How to Optimize Job Search Documents for Mobile Devices - dummies

How to Optimize Job Search Documents for Mobile Devices

By Joyce Lain Kennedy

Guidelines to writing job search cover letters and resumes for mobile devices differ from guidelines to writing for laptops or desktops. The main difference is one of size, like a modern one-room efficiency apartment compared to a traditional two-story house. Here are a few considerations to bear in mind:

  • Readability. Because the screens of smartphones are about 3 to 5 inches, make sure you know how your resume and cover letter look on a small screen.

    Tablet screens can handle total resumes, but hold the size to one or two pages.

    A variety of digital devices can view resumes in PDF.

    Keep resumes, cover letters, and other messages as short as you can while still delivering strong self-marketing communications. Send your resume and cover letter to yourself, and see if you can read it without injuring your eyesight.

  • Keywords. Remember to include the same keywords as in any resume. analyzed millions of job postings and pulled out commonly requested professional attributes:

    Leadership, interpersonal, problem solving, motivated, efficient, detail oriented, prioritize, teamwork, reliable, multitask, time management, passionate, listening, outgoing, and honesty.

    Here’s a super trick to quickly choose the most powerful keywords to include in your custom resume and/or its cover letter:

    1. Hop on a free tag cloud generator website, such as or

      (A tag is a label; a cloud is a metaphor for the Internet; a generator is software.)

      Spend a few minutes observing how the tag cloud generator creates images from words.

    2. Choose a job ad that you like; copy and paste its job description into a tag cloud generator.

    3. Note the keywords.

      In mere seconds, the generator will respond with a visualization of the most powerful keywords for the job’s must-have requirements. The visualization pictures the job description’s major keywords in larger, bolder fonts than the keywords of lesser importance to the employer.

    4. Claim top keywords.

      When you can claim 70 percent or more of the job description’s heavy-hitter keywords, list them at the top of your resume in bullets, a spotlight that gives you a good shot at being contacted for an interview.

  • Overall quality. Don’t expect technological novelty to make up for an inferior message. Even when your resume arrives via mobile technology (which suggests that you’re up-to-date in employment techniques), if it fails to address a job’s requirements and lacks accomplishments that underscore your value, a mobile search doesn’t do anything more for you than would a traditional online search.

  • Laptop or desktop backup. Sometimes you come out ahead by doing parts of your job search on your desktop or laptop. No candidate is likely to build a powerful resume, cover letter, or job application on the phone with one finger poking around on a teeny-tiny keyboard. You’ll know when e-mailing a job’s link to yourself is a more practical move.