Drag and Drop Form Filling Software for Job Applications
April 29, 2019 7:48 AM   Subscribe

When I upload my resume to company recruitment sites, it is invariably parsed incorrectly, and I have to re-enter most of the data. Is there software such that if I put all my resume information into, say, separate Excel fields, I could just drag and drop each Excel field into the appropriate field in the recruitment site form pages (vs copy & paste)? I think this would speed up/ make less painful what is a pretty time consuming and tedious process.
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Last Pass has an option for form filling that works well. I only use it for contact info, but there is an option to add custom fields. They have a browser extension and you don't have to use it for all of your passwords if you don't want to.
posted by soelo at 8:00 AM on April 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

A lot of these sites have a "fill in form from LinkedIn" option which works reasonably well if you have your resume in LinkedIn and are willing to let the application site have access to your account. You'd still have to go through and validate/customize though.
posted by matildaben at 8:05 AM on April 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can't help with the drag/drop issue, but my last round of job apps, I finally made a plain-text version of my resume with no formatting, which at least made it much faster to copy/paste and not have to fiddle with bullet points and breaks showing up in weird places. Would recommend.
posted by nakedmolerats at 8:24 AM on April 29, 2019

Do you have any experience with programming or scripting? You could use an automation tool like AutoHotkey to do this fairly easily.
posted by hypercomplexsimplicity at 8:31 AM on April 29, 2019

Best answer: When I need to do this kind of thing, I just resize both windows so that both source data and target form boxes are visible, and then drag and drop just works.

MS Windows makes it easy to cause two windows to occupy the left and right halves of the screen (just drag their title bars to the left and right screen edges).

I use a Linux desktop environment that makes it easy to set any given window to be always on top, which also helps with tasks requiring data to be dragged into or out of that window's controlling application. Third party applications let you do something similar on Windows.
posted by flabdablet at 8:50 AM on April 29, 2019

Response by poster: @flabdablet - I think I'm missing something: how do I just drag and drop from e.g. Excel (or is there a specific source document type I need to be using?)?
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness at 9:12 AM on April 29, 2019

After a quick try-out dragging to text fields in Chrome, it looks like Excel doesn't like the idea. But Word does; if I have my browser and a Word document side by side, it's pretty easy to drag and drop a selected word over to a textfield in the browser window.

If your CV is already in Word format, then I think that should work for you.
posted by vincebowdren at 9:41 AM on April 29, 2019

On Windows I generally find that plain text documents opened with Wordpad make the most reliable drag sources for text. Triple-click to select a whole paragraph, then you can drag it anywhere you want.
posted by flabdablet at 9:42 AM on April 29, 2019

Response by poster: OK - yes: it doesn't work out of Excel or Notepad, but it does in Word, Wordpad, Notepad ++. Exactly what I need - thank you!
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness at 9:57 AM on April 29, 2019

I use a laptop and no mouse, just trackpad. Sounds complicated, but using keyboard shortcuts can be faster than mousing, and is easier on my tendonitis.

Alt+Tab to back and forth between windows, Tab to go to the next field on a form, arrow to go to the next cell in Excel, F2 to open the cell for editing, Ctrl+A to highlight all the contents of the cell, Ctrl+C to copy, Alt+Tab to go back to the web form, Ctrl+V to paste.
posted by theora55 at 10:11 AM on April 29, 2019

I find that keyboard muscle-memory dances work reasonably well when the source data and target boxes are in the same order with no gaps, but web forms on job application sites don't have a standard input box order; dragging stuff from where it is to where it needs to go is generally the lesser pain in the arse for me, but only with a nice mouse. Pretty ordinary with a trackpad.

Gel pad wrist rests go a long way toward preventing mouse use from causing or worsening tendonitis.
posted by flabdablet at 10:23 AM on April 29, 2019

Try using a clipboard manager / history viewer, for example: http://clipdiary.com/clipboard-articles/view-windows-clipboard-history.php (haven't used it, just grabbed the first hit from a search). Then you can copy all the fields in to the clipboard (one at a time), and then paste them in using the clipboard history feature.

For example, from your Word / Excel document you highlight and copy the "First name" field, then highlight and copy the "Last name" field, and so on (note you are just copying them one after the other, not pasting yet).

Then go to the web page and bring up the clipboard history application via its shortcut, and paste the correct field (usually using a numbered menu).

With this approach you won't need to go back and forth between the documents. And using the keyboard might be faster.

See this page: https://github.com/Clipy/Clipy for a screenshot of a OSX tool showing the menu. Good luck!
posted by techSupp0rt at 5:55 AM on April 30, 2019

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