Uploading a Resume from iOS

Marco Arment linked to an article by Lukas Mathis which largely talks about creation on mobile devices. Lukas uses producing a resume and cover letter for a job application as an example of where one might find the job frustrating given iOS’s limitations.

I build and sell the app Resume Designer, an easy way to build a resume on an iPhone or iPad, so I have a few thoughts on this.

Lukas’s point about not being able to refer to more than one document at a time is absolutely right. This comes up in so many contexts that it’s an obvious limitation of iOS.  So obvious that I expect Apple will address it eventually. 

Adding a photo to the document is only really awkward in his example because the photo source is a CD-ROM. Is that really how photographers deliver images these days? Every photo shoot I’ve been involved (even school photos) has delivered the images electronically, and iOS is pretty well set up for that. Add the photo to your camera roll, and then in Resume Designer you can pick the photo and include it in your resume. This doesn’t seem like much of a limitation.

Judging from the support email I get, most of my customers are people who use their phone or tablet as their primary device. They want to apply for a job, so they choose an app to help them build a resume, and then when they’re happy with the result, they look for a way to upload it.

And that’s where iOS really falls down.  Resume Designer produces a PDF, and most job sites allow uploading a PDF. But Safari doesn’t support uploading anything other than photos.

I’ve tried to work around this limitation by supplementing UIWebView to support uploading to sites that use simple HTML upload methods, but many job sites do fancy JavaScript based file upload forms and there’s just no way to make something that works for every site.  

I have to answer many of my support emails with “Do you have access to a desktop or laptop computer you can use to upload the file?  Unfortunately your best option would be to email the document to yourself, and then use the computer to upload the file.”  And that just sucks.

Maybe Apple’s vision here is that every website would have an app and you’d just “Open In..” the file in the job site’s app to transfer the file over.  But in the real world, that’s not how it works.  There are a thousand places you might want to upload this file, and you just can’t.