No Resumes, Just Skills: Smarterer Grabs $1.75M From True, Google Ventures; Tony Conrad Joins Board

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Resumes, they say, are ineffective but Boston-based startup Smarterer believes it has the solution. The company’s platform provides job searchers with a simple way to show employers what they know by taking quizzes in subjects that range from engineering to music. Smarterer then crowdsources its test designs and employs a smart ranking system to give job searchers a score. Finally, it allows them to broadcast their successes to the world.

After launching in late 2010, the gamified test-taking platform struggled to find growth early. It has turned that story around of late, especially after launching “Skill Sets,” which allows companies to offer Smarterer quizzes as part of their online job applications. This enables hiring managers to then use the startup’s tools to further validate a candidate’s skills.

A complement to gamified job platforms like Gild (which specifically targets developers), Smarterer leveraged Skill Sets into 1,250 percent growth in a single week, as it became clear that Smarterer offered candidates an opportunity to turn their skills into jobs.

Today, the startup offers more than 500 skills, and its community has now answered over 10 million questions — currently averaging 70K questions per day. Its Excel test, for example, has seen more than 1 million answers, with users spending the equivalent of 176 days answering questions about Excel.

Smarterer is taking on another round of capital, as it officially closed $1.75 million in series A financing today, bringing its total funding to $3 million. True Ventures led the round, with participation from previous investor Google Ventures and a dozen or so angel investors. True Ventures (and About.me) Founder Tony Conrad will be joining the startup’s board as a result of the round.

The other key to the startup’s platform is its ranking system, which is based on Glicko — the same rating system used to qualify chess masters — and allows the platform to learn with each question you answer, enhancing the algorithm’s ability to measure the difficulty of the questions and, in turn, your skills — as it goes.

The startup will also be leveraging partnerships with applicant tracking system The Resumator and social recruiting platform Bullhorn Reach to help make hiring less of a pain in the ass. On top of that, it’s also partnering with About.me so that users can link their Smarterer profiles to their About.me pages to keep their preferred online tools and networks all in one place.

For more on Smarterer, check them out at home here.