Building in Public February 17, 2021

A simple indie hacker trying to change the hiring industry

Bender Dev @bender_dev

Hey there,

TL;DR

I just launched my first product ever — Standout Resume. ;)

Intro

It is my first time launching a product but is not my first building one. All the previous products I built, have never seen the light of day. The burnout caught me before I could release them.🥺 That is why I have decided to do things differently this time. I am launching the product before it is finished.

My goal is to validate the idea and collect feedback. I will hate to add this product to my product graveyard. I love this product. I believe it can help a lot of people and nothing will make me happier.

Product Summary

Standout Resume helps job seekers land a better job by differentiating themself with a nice web-resume/portfolio online.

What we provide?

Standout Resume is a tool that allows candidates to transform their boring old resume into a new interesting portfolio hosted online as a website-portfolio.

We live in the visual media era. It is about time we stop using old boring pdfs with too much text. To remedy this, I created an online resume/portfolio builder:

  • Easy and fast to build.
  • Fully customize.
  • Dozens of templates just in case the user needs help coming up with a nice design.
  • Wow-effect on the hiring team.
  • Support for old pdfs (just in case)
  • Making it easier than ever for the user to emphasize with the company by adding plenty of pictures that will change the user from a mere number (on par with thousand candidates ) to a person with hobbies and dreams.

My Motivation

Getting hired by a company has never been so competitive. It is hard to stand out from all the hundreds of candidates and show your true value, this is even harder if we take into account that every single candidate has the same resume.

The last time I was looking for a job most offers had more than 300 applicants signup in the first 2 days. With this amount of candidates, HR can not spend more than 30 secs per resume.

This is where we come in. Giving a tool to the candidates to stand out from the crowd, making it easier than ever for the company to empathize with you using plenty of visual media and colorful designs. To show you as a person rather than as a number within thousand of candidates.

How I came up with the idea

I am a web developer and came up with this idea when I was looking for a job and decided to build a quick (nothing spectacular) portfolio online (a website showing my experience, education, hobbies, and personal projects). After posting it on Twitter to receive some feedback, I got 1k likes and my Twitter account had less than 100 followers. I got an immense good response from the Twitter community, everybody loved it (10 persons ask for permission to copy it).

And that, got me thinking, how normal it is in my sector (web developers) to build a portfolio where you display your skills and projects but how uncommon and surprising is for the rest of the people ( This is not for lack of options, there are plenty of platforms that allow you to create a website without writing a line of code )

So the logical thought is that they are too complicated, people want a super-easy, super-simple way to do everything. So I decided to focus on that and give the people the ability to personalize super good-looking resume online within 5 minutes.

Possible problems that you may be thinking

  • What about big companies with their bots that filter your resume?

Well, I am pretty sure that not all companies do that. But even though they do it. In the first round of interviews, you still have to compete with dozens of candidates. And I am pretty sure that then HR will review your standout resume personally. So there you can outstand yourself.

  • What about companies that only accept pdfs?

We got that cover, we allow the user to transform their web portfolio to a boring pdf with the click of a button.

Expectations

I might sound too ambitious but I really want to change the whole old system of old pdf resumes. Founders often talk about how important is to treat candidates as persons and not mere numbers. Pretty sure lots of them will back up this idea of making candidates persons with faces again.

Product: https://standout-resume.now.sh/

    1. 1

      Thanks! Appreciate it :)

  1. 3

    Great UI, product looks good.
    Just if I may suggest something, is to not using a click bait slogan.
    When you wrote on the title "trying to change the hiring industry", it could be very strong slogan, but in fact, you are just relooking CV. Which is great, but not enough to say "changing the hiring industry".
    So product looks good, but I feel a bit abused by your slogan.

  2. 3

    This looks really useful and i'll give it a shot!

    1. 1

      Thanks, I really appreciate it. If you have any suggestions or things you don't like... you can use the chat on the web :)

  3. 3

    That's looks very good. I love it. It's a breath of a fresh air in a space full of CV builders which end up as just boring PDFs.

    The landing page looks very neat and straight to the point. I'm just curious what's your plan for the mvp version of your product. What's the single most important feature that your product provides? Are you going to release it with a dozen of templates or just one, for example? Your idea is nice, but seems a bit too much of features for an mvp.

    Nevertheless I'm optimistic about it. Keep it up and good luck ;)

    1. 2

      Thank you so much for the feedback :)

      You are right I didn't talk about the MVP. My MVP would consist of creating a single template where users can edit and publish. It would have limited features in terms of customization. The single most important feature is speed to create everything. That is why I was looking to add a Linkedin import.

      About the dozens of templates, it would be secondary for now. Although it is the easiest part of the product to build.

  4. 2

    This is a great idea and looks very good. My only suggestion would be to use online marketing to get the word out about this awesome website. I have recently started using the website twik for all things online marketing and personalization. Hope this works for you!

  5. 2

    Love this idea! Sending it to 2 people who desperately need digital resumes but really don't want to build a portfolio site.

    I will say this - have the copy checked by a copywriter, there are several duplications or places where it could be clearer.

    The voice is great though! love how it's friendly and approachable.

    1. 1

      That is awesome to hear, Thanks so much for recommending us.

      That is the whole goal with the product, I want to help as many people as possible.
      Yeah, I need to double-check the page, I still have a lot to learn. So if you have any specific feedback let me know, I will eternally grateful.

      BTY: if your friends have any feedback or request, please let us know. :)

  6. 2

    Congrats on launching your first product! It looks really nice and useful. Just curious, how many hours have you been working on this?

    1. 1

      Thanks for the feedback. :)

      I have not spent a lot of time on the landing page because I have a full-time job. I spent 2 days designing the page on Figma, 3 days building the page on Nextjs, and a couple of more days integrating analytics and writing the copy.

  7. 2

    The landing page looks great! Would you mind sharing what you used to build it?

    1. 1

      Thanks :) The page is built entirely with Nextjs and ChackraUI. I am fairly comfortable with this stack that is why I chose them.

  8. 2

    This is an awesome project!!! I wished I had this when I was looking for a job. This may finally push me to create my portfolio.
    Good luck! and keep up the good work. 💪

    1. 1

      Thank you! This comment really motivates me to keep going forward :)

  9. 2

    This idea is super cool! ✨ I would like to see how you deal with pricing and monetization model, as one-time payment, subscription, freemium...

    On the other side we're building JobBoardy a tool that sends job offers tu multimple job boards with only one submission. For now we have a waitlins but soon will launch the final site!

    1. 2

      I am still not sure how I am going to monetize it. As you mention the Churn is going to be crazy high due to the seasonality of the business. So maybe one-off is a better way to approach it. The problem with one-off is that maintaining the cost of having the website online. It is a monthly cost and people will just leave the website online if it has no cost for them.

      I will be writing our research and decision on my account, here, and on Reddit. And if you have any specific questions don't hesitate to ping me, I will happily answer you.

      Yes! I saw on Twitter all the products you launched. They are pretty amazing. And JobBoard seems like an awesome idea. I don't know how many competitors you have but definitely looks like it could grow to something pretty big 🚀😁

      1. 2

        Yes, with one-time payment probably the maintenance price will grow in the future and maybe you have to search other monetization ways.

        There are some competitors, of course, but that is a prove that there's a market fit for JobBoardy too! :)

        1. 2

          Nice, I will watch closely the growth of JobBoardy! And maybe (in the future) ask you some growth questions if you don't mind! 😁😉

          1. 2

            Cool, happy to help!

  10. 2

    Well done on the successful launch! What I see as a potential hurdle in this, is that you show all the design with beautiful photos of humans, but not everyone has studio like photos? Is that a right assumption or I am wrong? If it is, how are you planning to overcome this?

    FYI clicking "Create your web-resume" button triggers an error - Uncaught ReferenceError: AnalyticsEvent is not defined - and won't move anywhere.

    1. 2

      Yeah, that is something we have realized while building the mocks ups, the quality of the resumes increases a lot when you add good quality images ( obviously ).

      At the moment we don't have a good solution to overcome that, for now, it will be helpful to create integrations with stock photo services like Unsplash or Shutterstock ( as a quick fix, but I think this will depersonalize the resume ). What I believe could help is to create a detailed guide on what are good images to include in the resume and having examples.

      If they refuse to add images we will try to create templates that don't require images to look nice. Or maybe with some 3D drawings we can overcome the depersonalize issue of not having pics.

      But yes, it is a really good point you made.

      Thanks for letting me know about the bug. I just fixed it :)

      1. 2

        Awesome! Glad you were able to fix it. :)

        Or take their images and at least make them look pretty even if they are not. :D
        Like instagram filters or so with a border.

        1. 1

          Thanks! :) Good idea. I will write it down for the future 😁

  11. 2

    How are you planning to charge? Onetime build and download site? or are you going for monthly payment?

    1. 1

      I haven't given it a lot of thought, to be honest. It depends a lot on variables that I won't be able to consider until I reach some amount of users. What makes sense is to add some additional value to the product so users will want to keep it even though they have already found a job so I can charge a subscription for having the website online.

      If not maybe setting a really small price might keep some of them. There are definitely multiple options but not worth spending the time on it right now.

      I like the sentence: "Build something people want and you will find a way to make money out of it"

      1. 2

        Sounds good. I tried a simple Profile page thing before Stringify.me and Knoww.me both not able to attract much users.. I believe monthly subscription price can set back alot of users.
        Check these guys, they have one time price modal Semplice.com

        1. 1

          Thanks for the feedback, mind me asking why weren't able to attract many users what were the problems, did you face any roadblocks? How did you look for clients? :)

          1. 1

            I haven't tried for clients for Stringify.me, its just a opensource side project. And Knoww.me project I temporarily suspened because of other high priority tasks.

  12. 2

    Hi, your website looks good! FYI I'm building a complementary product - a job alert service called RoleCat. I'd be interested in keeping in touch if you are.

    1. 1

      That is awesome! Yes, let's keep in touch. I am already following you. It might be super beneficial for both of us to do a partnership in the future. :)

      1. 1

        For sure. Let's talk when we both get a little further down the path ...

  13. 2

    Have you thought about monetization?

    you could start selling specific niche templates individually later on. build the tool first. add an extra marketplace where you list your own niche templates. let users start from a template and pay a fee for it. you could also add hosting and custom domain fees probably.

    All of these sound reasonable for a website which i guess this is.

    Are 1 a4 pdf resume page + 1 a4 page cover letter somehow better for employeers to see compared to a full visually stunning website?

    Is a pdf resume a different asset than your website? would you want them to be different?

    1. 2

      That is exactly what I had in mind for the monetization. Also, I am still not sure in which direction the product is going to grow, so we still don't have a real monetization plan.

      As for the a4 pdf, I truly believe that a website is better for both parties (candidates and employers).

      A couple of big advantages will be:

      • Accessible easily by URL.
      • Responsive design, quickly check from your phone.
      • You know you always have the latest version.
      • Can quickly search keywords use the own browser search functionality ( most pdfs are not correctly formatted so you can not search properly )
      • You have a better picture of how is that personal ( design, images, font, layout ) all that transmits more about the candidate than simple pdf does.

      Imagine talking about your experience doing an internship with an image of you at that internship, so the employer can see the pic while reading it. I think it adds the perfect touch of human connection to empathize.

      As for the different assets part, we are still deciding whether we want the website as PDF assets or create old-school PDFs.

  14. 2

    Nice! Is it just a design update or you provide guides to write better job descriptions ?
    Indeed, Monster,... if you are not different nowadays, HR doesn't put an eye on your resume, you are right.

    1. 2

      It is going to be both, we want to allow users to create awesome designs but we also know how painful is to write a correct resume so we are planning to add pre-made sentences and sections as well as guides and tips to reduce the creation time and improve the chances on getting hired.

      Does that answer your question? I am not sure if I got the better job description part right.

      1. 2

        Yes, sure. It's interesting. One thing: data and past performances are great in a resume. I think it will help to be different. Good luck with your product, it's nice for job seekers :)

        1. 1

          Thanks! 😁 You are absolutely right! Data could be a really important feature for getting new users and generate additional value. :)

          Definitely on the list of options to explore.

  15. 2

    This is nice. Great work on what you have right now (judging purely from the landing page). I think this will go a long way towards making the recruitment process easier. Trust me, we've actually been on a bit of a hiring spree lately, and from the hiring person's point of view, better looking, more accessible resumes are a BIG factor in helping us make a decision. (You wouldn't believe the number of technical people who apply for jobs who still send DOC files - we are on Macs here, so opening those is a bit of a hit or miss affair and the formatting is massacred).

    My only concern here is the ongoing revenue aspect for you. Generally, I would expect that someone would be 'for hire' for a very short time (weeks/months) and then when they get hired, there is no reason to keep paying for such a service.

    Would you then consider perhaps a 'one off' cost, or a price per resume for those that want to use your service?

    This actually leads me to another question while thinking about this - if someone stops paying, does their resume disappear? We like to keep people's resumes on file in case another position opens up that might suit someone who just missed the cut during the last round. If a customer stops using your service, does their resume disappear?

    1. 2

      Thanks for the feedback, how people share their resume is just crazy, I have seen people just an image of their resume paper version 🤯
      I am still not sure how I am going to monetize it. As you mention the Churn is going to be crazy high if we do a subscription. So one-off maybe a better way to approach it. The problem with the one-off is that maintaining the cost of having the website online is a monthly cost and people will just leave the website unused online because it is free.

      So we have thought of two approaches, One is to have a really low subscription fee so people don't mind paying monthly just in case they get inbound offers, pretty much the same as having a nice-looking LinkedIn.
      The other approach is having a medium one-off price and once they have finished the resume it will remain online for X amount of Months ( X depends on how much does it cost us to have it online ) but they won't be able to edit it. So all the recruiters will have access to it.

      Although my goal is to generate some additional value so people keep paying a subscription even though they already found a job. Not sure how I am going to do it 😂

      For the moment having a real value in helping people finding the best jobs is the main goal.

      Does that answer your questions? Feel free to ask more questions, happy to help.

  16. 2

    Update on the product

    Yesterday by just tweeting about it I got 10 signups and a really good feedback about the product. This does not validate the product since I believe the only validation is when someone is willing to pay for it. But still it is a good motivation.

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