If you ask a soon-to-be college graduate about major concerns post-graduation, the top response is probably unemployment. Job seekers today are doing anything they can do to become employed, including turning to recruiters, keeping an updated LinkedIn (News - Alert) profile, stalking job boards such as Simply Hired, Indeed and CareerBuilder and, of course, networking. Two big problems with these methods, however, are companies are receiving too many resumes that they don’t want, and job seekers aren’t securing positions that are a good fit for them and their interests. These are two problems that collegefeed aims to solve.
collegefeed is a site dedicated to helping students and recent grads kickstart their careers. It creates a network of colleges, students and companies to make the job seeking process a personalized and rich experience. For example, if I’m interested in working for companies like Facebook, Twitter, Apple (News - Alert) and Google, the site will show me alumni from my college that work at those companies, a feed of employment opportunities at those companies as well as similar companies and positions and a “collegefeed confidential” section, which features crowd sourced information such as interview questions and application process tips.
The site is spearheaded by Sanjeev Agrawal, who was formerly the product marketing chief at Google (News - Alert), and a team of ex-Google, Microsoft and McKinsey alumni who graduated from six schools with ten degrees between them. I recently spoke with Agrawal about collegefeed, which launched in beta today.
“I’m not the typical Silicon Valley 20-year-old doing a startup,” said Agrawal. “My goals in life now are a little bit different; they involve both giving back as well as doing something that I think has long-term impact.”
Agrawal explains when he graduated from MIT (News - Alert), he faced a white board problem and a black hole problem. A white board problem is the abundance of resources a grad has to choose from for employment opportunities: the career fairs, the recruiters, the job boards, alumni connections, E-mail and the companies themselves. Now, 20 years later, we have all of those resources and more; add in LinkedIn, blogs, career coaching and the Internet, and that’s a lot for the average graduate to take in.
The main idea behind collegefeed is the same strategy that is fuels advertising, dating, music streaming, social networking, shopping and searching on the Web: it gives you personalized results. Similar to how Amazon shows you similar products to your quest for an iPod, or YouTube (News - Alert) offers options for related music or videos, collegefeed aims to personalize your job search experience and offer the most relevant results to you and your interests.
To be fair, LinkedIn offers this already. There’s a “Jobs you may be interested in” section as well as “Companies you may want to follow” and “Groups you may like” sections based on what your experience, searches, who and what you already follow and interests. collegefeed, however, aims to make these options and suggestions more catered to what you are actually interested in pursuing. Instead of featuring a stream of updates from connections on LinkedIn, collegefeed has an automatically updated feed of job openings.
The site also offers an awards program that can help students pay for college tuition and showcase their skills.
“Even if you don’t win the award, by applying for one of these awards you will be able to showcase some of your skills that you can then put on your collegefeed profile, which is far richer than the average profile,” explained Agrawal.
In addition to their basic information and resume, students can opt to share their academic record, top 5 classes, accomplishments, work experience and skills, work samples, personal statement and references. Schools the site is currently partnered with are University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley.
collegefeed is also an opportunity for companies, which are spending on average $10,000 to recruit, increase their brand awareness, messaging and reach to college students. The site helps both sides share information the other party wants to see and learn about.
“The technology is all there. It’s just a matter of bringing the pieces together,” said Argrawal. “The way everybody consumes information these days is, it’s pushed to them in a feed as opposed to them having to keep searching.”
“We prepare your personalized concierge,” he said.
The site will launch to the public in May 2013 and will be available nationwide by this fall. To learn more, visit www.collegefeed.com.