“Blow your own career horn” is the motto behind Australian startup Trumpet Page – first in the country to develop an innovative online platform for contractors and freelancers to create interactive visual resumes. The site is set to outshine career platforms like LinkedIn with a lack-lustre interface.
Trumpet Page provides an easy way for contractors and freelancers to create, share and market their unique career stories online. It’s essentially a paperless resume ‘web page’ that instantly shows the reader what value they can offer and the skills they would bring to the role.
“We want to make it easier than ever for users to showcase themselves at their brilliant best, making them more marketable and the preferred choice for contract and freelance work,” says Bronwen Kaspers, Founder of Trumpet Page.
“We make resume writing easy with our built-in writing support where we show our users how to better market themselves … [and] for recruiters, we make it easy to find the ‘best-fit’ candidates.”
The inspiration behind the business
Prior to developing Trumpet Page, Ms Kaspers was the owner of Limelight Resumes and Career Coaching which she sold earlier this year. She was inspired to create Trumpet Page because it became clear to her that utilising technology to move away from traditional style resumes is the best way for contractors and freelancers to stand out.
On traditional resumes, a majority of applicants look the same and recruiters are left to choose the one who sounds the best on paper.
“If ‘Applicant A’ has all the right experience and skills for the job but gets overlooked because his or her resume is poorly written, then they miss out simply because they didn’t know how to sell themselves. It’s a communication disconnect between the job seeker and the recruiter/employer and this is why Trumpet Page is unique,” says Ms Kaspers.
“Most job seekers dislike writing their resume because they don’t have a clue what to say, they don’t know what skills employers or recruiters are looking for or how to promote themselves properly for work. I wanted to create a platform that would take all the pain out of applying for a job. Trumpet Page is also made for the Australian industry, by Australians.”
In 2012, independent contractors and freelancers made up over 17 percent of the Australian workforce. This equates to over 2 million people in Australia, with figures expected to rise to 25-30 percent by 2020.
“I would love to help all contractors secure ongoing work and hope that one day Trumpet Page will be recognised as the place to be for Australian contractors and freelancers,” says Ms Kaspers.
Building the platform
While the idea started off as a website to build visual resumes, it has since evolved into a platform to get the best tips from recruiters and experts across various industries and be discovered by those looking to hire.
“I have spent a lot of time talking with Australian recruiters and contractors to find out what they would like to see in a job search or recruitment tool. So I have packaged these all together and made it a win-win for the job seeker and the person looking to fill a position,” says Ms Kaspers.
She adds that creating the form to build the page and the built-in writing support are the most complex functions of the site, and given the website is where it all happens, most of her funds were invested into this. Thus far, the website has cost approximately AUD$25,000 and the rest of her budget is going towards branding and marketing.
Initially, Ms Kaspers was not alone in the project, but her business partner had to pull out due to work commitments.
“This was a huge blow because they were handling the IT side of Trumpet Page. It was daunting trying to find the right person to step in and help me with getting this off the ground – seeing as I had limited knowledge in IT.”
“Thankfully I found Louis from ITPlusAV who set everything up for me and has been teaching me how to self-manage and monitor some of the IT side of things.”
Given online, visual and infographic resumes are new in Australia, Ms Kaspers’ marketing strategy has been to use social media to create a buzz.
“I have been blogging, tweeting and posting to our Facebook page for eight weeks prior to even getting the Coming Soon page up. I’m creating a trumpet blowing revolution!” she says.
And the response has been nothing but positive.
“Job seekers are excited about the idea of the writing support and the move away from old fashioned resumes and recruiters are keen to explore something that’s more cost effective and efficient. For them, LinkedIn is the only online platform available,”
Like all startups, Ms Kaspers faced a number of obstacles head on. In addition to losing a business partner, her first marketing consultant pulled the pin after six weeks.
“This meant kissing goodbye to $4000 and starting all over with the branding and re-writing the web content,” she says.
She adds that she was not immune to the usual challenges startups face – like when people think “your concept is too new, too bold and just too crazy to work.”
“I’ve had plenty of low moments when I thought about tossing it all in but I try to remember that tomorrow is always a better day, and it always is. I’ve learnt to turn lemons into lemonade!” says Ms Kaspers.
Trumpet Page will offer users a 30 day free trial, followed by the option of a monthly or yearly subscription.
“Our TrumpetPRO package comes with all the ‘bells and whistles’ including premium writing support, list of recruitment contacts, job search mastermind and personalised page audits for those who want extra advice,” says Ms Kaspers.
Her main plan is to teach people how to promote their skills, increase work opportunities, and expand the site’s database of contractors and freelancers so Trumpet Page can be known as the best place to search for contract talent.
“I am also hoping to build partnerships with more recruiters who will be interested in featuring as experts/mentors on the site,” says Ms Kaspers.
The Trumpet Page website is in its final stage of development and will be launching in October. You can register for updates via www.trumpetpage.com.au