The term "job hunt" is the opposite of music to millennial ears. It cues images of a young Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox in Wall Street, desperately trying to spear Michael Douglas' Gordon Gekko with deceptive promises of paternally purloined profits. Fortunately, The Muse, a millennial career site, just raised 10 million bones to expand its mission of making the job market a more friendly place for finding your dream job. The funding round isn't notable simply because it could make your job search far more pleasant. It's a great case of women empowering women in the start-up space — and one more success for achieving diversity in the industry. Three female venture capitalists (Aspect Ventures' Theresia Gouw and Jennifer Fonstad, and DBL Partners' Nancy Pfund) and one male investor (QED Investors' Caribou Honig) led the Series A. And, The Muse itself is female led, by co-founders Kathryn Minshew, its CEO, and Alex Cavoulacos, its COO. Run by women, and advised by a cadre of female investors, The Muse takes a different spin on the phrase "job search." The Muse presents the process of career discovery as a visual-social safari through a very wide world of employers — from tech companies like Facebook and Uber, and retail brands like adidas and Gap, to more stalwart companies like HBO, Dow Jones, and Allstate. It casts itself as your friendly and, at times, playfully link-baity tour guide. Serious questions like, "What Should I Wear to My Interview?" sit alongside more philosophically-minded questions like, "What Do I Do With My Life?" Browsing through the job listings can feel at first a bit like stumbling on the mother lode of Pinterest-board #OfficePorn. But, the good news is that that you do eventually snap out of your Aeron chair envy and coconut-watercooler voyeurism in time to realize that you can actually use this site to rigorously evaluate precisely what it would take for you to quit your day job and apply for your dream job.
Minshew finds it quite funny that no other job search sites have capitalized on the fact that highly employable millennials prefer to gather their employment options with a healthy dose of beauty and levity. She called legacy job sites like Indeed some of "the ugliest sites on the internet.” Part of The Muse's special sauce, according to Minshew, is prioritizing design elements and beautiful photography in order to appeal to a "highly visual generation of candidates." Inspired by Airbnb's wide-angle ways, The Muse sends out professional photographers and videographers to take pictures of every office listed on their site. The investors in its $10 million Series A round are especially impressed with the site's traction. The site boasts daily traffic of 100,000 to 300,000 users, and monthly traffic of over 3 million — and it's helped over 31 million visitors with their careers since launching in 2011.
“Having been an early investor in other game-changing businesses catering to millennials, Trulia and LearnVest, I’m extremely excited to work with The Muse team in building a career site focused on that demographic. They are hitting a huge need,” Gouw said. With this new infusion of capital, its growing roster of cool companies, and a devoted millennial user base, The Muse will focus on continuing to improve its employee-to-employer matchmaking skills, and is finally primed to compete with the formidable field of job hunting sites like Monster and Glassdoor. The next big thing in online career advancement is led by women, and its future is looking very bright.