Job Hunting Goes High Tech With Virtual Interviewing, Video Resumes, Employer Text Alerts

VIDEO: Tory Johnson explains how you might land your next gig through your cell phone.
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The hottest lead in your job search can be found in the palm of your hand: it's your cell phone. You may be able to find out about the latest openings -- no matter where you are, as employers ramp up efforts in mobile recruitment to connect with prospective job seekers on the go. Large employers know we're a nation on the move -- glued to our mobile devices -- so they're now meeting us where we are through these initiatives.

QR CODES: You've likely seen QR (quick response) codes in magazine ads that target consumers. They're barcode-like squares that, when scanned with the camera found on most mobile devices, will reveal a coupon or special offer on a brand's mobile website. Now employers are getting in on the action by using QR codes to engage job seekers too.

Accounting giant Ernst & Young is launching a campaign in February targeting college campuses for its entry-level hiring. A unique QR code featured on campus posters and tabletop displays enables students to access a special area on the Ernst & Young website to take a short quiz that assesses knowledge of the firm. Job seekers are also prompted to sign up for optional text alerts to learn more about what's happening with hiring at Ernst & Young.

TEXT ALERTS: Chances are strong that if you've signed up for job alerts via e-mail from any of the big job boards, you've received plenty of listings that aren't relevant to your interests. Additionally, there's also a very good possibility that you've missed some decent leads simply because you didn't open all of your e-mail.

Since the average open rate for marketing emails hovers around 20 percent, many employers are embracing another method of delivery: mobile text messages, where the open rates are as high as 98 percent.

On the careers section of AT&T's website, anyone can sign up to join the company's Talent Network to receive hot job leads via text message based on location and job type. So far more than 700,000 people have opted in. When there's an immediate opening, this is among the first stops for AT&T's outreach efforts to alert prospective applicants. This offers greater accuracy and timeliness than many third party alerts can provide.

Visit the websites of the large organizations you're eyeing for openings, and see if there's an option to sign up for text alerts on job leads that match your needs. You won't be able to apply through your mobile device, but the alert will prompt you to go online to submit a resume when a strong posting catches your attention.

VIDEO RESUMES: There's plenty of debate about the usefulness of video resumes. I spoke to dozens of recruiters at Fortune 100 companies and none say they solicit or watch video resumes. In fact, many are strictly opposed to viewing video over a paper resume because it's too easy to focus on performance instead of qualifications, which may lead to unintended bias.

But one company that markets this service, Talent Rooster, says external recruiters and staffing firms find video resumes a valuable tool in promoting candidates for relevant openings.

Depending on where you're applying and the type of job you're going for -- such as an extremely creative role or one where an on-camera presence is required -- it may not hurt your chances to create a short video if you have the ability to do so when you're presented professionally. The absence of a video resume certainly won't hinder your chances of getting hired.

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