- Title: Co-founder & CTO
- Company: CVmill
- Date: 2015 — 2016
- Product strategy
- Information architecture
- User research
- Product design
- Product management
This is the story of how a personal startup – CVmill – was set up to sell world-class résumés via the Internet, professionally crafted, in under 48 hours.
CVmill was a product I co-founded in 2015. It shut down in 2016 due to lack of product-market fit.
The project was imagined as a productized service to design and sell the world’s best résumé. The goal was to work with professional résumé writers and deliver a stunning document that speaks perfectly to your skills, abilities and personality, all within 48 hours of placing your order.
Designed & Developed a complete customer solution
Designed and developed the website, including the shopping experience, transactional emails, payment gateway integration and a lead-generation/marketing strategy.
Fully responsive and mobile-friendly
The website was built as mobile-first, ensuring accessibility on all devices.
Set up a public profile system for resumes
Set up a system so customers could host their resumes and share directly with the employer.
Designed dozens-and-dozens of résumé templates
Personally designed close to 40+ resume templates in Adobe InDesign.
About the project
CVmill came into existence after receiving yet another poorly formatted résumé from a prospect and having the revelation that while we’ve all read articles on what the perfect résumé should look and read like - very few people have the knowledge and the ability to create an effective résumé.
Notice the emphasis on an 'effective' résumé?
It's important to differentiate between a résumé that's all glitter no gold, versus a résumé that effectively talks about you, but fails to pull people in, versus a résumé that finds the perfect balance between design composition, storytelling and authenticity to highlight why the hiring manager should consider you for the position.
Very few people have the knowledge and the ability to create an effective résumé.
CVmill was an e-commerce platform. The goal of the website was to allow prospects to browse the wide range of professionally designed résumé templates, based on criteria such as industry, theme, colour, and with or without a photograph, among others. The website would also include additional offers such as packages for Cover Letter re-writes and Linkedin Makeovers.
The prospect would be able to easily make their purchase and submit their relevant details to be added into their new résumé - by either attaching their existing résumé as a reference or by filling in a detailed form.
Once the résumé is ready to be delivered, a new profile page would be created for the customer that they could use to view, download and most importantly, share their résumé with a simple short-link, without ever worrying about unnecessary attachments and outdated file-size limitations.
As a co-founder, C.T.O. and Design Director for this project (that's a lot of hats for one regular-sized head), I handled all of the design and development, as well as an assortment of other technical implementations.
I was responsible for:
- Prototyping the customer experience, from their first visit all the way to order placement and post-sale transactional messaging
- Designing the website
- Developing the complete e-commerce solution, including a mobile-first web presence; a backend CMS; an order management system; and a cloud-hosted public profile system
- Payment Gateway Integration; Email subscription integration; and configuring drip email funnels
Visitors and customers should be able to:
Browse different résumé designs based on industry, theme, colour, and other factors; and jump from one template to another
Add additional ‘add-on’ packages before finalizing the sale
Share relevant details for their new résumé to be created, via a detailed form or by attaching an existing résumé
View, download or share their résumé with a personalized short-link
Journey of capturing details
The original flow had a very standard, e-commerce like experience:
- Step 1: you select a product (in this case, that would be a résumé template
- Step 2: we capture your details (including their details for the résumé)
- Step 3: you make the payment
- Step 4: you receive an order confirmation
- Step 5: you receive your product (in this case, that would be a new résumé)
Here, capturing the customer details was an integral piece of the process. Without completing this stage, the customer couldn’t move forward and make the payment. It became very clear, very quickly that this interruption would plummet our sales because no one likes long forms - let alone long forms when they still haven’t financially committed to the cause.
With the realization that something different had to be done to firstly, close the sale, and secondly, ensure that customers complete the form immediately after, we realized that the customer needed to commit to the cause by placing their order before we ask them to share more details.
It was critical that customers fill the form as quickly as possible, yet the number of fields we required in the form were daunting - a challenge we had to resolve if wanted any success at this point in the journey.
We decided to break the form into multiple parts with a progress indicator at the top, making it less intimidating. A great strategy for lengthy forms. Don't you just love obvious fixes?!
The next phase included designing the experience for the entire project - everything from browsing the product catalogue and order placement to making the purchase and all post-purchase communication.
With a clear picture of what was needed, I went on to design high-fidelity wireframes to represent all the pages for the website.
Once we had established most of the layout and content, we moved on to the next phase: visual design. CVmill’s bright accent colour and attention to imagery helped bring life into the designs.
An interesting idea we executed on the homepage was a vertical carousel showcasing a variety of résumé designs that appear from inside a laptop.
Examples of résumé designs
CVmill started with 40 résumé designs, in a variety of colour palettes, typographical styles and layouts.