We’ve all probably used either Monster.com or Workopolis.com at some point. Whether or not we did so successfully or enjoyed the process is another story. Looking for work online can feel clumsy, impersonal and of questionable effectiveness. Even professional networking apps like LinkedIn haven’t really made significant advances to the way we go about searching for jobs on the web. A new service, called Raveal, hopes to bring some fresh perspective to the online employment search game.
Raveal is aimed at the job hunter, promising to represent those who list themselves with the service as people, not assets. It’s an attractive prospect when you’re coming from a situation where you feel significantly less than human in the meat market that is Monster. And it has a distinctly simple, clean Web 2.0 look that at least shows the site’s designers take their job seriously.
Once I got into the process of actually creating a profile, though, I began to wonder if the look and feel of the site were the only things that distinguished it from its predecessors. The information asked for when setting up your public profile is suspiciously similar to the information you’d be asked for on Workopolis or any similar site. I suppose the basic search criteria that employers will use doesn’t vary that much, so maybe Raveal using it can be excused. Still, for a modern Web 2.0 app, I found the categories provided to be pretty traditional and restrictive.
Raveal’s resume creator is a little more free-form. The standard “Objective,” “Experience” and “Education” fields are all there (although you can customize even these basic section titles), but you can also add as many additional custom categories as you want. Each section has entries within it, which consist of a title and a description or details. It’s a very simple format, but it does allow for considerable customization.
Finally, the “Portfolio” section offers what is perhaps Raveal’s most important distinguishing feature. In it, you can write a brief bio for yourself (or, optionally, use your resume objective), and then add “Galleries” to fill it out. For each gallery you can set a title and decide whether or not it is publicly viewable, and you can add as many items as you want, up to your storage limit (100 MB on free accounts, 1 GB for Pro users). File types supported include images, videos, audio, and Flash files, and also entire web sites, so long as there is an index.html file and your internal links are relative. This could be very handy for web designers who have templates or designs not hosted elsewhere.
Raveal’s Portfolio feature saves it from becoming yet another Workopolis or Monster. It gives you a visually rich way to present your work to prospective clients, without having to link them off to a bunch of different locations. So far, I don’t see any reason to jump to a paid subscription just yet, but this is an early release, so we’ll see what Raveal brings to the table in future iterations.
Share your online job search experiences in the comments.