The Weekly Roundup: LinkedIn Doubles Down On Apps

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Once the currency for job search was your resume and Rolodex. Today the gold standard is LinkedIn. With over 300 millions users, it is the world's largest professional network. If you aren't maximizing your opportunities by building a killer profile, you are missing a key piece of a smart job search strategy. The platform is simply the best place to research companies and jobs, find contacts and, most of all, be found. I've written before about mobile job search and since then LinkedIn has changed the game.As the world goes mobile, LinkedIn wants to corner the market on mobile job search and career management. Their strategy ensures that no matter where you are, "opportunity is always within reach." As a result they've doubled down on apps, aggressively launching several new apps and reimagining the existing ones over the last several months. Just four weeks ago they launched Job Search and last week relaunched the app formerly known as Contacts as the new, improved Connected.

You may ask why you need as many as seven LinkedIn apps to handle your mobile search when the basic LinkedIn app seems pretty solid on its own. Let's walk through the apps and explore each one. LinkedIn has done a stellar job of designing a suite of apps each with very targeted and specific uses.

LinkedIn app

While the desktop experience still offers advanced bells and whistles, the recently redesigned LinkedIn mobile app gives you just about everything you need for your job hunt on-the-go. You can update your profile, send and receive messages, and search people, jobs and companies all in a clean mobile experience. This one is a must-have for all professionals. (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows)

Job Search
The Job Search app takes the Jobs section from LinkedIn and cranks it up to eleven, providing all the tools you need to hunt for your next gig. You can search for specific job titles and companies, browse opportunities based on your searches and keep track of positions that interest you. You can even apply for positions with just THREE clicks. Boom! Job Search is another essential mobile tool. (iOS)

LinkedIn Connected app

Just updated last week, Connected is a complete overhaul of the Contacts app. While the Contacts app seemed somewhat superfluous, Connected is created specifically to "strengthen your professional relationships." Each day it updates with job changes, birthdays and work anniversaries in your network. With a simple swipe you move from one update to the next and can dismiss or take further action. If you need a little push to stay in touch Connected is the app for you. (iOS)

LinkedIn Pulse app

Just over a year ago LinkedIn acquired Pulse and set their sites on developing a completely customizable newsfeed for professionals. The display is attractive with a vertical swipe to find more categories and horizontal to dig deeper into individual topics. You can also share relevant stories with your network. It is easy to customize and a pleasure to read, but is it critical to your job search? If you've already got a newsreader solution that works, maybe not. If you want to centralize your daily news consumption, Pulse is definitely worth a try. (iOS, Android)

LinkedIn Recruiter App

This one is only available to HR and recruitment pros with LinkedIn Recruiter accounts, but you can bet all the cutting edge headhunters will be sporting this app at the beach this summer. It allows users to search, contact and stay connected with candidates and potential hires. (iOS, Android)

Sideshre logo

Another LinkedIn acquisition, Slideshare lets you upload, share and find great decks and presentations. This is a tremendous source of inspiration and ideas on relevant, personalized topics. The mobile presentation is crisp, clean and allows for easy sharing to your LinkedIn network and other social sites. Like Pulse, this may not be critical to job search, but well worth investigation. (Android)

Evernote Hello logo

Evernote Hello
LinkedIn dropped the often-buggy CardMunch in favor of a partnership with Evernote. Optimize your networking with Hello. You can enter information on new contacts manually, scan business cards or connect immediately with Hello Connect. The app surfaces LinkedIn information on your new contacts and helps you keep track of new connections and remember them the next time you meet. Hello is a must-have, especially for the heavy-duty networkers. (iOS, Android)

With LinkedIn's apps you can step away from the desk and make your search mobile. My next request is a Groups app. Please give me your thoughts in comments below. What's missing and what would make them better? I would love to hear your feedback.
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