Anyone who has looked for jobs online can speak to the frustrations of submitting your resume into a seemingly black hole and then anxiously hoping a hiring manager (or a human for that matter) sees it.
After going through similar situations themselves, co-founders Kathryn Minshew and Alex Cavoulacos launched The Muse – a career platform that has helped more than 50 million people so far navigate the job search waters through work opportunities, skill-building classes and coaching.
"It's very personalized, and it's very human. For individuals, you can literally tell us what you're looking for and get an entire personalized career resource," Minshew told Circa. "For companies, we give them tools to showcase not just their job listings, but their culture, their employees."
The inspiration for the company came out of a need, and it is set up to address the holes Minshew and Cavoulacos saw missing in the job search process.
The Muse is like an online marketplace where applicants can get a glimpse of what it's like to work at different companies before applying. But it's personalized on both ends, which means companies are able to sift through data on the back end that gives them insights into how their job postings are doing.
"For employers, there's an entire SaaS (software as a service)," Minshew explained, adding they can see "what's resonating with potential candidates and then use those insights to improve their recruiting across the entire funnel."
The Muse now helps over 600 companies hire, engage and retain employees.
Before success comes failure
The Muse is thriving now, and Minshew credits its success in part to early business failures that have shaped she and Cavoulacos into the entrepreneurs they are today. "I've definitely failed," she said. "I think any time you try something crazy, you're going end up flat on your face just as many times as you end up wildly succeeding."
"I think any time you try something crazy, you're going end up flat on your face just as many times as you end up wildly succeeding."
Before The Muse, she and Cavoulacos, along with another former colleague, launched a different career platform specifically for women in their 20s and 30s. "It was pre-'Lean In,' pre- that whole renaissance," she explained. "We worked on it for 10 months. We had some really early success. ... Then, we had this terrible split, basically. We had two different visions."
Minshew said that failure was one of the most awful experiences of her life. She lost her life savings., but a few short weeks later, The Muse was born.
What one virtue should an entrepreneur have?
Grit, Minshew believes, is the most important quality any entrepreneur should possess.
"When you believe deeply that you need to accomplish something or that it's the right path, you've got to have that grit or resolve to push past what goes wrong," she said. And, you have to "trust yourself and keep going."
Their short-term goals involve finding a way to collaborate with Oprah.
Minshew and Covoulacos recently co-authored a book called "The New Rules of Work," which she describes as a "modern playbook" for figuring out your career. "One of our goals right now is to figure out a way to get it on Oprah's book list or must reads," Minshew said. "I just think she's a badass. She seems like somebody that would be great to collaborate with."
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