Google-Backed Startup “Smarterer” Wants To Reinvent The Resume


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Google-Backed Startup “Smarterer” Wants To Reinvent The Resume

When it comes to skills, there are the skills we know, the skills we don’t know, and the skills we list on our resume.

That last part can be murky. And as an increasing number of generalists enter the job market, mastering several sets of skills and tinkering with others, that murkiness is proving to be an immense challenge for employers and job seekers alike.

Wading into these muddy waters is Smarterer, a Google-backed startup that officially launches today. Part algorithm, part crowdsource experiment, Smarterer is looking to give people an accurate score of their expertise, ranking them on a 800-point scale, with a growing collection of online quizzes.

“People are rapidly accumulating skills,” says Jennifer Fremont-Smith, CEO of Smarterer. “But no one is tracking and measuring these skills in any identifiable way.”

“We want to take that skill section (of the resume) and reinvent it” by providing “empirical validity,” she adds.

Smarterer aims to change that by giving people the chance to prove their skills in areas as general as Facebook and Twitter to more specific platforms like Google Analytics, Dreamweaver and, yes, Eloqua. The platform takes a page from Q&A sites like Quora and LinkedIn Answers, where users answer questions in order to prove their expertise, and adds scoring elements akin to those used by social media influence rankers like Klout.

Founded in October, the Boston startup already boasts an impressive roster of backers. It’s raised $1.25 million from Google Ventures and True Ventures as well as angel investors like co-Founder David Balter, the CEO of BzzAgent, Scott Kurnit, founder of, and Dharmesh Shah, co-Founder and CEO of HubSpot.

Registered users of Smarterer take part in timed, online quizzes around subjects they believe they are experts on. The results are scored relative to the community of users and broken into three tiers “smart,” smarter” and “smarterer.” Users can take as many quizzes as they’d like on any particular subject. Since the quizzes and the questions are crowdsourced, users will never get the same quiz twice. One way users can boost their scores is to create new quizzes and add their own questions.

In fact, the users will act as the police of the system, Fremont-Smith says. “We rely on the crowd of users to notify us or flag questions that are not legitimate questions,” she says.

And Fremont-Smith argues that the crowdsourcing model is the only viable method for determining what skills matter across such a wide array of rapidly changing disciplines. “If you took a test a year ago that said you are good at Ruby On Rails,” she notes, “that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re good at it today.”

Smarterer will provide users with badges that reflect their individual scores, which the company hopes people will attach to their LinkedIn profiles, pages and other pieces of their digital resume. The startup even goes so far as to make it impossible to hide your score on its site. Without this layer of added transparency, Fremont-Smith says, Smarterer’s results would be just biased and obtuse as the skill section found on resumes today.

So how will the company make money? Fremont-Smith sees potential windfalls in connecting hiring managers within organizations to identify ideal candidates or by providing tools that make it possible to filter through a mass of resumes. But for now she says Smarterer is focused on developing a large user base and improving the user experience, and will let the revenue fall into place later.

“We’re providing this important and missing piece of the puzzle right now, which will snap into the mosaic of the entire person’s identity,” says Fremont-Smith.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jesse Noyes
Jesse came to Eloqua from the newsroom trenches. As Managing Editor, it's his job to find the hot topics and compelling stories throughout the marketing world. He started his career at the Boston Herald and the Boston Business Journal before moving west of his native New England. When he's not sifting through data or conducting interviews, you can find him cycling around sunny Austin, TX.


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