Jan. 24. 2011 , 2011 -- 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.
If you decide to give it a shot, click here for five tips to help you get started.
VIRTUAL INTERVIEWING: This form of video is hot. A growing number of employers are using video interviews in a couple of ways to save time and overcome any hurdles with geography and scheduling. One option is a two-way conversation via video, much like kids chatting with friends via video online or the way others use Skype. Employers will conduct a recorded video conversation -- an interview --with a candidate once they've reviewed a paper resume and established initial interest. Since it's recorded, other recruiters and hiring managers within the organization can review the interview too.
The other use of video interviewing is a self-directed process where an applicant is invited to log in and answer specific interview questions on video. A leading service in this space is HireVue, which works with hundreds of employers that are conducting upwards of 10,000 total video interviews per month through its system. Applicants sign in at their convenience to answer eight to 10 questions created by the employer. On average, the candidate has 30 seconds to read the question and up to three minutes to respond. That's similar to a face-to-face interview that may last for about 30 minutes. If a chosen applicant doesn't have a webcam, HireVue provides one, along with technical support, so nobody is left out of the interview process.
Tell me your video resume and virtual interviewing stories or ask me your related questions at Facebook.com/Tory.
Click HERE to watch Tory's tutorial about video resumes.