In some areas of the country new nurses are struggling to land a patient care job, and experienced nurses are facing stiff competition for alternative nursing jobs. Some savvy nurses are networking online through social media platforms and forums. They hope to make the right connections to get a coveted job. Linkedin is one of the most widely used platforms for successful professional job networking. Another tactic is to develop and promote a basic app focused on your professional self and promote it with social media. This strategy can result in increased online engagement, get potential employer’s attention, and help you stand out on a platform like Linkedin.
(Before you start to protest about your lack of coding skills and or the cash needed to hire an app developer, know that neither are needed for basic app development. The barrier to entry is low when developing basic apps and no coding is required with the free service that will be reviewed. If you possess basic computer skills, you can do this!)
One of the primary objectives in a job search is to make yourself standout from other qualified applicants. So, how many people have developed their own app that you are connected with? An app can be a great portfolio and resume tool to use online or in person.
Some employers still refer to a paper resume during an interview. Imagine going to an interview with a paper resume in hand and an app on your phone that highlights your professional accomplishments, projects, and even your personal interests. Think outside the box and use pictures and videos to showcase your work. Your app can be the extension of your paper resume. Do you have pictures of that charity event you organized? Include them. Did you present at a nursing conference or poster presentation? Place those pictures in an image gallery on your app. (BTW, never include images of yourself in your app or with your application. Potential employers do not like this.)
Sharing an app on your phone is more socially and psychologically interactive than asking the interviewer to go to a website and view your online resume. Sharing your app from your phone demonstrates that you are personable while keeping it professional. Also, which is more trendy and memorable, showcasing your work via an app or using a traditional online resume?
Hiring managers often interview many qualified applicants for one position. When all of the applicants are equally qualified they may resort to recalling applicants that standout as a way of differentiating to make a hiring decision. Your app could set you apart in an overcrowded pool of applicants.
Not in market for a new job? Nurse bloggers and nurse entrepreneurs also can use apps to market themselves. Nurse bloggers and nurse entrepreneurs are always searching for free alternative ways to get noticed or to market their business. In the article Should your nurse business have an app? , the benefits of apps versus e-books are compared. One of the points made in this article is that people are busy and overwhelmed by the quantity of information they receive on a daily basis. The trend of small digestible chunks of information is partially responsible for the overwhelming popularity of apps and social media. In our culture, if you can’t catch someone’s attention in 140 characters or less you might not get it at all.
This presents a challenge for bloggers and nurse entrepreneurs to convince people to engage by giving them small quality bits of information. They hope people will find value in these information chunks and will be motivated to read their blogs or buy from them. The goal is to have an account on every major social media platform. Also, the trend of developing advertising apps for blogs or businesses is gaining momentum.
There are a few options if you would like to join the advertising app trend or develop a portfolio app for minimal cost. Assuming you are not a techie and don’t have a ton of cash to invest, here are two options:
- A paid app service usually charges an upfront fee, a monthly service fee, and a range of technical skill requirements.
- A completely free easy to use ad supported basic app service such as Appsbar can suit many people’s needs.
Appsbar is a great way to dip your toe into app development without the need for a big commitment. You don’t even need a website. All you need is an email account. Of course, having a couple of social media accounts would be useful. It is completely free by being ad supported (ads possible in the future). This platform’s interface is easier than using WordPress. You can choose from around forty different app types. When choosing icons you have the option to use your own images or use their image library. They also offer a couple of basic customizable games to include in your app. After development your app is reviewed by their team and is compatible with Google Play, iTunes, and HTML5 web applications (BlackBerry, Windows, Facebook).
After approval it is placed in a free marketplace called Appcatch and published as HTML5. They instruct you how to place it in the Google Play store. It can also be placed in the iTunes store. Both of these markets have small fees associated with setting up a developer account. The Google Play account costs $25 per year while a developer account on iTunes is about $100. Using these markets is optional as it is published for free to the Appcatch market. However, placing your app in iTunes and on Google Play will result in more exposure for your blog or business. Uploading to both of these markets does require more technical skills than developing the app on Appsbar and utilizing the market they place it in.
From an app development standpoint, the truly amazing thing about developing with Appsbar is that you only have to build it once and it can be published to both the Apple and Android markets! The apps you make using this service are not as sophisticated as what you would get by paying a developer big bucks. However, the beauty of using this free app development service and placing your app in multiple markets is that people may find your blog or business that otherwise would not have.
Were you motivated to develop your own app via an app service? If so, we want to hear about it! Please leave a comment telling us about your experience and a link to your app.
*Image courtesy of /FreeDigitalPhotos.net
*I am not affiliated with Appsbar or Appcatch. I have personally used these great services and wanted to share them with you.