Why We Built Zen

Published 2023-11-10

Introduction

Our team has been working on ZenSearch for the past six months or so, and we're proud of where it's at and the value it brings to job seekers. This post will be a brief intro to what the app does, why we're building it, and some roadmap items for the future. It'll hopefully also convince you that it's useful!

What's Zen?

Zen is an app that I (Matt) started building when I was passively job hunting from about April until June. I had a problem that I didn't know of a good solution to: I had a shortlist of companies I thought I might be interested in working for, and I found myself needing to repeatedly check their job boards very often to see if they posted a new job that matched my interests (mostly data science and ML engineering).

This was a painful, time-consuming, and, largely, easily automatable process. So I started working on Zen to automate it, by automatically fetching new jobs each day and sending me an email containing ones that were relevant to me.

The app has evolved pretty significantly since then. Now, the app has a couple of core features:

  1. At its core, Zen is about matching you to jobs that match your preferences. You can set your preferences (and change them at any time) to get shown jobs that are a good fit for you.
  2. You can set your notification preferences to get emails when companies you love post jobs that are relevant to you, so you don't need to check their job boards repeatedly. Let us do that for you, and spend your time filling out great applications (or doing anything else you enjoy!) instead.
  3. You can mark companies as a favorite or exclude a company you're not interested in in your preferences to either be notified right away when they post a new job that's relevant or not see their job postings.
  4. You can save jobs for later so you can come back to them when you have more time.

Why Should I Use It?

Our value prop is simple: We provide you an ad-free, promoted content-free, spam-free, expired job-free job searching experience. With us, you know that every job you see is still open, you can apply to jobs right when they're posted as opposed to when they've been up for months, and you know your applications are going straight to the company's ATS, since that's what you're applying through (there's no intermediary like LinkedIn here).

In the absolute simplest of terms, we think Zen will make your job search easier and more delightful! It did for me, which is why I (and the rest of our small team) has kept building it.

We've found that the tooling that's available for job searching needs quite the refresh, so this app has been our attempt at filling in some of the holes there. We've built something that we've found useful as job seekers, and hope others will find it useful too!

Roadmap

We have a bunch of ideas for some future things to build, to improve, etc. In no particular order, some things I'll be working on in the future include:

  1. Expanding the database of companies and postings. Right now, there are about 550 companies and >12,000 postings (Edit: As of 3/23/2024, there are now over 6,000 companies and 175,000 postings).
  2. Continuing to improve how we collect metadata on postings so we can better match you to jobs that are relevant to you.
  3. Continuing to work on the UX of the app, to make the experience as delightful as possible.