Jeff Berger is the President of Digital Media at the Universum Group, the global leader in employer branding. Jeff is a thought leader in the employment industry and is also the CEO of Doostang, a community of over one million elite professionals with inside access to thousands of jobs from top employers. He welcomes anyone to reach out to him on Twitter or Google+.
MO: You are currently the CEO of Doostang. Please tell us what Doostang is all about.
Jeff: Founded in 2005, Doostang is a leading employment network for young professionals seeking career advancement. Our community has grown to over one million members, including 25% of the recent graduates from the top 30 U.S. universities. Members gain exclusive access to hand-picked job opportunities from employers around the country. As a team, we’re most proud of the success stories we often hear from members; thousands of people have found their new jobs through Doostang.
MO: Can you tell us about your background and how you came to be CEO of Doostang?
Jeff: I’ve been passionate about the recruiting industry since college, when I started my first Internet recruitment company, KODA. After going the startup route, I began working with the founder of the Universum Group on potential acquisitions and partnerships. We started looking at Doostang almost immediately.
I’d known of Doostang since I was in college; several of my friends talked about how they wanted memberships, but at that time, it was only available to students of select schools. That memory always stuck with me, and it really speaks to the product the founding team developed. After completing the acquisition, I took over as CEO in summer 2011.
MO: Why did Universum decide to acquire Doostang? What did you see in Doostang that made you think you could reverse its struggles to become profitable?
Jeff: The founders and early team at Doostang built a great product with a core base of loyal users. For various reasons, the company diverted a bit from the quality it delivered early on, and that hurt the business as it tried to scale and grow. After the acquisition, we really regained the focus on the product and ensured that premium members had access to some of the most exclusive and hardest-to-find job listings.
The finance vertical has been a huge success for us, but we have been expanding into other industries as well.
MO: What are you personally currently focusing on at Doostang?
Jeff: I truly believe Doostang is the best career site in the country if you’re located in a major city and seeking a job in finance. The exclusivity and quality of the job listings is hard to match. My focus now is to expand that statement to include other verticals, like sales and marketing. We’re not there yet, but we are adding hard-to-find jobs in other industries on a daily basis.
MO: What is your favorite feature that Doostang offers recent graduates looking for jobs?
Jeff: We recently launched a résumé-writing service on Doostang that has been very successful. A member is matched with a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, who specializes in writing résumés for people in the member’s specific field. The member and writer communicate back and forth for a few days until the member is satisfied. We even offer a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee for the first 60 days, or we’ll rewrite it.
MO: How can Doostang help companies looking to hire?
Jeff: Thousands of companies list their jobs with us each year, and unlike most job boards, it’s free to do so. If the company would like to increase its exposure or reach a certain target group of members, we do offer several marketing and communication packages.
MO: What are you most excited about for the future of Doostang?
Jeff: The process of finding a job online is broken. By focusing on quality job openings that are only available to premium members, we’re creating a better marketplace for employers and candidates to connect. I’m excited about building Doostang into the premier employment network for young professionals seeking career advancement in major markets.
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