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Mastering programs like Excel, Powerpoint or languages ​​like Java or PHP, are easily added to a resume. Skills that are crucial anchor points for recruiters. But how to validate these skills? During an interview a recruiter might be able to find out more about to what extent a job seeker is familiar with Google Analytics or the use of Twitter for example. But since these online tools are developing and changing rapidly, there is a need to validate these skills.  Smarterer, a start-up from Boston, has come up with a solution.

Smart, smarter, smarterer
By making them answer 10 questions, Smarterer puts applicants to the test. Within 60 seconds or faster, you have to choose one of the multiple-choice answers. If you answer correctly, then the next question will be one of a more difficult level and vice versa. The final score is benchmarked with all other participants. So the better the competition, the lower your score turns out. The consequence of the benchmark model is that users need to maintain their score. Because if more people do the test, your score is going to change as well. My score – see badge below – was initially 470 and see where it is now…

Crowdsourced
Whether it’s for Matlab, Final Cut Pro or Outlook, all questions are created by users themselves – crowdsourced – and approved by the team of Smarterer.  CEO Jennifer Fremont-Smith told me that everyone is free to add a test. Multinational corporations, small businesses and software developers, whether they speak French or Spanish. “Just make sure you mention the language in the title”, Fremont-Smith said.

Every test needs a minimum of 20 questions.  However, Smarterer is making an effort at this moment to approach experts to come up with questions as well whenever the creator could think of a few questions but not up till 20.  According to Fremont-Smith, ‘pending’ tests do need to be interesting enough for a large audience in order for Smarterer to proactively search for more input.  After the minimum of 20 questions, applicants who want to obtain a higher score can add questions themselves as well.  Users who do, are rewarded with a higher score.

Badge
Fee Naaijkens's Score in LinkedIn

After 10 questions you will get a score between 1 and 800. You can either choose to continue and improve your score or stop at that point. You might even want to publish a badge on your LinkedIn profile or another (digital) resume to show off!  So with only one click the recruiter will see right away what your level is with a certain program compared to other (so-called) specialists.

Currently Smarterer is still in beta. In June 2011 the company received an investment of $ 1,250,000 of  True Ventures and Goolge Ventures.

Do you have an idea for a test or just want to see how smart you are? Click on the badge for an invite.

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mixed identitiesAs you may have noticed, I’ve been away for a while. In the first two weeks of May I flew back to the Netherlands, since my family was expanded by two new, little creatures which I wanted to visit. It was wonderful: the weather was great, it felt good to be close to my family again and I met up with friends.

Divided
However, walking around in my old neighborhood, dropping by at what I once called the office and talking with friends over diners and drinks, can feel pretty weird as well. There’s not a place that you call home anymore and you’re a visitor in your own country. This makes you realize that you had it all: a career, your own apartment and a great social life in Amsterdam.. But I gave it all up, which made my visit hard as well.

Small steps
On the other hand, it really made me want to go back to Boston, to be able to work on my long term plans again. To continue building my new network and exploring the local industries in Boston. I couldn’t wait to look for new assignments, jobs or projects in the communication, PR or social media field. Since my new me, had to focus on building a life on the other side of the ocean. After several weeks of searching on the web, visiting network events and a drink with a well-known entrepreneur in Boston, the first steps are made.

To be continued..

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