I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the recently released Monster i-pad app for job seekers, and to spend some time with Monster UK’s director for Product,  James Brian

I’m not going to cover too much of the functionality, Matt Alder of Metashift has already done this in an informative post. What I will say is what I liked about it, and a few areas I think the product could be developed.

On the plus side, it’s very easy to use and navigate for job seekers. Search results are delivered according to location (GPS based), showing whats close by against your search criteria.

The larger screen space also makes applying much simpler that it would be via the i-phone or other mobile devices. The reality is that most job seekers using mobile apps bookmark jobs and apply later from a PC or laptop. the app is largely for browsing during down time and referencing.

With the i-pad app you can find a job, see the detail clearly, access your on-line resumes/c.v.’s (Monster allows you to store up to 6), write a tailored cover letter from a series of templates and apply. The application is then recorded against your monster profile, enabling you to keep up to date as to where you have applied on the move.

I have a few suggestions as to how Monster can improve the product, but overall I was impressed. It’s simple, quick to use (which is critical in the job seeking footrace which sometimes evolves), and makes job seeking on the move a real reality.

For job seekers looking to search for jobs away from the area they are in (and location is the top search criteria for job seekers in the UK), the default to search away from the location you are in could be easier to activate, without having to change the settings every time. Not everyone is going to want to search for local jobs close to their current location.

I’d also like to see the addition of being able to edit the resume/CV prior to submission. at the moment you can only use the resumes already stored on your Monster profile.

Whilst the i-pad currently has no camera, the very soon to be released i-pad 2 will have 2. For local job searches, the addition of augmented reality through the integration of a platform like layar would really work well in this app.

Adding data-maps, rather than directional maps would also help visualise your search in the local area, which would be very useful when you are looking local, and would enable job seekers to drill down in to local jobs and access other web-based data that might help determine whether to apply or not.

The LinkedIn Jobs Insider toolbar is a USP for Monster in the UK, as they are the only job board it works inside. This enables job seekers to see behind the ad and identify how they might be connected to the hiring company. This would be a really useful add-on to the app for job seekers which is not integrated at the moment. By the same token, a social sign in similar to the Bernard Hodes career site app would enable job seekers to apply using social profiles rather than resumes. I see these growing in popularity, worthy of consideration for a later release.

The only other feature that could be improved is that you can only apply for jobs via Monster, and need to log in to your full monster account to submit to jobs that require you to apply via their own career site. Whilst these are in the minority, I’m sure it could prove an irritation to job seekers to find a job and then be unable to apply via the app. I’m sure it would not be too difficult to integrate something to overcome this.

These are improvements, rather than essentials. The app works well in its current format, and I’m sure will be a hit in the i-pad toting sectors.  Hat tip to monster for developing a dedicated app for this audience!

Whilst with James, I took the opportunity to shoot a video on my new Bloggie using the 360 degree lens. You might want to expand the video to watch it, but we had a great conversation on i-pad, mobile and just where Monster see the app fitting in.