Andrea Martins founder of Story Resumes

Andrea Martins is the founder of Story Resumes – an innovative service that helps jobseekers get noticed faster via eye-catching, story-telling resumes. A creative at heart, Andrea also co-founded ExpatWomen.com (the largest global website helping women living abroad) and has been a guest presenter to audiences in the United States, Morocco, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico and Australia.

I have a zillion ideas every day. But the ones that I work on are the ones that eat at me, day in and day out, to the point that I have to work on them to retain my sanity.

storyresumes.com @StoryResumes facebook

 

Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?

Story Resumes grew out of my own frustration in not getting noticed by recruiters and employers. Having once worked as a recruiter, I knew why this was likely happening. There were ‘gaps’ in my resume – because I had taken a parenting break and had spent nine years abroad – and recruiters hate gaps.

But as a talented jobseeker with so much to offer, I was determined to figure out how to stop this from happening. My first idea was to take a chance and pay an illustrator to help me ‘tell my story’ creatively.

I wasn’t really prepared for what happened next… recruiters and company founders (on the other side of the world, even!) started writing personal responses to my job applications, calling me within hours of receiving my resume, inviting me for interviews and offering me jobs!

In the next year, I took some of these job offers. But the more I listened to my friends’ struggles to find work, the more I wanted to help them get noticed as well. Once I had enough seed money, I resigned from my job at the time and set about creating what is now Story Resumes.

Please explain your business model.

It’s pretty straightforward. A customer purchases the resume of their choice – either an infographic, illustrated or animated video resume – and then we commission one of our high-quality illustrators to work their magic for our valued customer.

Our resumes start at US$599 so they are not for everyone. They are for talented candidates who are willing to invest in their career and who understand that getting noticed and hired faster will actually save them money in the long run!

What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months? 

Having taken a two-month hiatus after launch to spend the holidays with my children, I’m only now at the beginning stages of telling the world that we exist.

But in addition to working on our launch promotion (as leanly as possible), I’m also looking at targeting a much bigger potential market via automated templates and a possible partnership with a large job search site (either in Australia or abroad). Stay tuned.

How do you make ideas happen?

I have a zillion ideas every day. But the ones that I work on are the ones that eat at me, day in and day out, to the point that I have to work on them to retain my sanity.

What does your typical day look like?

During the launch stage, it was all about researching potential competitor sites, sourcing and then testing (lots of) illustrators, working daily with the web site designer to bring my web ideas to life, working closely with my colleague (based in the United States) to create all the internal systems and documents that the business would need if either one of us (or both of us) were not in the business in the future.

This ability for the business to stand-alone without needing any particular person’s involvement was important for me because I did not have this with my first web site business, ExpatWomen.com. Whilst that business ran with up to six team members, it always depended on one person – me. This time around, I didn’t want to have that constant responsibility, so with the help of Google docs, we created a business with an exit strategy from day one.

Now in the promotion stage, it’s about finding influencers and publications that might help us spread the word in Australia and beyond.

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

The biggest challenge for me in both businesses I have started has been the sheer distance to travel to attend key networking events abroad with the movers and shakers of my industries. The Internet is amazing, but building face-to-face relationships is priceless.

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

If you are trying to boost your online presence, be very careful about who you pay to build links to your business’s web site. 95% of the link requests I received at ExpatWomen.com (and I received about a dozen a day) were copy/paste jobs done by poor quality “SEO link experts” who did more harm than good to their client’s business reputation. Gatekeepers of good Google Page Rank sites just delete these requests and sadly your money usually gets wasted. I wish more people knew this. 

Speaking of affecting social change, we’ve teamed up with Shout for Good to encourage readers to ‘shout a coffee’ to charity by clicking the button below. Is there a particular charity you’d like to support?

There are too many awesomely worthy charities on Shout for Good for me to name just one. I encourage everyone to jump on and shout away! 

Name some must-read websites you would recommend to our readers.

www.mashable.com

www.medium.com

www.upworthy.com

www.udemy.com

www.99u.com

Can you name some Australians/Australian companies we should follow on Twitter?

@LisaMessenger

@RachBermingham

@SmartCompany

@FirebrandTalent

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)? 

Yes please! Funding would be a godsend. But social media love would also be incredibly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc. What would it be?

Where can we find high-quality Australian developers? (apart from Founder2be and AngelList)

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