NETWORKING / SEP. 19, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Build a Network The Easy Way With Coffee App

Most of us know this expression, ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know’, but it hints at a huge problem for fresh graduates: no network. Ideally, we’d all have a network we tap into when unemployed or craving a fresh start elsewhere. We approach a contact from our network, and they arrange an interview-- no job ads and lengthy applications involved. We sneak in through the backdoor. While everyone else waits for a response from their application you’ve already attended an interview. You know the job is yours. Yes, that’s the ideal job search strategy. Unfortunately, it’s usually benefiting job hunters with years of experience not people like you. You know who they are. Their CV usually reads: Sarah Scott has 12 years working for a technology startup, 100 years working with pharmaceutical companies and a million years working at ….

Poor you could never compete...until now.

Two Boston University graduates understood those problems. Nathan Bernard and Sawyer Xie developed a new Smartphone app, Coffee, which helps job seekers build their own network. Coffee is aimed at anyone who wants to grow their professional network socially.

Where Coffee app began

Inspiration for Coffee app occurred after a conversation on Tinder. A young investment banker complained about her inability to successfully utilize a network and discover fresh career opportunities. Both founders understood her concerns. Coffee app was born.

How it works

Job hunters list and share their expertise with like-minded people and build a network in the process. They discover job opportunities and form useful connections along the way.

You login using a Facebook or LinkedIn account. Next, you complete your user account and add details about expertise.

After completing the setup, coffee shows you profiles of professionals who are interested in a face-to-face meeting. You’ll click ‘’yes’’ or ‘’no’’ for each person. If both of you click ‘’yes’’ a match forms, and you can chat to each other through Coffee app.

Businesses with job opportunities can also post job ads within the app.

Coffee app is popular with graduates. An estimated 5000 people signed up through ‘word of mouth’ since its launch. 

Coffee is available through Apple app store for iPhone and iPad devices only.

The Apple App Store has positive reviews for Coffee app with a 4 1/2 rating for ‘all versions’ of Coffee app.

According to one reviewer, there are no location based settings so you’re only matched within your desired location. He/she lives in Philadelphia, yet most profiles were from New York City. Both owners were based in New York City. They promoted the app there too; thus explains why most are NYC profiles.

That’s something Nathan and Sawyer should discuss, but Coffee is still young. More people from other cities across America, possibly the world, will use Coffee as it swells in popularity; however, only a growing database of users from various cities will fuel the long-term success of the app. I hope the developers take this into consideration.

Businesses based in your home city will have more incentive for promoting job opportunities through Coffee if there are hundreds of potential candidates.

More people using this app will also create more potential matches in your city. Spread awareness. You’ll help build your own network and potentially discover more job positions.

Coffee seems best suited for US professionals for now. But keep an eye on it if you live elsewhere. It seems like a useful tool. It’s worth contacting the owners. Ask if they plan to target business owners from your own country who have new jobs vacancies.

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