The Dragon Tatoo, they might be able to find a great job using  a non-work related device like the Kindle Fire.


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