Make Pitches Personal With HelloThere

For years, experts have been telling us to customize our resumes and cover letters so that each one is unique to the employer, but that usually means we just rejigger our bullet points and change our opening paragraphs.

But in an economy mired with double-digit unemployment, candidates need to do more than revise their career objectives if they want to stand apart from the competition. Job seekers need to present themselves in a way that demonstrates creativity while also exhibiting a sense of professionalism.

Those with the technological skills to do so have long argued in favor of creating a personal webpage for each employer you’re looking to impress, something that would combine your LinkedIn profile page with the specific messaging and branding to catch the employer’s attention. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to build a website, nor do they have enough design sense to ensure that the website they do build presents them in a good light.

HelloThere aims to solve that problem.

Overview

HelloThere Overview

Create personalized pitches with HelloThere

Co-founder and serial entrepreneur, Shane Mac, created HelloThere to make it easy for job seekers to create “a web page that is all about the company or person you’re going to apply to.” With just a few clicks and the help of your webcam, you can develop a single webpage that contains a short, 140-character note to the person you’re applying to, a video where you pitch yourself for the opportunity, links to whatever you want (including documents that you can upload), and a few paragraphs to go into more detail.

While writing this review, I created a HelloThere page, so if you’re interested in seeing an example, click here.

Creating a Page

HelloThere has a lot going for it, but its biggest strength is the developers’ commitment to user-friendly design. They make creating a personalized webpage dead-simple to do.

To create a page, you go to the HelloThere website, click on the “Try It Now” button, and you’re brought to a template page that breaks down the creation process into a series of form-fields, each of which has a little bit of text explaining what the field is for.

Set up Page

Three steps to getting started

First, you put in the name of the person or company you’re applying to and then write a short introductory note with 140-character limit.

Second, you either upload a video you’ve already made or use your webcam to record a new video right on the site (the recording process uses Flash to commandeer your camera, so iOS users need not apply).

Third, you add your phone number and email address.

On smaller screens (1024 x 768), once you complete the first three fields, HelloThere breaks up the design with a bar that asks you to save the page, give them your email address, and choose a password (the bar is actually locked in the footer of the page, so when you scroll, it stays where it is). This is a brilliant idea, because it allows the user to start creating their content without having to go through a sign-up form, and at the same time, it says to the user, “Hey, all that work you just did to complete steps 1 through 3? If you don’t want it to go to waste, you better take a moment to create an account .”

Sign Up Form

A quick and easy sign-up form

There are two more, optional steps to creating the page. The first is adding additional paragraphs that will sit “below the fold” of your webpage. This is where you might list some specific skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for or go into more detail about why you want to work for this particular employer.

Steps 4 & 5

These steps are optional

You’re limited to plain text for these paragraphs. You can’t use bold or italic formatting, can’t choose your font, can’t add subheaders, can’t do bulleted or number lists, etc. You can, however, add as many paragraphs as you want.

The final step to creating the page is adding any links or documents. Job seekers would probably want to connect this page to their LinkedIn page or maybe an online portfolio. They can also upload their resume or maybe some PDFs of that portfolio. You can even link to your blog if you want. Whatever you think might help.

And that’s it. Save the page and you’re good to go.

The End Result

Again, I created a page in the process of writing this review, so if you want to take a look at the end-result, just click here. I think you’ll agree that the page is classy looking, and that it uses an attractive type-driven design that is easy on the eyes.

One of the more interesting elements of HelloThere is the URL structure for the page that you create. The URL I linked to above is appstorm.sayhellothere.to/hellothere, which means that the URL itself is like a little message to whoever it is you’re applying to. For example, if you were applying to Google, you might use, johndoe.sayhellothere.to/google.

Tracking Your Visitors

Along with making it easy for people to create one-off pages that will set them apart from the competition, the folks behind HelloThere wanted their app to solve another problem for the job seeking audience: knowing where you are in the process.

HelloThere includes built in stat-tracking for your webpage, but the stats aren’t your usual web metrics (bounce rate, time on page, etc.). Instead, HelloThere gives you a plain-language explanation of who visited your site and what they did while they were there.

Stats Page

Plain-language stats are a nice touch

Using HelloThere, you’ll be able to tell when the HR person visited your site, whether they opened your resume or looked at your portfolio, and whether they came back again.

Pricing

HelloThere is free for a single page, but chances are, if you’re looking for a job, you’ll want to create a page for each employer you apply to. And that’s where HelloThere gets you.

For $14, you can create five individual pages, but for $39/month, you can upgrade to an unlimited number of pages. For most of us, the $14 option would probably do the trick (especially if you hear back in the negative from one employer, which means you can delete that page and create a new one for the next one).

Coming Soon

The developers are very close to releasing version 2.0 of SayHelloThere, which will allow anyone who isn’t comfortable with video to upload a photo or slide deck instead. They’re also improving the tracking feature, adding email alerts and more detailed information on what your visitors did while they were there.

Final Thoughts

HelloThere has several things going for it.

First, it’s a great concept, especially in today’s employment climate where everyone and their uncle is looking for a job. Second, it’s well executed; the developers worked hard to create a user-focused web app, and they achieved their goal. HelloThere makes it simple for anyone to create professional-looking personalized webpages. Third, its tracking feature gives job seekers useful insight into the black hole that is an the application process. And finally, it’s priced right; even if you’re unemployed, there’s a good chance you can throw down $15 to improve your chance of success.

In short, HelloThere hits the sweet spot. It does exactly what it says it can do, and it does so with style.


Summary

HelloThere is a user-friendly way to introduce yourself to your next employer (or your next customer) with personalized video pages.

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