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Podcast with career development, services, and mentoring veteran, Charlie O'Donnell

Charlie O'donnellCharlie O'Donnell

What if you could use Amazon.com style book analysis algorithms while evaluating career options?

Welcome to a special Success Strategies/Online Savvy Channel podcast on Total Picture Radio. This is Peter Clayton Reporting. I was hanging out drinking coffee this morning, watching my Twitter feed on Twhirl, when a Tweet from The Career Renegade, Jonathan Fields, (whom we interviewed a couple of weeks ago) caught my attention. Clicking on the link Jonathan included, I found myself on the home page of Path101.Com:

"Don't know what you want to do? We built FREE career services to help!" Reads the Headline. Joining us is the CEO of Path101.com Charlie O'Donnell, - which launched today in Alpha mode.

  • Has Amazon ever told you, "People like you bought these other books."? It's a great feature and it's all built off of the shopping habits of real people.
  • What if you could do the same thing with everyone's resume and find out what everyone else was out there doing?
  • You could know what people with your major do for a living, or what jobs people do next after they have yours.
  • What skills do you need in public relations? Investment banking? Which jobs demand the skills you already have?
  • It's all out there! The data is on everyone else's resumes, and Path101 has found over 3 million of them on the web.

Path101 Blog

Today, Path101 announced our first full product release to the public. (Go check it out --> www.path101.com) Since last summer, we've been testing and getting feedback on features, like our personality assessment, as they were being built. Today, those features come together with our resume analyzer tool, career advice community, and views of the data we've gathered from among the millions of resumes published across the web. Like any good startup, we're a little rough around the edges, but we feel that the best thing for the product is for users to come through and constructively tell us what they think. Path 101 has always been about opening up career opportunities to people using data. We believe that it's not that people don't know what they want to do with their careers--they just don't know what's out there to do. By crawling the web for resumes and analyzing that data in our Resume Genome Project, we're learning more and more about what real career paths actually look like and figuring out how best to expose that data.

Excerpt of Path101 Business Model

The basic concept of Path 101 is that users provide data about themselves so that we can compare them to others and show them possible career paths. While our database is sure to be full of valuable insights into careers, it's not the database itself, but the application of the database that drives value. Because we have relevant information to show candidates, they're willing to share more with us about who they are and what they want. Our business goal is to know more about potential candidates than any other candidate search site. Not only can we provide a better service to users that way, but that makes candidate searching for recruiting purposes that much more targeted--better for both sides.

Candidate search is a significant component of all the major job boards and it's a bulk of LinkedIn's revenues, which is estimated to be $100 million next year. Are we competitive with them? I don't think so. LinkedIn is built on trust, networks, permissions. We're coming at things from a slightly different approach. I actually think that the kind of inherent trust built into the LinkedIn network could help power other sites, just as I hope LinkedIn will open up to allow sites like ours that maintain a really deep information relationship with our candidates to help power their offering. Both of our respective businesses are tremendous improvements over current methods of resume searching and downloading--even though those businesses are driving significant revenues for the mass-market job boards. Companies don't want a firehose of untargeted resumes--they want the right candidates. Companies like us and LinkedIn using net-native approaches to improving candidate search have a tremendous market opportunity. Such value creation in this industry stems from two basic questions:
"How much is a good hire worth to you if you are an employer?"
"How much is the right job worth to you if you are in the working world?"

That's why employment related services have consistently been one of the best revenue generating online businesses out there and why there's still so much value out there to be gained from matching the right people to the right positions. The market is begging for disruptive approaches to the Jobs 1.0 model of calling big job boards and newspapers on the phone to post a job for $450. I would easily, however, pay a company $450 for 50 candidates that all score very highly on their interest/ability to be self directed, whose friends say they'd be the most easy to work with, and, in our case, whose resume pops up uncommonly appearing words like SVD (Singular Value Decomposition) and not SVD (Society of the Divine Word)--which our textual algorithms would be able to differentiate between because of the other statistics related terms that also appear on other quantitatively inclined programmer resumes. Anyway... thanks for reading down this far and allowing some clarification on our business vision. We're very interested in hearing your feedback.

Charlie O'Donnell, Biography

Charlie has worked with college students on career development since he ran a non-credit "Intro to Business" seminar as a Fordham junior in 2000. Since then, he has helped his alma mater develop its most successful career services program--an alumni mentoring program that matches recent graduates to younger students. He has also run career mentoring programs for the NY Society of Securities Analysts and run the internship program at the General Motors pension fund. In early 2006, Charlie founded nextNY, a grassroots, participant-driven organization of almost 1,000 up and coming digital media and technology professionals in NYC--the largest in the area. Events have included discussions on the NYC startup environment, an open house at Google NYC, and a discussion on the future of online advertising.

Most recently, as the Director of Consumer Products for Oddcast, he helped launch the company's first direct to consumer avatar platform and was responsible for Voki's product vision, functional specifications, and initial business and marketing strategy. He coordinated the company's technical and creative resources to help get the product from idea to launch. Previously, Charlie was an analyst for Union Square Ventures, the New York City based early stage venture capital fund. He can also be found blogging at This is going to be BIG..

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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