Judging by the big numbers, the job market looks astoundingly good. Unemployment remains at its lowest in a generation. Job creation is brisk. And wage growth is starting to pick up.

But underneath all the good news is another big number you don’t see: how long it actually takes to get a job. Unemployment spells are still very high by historical standards. And the actual time spent on job searches is longer than ever.

There are several reasons for this. Mass hiring by big employers is no longer common. Those hundreds of thousands of hires every month are now spread out over more companies. They tend to have smaller total headcounts, hire fewer new employees at a time, and do so with very high candidate-to-recruiter ratios.

Most seek specialized skills and expect new hires to hit the ground running. Consequently, they’ll take extra time to find the right fit, especially for cross-functional roles.

And for all its promises to free up resources so that HR can get strategic about hiring, recruiting technology often does the opposite, feeding HR more candidates and workflows than it can handle.

Direct job apps that are on the job seeker’s side

We’ve studied data on hundreds of thousands of job seekers, and found the majority are experienced tradespersons or professionals. That’s no surprise.

But think about what it means: most job seekers are likely to face a job search that is longer than they expect, perhaps much longer.

Our research also shows very clearly that the longer you’ve been on the job search, the more difficult it is to stay efficient and organized. That can have a seriously negative impact on staying motivated, which in turn drags out your job search.

That doesn’t have to happen. It’s a tight labor market, and so when employers want to talk to a candidate, they mean business. The sooner you can get your resume in front of people who would be thrilled to see it, the sooner they’ll get to meet the person behind the resume . . . and the sooner everyone can start making money!

Below are profiles of direct job apps and tools that can help shorten the job search, and keep you efficient and organized:

  1. LinkUp

Job seekers spend a lot of time online looking for good opportunities. They cannot afford to waste any of it applying to bogus, inaccurate, outdated, or closed positions.

LinkUp lists over three million jobs available exclusively on company websites. It collects only up-to-date, validated job postings, sourced daily and directly from the actual company websites. Many of their listings are not available on job boards, and exist on the hidden job market, where much of the real job market action is.

  1. JobScan

Once you find a great opportunity, you need to personalize your resume to show the hiring manager that you are a perfect match. But first, you’ve got to get past the robot that screens your resume for the right keywords.

JobScan helps you find those right keywords quickly and efficiently. Simply paste both your resume and the job description text of the desired opening side by side on their website. This direct job app analyzes how closely the two matched and offers suggestions about what keywords your resume needs in order to get past the ATS, and into the hands of a live human.

  1. LiveCareer Apply Tool

When you find a great opportunity, you want to act fast, while it’s still fresh and before the employer gets flooded with applications. And your application needs to be 100 percent error-free. Even one small mistake can disqualify you instantly.

The LiveCareer Apply Tool helps jobseekers apply both quickly and accurately. It comes in the form of a free Chrome extension and can autofill just about any online job application. Designed to work with nearly every major ATS, it can also autofill non-text elements, such as checkboxes, drop down menus, and radio buttons.

  1. JobHero, JibberJobber, Rake

Being organized is all about knowing what you did last so that you know what to do next, and when to do it. Yet it is easy to lose track of where you applied, whom you spoke with, and what the next steps are.

JobHero is a desktop direct job app that provides a concise dashboard for keeping literally everything about your job search organized. That includes online postings, contacts, submissions application status, resumes, and cover letters. For jobseekers preferring to use mobile devices, JibberJobber and Rake are top direct job apps. All three apps include schedulers to set reminders for follow-ups and deadlines.

  1. TalentWorks

The job search for most everyone is a massive grind. Who hasn’t wished there was some way to offload it all to someone who could help? Or something along those lines.

TalentWorks automates the entire job search process up to the interview, all in a single app. Using AI technology, the app first polishes up your resume to increase its chances of being read by an actual person. It then finds openings that best match your background and qualifications, and emails them to you. For those openings that interest you, the app automatically prepares and submits applications.

Since 2005, LiveCareer has been helping jobseekers write persuasive cover letters, develop better interview skills, and create resumes via our free resume builder. Check out our collection of free, professionally written resume templates and cover letter templates, all of which are organized by industry and job title. Also find guidance on how to answer some of the most common interview questions you could face in an interview situation.

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