I’m excited to announce Search City is officially live!
Search City is a productivity app and supportive community purpose-built for job seekers.
If you have a hard time keeping track of which jobs you’ve applied to, have a hard time sitting down and sending out applications, or are feeling discouraged in your job hunt, Search City is for you.
May 29th, 2020 marked the end of two-and-a-half years at a tech startup for me. For the first time since graduating in 2012, I was unemployed.
Everybody feels differently about the job search process largely based on their financial situation and how comfortable they are facing the unknown.
Personally, I love new beginnings and dreaming of possibilities.
I’m now two months into my job search, have applied to over a hundred jobs and have had a number of interviews. Here’s what I’ve learned about job searching, and how it led to Search City.
Searching for a job requires structure
Almost everyone has had to look for a job before, but how they go about structuring their job search varies quite a bit.
As I spoke with people, I realized there wasn’t a tool that ticked all the boxes when it came to features job seekers need. People use all sorts of tools, and sometimes several tools to handle different aspects of the process.
While all of these solutions work, they require you to spend time customizing the format and making decisions about what information to track.
For example, I went straight to Google Sheets, where I feel quite at home. My sheet does everything from basic application status tracking to dynamically generating links to Google Maps so you can see where each job is located, and a currency converter since I’m applying to jobs in both Canada and the US.
Searching for a job requires accountability
Depending on your personality, your job search might start off at a sprint—in which you enthusiastically craft beautiful cover letters tailored to each job, reach out to your network for leads, take online courses to beef up your skills—only to wind up dreading the process a few weeks later when you have yet to hear your first positive response.
And if things are going well and your first batch of applications got you a number of interviews lined up, it can be hard to find the discipline to sit down at your computer and keep sending out more applications when you’d rather coast for a while and see how the interviews turn out.
In other words, you need someone or something to hold you accountable to your job search.
To that end, one of the things I wanted to see in my Google sheet was a gauge showing how close I was to reaching my weekly goal of job applications. While I was comfortable writing the necessary formulas so it would update the count as I changed the status of an application and reset itself every Monday, not everyone would know how to do something like this.
Searching for a job is emotionally draining
Through my university, I’m part of an alumni mentoring network. In June, I was connected with someone who recently completed his master’s degree and had begun the job search process.
In our conversation he told me how depressed he felt. His family was overseas, he was stuck inside due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and he had sent out almost a hundred applications but hadn’t been able to book a single interview.
I was moved by his situation and realized there are probably many people in the same boat, especially during the current pandemic.
That was Monday, June 29th.
Search City began the very next day
I wanted to build something that was more than just another task tracker. It had to be tailored to the needs of job seekers. It had to be something I would find integral to my job search, like a command centre I would have up and running on one of my monitors every day.
Most importantly, it had to address how emotionally draining the job search process can be. It would be social without being a true social network (i.e. no friending, following, or subscribing).
Which brings us to today…
I could write a number of articles about the learning, designing, and building that happened over the next month as I developed the platform—and perhaps I will—but suffice it to say that after a month of development…
Search City is finally live.
There are still a lot of features on the roadmap, but the core functionality is there. It’s $10/month with a 7-day free trial.