The professional social networking web site ResumeSponge launched Wednesday, offering to help job seekers organize their resume and expand their job hunting networks.
The site is entering a marketplace that is growing increasingly crowded with the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites. With job seekers already updating their status, tweets and other information almost daily, is it worth it to add yet another networking site to your daily job-hunting chores?
I decided to join the site and find out. One thing that struck me is that ResumeSponge isn't meant for social networking like Facebook, but it offers enough unique ways to market yourself that it stands out from the one-dimensional methods offered at LinkedIn.
ResumeSponge allows you to create a unique URL for your resume, so you can send it to others when applying for jobs. Along with the standard in-line text of a resume, users can add video, photos, PDF documents, Microsoft documents, recommendation letters, and whole host of other things that will enhance their portfolio (check out this mock profile on the web site to see what I mean).
"The point of this profile is really to allow people to market themselves in a whole new way," Solomon Engel, 27, the CEO of ResumeSponge, said.
The site also offers what it calls SpongeMail, enabling users to launch group conversations and share work documents. Everything on the site is free.
Until now, LinkedIn, which has more than 60 million users, has been the only platform for the unemployed that is markedly different than CareerBuilder, Monster + HotJobs, Dice and other job search sites, he said.
"Definitely the market is crowded, but what we have is extremely different," Engel said.
Some sites, like Monster and CareerBuilder, have allowed employers to send me spam mail for jobs that weren't as good as advertised or were simply phishing attempts for a job seeker's personal information. Engel said ResumeSponge will prevent employers from sending spam.
Eager job seekers should be patient, though. The site is still in beta testing. Other than signing up on the web site, there isn't much on ResumeSponge for people to browse. Employers haven't listed any jobs yet and links to how the features of the site work are coming soon, Engel said.
Short of building your own web site, ResumeSponge is a good way to stand out from the crowd in the job hunt -- that is, if you have the energy to drop all you've invested on LinkedIn over the past few years and devote some time to marketing yourself on yet another web site.
Aaron Crowe is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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