Automating Job Search
This is an exciting time for job applicants in marketing, sales or even engineering. There are a ton of useful tools and platforms to help you find the right job (or internship) faster.
If you’re like me, applying has always been a real struggle. It takes time, commitment, and you always have to seek for a certain degree of personalization to fit the company’s mission and values.
Nowadays, you can achieve personalisation at scale easily for you app or website. The same technics can be applied to job seeking.
The Passive Search
Just like passive income, make the universe work for you.
The obvious first steps would be to farm job profiles. Be findable. Post your profile everywhere. Whereas it’s Hired or other platforms.
Try posting on Freelance platforms as well, it’ll help establish first contacts. Plus, if they’re searching for free-lancers they could be tempted to internalise this skill.
Also, create / update you social media profiles (LinkedIn, AngelList, Dribbble Github, Twitter…) with an explicit mention that you’re like for a new opportunity.
One last thing you could try is creating paid ads on Twitter Ads or LinkedIn Ads that redirects to your portfolio, or LinkedIn Profile. Target hiring firms and the companies you’re interested in. It’s quite an investment, but it’s up to you to see if it’s worth it based on your expected salary.
Automating Direct Job Application
This is the fun part. This is where you get your hands dirty. Maybe you’ve been contacted already, and that’s great, but if not, continue reading.
Creating The Mail Template
First let’s start with your email template. I’m not going to show you how to write it or what to say, but keep it short and straight to the point. Also, fuck the classic cover letter guidelines that you’ll find out there.
As a potential recruiter, all I want to know about you (for this first touch) is: who you are, what you’ve done, why it should matter to me, why us and what you think we could do together.
This can be translated in a general template with the following variables:
- relevant_projects (what you’ve done and why it matters)
- reason_to_apply (why us)
- your_objectives (what you think we could do together)
Let’s keep going but you’ll see that you’ll be able to include the right variables to match certain company’s attributes to maximize personalisation.
Building An Email List
Probably the most boring part. Let’s assume you already know what kind of company you’re interested in. You will go to LinkedIn and build your email list there.
You will need:
- A Linkedin Premium account (a 30 days trial will do)
- A Zapier account
- A free Hunter.io account
- A Google Sheet
The Google Sheet set up
Create a basic Google Sheet with the following columns:
- Company Size
In your Hunter account
Go to Hunter, create a free account, and go to My Leads. Click on create new list and create 3 lists:
Each list will be used to filter emails based on your level of enthusiasm: great for “Omg I’d love to work with them” and so forth.
Why adding “meh” emails at all? You’ll see later. This would be the most useful list eventually.
The Zapier setup
This is the hacky part. The zap is rather simple in its composition, it has three steps: get new leads from hunter, match the variables, and push it your spreadsheet.
However, the second part contains a little bit of code, hence the complexity. But if you’re not confortable with programming you can overlook that part and do it by hand later.
First step, create a Hunter trigger. Choose “New leads”. Then, add a custom code section:
Then parse the variables with the right values based on the company’s attributes. Add your reasons, objectives and projects. Also don’t hesitate to tweak the conditions with the attributes.
Finally, push everything to your spreadsheet inside the right columns.
If you’re not confortable with programming: Leave the reasons, objectives and projects columns empty. You can add it by hand on your spreadsheet. A cool hack could be to use a dropdown list in your spreadsheet to get the different values.
Ok, you’re all set, you can start farming the LinkedIn profiles. Go to Linkedin Search, and filter the companies by size, vertical etc.
Go to each company profile and display all the 2nd degree employees.
Click on connect, sometime you won’t need to send a contact request. Use Hunter to get the email and save it to a list:
Creating The Campaigns
For this part, you’ll need an email sequence software, pick a free one like Reply.io, Drip ($1 USD), Hubspot Sales (trial), just search for email sequence software.
Just do 2 or 3 follow-ups if no replies and wait 4-7 days between follow-ups. You’re selling yourself but don’t be too pushy.
Keep your follow-ups short and sweet. Nothing fancy.
In your templates, you will add the variables from you Google Sheet columns:
Upload your contacts from your spreadsheet and create custom columns in Reply for specific columns such as “Projects”. This way, the software is able to fetch and parse the variables inside the email templates.
Launching & Following Up
Once you’re all set you can launch your campaigns. But wait, start with the “Meh” profiles, and wait for the first results! The “Meh” profiles are a great way to test your templates, emails, follow up sequence before you email to the “Great” profiles.
Keep adding profiles
If you want to add profiles on the fly inside your campaigns, you can tweak your Zap, and send your profiles directly inside your Reply account.
How to track your replies
You can use the CRM built-in inside Reply, or add a step in your Zap to create a card inside Trello. Then create a new Zap, when someone replies to your campaign move the card to another list inside the same Trello board. Basically, you’re building a Trello CRM for job applicants.
Automating Scraping Job Offers
Now what if you only want to reply to job offers? No problem, it can be a little trickier but nothing’s impossible.
Obviously, you have to find sources of job offers. Look for HR “marketplaces” for companies like Tyba, or Welcome To The Jungle (here in France).
Make sure you can get those information:
- Job title
- Link to the offer
- Company domain
Scraping The Sources
Use Import.io to scrap those sources if you can’t code. It’s super flexible and extremely powerful. Plus, you can output everything as a CSV.
Or you can build your own scraper with PhantomJS, Water (Ruby) or whatever lib your confortable with.
Make sure that for each Job and link to the job you have the matching domain next to it.
Filtering The Results
Once you have your CSV, use Google Sheet to filter the job column and evacuate the jobs that do not concern you.
And Loop Back to Automation
This is where Hunter comes in, use the Google Sheet extension to get an email from each domain.
Inside your Google Sheet add more columns with, again, objectives, projects, and reasons to apply.
The level of customisation might be lower here since you don’t have all the data you can get from a LinkedIn profile. But you can investigate Clearbit and built a more advanced script, but that may be a little overkill…
Once you’re done, back to Reply! Now, you know what to do.
Thank you for reading this far. The idea was to see how much we can automate the job search, prevent boring tasks, and scale 1:1 personalisation. I have not tested this in real conditions but I’m pretty confident that at least 70% of this can be applied IRL.