JobCom is a platform that aims to help Tech International Students in Australia to showcase their talents through a stand-out portfolio.

Problem Background  

International students are the main contributors to the GDP of Australia as they contribute about 40 billion dollars, and about 250,000 jobs which was before 2020 (ABC news). Specifically, in New South Wales, there are 260,000 international students who graduate every year. In Victoria, this number is 182,000 international students with an increasing rate. These numbers increase by 50% every year. 

However, the unemployment rate now for international students in Australia after graduating in 2 years in Australia is 60%. Some students, when doing surveys, said that their qualifications do not match with what they did. However, from our research, as stated below, these reasons are the main problems that prevent recruiters from reaching out to international students as they can’t find the applicants that fit the job qualifications. These reasons also need a solution so as to get the recruiters to go through these barriers. 

Figure 1: Reasons affecting recruitment of international students

The recruiters also have their own problems where they can’t hire anyone that does not fit their applicant requirements. About 40% of businesses have revealed that they find it hard to recruit "good people" into their workforce, a struggle that puts their organisation's business planning and execution at risk. The VISA problem is the permanent problem that we can not solve as it is the government problem. However, what we can do to bridge the gap is bring applicants closer to recruiters. Our solution is to focus on technical graduate students, provide an all-in-one portfolio platform so that whenever the recruiter reaches each applicant, they will see everything about the applicant and how they will fit with their culture. They would see the applicant’s abilities, and not just see their list of past experience.

Research Insights

User Pain Points

“International students may face difficulty in obtaining a work visa or in finding a job that sponsors a visa”.

After conducting the survey for international student and graduated student at the school of Engineering in Sydney, Australia, we found out that:

  • 78% of surveyor responded that it hard for them for being recruited, 85% of them responded that the main problem is that they don’t have the portfolio that can showcase to the recruiter

After conducting the user interviews, we found out that:

  • Portfolios are not relevant to all backgrounds. Past experience and projects would be nice to have.
  • There is a need to have template for navigating the input from user


There are 5 key insights that we found out after interview with the customer:

  1. Most people use LinkedIn to showcase skills.
  2. Portfolios are not relevant to all backgrounds. Past experience and projects would be nice to have.
  3. Achievements section to showcase to the recruiters.
  4. Resume and Cover Letters for international students are evaluated by the careers and placement representatives at their universities.
  5. One user asked for a template to input the details of the portfolio.

Solution Explanation

Based on our target users’ pain points, we knew we wanted to work on the following features:

  1. Login / Sign Up with Google/Linkedin/GitHub
  2. Copy their portfolio link to be shared to the recruiters
  3. Connect their social accounts with their portfolio
  4. Highlight the project
  5. Add, edit and delete their information inside the portfolio

Lo Fi & Hi Fi Mockups

Iterative Design Learnings

After we showcased our prototype to the users again, we learned that:

  • Users are able to navigate easily through the given scenario.
  • Users understand how to add, edit or delete their portfolio information.
  • Users feel the product is very simple thus it actually needs more features in the future (e.g. portfolio templates, company profile they work at, connection with colleagues, etc.)

Technical implementation

JobCom is a web application that is hosted on Vercel.

The application has been built using ReactJS and Material UI for the front-end. For the backend, its API has been created and is integrated on Firebase.

A user using JobCom would access the web application from the link, create an account, and sign in. They would then fill up their details on all sections, upload the necessary documents where required, and save their entries for them to be recorded in our database. The saved entries would be displayed on their screen as well. Once all sections are filled, the user would need to View Public Portfolio which would provide them with a public link that they could share with potential recruiters.

Technical challenges

Building JobCom was an amazing learning experience. We got to learn and integrate different technologies to greater extents, pushing ourselves to learn more of their functionalities and integrations. The hardest part of the development process was the API integration, especially on uploading user documents such as resumes, photos and other PDF documents. After much research, development and testing, we were finally successful and this function works perfectly on our site.

To further grow JobCom, scaling would be required. However, in its current state, our JobCom MVP would have some scaling issues. We plan on creating our own backend at some point in the future, instead of relying on Firebase, which would help in overcoming this setback.

Our goal for Co.Lab was to successfully launch an MVP and have a useful product that was publicly available. We have achieved this goal and JobCom is live.

Future Steps

After the end of Co.Lab Cohort 16, we will continue the project to finish the alpha phase. 

When we conducted the user interviews and usability tests, there were some signals from customers stating their need to land jobs, especially people in the tech field. However, there is still no other platform that has the all-in-one version of the portfolio.

We will keep listening to the customers as we progress the product development.


Product Manager Learnings:

Vinh Dao

  • The important thing I realised from Co.Lab is focusing on Problem space, narrowing down the scope of project niches enough but still having room for change
  • Implementation of the product concept to the product, and navigating the product roadmap, such as through the opportunity solution tree concept, the mom test concept for conducting interviews and the continuous discovery raising concept by Teresa Torres.
  • It’s really important to collaborate with the designer to understand customer needs, and with developers to understand the project scope during the product building process. 

Designer Learnings:

Jessica Alvina

  • Validated an idea through a research plan, user interviews and opportunity solution trees to determine the MVP scope.
  • Maintained the accessibility and feasibility of design by asking team member's opinions.
  • Team feedback is important because it helps to validate the design process.
  • Always double checking with the PM and developers before or after building a feature to make sure it is aligned with everyone.

Developer Learnings:

David Ouma

  • Understood the inner workings of Firebase and how to integrate it with the front-end.
  • Learnt the importance of communicating blockers and ideas when working with a remote team.
  • Understood the process of making a product from the user research stage to the development stage.

Developers Learnings:

Susan Ndagi


  • Gained experience working in a cross-functional team and got to understand PM and designer tools used in product building.
  • Gained familiarity with the agile methodology and how consistent effective communication is crucial for product development.
  • Gained a deeper understanding of the product development process using React and Firebase technologies.

Full Team Learning

We discovered that team alignment is very important when working together. It was quite hard for us in the first week because everyone lives in different time zones. However, we overcame this difficulty by setting up daily standups scheduled at a suitable time that worked for all of us. We also did weekly reviews and retros to ensure that we had a great alignment among the team.