Inspiration

In case you haven't noticed, Devpost wants to help developers do fulfilling work. A big part of that is helping you find jobs you really want to apply to. Perhaps you've seen our new team pages, which help you learn what it's like to work on real dev teams.

Our next step will be to help you apply for those jobs and secure interviews. Job applications are kind of the worst - ask anyone. Devs hate writing cover letters & doing repetitive work -- and hiring managers hate receiving mechanically driven applications.

So, we need a way to express why a candidate wants this particular job without writing tedious cover letters along with supporting material like a resume.

This is my first take on it.

Application form

The main point of the form is to get answers to four key questions about why you want this job & why you're a good fit. It's not a cover letter, but it delivers all the same info a cover letter would. This information should be tailored to the job, but also shouldn't take more than a few minutes to write.

The form also pulls your Devpost portfolio so you can include your most relevant projects.

Resumes + a recording an intro video (2 min max, but not implemented right now) are recommended, but optional right now.

Email

Once you click apply, the script pushes all your data to Firebase, sends an email to the hiring manager with your application details.

Online management / tracking

I also mocked up an online ATS interface where hiring managers can view & manage your application. It's just a mustache template populated from Firebase.

Challenges I ran into

I've done a lot of hacky front-end projects like this before, so everything came together pretty quickly. I had already solved most of the tricky bits in other projects, enabling me to reuse a lot of code. I'm proud that I was able to get it all working in a few hours. Makes me want to work on it more.

What I learned

Wow, it is so much easier to prototype a project when you're not worried about how it looks. Focus on the function!

What's next for Job Bot

CSS/styles. Implementing file uploads + a Ziggeo video recorder + app management. I'm really bullish on video applications.

I'd also like to build an email processor (sendgrid & mailgun have great APIs for this) that lets hiring managers pass/save applications via email. (e.g. "reply save to save for later")

Let me know what you think and I'll use it to improve these prototypes + pass it on to Product!

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Updates

Neal Shyam posted an update

Here's what being going on with this. i've heard from a lot of recruiters that they don't even read / ask for cover letters anymore -- except as a way to determine if job seekers actually read the job description / instructions.

that said, when they do read them, they're looking for an idea as to why you want to work there & why you'd be a good fit. Interesting how that fits with Q1 & 2 - hunh? kind of proves my point that people are scared off by the idea of writing a letter -- but that the information contained within is still quite valuable / necessary to understand & screen candidates.

So.

good news: some of the features in this hack will make it into our new application process when Devpost Jobs comes out of beta.

bad news: video & the portfolio stuff are out (hopefully we'll add them back in - i think they'll put this over the top).

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Neal Shyam posted an update

Here's the updated form with video recorder + uploader + etc. To get full webRTC out of this, it needs to be served from a secure origin, but ziggeo has a flash fallback.

form screenshot

and here's what the new email looks like:

email screenshot

If you completely fill our your Devpost portfolio, all your social links / great projects / etc. will go right into your application. Seems like a win / win to me.

One thing I'd like to improve is a way to do "login with Devpost" and use our OAuth system. Then any company could use this on their site.

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