By Holly Riddle
As anyone who’s ever searched for a job or internship knows, finding available jobs that align with your needs and experience and then applying to those jobs is like a job in of itself. It’s a time-consuming, lengthy, often frustrating process. However, a group of Penn State students and a new business are aiming to change that.
Rady said that users on average save 4–5 hours of time during the application process, when applying to jobs using OfferPilot compared to other methods
Omar Rady is one of the co-founders of OfferPilot, an AI-powered platform that helps fellow students find internships and jobs from around the internet, compiling them in one place. From there, the platform can help applicants put together a custom, personalized application package, with a just a few seconds and a few clicks, for their best chances at scoring an interview.
OfferPilot got its start after Rady and team participated in Penn State’s HackPSU competition, during which, over 24 hours, they built an application to help students become better presenters, with an interview preparation tool that, Rady said, gained a lot of interest.
He said, “We decided to go further with it. We did a lot of research and talked with a lot of college students about what they needed. We came to the conclusion that one of the biggest priorities for college students is being able to present themselves well and get as many career opportunities as possible…We decided to restructure the tool in a way that helps students maximize their chances for internships.”
Mostly recently, OfferPilot participated in the Penn State Nittany AI Challenge, winning first place and $15,000 in funding. Today, the platform is live and accessible to anyone, offering six tools to help users land a job. There are tools that help users upgrade and personalize resumes; create a resume from scratch; tailor cover letters to job applications; and provide a personalized job feed based on how likely a user is qualified for a job. It all adds up to massive time savings. Rady said that users on average save 4–5 hours of time during the application process, when applying to jobs using OfferPilot compared to other methods.
But why use OfferPilot versus another AI tool that’s open to the public, like ChatGPT? According to Rady, the reasons are myriad. For example, ChatGPT requires a learning curve, can’t format your resume on your behalf, doesn’t automatically help you make best-in-practice resume decisions and provides a lot of inaccurate information.
We want to see Penn State [students] prosper and more people go to higher-ranking positions at bigger companies. We really want to see the Penn State student body use this to improve and gain a competitive edge
Rady noted that, when creating the platform, he and his fellow co-founders had a certain edge that not all entrepreneurs can claim. They’re not just the creators of OfferPilot, they’re the intended users, too.
“We’re solving our own problem,” he explained. “We wanted to make something that solved our own problem first and, from there, other people’s problems. That was one of the main reasons we were able to keep going. Each time we took a step, we were able to apply [the work] to our context and see better results…. Now, we’re able to help ourselves and help our peers. It’s by college students, for college students.”
So what do those college students have to say about OfferPilot?
According to user Ryan Jai Hokimi, a junior studying computer science at Penn State, as well as the vice president of the Nittany AI Student Society and the student liaison for the Nittany AI Alliance, OfferPilot has changed the way that he’s applied to internships and helped him secure multiple interviews that he doesn’t know he’d necessarily have secured otherwise.
He said, “As a comp sci student, you set a high standard for yourself…and it’s very frustrating when you can’t land an internship simply because there are too many applicants for these positions. You don’t get a fair chance to talk with companies and meet them. You try to compensate for that by applying to a million internships from tons of companies and it takes a lot of time; it honestly counts as an extracurricular activity. Having OfferPilot speed that up by building tailored resumes and cover letters… I get the personalization I want with every company, but without having to spend the time.”
Overall, Jai Hokimi felt that his applications were of a higher quality when using OfferPilot, and that he discovered job opportunities more quickly.
Looking to the future, Rady and team plan to continue improving the platform with one particular end goal in sight. He said, “We want to see Penn State [students] prosper and more people go to higher-ranking positions at bigger companies. We really want to see the Penn State student body use this to improve and gain a competitive edge.”
Learn more about OfferPilot at https://offerpilot.ai.