Job Application Script Automates The Boring Stuff With Python

Job hunting can certainly require a good amount of hoop-jumping in today’s age. Even if you’re lucky enough to have your application read by an actual human, there’s no guarantee the person on the other end has much of an understanding about your skill set. Oftentimes, the entire procedure is futile from the start, and as a recent graduate, [harshibar] is well aware of the soul-crushing experience investing a lot of time in it can be. Well, as the saying goes: if you can’t beat them, join them — and if you can’t join them, automate the hell out of the application process.

As the final piece of a “5 Python Projects in 5 Days” challenge [harshibar] set for herself — which also spawned a “Tinder for Netflix” for the web development section of it — she essentially created a web-scraper that gathers job openings for a specific search term, and automatically sends an application to each and every one of them. Using Beautiful Soup to parse the scraped pages of a certain job portal, Selenium’s browser automation functionality to fill out the online application forms, she can get all her information into the form saving countless hours in comparison to the manual alternative. The program even hits the apply button.

While the quantity-over-quality approach may not be for everyone, there’s of course room for more filtering and being more selective about the job openings beforehand, which [harshibar] also addresses in her video about the project (embedded below). And while this won’t fix the application process itself, we can definitely see the satisfaction a beating-them-at-their-own-game might provide — plus, it can’t have a worse miss rate than your typical LinkedIn “recruiter”. Still, if you’re looking for a more systematic approach, have a look at [Lewin Day]’s view on the subject, he even has advice job hunting is still further down the road for you.

14 thoughts on “Job Application Script Automates The Boring Stuff With Python

  1. Loosely targeted dandelion-spreading strategy, can only land you a job you´re half happy with. I stick to mine: sending max. 5 to 10 job applications, highly targeted, with >30% interviews yield, and 20-40% success. Finding is always more efficient than searching.

    1. I didn’t try it, but you need to log with your job portal account before the script starts doing things, so you’ve kinda proven already to be somewhat human by having an account in the first place. But seems plausible that there would be more checks coming with that amount of applying.

      There’s a sleep() in the apply script addressing possible captchas (https://github.com/harshibar/common-intern/blob/master/apply.py#L198), so increasing the value would give you time to solve it if one pops up. Not sure how well that would work in reality. I guess it could be extended to detect captchas and pause the script until it’s solved.

  2. Yeah, echoing this – shotgunning resumes never worked for me, either. Especially as an older worker. Here’s what seems to work best:
    – 0: have an idea of what industry or role you’re most interested
    – 0.5: get involved somehow; research the industries you’re interested in, do side projects in what you like, try to do related jobs in your work terms, internships even
    – 0.9: network hard. get as many contacts as possible in what interests you.
    – 1.0: Search the ads, get down to about 10 that actually excite you a bit, research those companies
    – 2: Tune your resume, write a killer cover letter, send in (tons on the web about this)
    – 3: They say not to call. BS, If they don’t reply in a week, call’em. Just ask politely where they are in the decision cycle.
    – 4: If they respond, yay. Study for interviews like they were an exam. (tons on the web about this too)
    – 5: If you get a response but not the job, send a nice thanks note and say you remain interested in future openings.

    BONUS TIP: Find an excuse to contact them early eg to ask some intelligent questions about the job. This makes you stand out, shows initiative and motivation, and you’ll gain info about the opening, names of the decisionmakers, etc.

    Of course, I’m currently unemployed, so use at own risk. ;-)

  3. From her Y/T and git sites:

    “Becoming my Indian parents’ worst nightmare so you don’t have to. Shattering expectations, one video at a time.”

    LMAO because I went to school with a son of British-Indian immigrants. The hilarity of his interactions with his parents, and their reactions, were a wonderful mix of mind-benders and literally rolling on the floor with laughter. When my bud’s parents learned that his roomie was former military, his reply was “Not to worry. I am certain he has not killed anyone for some time.”

    As for job hunting – do not bother if you are experienced and competent. Go the independent route. I like being able to walk away from the client at the end of each project. Most American employers are shit and have been run by turds for at least twenty to thirty years. The two best clients I have had in last two years were Malay and Finnish. My worst clients are always American owned or operated companies.

    1. This. I had two dickish and overly arrogant interviews from US companies when I finished my PhD in the states, and almost instantly bailed and decided to post-doc in Europe. Since then most of my dealings with US companies have been about the same..

      1. I think things started going down hill when the “personnel” departments got renamed to “human resources”. Employees are people, actual persons, not resources to be scraped of the Earth’s surface and consumed.

  4. Is there any way to have the script notify the one using it if it comes across any part of the online application that does not have a identifiable section covered in the script to be able to answer?

    1. The script seems to just process a set of pre-defined fields, and skips filling if the application page doesn’t have it. Any additional fields will be simply ignored. If it’s a mandatory field, I guess the script just fails to apply to that position and moves on to the next one.

  5. I am employed now. But always have an eye out for something more interesting. I have many tricks that get me to the front of the em;loyment line. You just have to be bullsih and a bit outlandish. Call people within the company, get the scoop from them on the company. Then name drop them during an interview. Be honest though, if asked. Make your resume stand out with something different and unusal. Recruiters and hiring agents will remember this. And so on. Good luck. It works for me.

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