Innovate CV’s Ryan Garman: Helping universities get their students better jobs, faster.

Successful Educational Institutions are always looking for ways to give their students an edge in an extremely competitive graduate job market. Their Career Service departments want the right students in front of the right employers in the most opportune time. And of course, the more cost-efficient and easier the process is, the better.

And now, that’s where Innovate CV is delighted to step in.

Our new Educational platform is available at no cost to an Educational Institution, their students, or interviewing employers.  Better yet, the platform can also serve as an additional funding source for Career Service departments.

The Innovate CV technology allows students to use the latest digital technology to showcase themselves. It packed with features including integrated advice sections, video capabilities, and allows for multiple versions of new generational digital resumes. University administers also have the ability to create instant digital resume books, custom login credentials for select employers, and makes the entire Career Service department more efficient.  (You can learn more here.)

And well, that’s great news for everyone.

A sample portal for an institution's students

The man behind this game-changing initiative is Innovate CV’s new Director of University Relations, Ryan Garman. He’s working around the clock to help institutions get their students better jobs, faster. Let’s meet him…

Ryan, what is it about Innovate CV that captured your attention?

Easy! The Innovate CV technology and the team behind it

When I met Innovate CV’s founder, Adam Lewis, I was living in London restructuring a communications firm, although my background is in university marketing in the United States.  As I’m sure we all know, so much of the success of a startup is based on its founder or leader. When I met Adam I knew whatever it was he was working on was going to be successful.

As soon as I was shown the Innovate CV technology I knew this was a platform that would transform the way in which students interact with their career service departments (career centers), and the way career service administrators would showcase students to potential employers.

Tell us about your background, Ryan. You’ve got quite a history working with universities, don’t you?

The university market has pretty much been my life.  I started my first real company while attending Santa Clara University in the Silicon Valley.  My first company, AllDorm.com, provided universities across the country a retail platform in which they could sell their own products, which they traditionally only sold through the bookstore, plus our 6,000+ products which we sourced.  Schools would get a percentage of every sale which took place on their site.

Check out Ryan's own Innovate CV resume

As we quickly learned, the retail business is brutal, and we had no desire to compete with growing companies such as, Wal-Mart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc…  It was a call from then Bank One, now Chase, that changed the future of AllDorm.  What BankOne saw in AllDorm was relationships, not a retail company.  They asked if there was a way to leverage these relationships into channels in which AllDorm could get other companies, like BankOne, onto campus.  Within less than six months, we sold the retail assets of the company and re-launched as AllDorm Inc, the nation’s leading collegiate marketing agency.

AllDorm ended up growing to over 1,500 two and four year colleges and universities in all 50 states and Canada.  Our student rep database reached over 50,000 student groups, representing over 1,000,000 students.  At the time there wasn’t anyone that could come close to mobilizing students on such a massive scale.

I love the university market.  I love the concept of institutions where people go to learn, have fun, and find ways to become successful.  I wish we had more institutions like our traditional universities.

How have university career services reacted to the Innovate CV concept?

To date, phenomenally well.  From a very high level, how couldn’t they?  The Innovate technology allows students to show a much more well rounded picture of who they are, which leads to better jobs in a shorter timeframe.  It allows administrators to provide better feedback to more students more efficiently, while ensuring they are putting the proper students in front of the proper employers in real time.  BEST OF ALL, there is no cost to educational institutions.  In fact, we are currently offering 10% of all advertising revenue back to the career service departments to further the effort to bring more jobs to more students!

Given your discussions with university career services, where do feel their biggest challenges and opportunities lie?

As most things in life, their biggest challenge is the status quo.  Universities are becoming much more agile institutions, but there is still work to be done.  This said, most schools know they need to update their technology, which is not only an opportunity for the schools, but also for Innovate CV.

Another growing challenge is budget cuts, which I think is a huge disservice to the students.  Career Services is the go-to place for career planning and hopefully allows students to start on the right career path.  Changing careers mid-life is incredibly difficult, and something no one should have to endure.

The jobless rate for college grads under age 25 was 8 percent in April, up from 6.8 percent in April 2009 and 3.7 percent in April 2007. It’s tough out there for grads, isn’t it?

You know, I’m not sure I totally agree with the initial interpretation that most would jump to after hearing these facts.  When I hear this, I think about the ones responsible for the hiring.  They are the ones that have it the worst.

The truth is, companies are hiring.  Home Depot has forecasted 50,000 new jobs in the next 12 months.  McDonald’s is forecasting 50,000.  Ford 7,000. Google 6,200.  Intel 4,000.  Amazon.com 1,600.

Now let’s look at Google.  They are receiving on average 5,000 resumes per job posting.  That’s 31,000,000, 31 MILLION, resumes.  That’s 10% of the US population!  So the problem is not jobs, it’s with the amount of time it is now taking for positions to be filled.  Everyone is looking for a job, even the ones with jobs!  What students need is a tool to stand out from the crowd, and what employers need is a tool to help the find the best candidate faster.  Of course I am biased, but I truly believe that Innovate CV has the best tool on the market do to both.

What piece of advice would you offer to future and current university students who want to best position themselves for their eventual graduate job search?

Skip the job search process all together.  Take the four years you have in college to find something you’re passionate about and start your own company.  College is the absolute best time in life to start a company.  You have freedom, endless resources, fellow students that will work for free, professors and faculty to guide you on your journey, and no family (for most) to have to support.  You have no risk, only an upside.

If it doesn’t work out, so what, along the way you will have met countless people that will be dying to hire you.  The skills you learn while starting a company cannot be taught in a classroom, plus you will have the time of your life – I promise!

Yankees fan. Don't hold it against him.

Ryan, what’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? 

My father has told me this 100 times: “Don’t ever listen to anyone’s advice other than your own gut instinct.  Once you’ve made a decision, don’t look back or ever second-guess it.”

Call it early! Who will be the 2011 NCAA National Champs (football)?

As someone that was born and raised in Las Vegas, I will bet on just about anything! This said, I would put my money on Alabama.  Since my sister is a Buckeye, I always have to mention Ohio State, but I would love to see Boise State or TCU win the national championship!

Want to learn more? Ryan would love to speak to you. Head this way.

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Categories: Articles for Job Seekers, Innovate CV News and Grooves

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