Right now is an especially tricky time to be looking for a job. And with more layoffs in just about every industry being announced daily, it can be terrifying to even think about. So it’s an opportune time for Path 101, a career guidance service, to be launching.

Let’s be clear: This is not another job posting service. Instead, Path 101 takes an analytical approach to provide users with guidance for a career path. It does this a number of ways, with the three key areas being: A personality test, a resume analyzer and a career advice section.

Of these, the resume analyzer is the most interesting because it can take your resume (either one that you upload or have saved on a site like LinkedIn already) and parses out all of your information. Then it compares that information to the information the service has collected from the huge amount of public resumes available out there on the web. How many resumes are out there? Over 8 million, Path 101 co-founder and chief executive Charlie O’Donnell tells me.

This comparison of your information to millions of other resumes, gives you an easy-to-understand breakdown of what careers might be good options for you. That’s important because especially in times like these, you may need to break out of whatever career path you may already be on to start something new.

The service’s personality test also helps determine a career path that might be good for you, based on the the information the site has gathered from the resumes and other quizzes. The quiz requires 20 to 25 minutes to take and doesn’t require that you log-in to do it. But if you choose to sign up, you can stop the quiz at any time and save your progress.

If after those two steps, you still want more information, that’s where the career advice section comes into play. It’s a bit like a focused Yahoo Answers, where you ask a question, and other users give you responses. What’s nice, is that you can both ask and answer questions anonymously, making the process very simple (and if the service gains popularity, undoubtedly open to spam). There is also an option to easily send these questions out to Twitter or to Facebook to get an even broader group of people to answer you.

All of these services means that Path 101 has access to a lot of data. That data is valuable, and that’s the company’s strategy to eventually make money off of it. It faces competition from services like LinkedIn and Vault, and lists how it thinks it differentiates itself on its FAQ page.

O’Donnell and chief technology officer Alex Lines founded the New York-based Path 101 in 2008. The company closed an angel round of funding in February, and has raised $550,000 to date.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.