JobSearch Database: Hacked

Work season is slowing.  Hence, it is time for us to resume our search for a new job.  When last we visited this project, we were building a database application which would streamline the job search process.  At this point, however, we have better things to do (for example, study for our next exam) than to build a theoretically correct database.  And yet, we still have need of a way of making our search for employment more efficient.  What we need is a workflow.

After digging through our computer for a utility for the task, we settle on FreeMind.  It is intuitive, adaptable, dependable, and we have used it in the past.

The best way to illustrate this is with screenshots.

jobsearchWorkflow1

Job Search Workflow Mindmap

FreeMind is mind mapping software that uses a hierarchical tree structure (compare this to something like Cmap tools that is more free-form).  We don’t need a tree structure, but we do need easy hyperlinks, which we know that FreeMind has.

jobsearchWorkflow2

Format of companies to add.

We don’t have anything in our “Companies to Add” file right now, except for a model of the vital information that we need about each company ( the login, password, and HRC rating).

jobsearchWorkflow3

Some prospective companies which employ actuaries.

The “Companies” file contains links for each companies website, plus the vital login info (each node may be unfolded).

jobsearchWorkflow4

Nodes for job listings.

When we identify a job to apply for, we drag a copy of the company info down to the job prospects file, then copy the job listing webpage on to the system, and link to it.

jobsearchWorkflow5

Nodes for jobs applied.

Once we apply for a job, the listing is dragged down into the jobs applied file, and links for the resume and cover letter are added.

From a database point of view, there are flaws, such as data duplication.  However, thinking about this from a workflow point of view was very helpful.

Project: Job Search Database

I need to organize my job search. I am not in hyper job search mode: I have a good job, and I have priorities other than looking for a new employment. And yet, I am doing just enough searching to make for an organizational challenge. Suppose that in the near future I apply for a total of thirty to fifty positions at twenty different employers. At this level, I have plenty of applications, job descriptions, resumes, and letters to track but very few human contacts, responses, and interviews.

Here is what my database application should be able to do:

1. Store potential employers and information about these employers: websites, passwords, notes, HRC rating.

1.5. Store preliminary data about possible employers requiring more research.

2. Store specific jobs and application history, resumes used, letters, description, title, location, job ID.

3. Have a form for adding new job.

4. Perform queries on jobs previously applied to.

5. Produce reports on same.

6. When I do get a response from a potential employer, I need to be able to sit down in front of the computer and instantly see the particulars of the job, plus the particulars of my submission.

I have a little bit of a start already. In a short while, I will post a diagram of my data structure.