How to do jobsearch automation for free :)

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Job hunting can be a major time-suck. A surefire way to waste an entire evening and summon a fog of depression is to begin your job search after a long day at the miserable job you’re trying to escape.

You get home. It’s 6:00pm. You start spitballing some keywords into Google, into Monster.com and into Indeed.com. You sift through hundreds of postings that share no consistency or logic. Some are super-detailed, some are generic. Some postings are one long epic run-on sentence, while others are just laundry-lists of bullet points dumped into a webform. Email us. Click to apply. Fill out this form. In 200 words or less tell us why blah blah. Send your postmarked resume to P.O. Box Some Random Office.

You get the idea. It’s a total mess.

Now understand this: 90% of your peers waste a tremendous amount of time and energy doing just that.

Instead of doing this manually, you can use some free and readily available tools to automate almost every step of this process. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to build a system that 1) understands the type of job(s) you’re looking for, 2) detects when those types of jobs are posted on Indeed, Linkedin or Craigslist, and 3) emails lists of matching jobs directly to a folder in your inbox, ready for you to review!

This eliminates the entire searching process and lets you focus your mental energy on reviewing pre-qualified jobs and deciding if you’d like to apply. I’ve used this process in the past as a passive way to slice through the clutter, and it’s been a huge help to not only reduce stress but also help me make better decisions regarding where to apply.

The tools we’ll be using are:

  • Indeed
  • Craigslist
  • Linkedin
  • IFTTT (If this then that)
  • Email

To get started, we’ll break this into 6 phases:

PHASE 1: Designate a collection folder

In your email program of choice, create a filter that reroutes all incoming email from the email addresses action@ifttt.com and alert@indeed.com into a new folder or label called “New Jobs”.

Here’s what it would look like in Gmail:

Create an email filter

PHASE 2: Create Indeed Alerts

  1. Create a profile at Indeed.com and sign in
  2. Go to http://www.indeed.com/my/alerts
  3. Now we’re going to create what I call a “narrow alert” that matches 3-4 very specific keywords and your exact geographic location. This could include such details as job level, years of required experience, (estimated) starting salary or position title. For this example, I’ll create a new alert and input “entry-level digital marketing $50,000” and “New York, NY” with “Exact location only”. With this level of specificity, this will limit the search to only our must-see listings.
  4. Next, create a “broad alert” that matches your general industry within 5 or 10 miles of your location. For this example, I’ll input “Marketing”, “New York, NY” and a radius of “Within 5 miles”.
  5. Click Create Alert.

Create an Indeed.com job alert

Keep in mind that your geographic location and access to transportation will largely determine what’s an acceptable “radius” for this search. A range of 5 miles means one thing in New York, NY, and an entirely different thing in Austin, TX or Orange County, CA or Tampa, FL. In the grand scope of things, this alert functions as a net to catch a lot of job listings that may not have been captured in the narrow alert. You certainly wouldn’t want to miss out on an awesome job that was only slightly different from your narrow alert search criteria.

PHASE 3: Create Linkedin Alerts

  1. Create a profile on IFTTT.com and sign in
  2. While you’re still signed in, go to https://ifttt.com/recipes/223605-linkedin-email-alert-www-interviewactionkit-com
  3. Under Activate this Channel First, click Activate. You will be prompted to log into your Linkedin account to grant IFTTT access. When you’re finished, click Done.Connect IFTTT to Linkedin
  4. On the Linkedin Email Alert page, click Add Recipe. Sometimes this can take a minute, so be patient.Add the "Linkedin Email Alert" recipe
  5. On the next page, leave everything as-is and click Update. You should see a green banner that says “Recipe updated” show up on the top of the page and then disappear after a few seconds.
  6. Now, sign in to Linkedin and search for one or two target companies on your “would totally, absolutely want to work there” list. Once you find a company’s page, click Follow. In this example, we’ll search for jobs at charity:water.Follow one or two companies on LinkedinI suggest only following one or two companies, because this particular alert is largely unfiltered. You will tend to get a lot of alerts, with many not being a great fit for you. But on the positive side, you will never miss a chance to apply to one of their jobs if this list it on Linkedin.

PHASE 4: Create Craigslist Alerts

  1. Go to craigslist.com and navigate to the Jobs category for your city.
  2. In the search box, enter your job search keywords and check the boxes next to any relevant criteria. For this example, I’ll enter “digital marketing” and check the box next to “search titles only”. I’ve found that you generally get better results by just searching titles, as it helps to filter out spammy become-an-internet-mogul-by-working-from-home listings and other low quality results.
  3. Copy the URL at the top of your search page. This is important and will come into play in just a moment.Copy your Craigslist Search URL
  4. Open a new window and go to: https://ifttt.com/recipes/223620-craigslist-email-alert-www-interviewactionkit-com. If you’re not still signed in to IFTTT.com, do that now.
  5. On the Craigslist Email Alert page, find the box called “Search results URL“ and paste the URL from your Craigslist search here.
  6. Click Add Recipe. Sometimes this can take a minute, so be patient.
  7. On the next page, leave everything as-is and click Update. You should see a green banner that says “Recipe updated” show up on the top of the page and then disappear after a few seconds.

PHASE 5: Reassess after 2-3 days

  1. Let the alerts run for about 2-3 days and see what types of email alerts fall into your folder.
  2. Take a step back and reassess the quantity and quality of the incoming job listings. If you feel like you’re getting too many emails, you can reduce them by doing one or more of the following:
    • Set a smaller (tighter) geographic radius on your Indeed alerts
    • Make your Indeed alerts and Craigslist alert searches more specific (i.e. add keywords or details such as years of experience or salary)
    • Reduce the number of companies you follow on Linkedin (or deactivate this entirely if you get flooded with too many alerts)

PHASE 6: Adopt a binary decision-making mindset

Set a time each day to sift through the emails that come into your “New Jobs” folder. As you read each job listing, pay attention to your gut feeling. Based on your reaction, mentally sort each job into one of two buckets:

Bucket 1: “Hell yes!”

Bucket 2: “Nope.”

When I went through this process, I spent a portion of my subway commute skimming and deleting emails on my phone. I would read, assess and then swipe left/right to archive or delete the email. It’s about making decisions on the spot. Yes. No. Boom. Done.

Notice there is no middle ground. You need to learn to cut out the “Sure, I supposed I could do that” type of job. Why? Because between the daily automatic emails, and your own manual filtering, you’re sifting through the maximum amount of  qualified job listings within the minimum amount of time. You can be confident that you’re not missing out on any job listings – in this moment, right now, it’s okay for you to be decisive.

At the end of each week, you’re likely to sift through a few hundred listings or more with minimal effort. When you do find two or three “Hell yes” job listings, then you know those are the gems.

Having freed up your time and mental energy from the tedium of manual job searching, you can now focus on submitting a strong application to those few select jobs that actually made the cut!

However, if you prefer to save your own time as well and leave the whole automation job to professionals – Jobficient will be at your service, please see our main website for more info.

Source: Interview Action Kit

 

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