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Show HN: My first web app - Resumonk - A beautifully simple resume builder (resumonk.com)
175 points by bharani_m on May 6, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 86 comments

I tried it out - very nice work! I really like the design of the landing page. A few comments...

LinkedIn doesn't seem like a great reason to "Go Pro" since I've likely already copied all of my info from LinkedIn just to try it out in the first place. However, the other features, such as analytics and additional templates are awesome additions that I might want after I try it. If I were you, I would seriously consider baking in LinkedIn support to lower the friction for new users and then upsell them with the other features.

You should allow creation of the resume in smaller chunks and save as you go. I get very nervous when I have to type more than a few sentences in an unsaved document.

I don't really need a big description box for every skill I want to list. Actually, I'd rather just list them all (LinkedIn does this).

My profile page says "Howdy Trevor.rundell", which I assume it pulled off my email address. You should just pull my first and last name off of my resume instead.

You should definitely allow users to create their own short URL (/r/trun is a lot better than /r/bejeya). Maybe this is a Pro feature.

> You should allow creation of the resume in smaller chunks and save as you go. I get very nervous when I have to type more than a few sentences in an unsaved document.

This. I avoid web editors like the plague, unless I know with certainty that they have no-reload auto-save.

The form data is being auto-saved to Local Storage using the Sisyphus jQuery plugin. So if you are using a modern browser, you don't have to worry about losing any unsaved data.

You need to tell the user that, though, even if it's just a calming progress indicator or "Saved." label that appears a little after making changes, or a dummy "Save" button they can click.

People have spent years developing habits to defend themselves from crappy web forms. They're not going to let go of those habits without a long adjustment period.

Yes, this definitely needs to be prominent somewhere. It's a big feature for people who worry about data loss (like me!). I'm a compulsive saver -- i usually save after changing something as small as a punctuation mark, so pointing out that data autosaves is a big selling point.

Looks cool!! Thanks for sharing.

Take a look at this: http://resume.linkedinlabs.com/

You could also add (at the pro tier) the functionality to generate custom URLs for a resume that contain a tracking string, and then send email alerts or something like that when that version of the resume is viewed. Simple analytics of "your 'HN posted' resume was read at this time from this IP" would be a huge value-add to justify the pro cost.

(To be clear, I meant to do this without having to create a bunch of different copies of the resume, though it's not really that huge of a difference, I suppose. The email notifications would be a nice touch, though.)

I am always excited to see similar ideas executed as well as this. Currently, I am also working on a resume builder web app like this but with the tracking features you just mentioned as a core feature. However, it's not yet ready for prime time. Drop me a message if you are interested to check it out.

I read the T&C page but didn't see any words that promised that my resume remains private and protected, under my control to share and display. Did I miss something? Actually it looks like from the T&C page that any resume entered becomes your property to do pretty much anything with. This doesn't encourage me to use your site, I'm afraid.

Here's what I like: 1. Simple to use. 2. Easy on the eyes. 3. Actually useful app & it solves real problem. 4. Like go-pro page copy and how you place it under my resumes so it's always visible.

Do-better's IMO: 1. No way to contact you. 2. I'd make the "go-pro" button the same as "your resumes" & "sign out" but different bgcolor to stand out. 3. Filling just personal details & saving gives 500 error when viewing resume. 4. $9.99 is one-time or recurring? 5. No way to share my resume (no social/web2.0 buttons)

Keep pushing, don't give up!

EDIT: Just saw social buttons on the left... Wide monitor & it was out of my sight...

Thanks for the feedback. 1. My email id is on the FAQ page, but I'll add a link to the footer shortly. 2. I decided to go with Paypal's default button because I felt that it will more more easily recognizable. 3. I guess you are getting the 500 error because you have not added any employment/education details. I will look into it shortly. 4. It is a one-time payment. I have just updated the text to clarify it.

I was scanning to see if anyone had already said it. Agree with all of the do-betters. #4, whether the charge is one-time or recurring is the most important to me and takes just a tiny edit.

Just updated the text to clarify that it is a one-time payment. Sorry for taking so long to make such a minor change.

Sentence on your Go PRO! page:

"Check out the PRO version, we are sure that you'll love it."

The fact that you don't contract "we are" and then later in the clause contract you will to "you'll" sounds weird.

Also, you may just want to rewrite that whole bit. It comes out like a ShamWoW ad or something..

I had to scroll to the bottom of the page to find the small link to preview the templates. Before I sign up for something, I would want a better idea of what it was I was signing up for.

You may want to make the Preview Templates link a little more prominent.

Actually I couldn't even find the link even after reading your post. I'm on an iPhone and that might have something to do with it, but still needs to be more visible.

Neither could I, was about to mention that he should have a page with the samples so that you can inspect them before signing up. Then I read that comment and still couldn't find it, I searched for templates it and then found the links at the bottom that has almost the same color as the background... (on win+chrome at least).

I'll fix the links shortly.

This is quite interesting... but can I suggest you try to sell why you'd want to go Pro? There's a button that says "Go Pro", but there's nothing that explains what extra features I'd get with an upgrade.

I am not sure which page you are talking about. Here's the link to the page that explains all the Pro features - http://www.resumonk.com/pro

If you navigate to:


There's a link that says you can import your LinkedIn profile if you go pro - as a suggestion, add a link to the other reasons why you should go pro (I don't use LinkedIn).

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll add the link shortly.

Buddhist monks and the pursuit of a career are to me a weird match, but an inversion of values is not an uncommon marketing approach. As for the design: it's not consistent enough just yet, do you know what you want? Right now you're mixing smooth and pixelated in a weird way. The font for "Get started with your resume" clashes with the enormous Open Sans.

Thanks for your inputs. I just wanted to get the first version up and running quickly so I believe that I still need to fix a lot of things. I will definitely pay more attention to the consistency and the overall look and feel of the design in the next iteration.

Nice App. But adding a Buddhist monk is very bad. You can't do that. It's shame. You may not be an Buddhist. But for us this is like jesus as my mascot. This is shameless marketing you are trying to do with insulting a religion.

I don't like to discuss here something like this. But this is bad.

But for us this is like jesus as my mascot.

....what? Excuse me for coming off as blunt here, but are you actually Buddhist?

Yes. I'm a buddhist and yesterday was our Vesak Festival where it is our holy festival. I feel so bad by looking this.

You all might seems this is not a bad thing. Because what I was talking here is not your culture. If the author of this product is a real buddhist he would understand this.

You don't sound like a Buddhist, and you certainly aren't acting like one. You're acting like what a Christian would think a Buddhist would act like. Holy festival... that is not the language of a Buddhist. Nor would a real Buddhist blame someone else for how they feel, nor would they treat Buddha as if he were Jesus; Buddha is not a god to be worshiped.

If this upsets you, and you're really a Buddhist, then go meditate on why you're allowing your mind to make you feel this way and leave this guy alone. Trying acting less like what you think a Buddhist is and more like Buddha would. Buddha would not feel insulted by a cartoon of a Buddha, Buddha would probably laugh.

Forget his language, he may not be a native English speaker and the difference in the way he acts, that based on our perception of how a Buddhist should be.

I may not be a Buddhist but as some one who love Buddhist philosophy, I find no reason to get offended at the picture, Actually I myself love seeing pictures of Buddha at more and more places (as long as its not used in profane ways) It actually cheers me up.

The whole thing here is that profane has many different definitions and someone who is an actual Buddhist has reported that this is profane for him.

As I said above, Buddhism is only a philosophy in the western world.

Buddhists may not see much of a difference between a Buddha (or a monk) and a Jesus.

It's not an issue with Buddhism only, some muslim in France eat pork and drink alcohol and don't see why it should be an issue with their faith. They wouldn't be offended to see a cute pork on a website called resumepork.com still millions other muslims may be offended and would leave the page right away.


Reality check time. In most Therevada Buddhist countries, Buddhism is closer to a religion than it is to a phylosophy.

To go even further, the western world has a very romantic view of Buddhism and strong opinion on what is and what is not Buddhism. In many Buddhist countries, you'll simply be answered "mind your own business and respect my faith."

> Trying acting less like what you think a Buddhist is and more like Buddha would.

How about you do that too?

> Buddha would not feel insulted by a cartoon of a Buddha

You seem to know a lot about Buddha's opinions on things that concern him.

Either way, the point is not Buddha but the fact that the picture is touching a sensible thing for millions of potential customers which, marketing-wise, is not a good idea.

He most certainly should not let the opinion of a single person influence his branding. What's next, the Burning Judas Bar has to change it's name because some Christian is offended?

Not too mention the fact that this potential minority of users is just not interesting if this branding results in a large share of the vastly larger (for at least the next decade) Western market

Yes of course he would laugh. And now I feel I also need to laugh at you :)

I don't want to talk anyone on this here since, this is a not a place for such. I felt this is my duty to raise my voice. I did it. Thats enough for me.

But I would like to hear from the guy who build the app for the intention to this?

Are buddhists sensitive about imagery? Somehow I don't think buddha would be upset over images of himself - why should he be? As for other monks, why should they be? Why should an image be considered an insult?

Having a image on Budda on a website does not matter. But this is a mascot of having a image of buddha and the author reproduced the buddha's image as a joke.

We don't like it. Ask your self? Would you like this product to be named as resumejesus? and a picture of jesus with a girl kissing him? We don't like that tooo. Because it is insulting a religion. I know most of here are not aware of Buddhism, So I may get unvoted. But I feel I'm right.

I don't see how taking someone as a mascot is insulting to that person. It's not even a depiction of Siddhartha Gautama, anyway -- it'd be more analogous to a picture of a Dominican monk than of Jesus.

Besides, the Buddha was a very smart guy, and much-admired, but that doesn't mean his image need be jealously guarded. I don't see the harm in a little irreverence -- if anything, light-hearted treatment of idols serves as a helpful reminder that nothing should be taken too seriously... can you explain why, in this case, it provoked the reaction in you that it did?

If he had used the image of a Christian monk, that would have been fine with the vast majority of people. In general, a cartoon impression of a monk is not considered insulting, nor is it considered bad taste[1]. The image is used to associate the service with all that is considered 'good' about monks. As this reminds people that monks are generally seen as 'good' people, this in turn benefits the view people have of the religion in question.

If the net effect of him using this image is that people are favourably reminded of Buddhism, isn't that a good thing?

[1] Consider the number of hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars named after monks (/friars/priests/popes/apostles/...)

Great idea and execution! The Go Pro option to autofill LinkedIn seems very odd. When a user is completing a crucial first step, such as filling out the necessary resume info, you should make that process as simple as possible, such as using LinkedIn info, even if it means free. I came to the predicament early on and decided between going pro and not completing the fields at all. I think you're going to lose a lot of people at this point. Instead going pro should be for versions (word/pdf) and analytics after the fact, when the user already has a great impression of the service and has already received the minimum level of satisfaction to continue using it.

Here's my online resume/portfolio: http://www.ideaember.com/resume & http://www.ideaember.com/portfolio I use piwik (http://piwik.org/) for analytics on it.

Feel free to check out what worked for me and contact me if you'd like to have a conversation about the subject. Perhaps a portfolio builder could be your next project. I've spent a ton of time going over the subject and my current implementation is just one of many iterations.

You did a good job with the landing page. Mind sharing how you got it done? Ie. how did you go about finding a designer, have you written design briefs before, etc.

Thanks. I designed the site myself.

I think the Pro and free version should be reversed. Curious people who want to try it out and get their resume up and running and seconds could just import from linkedIn. Pro users who want to fuss over the details should pay the $10.

How it is now doesn't make much sense. I'm not going to pay the $10 until I see it in action. And if I input all the info myself, then by that point I won't need to import from linkedIn.

Not everyone has linkedIn and I'm not exactly going to sign up there just to test this out...

You don't need to have a LinkedIn account to try this out. LinkedIn import is just an additional feature that you might want to use in case you don't feel like copy-pasting your resume information.

I was commenting on the suggestion to make LinkedIn a requirement for the free account.

Super cool! A few thoughts, in addition to everyone else's:

1. When I try to preview the HTML, I get a 500 error! ("We're sorry, but something went wrong")

2. Possibly do a better job telling us which fields are required. For example, I had to click the "save" button before finding out that my address was a required field.

3. The URLs are generally pretty and intuitive - thanks for that. http://www.resumonk.com/users/9999-username/ shows me a list of my resumes. Nitpick: http://www.resumonk.com/users/9999-username/resumes gives me a 404, maybe make that a listing page, or something? http://www.resumonk.com/users/9999-username/resumes/123.html is fine, though "123.html" is not a "pretty" url. Room for improvement there?

At any rate, this is really very well designed. Cool!

What languages, libraries, hosting and database did you use? What editor was it created in and on what operating system?

Looks like Ruby on Rails... that's all I've got :-)

Love the Robert Frost poem, btw.

Yes, I've used Ruby on Rails and it is hosted on Heroku. The pdf is generated using wicked_pdf(wkhtmltopdf).

I really love looking at the poem as soon as I open up Firebug :-)

It's unclear $10 is monthly, yearly or just a one time payment for now. Other than that, very nice work!

It's a one-time payment. But thanks for letting me know. I need to make that clear on the PRO page itself.

Great job! I recently created a similar service:


Your application is much better though. I used prawn as opposed to wicked_pdf to generate the PDFs. Did you do any handling of content spilling over onto multiple pages?

Love the little monk mascot.

Great job. Direct to the point, easy to use, allows me to download as PDF...

I had an idea for a site exactly like this except I couldn't have executed it as well and I gave up after I saw these: http://startupstats.com/resume-builder-startups-2012-03/

I regret that decision now that I've tried yours.

This looks really interesting and something I have been wanting to find for a while. However, I broke it - if you don't fill in education or employment details generating the resume gives a 500 error.

Stuff like that makes me a bit nervous in giving my details to your site, what other errors and issues are there that might leak them to a 3rd party?

Very pretty! How long have you been building this? and what tools did you use? I'm working on my first web app now too!

As to web dev, different people tend to use very different tools to build something looked exactly the same for end-users.

Very Often, it depends heavily on what language you use, java, php, ruby, python...? I love Ruby on Rails.

Thanks, I'm using python right now, a buddy of mine is a python evangelist and got me hooked.

Great web app, very simple and intuitive. A piece of advice: you should allow hyperlinks. I'd use them to link to my GitHub profile and the websites of my previous works. Also the possibility to manually change the ordering of both the skills and the previous experiences would not be bad.

Your slider slides too quickly, it doesn't give readers time to actually look at the images.

Also, there should be a way to preview your service without having to sign up. You're going to lose users by forcing a sign up without being able to see the product.

I like it; I've had a need for something similar recently (though I settled on SO Careers). Slight layout error on the homepage in Firefox 12 (OS X): http://i.imgur.com/ZlTi3.png

This is awesome. Just quick suggestion. In your deck that shows sample resumes, the user's title is "Webdesigner [sic]". It should be 2 words.

It's a minor point, but the spelling error detracts a bit from the professionalism of the site.

I think this is great idea. Some things I'd want to see there: Gallery of templates before signing up and possibility to manually edit the templates. Seeing a list of features might also help getting people to sign up.

Here's the gallery of templates - http://www.resumonk.com/resume_templates

I have also updated the landing page to include a link to this gallery.

There doesn't appear to be a way to add any formatting, even end-lines, in the description of a position. When you've worked somewhere for 5 years, a wall of text isn't the best way to present that experience.

You might be interested in your competition:


They started out with a pro service and then changed models to a template store.

DESIGN SUGGESTION: For all screenshots, scale it in even proportions to reduce aliasing. The resumes shown in the previews all look blurry.

One of those products which is super simple yet solves a deeper pain point for job seekers. Have used it & can recco it too.

I don't understand. Is resume formatting that big of a deal for job seekers? I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that formatting a resume was trivial, but that managing your job search effectively was hard.

It's actually surprisingly difficult to do if your skills in design aren't that crash hot. That's why templates in Word are so popular around this area.

Is the formatting of the document really that important. I would have thought the employer would be focussing on your qualifications/experience rather than your design skills in MS Word.

Humans don't work that way. It all adds up to your overall impression. The resume will be laying on the table during the interview, and you want it to convey the impression that you're professional, smart, and pay attention to detail.

Conveying the message that you don't care about our decadent society's obsession with superficiality and appearance, or whatever message you convey with an ASCII-only resume, obviously works in some situations. But in general, Postel's Law applies here.

Haven't applied for many jobs lately, huh?

Not in a while :) If I'm honest I do pay attention to the design/formatting of my résumé, I still would hope that a good employer would be more concerned about the information on the page. It can't always be counted on though.

The employer will, but the recruiter may not :-)

But nothing beats, LaTex!

I suspect far more résumés are produced in MSWord than LaTeX, despite the worse results, so I guess that beats LaTeX on that count. Comes down to usability, I guess.

(I've used LyX for my résumé -- it seems the right balance for me between the discoverability & hand-holding of a word processor and the power & pretty output of TeX)

Put the Go Pro higher on the page like towards the top cause some of us want to give you are money as easy as possible!

Great idea! Like the nice clean design, keeps the message prominent. Is it supported by all browsers?

The site is really nice as a first application. Btw, are you a modernite by any chance?

nice work, like the simplicity. I agree with some of the users that the messaging can be massaged further but overall like where you're going. I've sent a link to your to a few folks including my little sister. Good luck!

The social buttons are aligned to the left on an IPad, this does not look so good

Love the design of the app. How long did you take to get the MVP done?

Thanks. It took me about two weeks to get the MVP up and running.

Simple, beautiful, useful. Thanks.


I like the website, but you're not getting much information above the fold on ye olde MacBook.

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