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JobSnap - How to Save 9hrs of Your Life While Searching For a Job in Techby@alphamikle
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5,174 reads

JobSnap - How to Save 9hrs of Your Life While Searching For a Job in Tech

by Mike AlfaFebruary 5th, 2024
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JobSnap is a simple and useful extension for finding jobs on LinkedIn.

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Hi everyone! Job search can be very tedious - hundreds or even thousands of responses, waiting for a reply, constant calls, testing, and so on and so forth. I've created an Open Source, completely free and not collecting or storing any of your data browser extension that can simplify this process a bit and save almost 9 hours of your life.


P.S. Here and below I will only talk about job search via LinkedIn, and the extension is designed to work in conjunction with LinkedIn (at least for now). This article is focused on finding jobs for people in Tech-industry, but the general principles apply to any specialty.


Job Search on the US market

Process

To avoid losing a critical apply, to remind yourself, or just to have an idea of where you've applied and what conditions you've claimed for it makes sense to not just apply to jobs that interest you, but to save the "fact of applying" somewhere. Then, in the future, when you get an answer from a recruiter, you will not have to remember "What kind of company is this? Am I sure I wrote to you?". That's why the first reason to keep facts of applies is to know where you responded to. What can be a applying fact? The simplest thing is at least a link to the vacancy and the date of submission.


The second reason is salary range. Not every job listing mentions it, but a lot of companies really push you to name your price. If you quote a number that's higher than what they're willing to pay, they'll just pass on you. But if you come in under their top dollar, then you're golden! You have just become a potential employee of a company that is underpaid. From this point we come to the following conclusion - it would be good to keep not only the apply fact, but also the salary range, so that when talking to a recruiter, if you are forced to "reveal your numbers" - you can rely on the data you have.


The third key point is what's known as the "sales funnel" - it's all about monitoring the flow from initial applications, to first-round calls, technical interviews, and finally, job offers. At each stage, there's a filtering process. For instance, from a thousand applications, you might only land 50 first calls, 30 of those could lead to technical interviews, and maybe just 5 result in actual job offers (and those numbers aren't too shabby). Every job seeker has their unique funnel, influenced by a variety of factors like experience, tech skills, location, and even a bit of luck. But, by tracking your stats, you can make sharper predictions about your job search success. You could, for example, conduct A/B testing with different resume versions, targeting various roles or sectors. Say you're a FullStack developer with a foot in both Frontend and Backend doors. It makes sense to tailor separate funnels for each area, highlight different skills on your resumes accordingly, and after gathering a few hundred responses in each domain, you'll get a clear picture of the effort required to land your ideal role.


You have a long and grueling journey ahead of you.

Data

If we take stock of the previous discussion, we arrive at the following checklist of information, each item's absence potentially detracting from your job search success:

Company Name

Knowing which company the recruiter represents when you receive a response is crucial. Assuming you haven't bombarded the same company with a slew of applications, it should be straightforward to track down your application and advance through the "funnel." Hence, this detail is absolutely essential.

Link to Company Page

While not strictly necessary, having a link to the company's website is incredibly beneficial for interview prep and to get a better sense of the company and its offerings. Plus, if you're interested in the company but don't get an offer, this link serves as a handy starting point for exploring new openings in the future.

Role Title

Surprisingly, this detail tends to slip one's mind about 30 minutes after applying. Yet, it might hold more significance and value than any other piece of information. The title can suggest the level of the position (e.g., "Senior," "Middle," "Staff") or specific areas of expertise, like "iOS Embedded Engineer." Most importantly, it helps you evaluate your interest level in the role. Considering that applying can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, and subsequent stages much longer, it's worth considering whether it's worth investing hours into pursuing a position that may not align with your interests among other opportunities.

Job Link

Keeping a link to the job posting is helpful for monitoring when a position is "closed." If you're really into a role but haven't received a response, checking the link might reveal that the company has already filled the position, prompting you to look elsewhere. Also, it's wise to review the job description before interviews to refresh your understanding of the role's requirements and other pertinent details.

Salary Range

Although not a deal-breaker, and not all listings include it, overlooking provided salary ranges would be unwise. This information aids in ensuring you don't undersell yourself, comparing similar roles, and understanding the overall market landscape and how your specialization fits within it.

Response Date

A seemingly mundane yet vitally important piece of information. It gives you a sense of the typical wait time for a recruiter's response and indicates when it might be appropriate to send a follow-up message if you're keen on getting a response but haven't received one yet.


In total, we've identified 7 key data fields that describe a job vacancy. Let's now figure out how much time it would take to manually input this information versus using an extension.


The main thing is not to fall off the path

Time

As a practical test, I decided to gather the mentioned data for 10 job postings, employing two different methods: firstly, using the classic, manual "five-finger" technique, and secondly, with the help of an automation tool. Let's dive in!


Manual Method:


Automated Method:


What were the results?

In the manual scenario, where I meticulously copy all the information by hand, prone to forgetting or misplacing data (this was my third attempt to perform all tasks error-free, like putting data in the correct column), it took 6 minutes or 360 seconds for 10 job entries. Various sources suggest that to secure a job effectively, one should aim to send out at least 1000 applications (considering this as a reasonable baseline). For such a volume, manually logging key job details would consume 600 minutes or 10 hours.


Conversely, in the automated scenario, all data is copied with a single keyboard shortcut, reducing the time to gather the same amount of information to just 49 seconds.


The difference is stark: the automated method is 7.35 times quicker (interestingly, this factor almost exactly matches the number of data fields intended to be saved). This means you could save approximately 8 hours and 40 minutes when processing 1,000 applications.


Naturally, you might be quicker in "manual mode" than I was, which also means you'd likely be faster using automation. Alternatively, you might decide not to collect all the discussed data, which could lead to missing out on certain benefits (e.g., salary range, neglecting to research the role thoroughly, or spending extra time later searching for job/company details).


The takeaway? The conclusions are yours to make.


And make time

What's next?

At present, the extension doesn't gather information about recruiters, as this feature seems to be exclusive to Premium users. However, once I secure a job, I plan to enhance the extension by including this capability, aiming to streamline the process of crafting follow-up messages.

It is a real image


Additionally, here are some useful links:


This project is entirely open-source and relatively straightforward. Currently, the extension lacks a user interface or any customization options (simply because I don't require them at the moment). If you're interested in contributing improvements, feel free to submit your pull requests. I'd welcome your contributions and update accordingly. Should you find the extension helpful, I'd deeply appreciate a star for the repository on GitHub. Moreover, a review on the Chrome Web Store could potentially lead to someone adopting a small and very cute kitten from a shelter.


P.S. I've intentionally avoided comparing this simple, free extension to any market-available combiners or companion systems that serve a similar purpose. My experience with such systems has found them to be either superfluous or lacking in certain aspects. Typically, these systems offer comparable base functionality to JobSnap for free, with more advanced features locked behind a (often expensive) subscription. While third-party extensions may be slower than a quick key press-and-paste action, they also prevent you from conducting funnel experiments, as described earlier in the article. Plus, with third-party services, you relinquish control over your data. Nonetheless, automation is key, and I advocate for automating wherever possible to save time.


P.P.S. If you have suggestions for improving the extension or adding support for additional sites (Indeed is next on my list), please share your ideas in the comments or reach out to me on LinkedIn.


You, when you got a job!