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Penn State Students Unveil Résumé-Building Website

A pair of student entrepreneurs is working together to bring Penn State students a new way to enhance their résumés, just in time for the Fall Career Days at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Mitch Robinson, a junior and president of Innoblue, Penn State’s community of entrepreneurs, and Zach Zimbler, a 2012 graduate and founder of TEDxPSU, teamed up to build ResumeRuby.com, a website designed to compete with Microsoft Word as the first choice for creating an effective résumé.

“Last spring, I had this Photoshop template that I’ve been using for my personal résumé, and I showed a friend,” said Robinson, “and he said, ‘I’d pay ten bucks right now to make mine look like that.’”

That gave Robinson the motivation to pursue the idea further, and see if there was a way to effectively build a business. He asked Zimbler, a friend he met at co.space, for help. From there, the two began working on developing the platform over the summer.

“I realized there was no easy way for students to make professional and effective résumés,” Robinson said. “You Google ‘student résumé templates,’ but the search results you’re getting aren’t effective, and that’s what everyone’s using.”

With ResumeRuby, there are templates available that have been pre-approved by a dozen recruiters. Students simply need to choose a template, copy and paste their information into the pre-assigned text boxes, and print out a copy to hand to a potential employer.

“Basically, everyone is using Microsoft Word,” Robinson said, “and the obvious drawbacks with Microsoft Word are that you have to play around with the margins, you don’t have preset fonts that designers and recruiters want to see, and you’re basically left trying to do it all by yourself.”

He explained that a simple, straightforward, and easy-to-use design, with minimal editing and time required to fix the format, can allow the user to focus entirely on the quality of information that’s being presented.

While Robinson noted that there are other websites advertising the same capabilities as ResumeRuby, there is no other product on the market that allows you to do it seamlessly. While editing on the website, you can see how it looks in real time, whereas other online résumé editors require you to toggle between separate editing boxes and tabs.

Based on the feedback they received from students, Robinson said they want to make sure that they offer a résumé template that is the best fit for a specific major, and target what jobs people are looking to secure. By the end of the year, they hope to have a filter in place that will do just that. For example, users would simply need to select “internship” and “engineer,” and choose from a suggested list of appropriate templates.

Signup starts with a one-time fee of $9 for one template, $14 for three templates and all future templates, and $50 for access to all templates and the soon-to-be unveiled “pro editor,” which can remove passive voice and offer appropriate words to use based on the specific job title.

To encourage new students to check out ResumeRuby before Career Days get under way, signup will be free for all new users for the first week after the website goes live on Tuesday.

The goal, said Robinson, is to have 10 paid users by the end of October in order to hire a designer to keep building more templates. With continued success, they plan to roll out the option to turn your résumé into a personal website with the click of a button.

“We hope for the first time since Microsoft Word that it really allows you to edit your résumé in a new way,” Robinson said. “We can’t control what experience people have, but we can control how they portray it.”

About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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