The Muse plans to use the seed funding to better personalize its advice and recommendations for job seekers and expand its network to new cities.
By Betsy Mikel (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)
Startups have given us new ways to shop online, hail cabs and book hair appointments. Now, thanks to a recent $1 million seed round investment from Tyra Banks and other investors, another startup can do even more to change how people look for jobs.
Founded by Kathryn Minshew, Melissa McCreery and Alex Cavoulacos in 2011, The Muse aims to inspire and humanize the process of finding, achieving and excelling at a career. While LinkedIn can also help job seekers find opportunities, if you don’t know what you want to do, it’s tough to use LinkedIn to connect with potential contacts. The Muse is going for a more personalized approach.
With in-depth profiles of companies that are hiring, free classes on topics such as “The Pain-Free Cover Letter” and “Hack Your Work Life” and career-focused articles and advice, The Muse is like a career counselor who knows exactly what steps you need to take to find the job you love.
The Muse was a finalist at PITCH NYC 2012 Startup Competition at the Women 2.0 NYC Conference and also landed acceptance into Y Combinator last year — rare because the startup was founded by three women, and none of them had technical experience. But the team quickly developed the technical chops they needed to expand their business. Within six months, McCreery had mastered Python and Cavoulacos is now the site’s front-end coder and the head of The Muse product team.
According to TechCrunch, The Muse is now attracting a million active visitors a month. With the additional $1 million, co-founder Kathryn Minshew says the team plans to expand their offerings.
“Like any early stage company, we can’t do everything. In fact, we’ve had to put some of our most ambitious ideas on ice until we have the team and the capital to address them. This will definitely get us close,” Minshew said.
Those ideas include better personalizing the job search so different job seekers receive jobs relating to what they’re interested in. The Muse also plans to build out Muse University to offer more free classes.
The Muse also plans to use the funding to hire a sales director to double the size of the sales team and expand to new cities.
The company began as a career network and resource focused on professional women, and even as its offering has evolved, it’s also remained true to its mission: Make finding not just a job, but a career an easier and less clinical process.
“Exactly how we do that — what the product will look like, or how it will work, has changed tremendously,” said Minshew. “I actually think that’s one of the most exciting things about a startup. I can tell you where I think we’ll be in 6 months, but ultimately we all know that great companies often take on a life of their own.”
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Betsy Mikel is a freelance copywriter and content strategist who helps brands, businesses and entrepreneurs tell their stories. A journalist at heart, her curiosity drives her to find something new to learn every single day. Follow her on Twitter at @betsym.