Tabs is a platform that simplifies the tedious process of job hunting. It organizes the various facets of the process while simultaneously giving job hunters access to full customization of their experience.

Key Skills

Discovery
User Journeys
Wireframes
User Experience Design User Interface Design

Tools

Sketch
Protopie

YEAR

2019

TIMELINE

3 months

00: Overview

Context & Role

Inspired by my own frustrations stepping into the job-hunting world fresh out of grad, I was at a point in my life where I was constantly combing through online job postings, navigating multiple job search engines, and applying for many, many jobs. This experience has highlighted for me a new problem in life: keeping track of the hundreds of jobs job-hunters apply to — or want to apply to — using various job-hunting platforms.

Being so passionate about creating a solution to my own problems, I was intrigued by what struggles other job-hunters face while in the search of a new role.

01: Research + Process

Research Insights

It was important for me to understand the job-hunting process of others’ before I went out and built a solution for my own problems. I conducted primary research through user interviews and user surveys to gain insights into peoples’ experiences while job hunting. My research revealed a few common themes that not only validated some assumptions I had regarding the process of job hunting, but also revealed major pain points in the experience:

Despite these common insights, it was evident that there were two possible categories of personas. Those who organized their search, and those who were more laid back and spontaneous about their application process.

  1. Job hunting is an overwhelming and to many an anxiety inducing process.
  2. The steps taken during job hunting is highly repetitive, tedious and a time-consuming task: finding the job posting, modifying cover letter, submitting documents, waiting for response, interviewing and repeat.

    One of the most repetitive and annoying tasks to be done is re-writing cover letters to better suit the company and position you are applying to. In fact, 77.3% of job hunters I spoke with write a single template that is modified according to the company or job they are targeting (i.e., using specific keywords, tying the letter to the mission and requirements of the company, etc.).

    Additionally, conducting the search query itself is also time consuming to many. 93% of job hunters have said that when conducting a job search, they typically conduct more than 2 search queries in one job search engine during one session.
  3. Those who manually track applications currently gain insight on their application process and use that insight to iterate on their next applications.
  4. Job hunters have unique processes, valuing some search elements and details more than others.

Despite these common insights, it was evident that there were two possible categories of personas. Those who organized their search, and those who were more laid back and spontaneous about their application process.

Mapping the Journey

By mapping out the journey of a job hunter, I was able to understand the holistic experience of job hunting and job applying. With the repetition of steps that occur during ‘Search’ and ‘Apply’, it became apparent what areas of the job search process is considered the most time-consuming and tedious.

02: Problem

Framing the Problem

From the research and key pain points identified above, I drew up problem statements:

  1. How might we improve a job-hunters experience by making job-hunting more effective and efficient?
  2. Those who manually track applications currently gain insight on their application process and use that insight to iterate on their next applications.
03: Solution

Repetition Elimination

Criteria

*This is with the assumption that the Tabs platform is able to aggregate job-postings from multiple job-search engines.

Creating a criterion not only allows job-hunters to create job feed boards to track every bit of detail regarding the job they have applied to (or are considering applying to), it also allows them to be able to apply the criteria to future searches to cut down and eliminate the repeated task of entering the same criteria over and over again across multiple jobs search engines. The criteria details the expected criterion of that specific job search — namely, the types of jobs they are looking for, their experience level, the locations, and more. The criteria created is left active until a job has been offered and accepted by the candidate. When their job search is over, the criteria can be archived, and a new criterion can be started. However, although the criterion is archived, users are able to browse through the jobs they have applied to and their corresponding notes at any point.

Template Creation

As discovered in our research, 77.3% of job-hunters have identified that they use a single cover letter template during their job search, making minor edits to personalize it for prospect employers. With cover letters being integral to the job-applying process, re-editing and re-personalizing becomes a repeated step conducted by job-hunters. By creating templates within Tabs, job-hunters will be able to re-use and re-edit cover letters, while simultaneously being able to navigate through the details of the job posting -- making the writing of cover letters an efficient (and a more organized!) process.

Once edited to their liking, job-hunters will be able to save and import the cover letter directly to the job application through this portal, or save it as a draft, where it can be retrieved at a later time.

Organization & Customization

Having a holistic view of job postings that have been applied to gives job-hunters insight in where they stand in the job search process. As discovered in our research, those who manually track applications use the insight to iterate on their next applications. However, with tracking application comes details (e.g., jobs applied to, the skills required, salary, commute time, date submitted, etc.), and details collected will differ across applicants.  Offering customization in the display and organization of information therefore allows job-hunters to gain insight in their process based on their preference.

By clicking each job card, users will be able to navigate through more details of the job that they have applied to. These details include the skills required and how they match with the users’ profile, the distance from office to home, the timeline of the job application itself, and any additional comments the user would like to associate with the application.

04: Conclusion

Results

Any of the following outcomes would suggest that this solution was successful:

  1. Job-hunters spend more time applying for jobs than searching for jobs
  2. Decrease in average time for job-hunters to conduct search queries
  3. Decrease in average time between browsing search result page and job-hunters actually applying for a job
  4. Number of steps taken during the job-search process by job-hunters decreases

Next Steps

This case study only addressed issues with the job-searching process. Looking back at my initial brainstorming notes, I am pleased with what I was able to develop in a relatively short period of time. I think that with a lot more research, usability testing, and iteration, Tabs can be further refined to simplify the task of job-searching and job-applying. This project truly reflected many elements of the design process; perhaps the most important is being patient with the iteration process and really working out a solution for the things that work out for some, and don’t for others. It is always important, however, to remember that design is a continuous process.