Looking for work online? While the job search part of your quest can be quite a drag, the tools you use don’t have to be.
Let the following list of Chrome extensions help you to create an insanely effective job search workflow. You might also want to check out some great tools for finding jobs without your boss finding out. Happy hunting!
Rapportive was one of the first extensions on the scene to integrate information from your contacts on social media with Gmail. Whenever you read email from a contact, Rapportive will show you their social media profiles, their current work position from LinkedIn, and their latest tweets.
You can also add your own private notes on your contacts, to remind yourself of things you know about them. This is extremely useful in a job search situation, as you can quickly know exactly more about who it is you’re talking to.
Vibe is a tool similar to Rapportive, in that it sits in your Gmail and presents extra information about your contacts that it has pieced together for you. The main difference to note between Vibe and Rapportive is that Rapportive is owned by LinkedIn and has access to LinkedIn data in a way that other apps don’t (since LinkedIn closed their API).
Vibe users can actually choose their own details and add a few social networks, so that their own profile is displayed perfectly to their contacts.
Gorgias is an incredibly powerful auto-expanding text tool for Gmail, Outlook and LinkedIn. The options menu is gorgeous and allows you to create HTML templates with keyword shortcuts using a simple graphical interface.
It also lets you add simple variables according to your own details and who you’re contacting, such as first names, email addresses, dates and more. The most powerful of all is the random variable, which lets you create a comma separated list of words or phrases to choose from, just so you can change things a little in otherwise identical emails.
What’s even better, is that you can tag these templates to make them easy to find later. Obviously, Gorgias knows full well you’re going to make hundreds of these templates once you get started.
Because Gorgias is useable in both LinkedIn and your favorite email client, this is the ultimate power tool for job seekers. Try setting up templates for parts of your job history, your resume and common elements of cover letters.
Form Hero is an extension that really lives up to its name. Most Chrome users know that it’s possible to use Chrome auto-fill when filling out forms, but the native auto-fill client is primitive compared to Form Hero, because with Form Hero you can choose the right responses for each field and you can use HTML.
Here, the aim is to make the process of repetitive form-filling as easy as possible. It could also potentially be used to store passwords, but it’s not encrypted.
To use it, just fill out a form like a job application or CV submission. Before you submit, hit the Form Hero button and save your responses. After this, when you see a similar blank form you can hit the Form Hero button again and choose which response to use.
This is a Chrome app that links to a site, but the site is actually quite useful so it’s worth mentioning. It essentially lets you search some of the best job search sites, like Indeed, Monster, Career Jet, Career Builder and Simply Hired from the one site, and to save your searches.
It can be narrowed down by your location, or you can just browse job categories across all sites and all locations. Simple, but effective!
The Career Builder Jobs extension is designed to make it easy for you to perform a job search at any time from your toolbar. This would be a neat little reminder to do your daily search, for sure.
But also, it seems to have a unique feature whereby you can search for jobs according to the URL you’re on. So, in theory if you were browsing MakeUseOf and wanted to know if we are hiring (which at the time of writing, we are), you’d click on the extension icon and see our adverts. Sadly, this will only work if the company at that URL has put an advert in at Career Builder. Which we haven’t.
I’m sure the feature works perfectly for many other places though. So it’s worth checking out if you’re choosing your next employer carefully.
Along the same lines as Rapportive and Vibe is Full Contact. It plugs into Gmail and lets you see extra information about your contacts as you go about your day. As with Vibe, Full Contact is scouring the web for the details it picks up. But the information is pretty useful!
The extension you choose will depend on your own results using the app, as they all showcase contacts in the same place within Gmail. There’s not a lot of point installing all of them.
With JobHero Sidekick, you can save the details of any job you’ve seen advertised with just one click on major job websites like Indeed, Glass Door, Authentic Jobs, Simply Hired, Intern Match, LinkedIn, Angel List, Stack Overflow, Monster and Dice. On niche websites, you can save the job easily with a simple highlighting process and a few clicks.
Then from a single dashboard on the JobHero website you can browse the all of the jobs you’ve collected by things like due date or status, with useful information visible such as the next step of your application and when that next step is due. On the individual job page in JobHero you can quickly make a calendar entry for the next step of your application, plus upload documents and note down any details you want to remember for later.
Plus, you can use the JobHero site to search for jobs too. Neat!
Applied.at works on the same idea as JobHero Sidekick, as it makes it easy for you to save details of jobs you’d like to apply for or have already applied for. Later, you can review those jobs in their web app, or using mobile apps.
Currently Applied.at is limited to use with Craiglist.org, Idealist.org, Indeed.com, Monster.com, USAJOBS.gov, Dice.com, Bright.com, GlassDoor.com, TheLadders.com, LinkedIn.com, SnagAJob.com, and ZipRecruiter.com.
Here’s a little tool for people who don’t want to go as far as Chrome autofill, Gorgias or Form Hero, but who are still sick of writing the same things out a dozen times per day. Auto Text Expander lets you nominate key words for expansion as you write, which means the bulk of your text will still usually be written as you go. It even lets you include HTML. Sadly, this extension doesn’t work in some web apps like Google Docs, because they block the script.
You could use this to pre-save a few sentences about your education or most important work history, then use the keyword shortcut to quickly insert that information into a personalised cover letter or job application. It saves time, while still giving you an incentive to write fresh prose around the basics.
Go to the extension’s options page and import or set up your shortcuts. Then when you’re typing in compatible apps, it will instantly change the text for you.
Hint: Bookmark the options page so it’s easy to get to.
Prospect Hive is designed to make it easy for you to find LinkedIn members and add them to your prospect list. The extension lets you search by relevant criteria and tag members as appropriate.
Then, using the web application you can browse your list of LinkedIn members and see useful details such as their email addresses (which are not usually viewable in LinkedIn). And then to add an extra layer of brilliance, you can export the list as CSV.
Now, although this is an extension designed for sales people to find prospective clients, as a job seeker it would be equally useful. Just browse all the companies who you’d like to work for, and collect details on the HR staff or management. Sure, you’d be cold-calling the company, but that’s often more effective than waiting for a job opening.
What Are You Waiting For?
You’ve installed all of your favorite extensions from this list, now go get a better job! While you’re at it, consider signing up for Job Samurai so you can get jobs delivered to you.
Which of these tools do you find is most helpful for your job search and why? Tell us about it.