Thursday, January 15, 2009
Interview with Josh Stomel, ResumeBucket
Story by Benjamin F. Kuo
Our startup interview this morning is with Josh Stomel, founder of ResumeBucket (www.resumebucket.com), a new web site that is focused on helping people share their resumes with the world. Stomel--who is bootstrapping the startup from his recruiting firm, NeoHire--explained the site to us.
What's the idea behind the site?
Josh Stomel: ResumeBucket is a portal that allows consumers to simply put their resume online, within seconds. We also allow the users to have a custom URL, for example, resumebucket.com/joshstomel. We also provide the consumer a slew of tools, that will help them upload their resume and manage their online identity, plus we also have a resume builder function, detailed metrics on exactly who is viewing their resume, and the ability to create and manage multiple versions of their resume.
Are those resume public or private?
Josh Stomel: When a user signs up, they can set their own unique URL, and make their either completely public, or accessible only through a password. If it's password protected, no one can access the resume without the password. We're also offering the ability to search jobs--we allow anyone to search for resumes, for free.
What's your background and what drove you to start ResumeBucket?
Josh Stomel: My background is in the recruiting industry. I had early success working in-house with Matt Coffin at LowerMyBills in 2005, and then I was brought on by Yahoo to build out the Yahoo Publisher Network Team. I went on to Oversee.net, and helped to build that company from 60 to 250 employees. I then felt like it was time for me to branch out on my own, and help my close colleagues build their companies. The exciting thing with ResumeBucket, is that we didn't have to follow the venture backed model. We bootstrapped this project from day one, using our early success with our recruiting firm, NeoHire, to finance the business. We've used the profits from NeoHire for funding. The exciting this, and the biggest benefit from bootstrapping this from recruiting, is I've been able to develop, and hand-pick a world class technology team. I've been able to take the best talent which we've come across in the last six years, and put them in ResumeBucket.
Often human resources departments want plain text resumes, etc. to feed into their systems--how does this work with their requirements?
Josh Stomel: That's the cool thing about ResumeBucket. It was developed from a different angle. It's not just that a consumer can get their resume online, and have a url to share with them--for a startup company, and with the economy right now, they don't have funds to pay for recruiting agencies, they don't have funds to pay for Monster, Hotjobs, or Careerbuilder. So those firms can search our database for free, and soon we'll have the ability to post jobs for free on the site. It also solves a lot of problems companies with HR staff might have. For example, they spend a lot of time reading resumes, and want to have the latest updated version, and candidates often don't have them with them. They might be driving and can't get to them, or they might be traveling and their resume is at home. With this, all those problems are fixed because they can go to ResumeBucket.com and access it immediately. Having worked internally, I've seen these problems, and it really does affect whether someone will be hired or not. If you've in London for two weeks, they just have to move on to another candidate. So this fixes a lot of problems.
Is this at all competitive with LinkedIn?
Josh Stomel: I think all of the other sites--LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, and Monster--are really large destination sites. The users go there to do a lot more than just create a resume and share and distribute it. There are lots of people there doing competitive intelligence, or doing research on an industry or landscape. I think that we can all agree that, many times in conversion, simpler is better. LinkedIn doesn't target the entire population--for example, you don't see college students there, you don't see a mechanical engineer working on big airplanes in LinkedIn. ResumeBucket hits the market with the idea and premise that simpler is better. We're very focused on very simple signup, which in the end helps conversion. We believe simpler is better in terms of ResumeBucket, and that will appeal to anybody who has a resume.
How do you make money from the site?
Josh Stomel: How we make money right now is advertising revenue. Indeed.com is our partner for job search, and they pay us on a cost-per-click basis. We also have direct relationsihps with Yahoo's Precision Match team, and they provide a very optimized feed on our resume and job search resumes. Also, when people are looking for resumes, we're going to target advertising relevant to that resume on the right third column.
So to understand this correctly--when you show a resume, you also show ads?
Josh Stomel: Yes, we show ads relevant to the keywords and the resume. We also blend in ads with our job results page. Plus, we will provide resume writing services. We're almost like PlentyOfFish for resumes. They're not charging anyone anything, and if you look at their interface it's very simple. It works. However, if you look at the sign up process for something like Monster or Careerbuilder, that takes 5, 6, 7, or 8 minutes.
Do you run into any issues with privacy of the information on the site?
Josh Stomel: When we first launched three months ago, we had lots of people putting their resume online, and didn't understand that the search engines would pick them up within 24 hours. They would realize that when they were doing a boolean search on a keyword in their resume, and their own name and their online name would get picked up as the first result on Google--which is not great if you have information in your resume you don't want the world to see. So, we've recently started encouraging users of ResumeBucket to remove their name and their personal contact info from their resume, and instead force users to use the contact form on the page.
Finally, how are you reacting and dealing with the economy right now with your business?
Josh Stomel: We're seeing more and more layoffs every day. The good news, is a product like ResumeBucket actually grows in this economy. There are more people looking for jobs, resumes are coming on the market, and it's growing. So, it's safe to say, there will be more resumes, more content, and more organic traffic to our site, which in turn will provide us with a profitable business, since we're monetizing from ads. We're growing extremely aggressively.