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Show HN: CRM for Your Job Search (kiter.app)
105 points by pbmango 4 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 60 comments



I believe there is a market opportunity for something similar, but where someone else can helicopter to watch your application attempts.

It's likely not relevant to the sorts of jobs HN readers do, but in many countries, unemployment benefits can be tied to the beneficiary making positive efforts to find a job. Proving your efforts currently involves a lot of ad-hoc copying of emails and screenshots.

Likewise parents compelling little Johnny to get his A into G and get out there applying for jobs.

The interesting thing (or cautionary thing depending on pov) is that services like this have potential mega clients like national governments. One deal like that can make or break you.


Applicants using kiter have requested similar and we have the option to "share" your progress with a mentor or advisor - or whoever. Right now that opens up a read only commenting ability but we are exploring more. Thank you for the feedback.


Nice work! This is really cool. Does it have the ability to create job "profiles" so that you can create different sets of application data to use in different (but often related) jobs? I think that'd be a really cool feature, as well as auto-generating or suggesting content for job titles, description, etc.


Interesting product. As a feedback, anything that builds on top of existing Google infrastructure, including Chrome and Gmail, I would no longer consider. The same goes for products that tie me into other large platforms such as Apple, FB, etc... Also, it does not have to be free for me. Happy to pay $10/month, up to $20/month, especially if CRM could be extended to networking, fundraising, and other communication activities. Hopefully this helps.


This is helpful. The chrome plug-in is an only an optional add on to make the core product "the board" more effective as is the log in with google option.

Part of the value is to be disconnected from google/linkedin/FB for core planning operations. This is one of the reasons we are not integrating with LinkedIn profiles.

To your last point, we are working on some exciting features to extend the networking/fundraising/comms that you mentioned to bolster what is currently offered. Thank you for the input.


Had looked at this space years ago, and had built something - initially for myself, but had tried to get others to use it.

It was a weird scenario - people who probably needed it most either were too overwhelmed (and possibly jobless at that moment in time) with various application processes and "didn't have time" to learn something "new", or... tried it and "meh, I only apply to a couple places, I don't need to keep that much info".

An 'integrated' process would be great, but even ... 7-8 years ago, a lot of places were moving to automated candidate/submission HR systems, and doing email submissions was already locking you out of many applications. That was another piece of feedback - I have to put all this info in to job site ABC - duplicating it is too much work.

I was considering trying to monetize - but again, the people who seemed to need it most also had the least money (jobless, etc). Unsure how to get past that dynamic.

I learned far more about oauth/email integration than I wanted to (and half of that is probably useless now). I remember coming to the conclusion that, while google/gmail was a pain to use, they did at least let you do useful stuff. Yahoo and Outlook web mail integration stuff was painful to use and was extremely limited in comparison.

Mid 2000's time period, I ended up doing a job search that took me well over 100 outreaches, and took 3-4 weeks to get anything remotely close to fruitful. It was, essentially, a full time job for those weeks. The next time I was thinking I would have to go through that again, I built the version of what referenced above - initially for myself, then opened it up and solicited some feedback.

I was focusing more on the sending of the emails directly, with open tracking, email templates (search/replace with custom cv links, etc). Broader status tracking was there but not as visualized as what it seems this project is doing (and it looks nice from the screenshots).

Best of luck to you.


My brother and I were tired of managing various job apps or companies we might want to work with some day in email or not at all. Kiter is a private repo for your job search - both what you have done and recommending what to do next based on where you are in your process.


From your Privacy Policy:

"8. Disclosure of Data We may disclose personal information that we collect, or you provide:

[...]

(i) to our subsidiaries and affiliates;"

Can you elaborate how you define "private repo" in this context while also stating that my personal information may be shared with "subsidiaries and affiliates" in the context of your Privacy Policy?


By private we meant that there is no social aspect of the product. We don't ever share user's name email etc. unless you opt to share it with recruiters at the companies you are applying to.


Thank you for the clarification. If my data will not be shared unless I opt-in, who are the affiliates and subsidiaries mentioned in your privacy policy?

Could the policy be amended to be more descriptive in how personal information will be used? For example, I observe that the policy outlines several definitions that are to be used throughout, but specifically those two terms are not defined for users of the service who may be privacy-minded users.


Yes - we have no affiliates and can revisit the policy to make that clearer. Thank you for pointing that out as we do not want any ambiguity for users.

Information is used to generate an automated in-app "Battery" score to give you an idea of how close you likely are to an offer across all applications.


Thank you! And good luck, congrats on launching


Interesting, I built something similar for myself - https://jublime.com/. It is not as polished as this submission, but I just add features which I feel useful to my job search.

Good luck with your product.


Browser: Safari

Click on see it in action and it takes me to a page that simply says "Welcome to our demonstration!" but nothing happens. When I click on the logo in the top left to go back to the homepage, it brings me to https://www.account.kiter.app. Clicking anything on that page gives me a popup stating "We didn’t find an account with those login credentials mail@kiter.app"


Same on an iPad.


Thanks for pointing this out. Should be fixed now!


Are many people actually applying for enough jobs for this to have a major use? I know there are plenty of stories of new grads needing 300 applications to get a job, but how common is that? How many jobs were you applying for to inspire this?

As an aside, I like your use of the Chrome extension as I built something similar at my company for legal research.


Even when I was looking for my second job out of college, I submitted dozens of applications and there were several times when I was unsure if I had applied for a job or not (not every job portal sends confirmation emails). Once you get into the dozens of applications, you need to take notes to keep yourself organized about if you need to do something (e.g. take a coding assessment), if you're just awaiting something (e.g. awaiting a scheduled interview), or to just take notes about how you felt about some part of the process (e.g. you saw some red flags or positive signs during some interaction).

If you're only applying for a very small handful of jobs (1 or 2), you probably don't need to use a CRM nor something resembling a CRM.


Hi Matt. Great question. Our users typically track <20 applications but often have submitted resumes to far more that they are not monitoring. It probably is not an effective strategy to dedicate a specific plan to every 100+ cold application you fill out, but keeping track of the macro picture is extremely valuable - where have I applied and when - and what does this tell me about how close I am to an offer. Applicants using Kiter can move beyond relying on gmail search to understand where they are in their timeline.

You mentioned new grads and that demographic is a big portion of our user base so far. That being said, in todays remote world, almost any talented potential applicant is probably monitoring a few opportunities, even if they are happy in their current role. The plugin (v1) will be a way for someone to capture down a role/company they might find on HN or twitter but are not ready to spend time applying for yet. I hope this is helpful.


Yes. I had a Trello board specifically for this purpose.

If you're selective about the job you want then you have to cast your net far and wide until you find The One. Recruiters will ghost you, low salary bands will be withheld until the second or third call, you won't find out about team drama until one interviewer talks trash about another that you spoke to earlier, a remote job will magically turn into an on-site one because the recruiter told you incorrectly, your prospective manager will expect 60 hour weeks plus a mandatory on-call rotation with no compensation, twelve-hour-long coding assignments involving proprietary technologies and/or reverse engineering will be sprung on you prematurely, etc.

On the flip side of this you should know what it is that you're good at and want to do for a living. Since you know yourself better than any recruiter or future coworker the onus is somewhat on you to make sure that the positions you're considering are a good fit. You shouldn't, for instance, waste time interviewing for a mobile development job just because you built an app for your current employer for a few months once if you really aren't passionate about it and actually want to develop distributed back-end systems.

It's always better to hold out for a position that will set both you and your employer up for success. Taking a job just because it's there for a paycheck will leave both parties unsatisfied in the end.


Hi Alex. Thank you for sharing and congrats on finding a great role. I think you are spot on. For many there will always be the option of jumping in a "track" career or taking the first opportunity that comes their way. For the rest, like yourself, there are so many great companies in need of great people out there that it can be worth taking the time to be strategic and thoughtful. With the ease at which you can search/find/resume-drop/email these days that trend is likely to grow.

You mentioned having success with a Trello board. Is there anything that you wished you could have had in addition at the time?


I also use a Trello board for this and I’ve known that there is a market for this. I’ve been thinking of switching to Notion to try that out as my solution.

That said, as I have been considering building something like this, I’ve imagined that it could provide some of the value that Glassdoor and Levels.fyi both provide.

In my Trello board I take notes about the salary bands of each position, what questions are asked in each interview, and also how I’m feeling about each. If this information is handled properly, you can collect it and (perhaps for the free version) share this anonymously with other people.

That said, one thing I’m missing from my Trello board is versatility. I want to be able to record/update my experience/interview status with a company and then see that information represented in several different ways. Seeing a swim lane representation of interview stages is helpful (where Trello shines) but it also might be helpful to see it in spreadsheet form where I can sort based on certain attributes. Sometimes things don’t fit well in swim lanes.

One thing I do like about Trello is that I can basically journal about my experiences there, though it would be nice to see all my journal entries together in one place, rather than being forced to see them separated by card.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have more questions: bradydowling at gmail


I can't imagine applying to that many jobs as an experienced dev. My last job transition I narrowed down my search to 3 companies that I was interested in enough to apply & interview, based on combination of compensation, culture, and product. Got an excellent offer from one of them, and still happy 2+ years later.

I know that's a fortunate position to be in, but it's been a job-seeker's market for years. I feel like if you know your skills and value you can afford to be selective and focus your efforts on quality vs quantity. It obviously takes the stress off to already be employed and looking to move/upgrade. You can interview the companies as much as they are interviewing you.


I apply to maybe 5 companies at maximum, but I always track them in a spreadsheet with a similar functionality to this kiter app.

I just forget what the status of each application was or is. When did I apply, when was the last communication and what was discussed. I just don't want to worry about any of it, so I write it down.

I wouldn't use an app like this because I would simply create another spreadsheet when I need it again, but I can see how it would be useful even for a small number of companies to track.


Great point on the value of keeping tabs on timing. Most of us are very busy and many are fortunate enough for the job hunt to be part time. Having a clear idea of when the last time you had contact with a company is exactly the type of thing we are trying to make fun and easy.


I guess whether people are laid off or just looking for new opportunities, it may not be easy to keep all the resumes, responses, contacts and interview results together, also maybe they already applied for this position? to this company? If so, when and why didn't they still have an offer from them? If they rejected, for what reason? what about reference contacts? test assignments?

so an online service for keeping all information about their job search process may be helpful.


Exactly. Our longterm goal is to not just help with the job you are applying to currently, but to help you get your next job as well.


Some early feedback:

I use uBlock origin to block all external scripts and then the page is just white until I disable it, not a nice experience.

I tried to add my first Application and I'm getting: "Sorry, we ran into a temporary bug and can't complete your request. We'll fix it as soon as we can; please try again in a bit!" I basically only put in "Qualcomm" as the company name then https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/2403729547/ as the link and "Deep Learning SW Engineer - Embedded-AI-Framework" as the position, nothing more. I created a user with a email address, nothing more.


Thanks for pointing this out! I think this stems from a program we use to scrape company logos off of their names/links. When you put in the Linkedin link it triggered an error. We have a case handler for that but it isn't always 100% effective. I just replicated it on my own account and it seemed to work. It is possible it is the firefox as well as we have had some issues on there.

If you email me at andrew@kiter.app I can help further!


What the tool you use for getting company logos? I've been looking for something like this. What's the cost? Thanks.


Oh and I'm using Firefox on Linux


Arch?


Yes


Looks interesting, hopefully a bit better than the spreadsheet I normally use in my hunting process.

Unfortunately it looks like either something is botched with your Oauth Credentials for the project, or maybe you hit a rate limit.

I'm getting the following when attempting to sign in with Google.

    Error 400: redirect_uri_mismatch
    The redirect URI in the request, https://www.account.kiter.app/api/1.1/oauth_redirect, does not match the ones authorized for the OAuth client. To update the authorized redirect URIs, visit: https://console.developers.google.com/apis/credentials/oauthclient/220480969749-t7q92pteqn0rjp9ekjm89lrnnm94hdif.apps.googleusercontent.com?project=220480969749


Thanks for sharing. I think this is because we just transferred the app to account.kiter.app whereas previously it was simply kiter.app, but I forgot to update on Oauth. Thanks for pointing this out, it should be fixed now!


How about a feature to collect and present keywords in saved job ads so as to highlight those skills or experience worth most to review, learn and (in preparation for an interview) verbally recite about? E.g., 5 out of 6 saved ads mention Java, 3 out of 6 mention HTML, and 1 mentions machine learning. Then your app would help the user discover what is worth most spending time on in preparation for a potential interview and help to organize the time and notes about that preparation (in the latter case, an example would be fetching common interview questions for Java, then coaching the user by having a mock interview with feedback).


This is what Hired does. The issue is that they suggest stuff that’s not really helpful for me, e.g. suggesting I add Java as a top skill even though I’m a frontend leaning engineer with nearly no Java experience.


A fun feature would be to generate one of those job search Sankey diagrams that Reddit loves.


Great idea. We are working on brining more visual options and seeing which are most useful. The Sankey is wonderful to show the probability elements at play here which went into our thinking for the Battery.


When does the data of this CRM become actionable? It feels to me like a lot of paperwork to maintain, but I can't see what one will do with it. What is the "value" of doing data-entry so I can see that I made it to one interview round at Company X? It's not like I can move myself onto Round two myself.

The nature of the interviewing process is that the company manages it, the candidate just needs to respond to the recruiter and make themselves available for the subsequent steps of the process.

Unless I am missing something?


Not looking at this, but one of the most important things I keep track of is meaningful interviews from specific recruiters/companies. The historical data from this will be interesting.

You're not always going through a recruiter or only a recruiter. Keeping track of all the names and contact info might pay off down the road as well.


I think this sort of thing is a lot more valuable for internship or new grad searches where candidates might apply to 50+ roles at once. I know of a similar job application crm that focuses just on those roles.


I like the battery score, like gamifying successful job hunting behavior more or less.

Does Kiter have workflow tools to make those best practices easier? Or will it?

I’m thinking like email templates and a sending server so I can do cold outreach to a bunch of companies at once.

Or hook up my LinkedIn and get notified of people in my network who can help me get referred in to a company I added to Kiter. I know LinkedIn is hard to work with but I think Drafted is a tool that does this to help current employees refer new candidates in to their current employer.


Awesome application.

One feature suggestion would be to add an export feature. This feature gives me peace of mind if the business flops, I didn't waste hours/days adding data to a black hole.


Hi there. We have the option to export everything to CSV whenever you want. Happy to point you to it if you want to reach out. Peter at Kiter.app


I've been waiting for someone (aka me) to build this for at least a decade! Ever since I saw the four-inch stack of paperwork a friend had for their applications, emails, resumes, appointment reminders and more it made sense to build a one-stop shop for managing all of that.

Good luck, and keep HN (or me directly, plz) informed of your success, difficulties, learnings, etc.


Site (https://www.kiter.app/#/) appears down as of datetime.datetime(2021, 5, 25, 19, 58, 25, 262874)

Error: "Hmmmm.... We Couldn't Reach Your Repl Make sure your repl has a port open and is ready to receive HTTP traffic."


Interesting, I built something similar for myself - https://jublime.com/. It is not as polished as this submission, but I just add features which I feel useful to my job search.


Great app! Is there any reason you don't have a team section? I personally find sites with some people I can relate to much more trustworthy. (I am not saying your site isn't, just trying to be helpful)


Someone found a workaround in our mobile demo and was adding lots of new applications! All hands on deck to fix the issue! Appreciate the stress testing @everyone


Does anybody know if there is a template for job tracking in Emacs org-mode?


Sign up with Google. No thanks.


Is this because you're worried about security or integration? Just curious as the reason. We initially added it to make it easier for users, but still offer traditional sign up.


The opposite. No sign up with Google, too much friction if there is another service that does offer it.


As a native English-speaker in the US, the name seems problematic. "Kiter" is not a word and feels closer to a profanity rather than a reference to a kite. Further a "kite" doesn't have an aspirational metaphor in US-English-- in fact it is the opposite, "Go fly a kite" is a dismissive phrase. I don't think the name is viable.


Have you heard of "kiting" before? Kiter seems like a great name in this context, having job prospects predictably chasing you rather than you hopelessly chasing them.


Good points. We are both avid kite surfers so did some word magic to come up with Kiter. We also wanted to emulate the image of having a string from your kite so you can have control. A tether from the traditional spray and pray method of applications to something grounded. But being a word wasn't high on our criteria list. For example Uber and Spanx both aren't words.


If you can imagine the job hunt as an exciting experiment it might unlock new approaches.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin_Drawing_El...


As a non native english speaker, the name is perfectly fine. It's in the line of "er" names: twitter, tumblr, flickr. I'm glad they went with "Kiter" and not "Kitr".


"kiting" in the context of video games means continuously moving in and out of range of an enemy in order to hit it and and avoid being hit yourself.




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