Essential tools for the job search

Here are a few tools some friends recommended to make the job search suck a little less. They were extremely helpful in helping me manage my hectic job search life, so I want to pass it on to future hunters.

Streak

Streak for Gmail – This tool deserves its own article. It puts together so many wonderful features that will streamline your hunt.

Streak automatically monitors my inbox for emails companies and groups them accordingly – multiple people who may contact you on behalf of the company (recruiter, tech lead, engineers) will show up in the same group so you can look at past events and never miss a detail or mix companies up.

It also offers bins for your email correspondences. I organized mine into six categories: Reach out, phone screen, technical interview, code challenge, onsite, offer. When I first message a hiring manager or employee you met at a networking event (you are following the guide on networking, right?), I tagged the email as ‘reach out‘; as you progress through the process, you can move the group forward, which provides a good estimate of how many coding challenges you should plan for between your onsites in the near future.

One of my favorite features is email tracking – Streak silently tracks all of your messages using an embedded image so you can see exactly when and where someone has viewed your emails. If you see a hiring manager checking out your email several times each day, you’re probably a good candidate with quite a bit of leverage; if it’s been a week and your email hasn’t been opened, you could definitely send a follow-up.

Rapportive

Another Gmail plugin, Rapportive hooks up to your LinkedIn account and gives you the credentials for people in your subject line. That means if you aren’t sure what a company’s email username format is, you can quickly guess and pray for a rapportive hit. jsmith, johnsmith, john.smith…

MailMerge

All the tools mentioned previously are Gmail tools, but it’s also helpful to have a copy of Microsoft Office purely for its MailMerge capabilities. This makes automating cold-emails a breeze – you enter email addresses and a companies (maybe an industry if you’re feeling creative!) and MailMerge will fill in a template you provide and send it to all of the contacts!

Meetup

If you’re living in a fairly techy city, there will be dozens of free tech Meetups. Not just free, pizza and beer included. Not only will you get to hear interesting talks and network with the hosts (people active in the community are excellent contacts to have), you’ll also get to check out a lot of swanky tech offices in your city!

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