New Community for the Unemployed Launches

I'm UnemployedA new community for the unemployed has just launched – www.im-unemployed.com.  Featuring a job board, a community of laid-off peers, groups, & a solid array of career/job search advice from industry experts, I’m Unemployed offers job seekers a safe haven in the midst of the layoff tempest.

I’m Unemployed is free to join & also offers personality quizzes and blogspace for each user.  One of the community’s more unique aspects is that members can upload a resume & invite feedback from other members.  This is a fun idea – heaven knows lots of folks need resume feedback & don’t have the money to pay for it.  I do hope, though, that resume writing professionals find the site & elect to weigh in on the reviews so good people get all the good advice they deserve.

This community is just getting started, so you won’t yet see the level of community engagement I’m sure it’s founder, Larry Dodds, hopes for, but early posts indicate that members value connecting with others in the same circumstances.  Let’s face it, job searching is a lonely activity & one that threatens to disconnect us from family, friends, & the world of work, so any site that helps the unemployed to network, connect, & learn has the potential to provide a great service.

Above all, it’s nice to see a site launched that doesn’t attempt to prey on the desperation of the unemployed.  I’m Unemployed does include a few relevant advertisements & of course the ubiquitous Google ads, but otherwise doesn’t appear to be trying to sell anything to members.

To get the low-down on I’m Unemployed I interviewed Larry last week:

Q:  What was your inspiration for I’m Unemployed?

In April 09 I lost my job.  Never having been unemployed, in 20 years of work experience, I didn’t know how to react.  I hadn’t worked on my resume or been on an interview in 10 years.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to do next.  When and how do I file for unemployment?  What about health insurance – how do I get on COBRA?  What is a personal brand?  They didn’t exist 10 years ago!  I didn’t have a linkedIn account.  Or a twitter account.  I had my head-down working hard for 20 years.  I wasn’t even a bonafide member of the blogosphere. 

The whole process seemed very daunting and stressful.  My company had previous rounds of layoffs so I had friends who just lived through the process.  I found that talking with them helped to relieve some of the stress.  Could discussing unemployment with other jobless people help relieve stress for others?

While I was getting back into the job search swing I started to wonder how I could help others in the same situation I was in.  I have web design and development experience.   Hmmm…sounded like a good match.

Q: What purpose do you believe the site will serve?

I believe the site will help people through their unemployment experience.  People should not go through unemployment by themselves.  They are not alone.  I’m Unemployed will give them an outlet to voice their unemployment tips, frustrations, and observations.  It will provide a way to collect real-world feedback on their resume.  A chance to vent.  To rant.  To empathize.

Q:  How is I’m Unemployed different from other job seeker online resources?

Most other job seeker online resources are solely targeted ‘at’ the job seeker.  Very few are intended ‘for’ the job seeker.  I’m Unemployed is intended to build a community of the unemployed. 

Q:  What does the future hold for I’m Unemployed?

I’m Unemployed has a bright future.  There are several new features planned for the site.  In fact, I had to force myself to stop developing and get the site ready for launch.  For example, a few future features could be a next generation resume feedback capability, ePostcards for your unemployed friends, and a section to catalog and rank tips.

Q:  How are you funding the site?  Any plans to introduce paying memberships or other job seeker services to fund your expenses?

The site is currently self-funded.  Revenue is generated from ads (both search and affiliate).   I am developing an interviewing e-book and introducing it for sale on the site and via email marketing.  I have considered paid memberships for the future but they are currently not on the development timeline.

Q:  How are you planning to promote I’m Unemployed?

In addition to organic search engine traffic  I’m Unemployed is accepting proposals from PR agencies for placement into major media outlets (social media, print, online).  We are evaluating the ROI of PPC and other online advertising vehicles.  We are also investigating relationships with Fortune 500 HR departments as a resource for their recently laid off employees.

Q:  Do you see a role for career/job search/resume experts in your new community?  If so, what?

Absolutely. 

We are looking for professional career/job search experts to contribute to the ‘advice’ section of the site.  The categories are currently ‘Your Brand’, ‘How To’, ‘Employment News’ and ‘Everything Else’.  These categories are broad enough to support a wide array of articles.  Full attribution with active links are provided for each article.

We would also like career/job search experts to post comments in the ‘member layoff stories’ and ‘resume feedback’ sections of the site.  Registration on the site is not required for commenting on the site.

There is also an opportunity to be listed in the ‘services’ or ‘websites to check out’ section.  The ‘services’ section is normally reserved for affiliate links.  However, we will show non-affiliate links for someone who has been particularly helpful to the community.  Listing in the ‘websites to check out’ is simply done by having a registered user recommend the site.

 

So when you have a moment, stop by www.im-unemployed.com & get involved.  Helping others is a great way to help yourself!