Job Application Chatbot [2018]
Sometimes it can be hard to stand out and get noticed in the sea of competition. It can be even more challenging when you’re searching for a new position in an industry where talent is becoming a commodity. However, I believe passion trumps talent. And when I started looking for a new work opportunity, I wanted to do things a little bit different.
Why I Hate Résumés
When beginning your job search, the first thing you need to do is update your résumé. However, everyone knows that résumés are extremely terrible at foretelling how “good” someone might do on the job. What’s more, when reviewing hundreds of applications, how is one supposed to compare these documents when they’re not even standardized?
Things get even more ridiculous when employers are looking for every reason to put a CV in the “no” pile. Even where you live could be one of them. To overcome this ‘screening and elimination process’, I decided to throw out the résumé altogether, and simply “show” what I can do, rather than just “tell”.
Finding An Alternative
passion project makes for a way better story, than casually telling your network you’re looking for work. Therefore, as an online marketer with a strong interest in new technologies, I decided to replace my résumé with a chatbot. This enabled me to showcase the versatility of my skills, while reaching a larger audience group of potential employers.
AI vs. Scripted Chatbot
From the start, I knew a scripted chatbot was the way to go. Today, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is leaving many disappointed with the experience, because the software isn’t quite there yet. I also didn’t want to overload the chatbot with content. If people asked a question that wasn't programmed, they were encouraged to contact me for a one-on-one conversation.
Achieving a high number of chatbot users wasn’t the goal of this project. The main objective was to get contacted by potential employers or recruiters to talk about work opportunities. Therefore, every touchpoint – my website, portfolio or LinkedIn profile – was going to be just as important to generate qualitative leads.
Crafting The Perfect Landing Page
I also updated my personal website. A new single page design with two call-to-action buttons encouraged visitors to “chat with my bot” or to “grab a coffee” (i.e. contact me to meet in person). The navigation menu contained links to my social profiles and résumé, while the “Send to a colleague” button nudged visitors to share my website.
Announcing My Job Search
My own network was going to play an important part in my search for work. Therefore, I announced my job search with a short video on all my social networks, and updated my profile and cover photos on Twitter and LinkedIn with call-to-actions.
Transforming the Facebook Page
Because a Messenger Bot needs to be connected to a Facebook Page, I decided to get the most out of it. Using Facebook’s Milestones feature, I showcased my past experience and achievements, and a cover video was used to show the interaction of the chatbot. Additionally, periodic posts containing images and videos, kept the Facebook Page updated with new content to explore.
Reviving the Paper Résumé
We’ve all been saying it for years: “CVs will soon be history”. However, as long as employers and recruiters ask for printer-friendly résumés, we’re going to have to keep making them. Thus, I dusted off my Adobe InDesign skills and created an interactive PDF. The layout incorporated the Facebook Messenger Code and encouraged readers to check out the Facebook Page.